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Aviation Roles

Introduction:

  • Everyone has their role to play
  • Responsibilities overlap in many instances
    • Where this occurs, it is expected that both parties fulfill their responsibilities
  • Common parties include:
    • Pilot-in-Command
    • Air Traffic Control
  • The roles and responsibilities of the pilot and controller for effective participation in the ATC system are contained in several documents. Pilot responsibilities are in the CFRs and the air traffic controllers’ are in the FAA Order JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, and supplemental FAA directives. Additional and supplemental information for pilots can be found in the current Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Notices to Airmen, Advisory Circulars and aeronautical charts. Since there are many other excellent publications produced by nongovernment organizations, as well as other government organizations, with various updating cycles, questions concerning the latest or most current material can be resolved by cross-checking with the above mentioned documents

Pilot-In-Command (PIC):

  • The PIC of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the safe operation of that aircraft
    • NOT ATC!
    • Therefore there shall only be one acting pilot-in-command at any given time
  • In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency
  • Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule as stated above shall upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator
  • No person may operate an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crew-member unless the pilot in command meets the requirements of FAR 61.58
  • No person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew-member in the performance of the crew-member's duties aboard an aircraft being operated
  • The decision to abandon aircraft should be tempered by the pilot's responsibility for the safety of lives that may be endangered by subsequent flight of a pilotless but controllable aircraft
  • It is the responsibility of the pilot/crew to aviate, navigate, and communicate, in that priority, throughout all aspects of both routine and unusual circumstances

Second-In-Command (SIC):

  • Airplanes that require at least two pilots, either by type certification or operation, require someone to fly as Second in Command
  • Certification is governed by FAR 61.55

Aviation Mechanic Technician:

  • Aviation mechanic technicians is a general term for aircraft mechanics
  • Ratings include Airframe (A), Powerplant (P), and both (A&P)


Air Traffic Controller:

  • Responsible to give first priority to the separation of aircraft and to the issuance of radar safety alerts, second priority to other services that are required, but do not involve separation and the third to additional services to the maximum extend possible
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Conclusion:

  • In order to maintain a safe and efficient air traffic system, it is necessary that each party fulfill their responsibilities to the fullest
  • The responsibilities of the pilot and the controller intentionally overlap in many areas providing a degree of redundancy
    • Should one or the other fail in any manner, this overlapping responsibility is expected to compensate, in many cases, for failures that may affect safety

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