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Flight Operations Checklist

International Operations Manual

 

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A few international regulations, from Eddie's notes.

Aircraft Equipment

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Photo: A view from the tail, from Eddie's aircraft.

There are things you are required to have by regulation and others that you should have, depending on where you are going. Here is my list just to get you started:

  • Aircraft tow bar or at least the tow head.
  • If you are going someplace that regularly handles your aircraft type, and all of your alternate, ETP, and ETOPS airports too, then maybe you don't need this. Otherwise, you should consider bringing one.

  • Emergency locator transmitter. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-2.e.]
  • First-aid kit. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, Chapter 2.4, ¶2.4.2.2.]
  • Fire extinguisher, portable. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, Chapter 2.4, ¶2.4.2.2.]
  • Fuel sample kit.
  • If your location will be dispensing fuel from 50 gallon drums or a fuel truck caked in rust, you may want a fuel sample kit.

  • Headphones, microphones.
  • These are no longer mandated but remain "should" items for the cockpit voice recorder. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, ATT 3, ¶2.2.2.]

  • High frequency radios. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-3.c.] [ICAO Annex 2, ¶3.6.5.1.]
  • You have CPDLC and SATCOM and both can be used to make position reports. But you still need an HF radio.

    More about this: HF.

  • Life rafts, vests of sufficient quantity. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-2.e.]
  • Pyrotechnic signaling devices. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-2.e.]
  • SATCOM.
  • SATCOM might be required in some regions when using Controller Pilot Data Link Communications.

    More about this: CPDLC.

  • SELCAL.
  • Certainly not required, but nice to have.

  • Survival equipment appropriate to route. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-2.e.]
  • VHF 8.33 kHz. Required in various parts of Europe. [ICAO Doc 7030, Chapter EUR, ¶2.1.8.]

Aircraft Documentation

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Photo: Publications cabinet, from Eddie's aircraft.

The documentation required for a trip will obviously vary by location and route of flight. Here are a few things you should consider for every trip:

  • Air carrier certificate (14 CFR 135 operations). [ICAO Annex 6, Part I, ¶4.2.1.1] An operator shall not engage in commercial air transport operations unless in possession of a valid air operator certificate issued by the State of the Operator.
  • Aircraft flight manual and systems manuals. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, ¶2.4.2.2.]
  • Aircraft noise compliance certificates. [ICAO Annex 6, Part I, ¶2.4.9.] An aeroplane shall carry a document attesting noise certification.
  • More about this from a G450 perspective: G450 Noise Abatement Procedures.

  • Aircraft registration. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • The advisory circular notes "a temporary registration certificate is not acceptable for international travel," but some countries will accept a "fly wire," or equivalent. You have to ask to find out.

  • Airframe and engine logs. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • The aircraft's most recent flight and aircraft log usually suffices, but some countries may require much more. Once again, you need to ask.

  • Airworthiness certificate. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Authorization letters from the operating company or owner, if applicable. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Not many countries require this but some do. If you aren't traveling with the person who owns the aircraft or is somehow identified on the registration, you might need to consider this.

  • Cargo manifest, if applicable. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Certificates of insurance. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.] The operator is responsible for ensuring the need for airframe logbooks, the engine logbooks, and insurance certificates. For additional details for operations of corporate aircraft, contact the company’s aviation underwriter. In operations of private aircraft, if the owner is the pilot or is onboard the aircraft, there are usually no insurance difficulties. However, if a private aircraft owner is not onboard the aircraft, many countries require a letter from the owner that authorizes international flight in that specific country before they will allow operations within their country (you can find specific information on this letter and other requirements in the AIPs of the countries concerned).
  • Insurance paperwork can be problematic, it should be a question you ask prior to travelling any place new.

    More about this: Insurance.

  • Customs decals, receipts. [http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/uftd_info.xml] Decals are stickers that are placed on all private aircraft and private vessels (30 feet or more in length) as proof that the User Fee for entry into the U.S. has been paid for the calendar year. Any arriving vessel or aircraft that does not have an annual decal is required to pay a non-refundable per arrival User Fee of $27.50, and complete an application, which will be forwarded to the processing center.
  • Import papers for aircraft of foreign manufacture. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Journey log book for the aeroplane. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, Chapter 2.4, ¶2.4.2.2.]
  • This requirement comes from the 1944 Chicago Convention and is further explained in ICAO Annex 6, Part I and ICAO Annex 6, Part II. A journey logbook could be your aircraft flight and maintenance log, provided it contains all the necessary items.

    This is explained here: Journey Log Book.

  • LOAs/MSpecs/OpSpecs for Special Areas of Operation, if applicable. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Minimum Equipment List. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • If you operate with an MEL or MMEL, you need to have them on board.

  • Navigation charts suitable for the route and divert locations. [ICAO Annex 6, Part II, Chapter 2.4, ¶2.4.2.2.]
  • Operator's manual. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Passenger manifest. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Radio licenses. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]
  • Weight and balance manual. [AC 91-70A, ¶3-1.u.]

Operational Approvals

Depending on where you are flying, you may need:

  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out
    • You can think of ADS-B Out as a higher-tech replacement of your transponder, it sends your GPS position and other data to ATC and other aircraft equipped with ADS-B In.
    • Where — It is becoming required in parts of the world, but work arounds are readily available. You can expect delays and reroutes if you are not equipped and authorized.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out.
  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C)
    • You can think of ADS-C as a high tech form of "radar contact."
    • Where — Optional in much of the world's oceanic and remote regions, is also used domestically in various regions.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C).
  • Basic Area Navigation (B-RNAV)
    • B-RNAV is not RNP-5 but the term has been "grand fathered" and will continue to mean the ± 5 nm standard without the performance monitoring requirements in a true Performance Based Navigation standard.
    • Where — Most of Europe.
    • Authorization — Statement in AFM required.
    • More Information: Basic Area Navigation (B-RNAV).
  • Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC)
    • You can think of Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) as a replacement for your HF when oceanic and VHF over some domestic areas. It is far superior to your HF and has distinct advantages over VHF.
    • Where — Optional in much of the world's oceanic and remote regions, is also used domestically in various regions.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).
  • Extended Operations of Multi-engine Airplanes (ETOPS)
    • ETOPS does not apply to 14 CFR 91 operators and only constrains 14 CFR 135 operators from flying in the most remote regions of the world. If you want to fly in those regions, the requirements are daunting and probably beyond what most corporate commercial operators want to do.
    • Where — Any place beyond 3 hours of a suitable airport with an engine failed.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Extended Operations of Multi-engine Airplanes (ETOPS).
  • High Latitude and Northern Domestic Airspace
    • Operating in what many simply call "polar ops" requires special certification under 14 CFR 135 and special procedures for anyone venturing the high latitude regions.
    • Where — High latitude operations occur in areas above 78°N, below 60°S, the northern and southern poles, and the Canadian Northern Domestic Area (NDA). The NDA includes the Northern Control Area (NCA), the Arctic Control Area (ACA) and the Area of Magnetic Unreliability (AMU). The NDA, NCA and ACA are depicted on Canadian HI en route charts and encompass the northernmost Canadian airspace.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: High Latitude and Northern Domestic Airspace.
  • North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA)
    • NAT/MNPS, the North Atlantic Minimum Navigation Performance Specification, has been replaced the NAT HLA, the North Atlantic High Level Airspace.
    • Where — Most of the North Atlantic and the Canadian Arctic Control Area
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA).
  • Precision Area Navigation (P-RNAV)
    • P-RNAV is giving way to RNP-1 and has many similarities: it is used to fly RNAV departure and arrival procedures, requires high-integrity navigation databases, can be flown with GPS, and requires the aircraft stay within 1 NM of course. There are differences which are transparent to most high tech aircraft.
    • Where — European Civil Aviation Conference countries (most of Europe) and some other areas throughout the word, i.e., Hong Kong. Terminal procedures will have "P-RNAV Required" annotated.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Precision Area Navigation (P-RNAV).
  • Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM)
    • While RVSM is now the standard just about everywhere, there are country-specific rules for flight level selection and contingency procedures.
    • Where — Just about everywhere in the world.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM).
  • Required Navigation Performance-4 (RNP-4)
    • The Required Navigation Performance-4 (RNP-4) standard is performance based, requiring on-board performance monitoring and alerting. This is as opposed to the older RNAV systems which are an equipment-based standard that do not require on-board performance monitoring and alerting. So, you might say, your airplane and crew are RNP-1 qualified, one is more accurate than four, so you are good to go! Wrong! RNP-4 requires CPDLC while RNP-1 does not.
    • Where — Parts of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan list RNP-4 as a requirement but allow RNP-10 as a substitute. In theory, ATS can monitor aircraft with RNP-4 more closely and will have traffic priority.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Required Navigation Performance-4 (RNP-4).
  • Required Navigation Performance-10 (RNP-10)
    • RNP-10 is an exception to the rule that all Required Navigation Performance (RNP) standards are performance based, requiring on-board performance monitoring and alerting. "RNP-10" was adopted by many parts of the world when that really meant "RNAV 10."
    • Where — The Central East Pacific (CEP) between Hawaii and the west coast of the United States, and portions of the North Pacific (NOPAC) require RNP-10. There are other areas of the world that have adopted RNP-10, such as parts of Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and some parts of South America near Recife.
    • Authorization — 14 CFR 91: Letter of Authorization required, 14 CFR 135: Operations Specification required.
    • More Information: Required Navigation Performance-10 (RNP-10).

Crew Qualification and Training

Each of the operational approvals shown above have specific training requirements and some countries and airports have their own specific training requirements. You need to check with the country's Aeronautical Information Publication, the Jeppesen Airway Manual, or with your international service handler to be sure. Also consider:

Book Notes

Portions of this page can be found in the book International Flight Operations Manual, Part VIII, Chapter 20..

References

Advisory Circular 91-70A, Oceanic and International Operations, 8/12/10, U.S. Department of Transportation

Convention on International Civil Aviation Done at Chicago on the 7th Day of December 1944

ICAO Annex 2 - Rules of the Air, International Standards, Annex 2 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, July 2005

ICAO Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft - Part 1 Commercial Aircraft, International Standards and Recommended Practices, Annex 6 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Part I, July 2010

ICAO Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft - Part 2 General Aviation, International Standards and Recommended Practices, Annex 6 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Part II, July 2008

ICAO Doc 7030 - Regional Supplementary Procedures, International Civil Aviation Organization, 2 2008

Jeppesen Airway Manual

Revision: 20131222
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