CFI Practical Test Standards: Technical Subject Areas
National Airspace System
AC 91-63D – Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) and Flight Limitations
This advisory circular (AC):
Users of this AC should refer to the following:
a. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.137, Temporary Flight Restrictions in the Vicinity of Disaster/Hazard Areas;
b. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.138, Temporary Flight Restrictions in National Disaster Areas in the State of Hawaii;
c. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.139, Emergency Air Traffic Rules;
d. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.141, Flight Restrictions in the Proximity of the Presidential and Other Parties;
e. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.143, Flight Limitation in the Proximity of Space Flight Operations;
f. 14 CFR part 91, Section 91.145, Management of Aircraft Operations in the Vicinity of Aerial Demonstrations and Major Sporting Events;
g. 14 CFR part 99, Section 99.7, Special Security Instructions;
h. FAA KFDC NOTAM for Sporting Events;
i. AC 91-45, Aviation Events
Get the most recent version from FAA.gov
This is all private-pilot ground-school material. The PHAK is a perfectly good resource, but the AIM also is a valid primary source of information.
Expect extra emphasis on Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs). The best primary reference for current TFRs is tfr.faa.gov. You should have good working knowlege of this interface. Also be aware that TFRs are published as NOTAMs. Advisory Circular 91-63 covers TFRs and has examples of TFR NOTAMs.
The rest of it is about being as conversant as possible, with the ability to look up specific rules.
Class A requires an IFR flight plan, which means an IFR aircraft and pilot or flight-crew.
Class B is "one and clear."
Class C, D, and E are "3-152" — minimum three miles visibility with 1,000 above, 500 below, and 2,000 feet lateral of clouds. The reason it's 1,000 above and 500 below is that airplanes climb faster than they descend. There is no distinction between day and night in these airspaces.
Class E is "5-111" above 10,000 feet. This probably would apply to Class C and D airspace as well, since the increased visibility and distance accounts for faster aircraft. However, Class C and D do not reach 10,000 feet.
Class G is the hot mess. It's "3-152" at night, while daytime has exceptions. During daylight hours, it's one mile visibility below 10,000 feet, clear of clouds below 1,200 feet AGL. And "one-and-clear" applies at night when in an airport traffic pattern. Class G gets a bit more complex in certain scenarios (such as above 10,000 MSL but below 1,200 AGL), but if the oral exam gets into these details, it probably can be resolved with a look at the AIM.
Know the basics of Special Use Airspace (SUA) as well. "Prohibited" is just that — a no-fly-zone. "Restricted" and "Warning" are conditional, with Warning Areas typically over water (domestic and international). MOAs, Controlled Firing Areas, and Alert areas are not restricted, but pilots should operate with heightened awareness. Be prepared to demonstrate "instructional knowlege" by pointing out examples of these on a sectional.
Complex airspace topics include:
Other airspace definitions to know:
Details can be found in Chapter 15 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.
Practical Test Standards: Flight Instructor
II. Technical Subject Areas
Task K: National Airspace System
Objective: To determine that the applicant exhibits instructional knowledge of the elements of the national airspace system by describing:
Flight Instructor Test Questions
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Oral Exam Questions