Understanding FAR part 117

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Recommended reading material.

The links to the follow articles should prove to be insightful, Capt. Pierson has done an excellent job in the presentation of best practices.

ProPilotWeb Articles:

How to Ensure FAR 117 Compliance

How to make your commute work for you

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Updated ALPA FTDT FAR 117 Guide – Feb 2015

ALPA has updated the reference material for FAR 117.

ALPA FTDT FAR 117 Guide Feb2015

FDP Extensions and Cumulative Limits

The FAA issued various interpretations that agree with and supports many earlier interpretations.

Wykoff_ALPAI – (2015) Legal Interpretation

Re-estalishment of Current Interpretations

The FAA has now begun to reiterate previous interpretations of FAR part 117.

These clarifications should continue to aide all impacted by these decisions.

Wykoff_ALPAI – (2015) Legal Interpretation

FAA interpretation of 117.25(f) when a flightcrew member determines that a rest period will not provide 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep opportunity.

When a Pilot determines that he/she will not be able to have 8 hours uninterrupted sleep opportunity and contacts the Airline, the clock is reset to just permit the 8 hours of sleep opportunity. It does not start a new rest period.

This differs from when the Airline contacts the crew member during the rest period, where the clock will need to be reset to permit the 10 hour rest period with the 8 hour sleep opportunity.

McEldowney – (2014) Legal Interpretation

Clarification to 117.27 – Consecutive nighttime operations

The FAA released a clarification concerning the definition of a Nighttime operation.

A nighttime operation is simply an FDP that is scheduled to infringe on the WOCL.

Thus, if a FCM is scheduled for 4 FDP’s where FDP’s 1, 2 and 4 are scheduled to infringe upon the WOCL with no scheduled mid-duty break of 2 hours or more, and FDP 3 is scheduled to end before the start of the WOCL the FCM is legal.

If FDP is delayed and ends after the start of the WOCL the FCM is still permitted to operate FDP #4.

The FAA cautions that FDP #3 must have been realistically scheduled not to infringe upon the WOCL.

Edwards-USAPA – (2014) Legal Interpretation

ALPA/A4A – FAR 117 Workshop

The ALPA/A4A workshop generated a significant amount of discussion regarding the issue of the FDP extension and pilot concurrence.

FAA attorney Bob Frenzel who attended the workshop on behalf of Mark Bury (Assistant Chief Counsel – Regulation Division) clarified that in their interpretive writings, the term “extension” is intended to mean the span of time from the FDP table limit to a pilot’s maximum extension (up to two hours).

Therefore, to exceed the FDP Table B or Table C limit by any amount,:

  1. ALL FDP extensions require PIC concurrence.
  2. The Fitness for Duty acceptance qualifies as PIC FDP extension concurrence ONLY when the FDP extension needed is between 1 and 30 minutes, AND the need to extend the FDP is known by the PIC at the time he/she accepts Fitness for Duty.
  3. Fitness for Duty acceptance does NOT qualify, and a separate PIC concurrence is required for ALL scenarios not covered in point 2 above.
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