FAA Publishes Final Rule on Aviation Training Devices; Pilot Certification, Training, and Pilot Schools; and Other Provisions

The FAA has released final rules that offer changes to training and pilot certification requirements that will offer new flexibility in flight training and certification provision.

The biggest change that will affect most flight training providers is the matching of recently changed Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that removed requirements for demonstration of use of a complex aircraft on single engine commercial and CFI practical tests with the regulatory requirements for training. The new rule offers an alternative to meet the previously required 10-hours of complex aircraft training to be met by “any combination of turbine-powered, complex, OR technically advanced aircraft” (TAA). A TAA aircraft is defined as an aircraft that has “an electric Primary Flight Display (PFD) that includes at a minimum, an airspeed indicator, turn coordinator, attitude indicator, heading indicator, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator and an electronic Multifunction Display (MFD) that includes at a minimum, a moving map using Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation with the aircraft position displayed, and a two-axis autopilot integrated with the navigation and heading guidance system.”

The gist here is that most modern aircraft with two-glass panel displays and autopilots will now be acceptable to meet the training requirements for single-engine commercial and CFI pilot training and no longer require time to be spent in an aircraft with a retractable gear.

Additionally allowed in the new rule is the ability to log instrument training and/or currency time in appropriate simulator devices without the requirement to have a CFI present as long as a training record is maintained. This allows currency and some training flight to be conducted similarly to that which has been long allowed in an aircraft while utilizing a safety pilot.

There are a number of less broadly impactful changes that range from allowance of some instrument flight related training provided by sport pilot CFIs to be applicable to more advanced ratings and certificates, to requiring that an instrument only flight instructor have that privilege on their multi-engine CFI certificate when providing training in multi-engine aircraft, to providing military instructors two options for reinstatement of expired CFI certificates. Many of these are largely administrative changes, but for some impacted parties, can represent significant reprieves from previously more burdensome regulatory requirements.

Overall, the changes in this NPRM are expected to provide some regulatory relief and open some new options for training and certification practices. The industry is glad to see this rule finally published after it’s much awaited delays caused by the FAA budget approval process in Washington.

The full text of the published rule can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/27/2018-12800/regulatory-relief-aviation-training-devices-pilot-certification-training-and-pilot-schools-and-other

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About Jason Blair

Jason Blair is an active single and multiengine instructor and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with over 6,000 hours total time, over 3,000 hours of instruction given, and more than 3000 hours in aircraft as a DPE. In his role as Examiner, over 2,000 pilot certificates have been issued. He has worked for and continues to work with multiple aviation associations with the work focusing on pilot training and testing. His experience as a pilot and instructor spans nearly 20 years and includes over 100 makes and models of aircraft flown. Jason Blair has published works in many aviation publications with a focus on training and safety.

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