Las Vegas's Premier Flying Club - Giving You A Reason to Fly!

DFC held our Hybrid June 2021 Safety Meeting. We were able to meet both online and in person. Josh Harkness presented on Mountain Flying and dealing with high density altitude. It was a great opportunity to learn about opportunities to explore new airports in the west but also the dangers of flying into canyons and high airports.

Posted by: In: Newsletter 02 Jun 2021 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

DFC held our Hybrid May 2021 Safety Meeting. We were able to meet both online and in person. Gary Kauffman, our club chief pilot, presented on Aircraft Leaning Procedures and High Density Altitude Operations.

Just in time for rising summer temperatures! We reviewed proper mixture leaning procedures and high density altitude considerations for operating airplanes safely and efficiently.

DFC held our online April safety seminar. Cathy Stockdale, the Henderson FAASafety Team representative, presented Why and How to Develop Personal Minimums.

Every pilot has his/her own comfort level and personal limitations already. Why do we need to formalize the process by creating personal minimums? In this webinar we discussed exactly why it is important to create an organized set of premeditated decisions for when we encounter weather, aircraft, or situations which stretch or surpass our abilities. We learned through scenario-based training how “front-loading” many of our decisions to the preflight phase gains us valuable time and mental energy. And finally we covered guidance and recommendations for creating our own personal minimums specific to our flying.

Posted by: In: Newsletter 19 Mar 2021 Comments: 0

DFC held our online March safety seminar. Alan Zwift for the DFC safety committee presented about Weather or not to fly. Understanding weather and making good decisions about it is essential for safe GA flying.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 19 Feb 2021 Comments: 0

DFC held our online February safety seminar, where We reviewed Risk Management, ADM and SRM concepts from FAA publications and through common flight scenarios such as preflight, take-off brief, pattern ops and examples from the AOPA “There I Was” podcast series. We applied them to actual flight scenarios.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 21 Jan 2021 Comments: 0

DFC held our online January safety seminar, where we introduced the new DFC Safety Team, discussed some current stats about safety in General Aviation in the US, talked about how to strengthen our safety culture at DFC, and introduced some new ideas and incentives to help us fly safer in 2021. You can download the slides below as a PDF.

Posted by: In: News 01 Jun 2019 Comments: 0

Musketeer Sport Rental Special!

From June through September 2019, DFC is offering our Beech Muskeeter Sport for only $95/hour wet! That’s a discount of 10% off our already heavily discounted member rate! This will provide our members with a great opportunity to get checked out in the baby Beech, or for those who are just looking for a reason to fly.

Members: email to schedule your checkout, or contact us through this website to schedule your flights / checkouts. If you’re already checked out, your bill will reflect the already discounted rate automatically.

Have fun, and be safe flying out there!

Posted by: In: News 15 Mar 2015 Comments: 0

Pilots May not Need Medical Exam for Third Class Category + New Bill of Rights

Many members of Congress recognize the need for the legislative branch to be involved with general aviation (GA).  The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) has an extensive rule making process that generally takes many years before guidelines change. During that time, new advancements in technology and other outside events require significant changes to the rules.

On August 3, 2012, Congress pass the first Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which was introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklamoha).  This bill specifically focused on providing “fair treatment of pilots in FAA enforcement cases and NTSB reviews, streamlined the notam program, and required a review from the Government Accountability Office of the FAA’s medical certification process.”  The bill was a great start to providing fairness to a dwindling and pilot population.

During the debate of the bill, Congress received many comments from pilots that the bill should be expanded to change the requirements for VFR and IFR flight by general aviation pilots.  The requirement of receiving and 3rd class medical certificate is difficult, expensive and burdensome on many pilots.  Additionally, the FAA has not seemed to keep up with advancements in medical science, including making arbitrary decisions on health issues.

Additionally, the safety record of the sport pilot program of self-certification using a valid state issued driver’s license has been outstanding compared with the general pilot population.  What does not make sense is that there is an arbitrary gross weight limit on the aircraft that pilots can fly with a driver’s license, compare with other general aviation aircraft.  There are many other options for pilots in proven air frames, such as Cessna 150/152 or 172, Piper Warrior or Cherokee,  that are often cheaper to acquire, easier to maintain and often easier to fly.

Last year, Senator Inhofe started a new campaign to address the lingering concerns of pilots about the third class medical certificate requirement.  On February 25, 2015, he sponsored the bill in the Senate and a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.  The bill lays out the following changes that are to be put into affect with 180 days of the bill passing:

  • With a valid state driver’s license a pilot may:
    • Transport up to 5 passengers
    • Fly under visual (VFR) or instrument (IFR)
    • In an aircraft that is authorized to carry up to 6 persons
    • Has a maximum takeoff weight up to 6,000 lbs.
  • An airman can appeal a FAA enforcement decision not just to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) but also to a federal district court.
  • Change some requirements of notification of enforcement or pending investigation.
  • Continued improvement of the NOTAM program.
  • Increased protection for pilots who fly as volunteers for non-profits.

The rule specifically for the self-certification using a driver’s license is far broader than the stalled FAA’s rule making process.  Allowing pilots to fly with just a driver’s license in most GA aircraft is a game changer for the entire pilot population.  Considering this change, there are many potential benefits, including:

  • It will allow healthy individuals to flying GA aircraft without the worry and, often difficult process, of obtaining a 3rd class medical certificate.
    • Someone with, for example, controlled type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, would be eligible to fly, whereas under current rules, may not get a medical certificate or could have their medical certificate denied.
  • Remove the fear of potential removal of pilot privileges due to temporary health changes or issues.
  • Allow sport pilots to easily receive a private pilots license and fly larger aircraft in different environments, which are currently disallowed under sport pilot rules.
  • Increase the demand for popular and inexpensive certificated aircraft, such as Cessna 150/152 and 172 or Piper Warrior or Cherokee.
  • Lessen the cost to get a private pilot license.

There are some potential downsides to this new rule.  Part of the push in the industry towards light-sport aircraft (LSA) is that a pilot can fly them without the 3rd class medical.  Without that limitation on other GA aircraft, the demand for LSAs may decline, especially since the performance and capabilities of the aircraft do not often justify the cost of the new aircraft.  For example, the average Cessna 150 can be purchased for $20,000-$30,000 that has similar performance characteristics of a used LSA that costs on average $60,000-$70,000.  This change has the potential to stifle innovation in the LSA market unless manufacturers change quickly to offering higher performing models to compete in cost and capability with normally certificated GA aircraft.

In all, if this bill passes as-is, it will create a huge benefit for the private pilot population.  Desert Flying Club encourages all its members to reach out to your congressional representatives and encourage them to support the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.  It is possible that we could see this change happen in 2015, which would be an exciting change for general aviation!