Don't Forget to Read the Fine Print

With COVID-19 related restrictions being eased in some locations, many pilots are contemplating getting airborne for the first time in a while. AOPA has resources available related to proficiency as well as best practices for resuming safe operations. In addition to covering those bases, it is important to understand how the FAA’s recently issued COVID-19 regulatory relief may apply to you if a certificate or document you hold was set to expire during the crisis. The relief is not uniform and may require careful scrutiny to avoid a misunderstanding or even a violation. As an example, the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) extended the validity of medical certificates expiring between March and May 2020 to all expire at the end of June 2020. By contrast, the SFAR extended the validity of the knowledge tests required for a new certificate or rating and expiring between March 2020 and June 2020 by three months from the original date of expiration. Therefore, an airman with a medical certificate and a knowledge test both set to expire May 31, 2020, would now have a medical certificate that expires June 30, 2020, and a knowledge test that expires August 31, 2020. See the charts available here for more information.

Chad Mayer

Legal Services Plan, Attorney
Chad Mayer is an in-house attorney with AOPA’s Legal Services Plan who counsels Plan members on a daily basis. He is also a Commercial Pilot, a Remote Pilot with sUAS Rating, and an Advanced/Instrument Ground Instructor. The AOPA Legal Services plan is offered as part of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services.

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