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Sarina Houston

What's an AC?

By September 30, 2012

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No, I'm not talking about an air conditioner. I'm talking about an Advisory Circular. They come out every now and again and some of us pay attention to them, although there are surely some folks out there that are still wondering what this particular aviation acronym means!

I'm a rule follower and I like to know what the expectations are. Standardization is my best friend, which is probably why flying suits me. And this is also why I love ACs. They tell us how to do things. What to expect. The best way to interpret a new FAR. And as an instructor, I'd be nowhere without them.

I wrote an article called 7 Flight Instructor Essentials, which indirectly lists advisory circulars as a flight instructor essential. In my own instruction, I incorporate ACs into the flight instructor resource binder that we all should have. I like to give students an actual piece of paper that details the acceptable use of electronic flight bags and pilot duty rest rules. It helps them in their own decision making if they are able to learn the reasons behind the FAA's decisions, which advisory circulars typically explain well. ACs tend to clarify things. As much as we all hate the extra reading, we need to encourage our students to pay attention to them and use them as a learning tool as we instruct.

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