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4 Answers

Layman’s terms for FAR 91.181

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FAA Regulations

Can anyone please explain  FAR 91.181 in layman's terms.  I have read it a few times and asked another instrument pilot friend and neither one of us understand it.

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4 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Oct 09, 2013

    The regulation states you must stay on the centerline of the airway or route you have been cleared to fly.

    If VFR clearing turns are authorized to clear the area in front of you. In some airplanes the nose is too high and the pilot cannot see in front of the airplane without moving the nose from side to side.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Oct 10, 2013

    Yep. What Wes said is pretty much it. All the reg says is that if you are given a course, airway or route to fly, you are supposed to stay on it and not meander around. With an obvious exception – as needed to avoid traffic.

    Some of the confusion may be the result of the protected airway airspace – 4 NN each side of center line. Some people think that means the airway is 8NM wide and you can move left and right at will. The 8NM takes into account the limitations of VOR navigation, including the permitted tolerances of our on-board equipment. You, as the pilot are supposed to stay centered to the extent your equipment capabilities permit it.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Oct 10, 2013

    As with most everything, there is an exception.

    91.703 requires compliance with ICAO Annex 2 when over the high seas. ICAO Annex 2 has language similar to 91.181, however Annex 2 does allow for Strategic Lateral Offset Procecures (SLOP). Pilots are encouraged to offset 1 or 2 miles to the right of course for collision avoidance and wake turbulence avoidance.

    SLOP is described in Advisory Circular 91-70A.

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  4. Tom Bartholomew on Oct 10, 2013

    Thank you for the clarification on this reg. It is very clear now.

    Do you three know each other? Funny that you are the exact three that responded to my last post. LOL!

    Great minds think alike!

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