(Russ Beach)
Smiths Falls / Montague Airport

Are You Legal?

A ramp check is nothing to worry about, if you have all your paperwork organized. Let's take a look at what paper you need to be legal to fly.

  • The following must be on board an aircraft:
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Certificate of Airworthiness (or flight authority)
  • Interception Procedures (cut out of back of flight supplement)
  • Flight Manual aka Pilot's Operating Handbook
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance (current? check expiry date)

You do not need to carry a Journey Log for a local flight, where you intend to land at the airport of departure. However you must be able to produce the Journey Log which should be up to date (ie all recent flights entered) and should show an annual inspection within the last year. Note that you do not have to log all individual flights in the journey log. Where one pilot conducts multiple flights in one day in an aircraft, a single entry is ok. You don't need to log flight time in it either, just air time.

For Day VFR, you do not need to carry any charts or flight supplement - I rarely ever do. If you do have them on board, they do not have to be current. Note that this is not the case for night VFR, VFR-OTT or IFR, all of which require current publications be carried.

The following must be carried by the pilot:
  • Pilot's Licence (or permit)
  • Medical (current? check expiry date)

A Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate is only required if you intend to transmit on an aviation-band radio. Listening is free :-)

You are not required to carry your pilot's logbook in the aircraft, but it is how most of us prove that we are legal with respect to the "5 year" rule, the "2 year" rule, and the "6 months" rule. You may be asked to produce your pilot's logbook to prove compliance with any of the above.

The "5 year" rule is that to act as pilot-in-command, you must have logged a flight as PIC (technically, as a required crewmember) in the last 5 years. Not much of a problem for active pilots.

The "2 year" rule is that you must have "done something" in the last 2 years, such as writing a Transport written test, passing a flight test, having a licence, rating or endorsement issued, etc. Probably the easiest way to comply with this is to fill out the self-paced test in the AIP which incidentally doesn't exist any more.

The "6 month" rule is that to carry passengers, you must have flown 5 takeoffs and landings in the last 6 months, by day or night as appropriate, in the corresponding class of aircraft (eg single, multi, land, sea)

One last suggestion: wear a watch. A "reliable timepiece" is required to be carried on board all aircraft. If you've got a clock installed in the panel of your aircraft you technically don't need one, but for me, flying without a watch and a pen is a bit like flying with no pants on. You can do it, but it feels a bit weird :-)

Andrew Boyd