The pilot responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft. The pilot-in-command is responsible for the aircraft in flight, as well as when it is operating or moving on the ground. He or she is responsible for operation of the aircraft in accordance with the rules of the air. The pilot-in-command may depart from the rules in the interest of flight safety. This is irrespective of whether that pilot-in-command is manipulating the controls or not, because he or she has the final authority over the disposition of the aircraft while in command.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved