Small Aircrafts In Focus

Bucks County Courier Times sports reporter, Randy Miller, right, stands with Cory Lidle under the wing of Lidle's plane at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport
AP/Bucks County Courier Times
Cory Lidle boarded the single-engine plane yesterday afternoon for what was supposed to be a leisurely flight around New York City. Idle and his flight instructor took off from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, circled around the Statue of Liberty, flew past lower Manhattan and north above the East River. But something went wrong moments after the plane passed above the 59th Street Bridge, and the plane smashed into the condominium building.

What Is A Small Airplane?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 14 CFR Part 1 defines a "small aircraft" as an aircraft of 12,500 lbs or less maximum certificated take-off weight. Therefore, any airplane, including transport category airplanes, could be considered "small" by the Part 1 definition if the airplane is less than 12,500 lbs. Depending on the category, small airplanes can reach up to 19,000 lbs maximum takeoff weight.

What Are The Regulations For Small Aircrafts?

Click here for information about small plane regulations.

How Old Do I Have To Be To Get A Private Pilot's Certificate?

You must be at least 17 years old. If you want to be a private glider pilot or be rated for free flight in a balloon, you must be at least 16 years old. You have to pass both a written knowledge test and a practical (flight) test.

How Can You Find Out What Went Wrong In A Crash?

Large commercial aircraft and some smaller craft are required by the FAA to be equipped with two "black boxes" that record information about a flight. Both recorders help to reconstruct the events leading to an aircraft accident. The boxes are typically located in the tail section of the plane and have an Underwater Locator Beacon to aid in locating them after a crash. Following an accident, both recorders are immediately removed from the accident site and transported to NTSB headquarters in Washington D.C. for processing.

To Learn More About Air Safety:

• Click here for more information from Landings blog.

• Click here for more on air safety from

• Click here for more information from the Federal Aviation Administration.

• Click here for pilot safety brochures from the FAA.