On the subject of FAA resources, let me introduce you to the agency’s online library of InFO and SAFO documents. Though aimed primarily at commercial operators, many of these products provide information that can also benefit general aviation (GA) pilots.
InFO. An Information for Operators (InFO) message contains valuable information with relatively low urgency or impact on safety. Most InFOs also contain a recommended action to address the issue discussed in the message. The InFO is not a regulatory or mandatory document, but its goal is to help operators meet administrative or certain regulatory requirements.
You can review the entire collection of InFOs on the FAA’s Web site . Here are a few that may be of special interest to the GA community:
- InFO 07008: Precipitation Reports from ATC-New Terms
- InFO 07014: Flight Risk Assessment Tool
- InFO 07018: Taxi Clearances: Know the Rules, Understand Your Clearance
- InFO 08027: Approach Preparation: Preparing for an Instrument Approach as Backup
- InFO 08038: Acknowledgement of Altitude Clearances and Altitude Read Back
SAFO. Another FAA resource is the Safety Alert for Operators, or SAFO. The SAFO is a tool that alerts, educates, and makes recommendations to the aviation community. Like an InFO, each SAFO contains important safety information and may contain recommended actions. The main difference is that while the content in InFO messages has relatively low urgency, the material covered in a SAFO is often time critical. The entire list of available SAFO messages is available online. Here are a few with particular relevance for GA pilots:
- SAFO 06004: Approach and Landing Accident Reduction: Sterile Cockpit, Fatigue.
- SAFO 07003: Confirming the Takeoff Runway
- SAFO 07004: Garmin GPS-WAAS Models (GNS and GPS) 400W and 500W Series Units Determined Incompatible with Avidyne EXP5000 Primary Flight Displays.
- SAFO 08013: Safety Recommendation Concerning Piper PA-23 and PA-31 Series Nose Baggage Doors
Take a look, and click around other parts of the FAA Web site while you are online. There is a wealth of information available to you. (FAA Aviation News – SepOct 2008)