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How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

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El created the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?


My next exam is CPL Flight Rules and Air Law and for 3 days now I'm trying to figure out how to "study" the subject.
The theory book if full of example questions with answers on where to find it in either CASR, CAR, AIP, ERSA and CAO.
But nowhere is explainded WHY for example I need to look in CASR and not in CAO.
Does anyone have any tips or tricks to find a logic to it? It's driving me nuts.

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SJM replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

Hi EL,

I suggest the following approach

1. When you study this unit one of four things will occur for each question
1. You know the answer, and you know where to find the underling reference
2. You know the answer, but have no idea where to find the reference
3. You don't know the answer, but you know where to find the reference
4. You don't know the answer, and don't know where to find the reference.

Your job during study is 'know where to find the answer' (items 1,3).

2. To achieve the above, download, print and use the Bob Tait Airlaw extracts during your study and the exams. The extracts cover the required Part 61 CASR, CAR, CAO and is not as overwhelming as working with the full volumes that cover way more than the scope of the exam.

3. Every question you do, even if you know the answer, learn how sourcethe reference. I know this is the core of your question, but by using the extracts you'll soon establish a pattern, like all licensing questions would be Part 61, etc.

4. Do all practice exams, answer the questions quickly but review the exam after and test yourself to go find the references. This will come in handy when you need to reference to get an answer in the exam.

5. Some questions need two references to answer; for example one might be around Class G VMC requirements (distance from cloud) at a certain altitude, but you might also have to refer to hemispherical requirements to answer the question.

6. After you do the practice exam, record all references in Excel or something (just review the answers) and sum up the number of repeat references. This should guide you on how to best use your tag limits in the AIP and ERSA.

7. When you find a reference for in the AIP, go back to the table of contents and see how that section fits into the broader section of the AIP - I found this technique enabled me to remember where look within the table of contents to find an answer to a similar question.

8. Don't under estimate the FRMS section of the course.

I found that eventually I was able to work out where things were, and by using the Extracts I was able to remove non-syllabus content out of the way.

Hope these tips help.

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El replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

Hi thanks for taking the time to try and explain that to me but I'm still no clearer. I've got a Master Degree so I'm used to doing complex study but I am completely and utterly at a loss with this course design. What I'm missing is context and a theoretical framework that explains to me what the CASA regulations cover and why as it pertains to helicopter pilotting which is what I am studying to become. I understand that I need to be able to answer questions on a huge range of topics but that's what this course starts out with. It makes no sense to me. Atm the answer to any question could be hidden in any one or more of the four main regulatory publications. I need a theory module that explains the rationale for each of these publications, what they cover and why so when I'm asked a particular question I can go "right that should be in CAR section XYZ".

Everything is presented "arse end around" to me with questions first and no theory. For example P47 Review Questions starts with a multiple choice question "Which document is the basis for all legislation pertaining to aviation in Australia". How on earth can I know this if I haven't had a theory module that starts out saying "CAR and CASR are the main baisis for all legislation pertaining to aviation." And I'd then expect the theory module to go on to explain what each of these regulations covers in principle.
Atm the course seems to just rely on the indexes of the legislation and regulations to provide the framework but this doesn't work precisely because they are legal documents not learning modules. The layout of the course is opaque in the extreme. I've never experienced anything like it in all the different types of learning experiences from online to university that I've undertaken. The only way I can learn the answer to any particular question without being given a theoretical framework is to just look the answer up to the question and then write it out for myself. This is incredible inefficient and very difficult to absorb because there is no context within which I can focus my attention.

All other courses I've previously undertaken have clearly defined learning outcomes with theory and practice jointly providing a pathway to attaining understanding of the topic. This course fails to do that which given the money I've paid is incredibly disappointing and frustrating.

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SJM replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

This course is less of a theory course and more of a book of guided (referenced) questions. Also, I'll call out that regulations frequently change so you'll find some of the references mildly off between the course book and regulatory documents.

Perhaps the link below will provide (some) level of context that you are looking for - namely the relationships between the various regulatory instruments and the accompanying text below it - e.g. the transition of CARs to CASRS and the need for both whilst this occurs.

With the above rules structure in mind, you basically have to complete the guided questions in the book, and if you choose to, consider the approach I provided, e.g. by using the the airlaw extracts to simplify and remove a lot of the regulatory noise out of your study - HOWEVER I noted you are studying airlaw in the context of Helicopters and whilst the above approach remains valid, the course may not cover helicopter specific examples - beware of this because the Air Law example is specific to the category of aircraft (e.g. Aeroplane vs Helicopter)

Whilst there's nothing I can say that will change the course and the content of the book, I hope the replies to this thread will help your study process. I totally understand your desire for the regulatory structure and context to be better explained and perhaps future revisions of the course will include at a minimum the content of the VFRG link.

Airlaw is the only CPL exam I scored 100% and whilst its somewhat boring and frustrating to study, it's also not that hard.

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John.Heddles replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

Some comments I wouldn't normally make but, in the case where the confused student is well accustomed to detailed formal study, a different approach may just help out a bit.

Caveat: I'm an engineer, not a lawyer so cut me some slack if I don't toe the strict legal story below.

First, I use this approach in my training work for CPL/ATPL level Air Law subjects elsewhere and, overall, the results have been fine. The reason for the approach is that the student cadres are all aiming to end up in airline flying where the pilots need to know all the rules and have an extensive and effective capability to look up specific requirements on the fly. While the reality may be a little different out there in the real world, the CPL and ATPL are both professional level licences and, really, the holders of either should be right up to speed with the rules and so on. There is only one way to get there and that is hard yakka; there are no short cuts available when it comes to learning the rule books.

Second, Bob's courses are not aimed at post grad level background capability so you need to cut Bob's books a bit of slack: the majority of his students will be secondary level and, for many, junior secondary level, education. Many of the students will be older, long out of the classroom and, for whom, the CASA exams come as a big bit of a culture shock. Bob is not setting out to write a post grad reference text treatise; rather a "can I give you a hand with this stuff and some helping guidance for the CASA exam". For these two goals, he does a fine job as shown by the student results.

The style of rules has changed dramatically since the raft of administrative management changes within the Regulator since the late 80s. In earlier times things were fairly straightforward: we had the head of power in the Air Navigation Act (1920), which is still in vogue although not of great immediate relevance to pilot activities. Back in the ancient days, old blokes like me knew our way around the Act and Regulations issued under the Act because they were relatively static. We could rattle off chapter and verse for the majority of stuff from memory and it all worked just fine.

Then, for a number of reasons, the Government started to muck around with the system and what was the Department of Civil Aviation morphed through a dreadful variety of name changes at great expense for precious little benefit. Eventually, in the late 80s (this was tied up with deregulation and a bunch of considerations associated with that) the Government of the day introduced the Civil Aviation Act of 1988 and raised up the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as the new Regulator.

So, now we have a bunch of rulebooks to replace the previous (comparatively) simple system .... there is a summary on the CASA website which you may find useful -

Civil Aviation Act 1988. This is the head bit from Parliament and signed off by the GG. Step too far out of line with respect to this set of rules and you can get well and truly hung. While the professional pilot should have a working familiarity with the Act, it generally doesn't fit the requirement for day to day rules.

Civil Aviation Regulations (1988). The CARs are issued pursuant to provisions in the Act and, again, if you step too far out of line with respect to the CARs, you can get well and truly hung. Now, the CARs cover the day to day stuff at a higher level than other subordinate documentation so the professional pilot needs to be right up with specifics of the CARs. In general, one can view the CARs as providing more detail required to comply with the intent of the Act.

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (1998). Associated with a lot of tinkering, it became apparent that the CARs really needed to be tidied up to meet a number of requirements, including harmonisation with foreign aviation regulatory structures. Progressively the suite of 1988 rules will be subsumed into the 1998 suite and the 1988 stuff will be consigned WPB. In the interim we have to keep abreast of two sets of transitioning rules - great fun for all.

Civil Aviation Orders. The CAOs provide further amplification of what might be required to satisfy the various rules in the CARs. Eventually, the CAOs will disappear along with the CARs.

Aeronautical Information Publication. The AIP is the day to day bible and you do yourself a great disservice if you don't know most of the stuff in it from memory (cover to cover as appropriate to your class of operation). You will find that the great majority of airline pilots have a self made pocket notebook summary of key requirements for the various rules, including the AIP. I commend such an effort for your benefit.

Manuals of Standards. The MOSs provide significant amplification of CASR detail and, in general, you will find them very useful, if a bit long-winded.

Airworthiness Bulletins. AWBs are advisory information (so won't see the light of day in the exams) but are very useful background reading. As their title suggests, the provide airworthiness information for the benefit of all.

Advisory Circulars. These provide guidance amplification of the CASR requirements

Airworthiness Directives. ADs generally don't concern pilots but can be a useful source of lots of information relating to aircraft and systems stuff.

Acceptable Means of Compliance. AMCs are useful amplifying documents which give some more detail as to what a rule might mean.

Civil Aviation Advisory Publications. CAAPs provide amplification of CAR/CAO.

I'd also include the ANR bits -

Air Navigation Act and Air Navigation Regulations

So, where does this leave us ? I suggest that you ignore the syllabus for a professional pilot licence and spend enough time reading through the above (especially where highlighted in blue) until you have a good handle on where stuff is and, in particular, have a good idea of what stuff obviously applies to pilots. Is this an easy task ? Not by any stretch of the imagination. However, do the hard yards and the (open book) exam should be a doddle. If you can't come out with near 100%, you really weren't trying your best on the day.

For the RPL/PPL level, forget the above unless you are interested in learning a bunch of stuff. Bob's books fit really well into this level.

For the CPL/ATPL level, Bob's book endeavours to provide a level of support compatible with that embodied in his other subject material. However, if you don't find his book sufficiently useful for your purposes and requirements, you might try my approach as suggested above. If that gets a tad too torrid, then the next best thing is to work it through Bob's book aiming to get a pass for the exam and then adding to your knowledge bank once you get out into the big, bad world of aviation.

Engineering specialist in aircraft performance and weight control.
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bobtait replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

I don't think you will find any document that can explain the unholy mess that is Australia's Air Law. It is impossible to tell someone exactly where to go to find out all about a given topic. The information will be scattered throughout several documents with few cross references.

I have chosen to call my publications 'study guides' not text books. It concerns me that you do not think that the air law book has been worth the money you paid and I will be happy to direct our office to refund that cost in full.

All the best with your study, I'm sure you will do well.


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baddles replied the topic: How do I study for CPL Flight Rules and Air Law?

Comment from a fellow student (currently halfway through the Bob Tait book on CLWA):

I recommend you stick with the Bob Tait book. The material will start to fall into place as you work through it.

Each of the CPL subjects seems to require a different approach. I've learned to trust Bob's study guides, because so far each one
has been very well-calibrated to the task.

In a study guide about the aviation law, I think it is unrealistic to expect a tight logical structure. This would not be an accurate representation of the law itself, and it would not be the best way to learn it. Problems include:

  • There is a very very long list of legislation that covers aviation (listed in AIP GEN 1.6 para 1). If we wanted to learn the aviation law
    by "ingesting" the entire statute and then interpreting the consequences, it would take forever.

  • Laws can override other laws. For example, CAR 258 says you cannot fly over water. Then CAO 20.11 says you can fly over water under certain conditions. So, if you studied the leglisation by reading it from start to finish, you'd need an eraser to go back and change the interpretation of laws you thought you already understood.

  • The aviation law is currently being rewritten, so the logical structure is fluid.

  • CASA has the power (CASR 11.067-11.068) to write new legislation imposing any new conditions on a licence.

The aviation law is less like a logical computer program that could be memorised once-and-for-all, and more like an insane kind of bulletin board where the authorities issue new instructions that countermand previous instructions.

There are other books which try to present the aviation law as if it were a monolithic logical structure. I think they are unsuccessful. They are twice as thick as Bob's study guide, and the information is sometimes out-of-date (e.g. regarding the important CAO 48.1).

Chapter 1 of the Bob Tait guide gives precisely the essential information needed to understand the aviation law.
It explains the main structure of the legislation, and the reasons why it is structured that way.

For example, what would otherwise look like a mess of different documents (AIP book, ERSA, DAP, DAH, RDS, charts etc) suddenly makes sense when you realise that they are all sections of the 'Aviation Information Publication' mandated by ICAO for operational use by pilots.

That also teaches us that, if you need operational information, it will be found in one section of the AIP. The question 'can I fly over water'
is answered in detail in AIP ENR 1.1 para 11.11.

Finally, yes, this subject can be bewildering and, like cooking in someone else's kitchen, it can take a while to learn where everything belongs. Just stick with it!

It also helps to find a strong motivation to study the subject. My motivation went up hugely after reading the ATSB's report on the ferris wheel accident (investigation number AO-2011-126 Collision with Ferris Wheel) which exposed a litany of failures in obeying the rules.

Hang in there!

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