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Aviation Learning Center Document AC 61-134 - Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness
Author: Federal Aviation Administration Date: April 1, 2003
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6. Scope.
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a. In visual meteorological conditions, the pilot in command (PIC) is responsible for terrain and obstacle clearance (See and Avoid) whether operating under VFR or IFR. Although this AC addresses the issue of pilots operating under VFR in marginal VMC or IMC conditions, the FAA does not endorse or approve of pilots operating under VFR in IMC. The paragraphs dealing with such operations are only designed to highlight the risks of such operations. The FAA expects pilots to comply with the appropriate flight rules for all flight operations.

b. This AC addresses CFIT operations in the United States, only. Flight operations outside of the United States have added risks that can contribute to a CFIT accident. These risks include air traffic control (ATC) instructions from controllers to whom English is a second language or controllers with a limited ATC vocabulary. Other international factors include different types of altimeter settings, terrain elevation, runway data in units other than feet, and a general lack of knowledge with the international ICAO standards and country specific operating standards. U.S. pilots planning on operating outside the United States need to carefully review the appropriate international requirements and operating procedures to ensure that an inadvertent mistake or failure to comply with local procedures does not result in a GA CFIT accident.

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