July 2013 Issue

The Coming Airman Certification Standards

They’ll replace the practical test standards, but will they address GA safety issues more effectively?

The practical test standards (PTS) spell out the requirements for successfully completing an FAA checkride for pilot certificates and ratings. They have been around for nearly 30 years and, while an improvement over the previous flight test guides, they did not fundamentally alter the manner in which the applicant demonstrates compliance with the regulations. The general aviation community and FAA are developing a new concept of airman testing that will be embodied in completely new airman certification standards (ACS). The ACS, when implemented, will require applicants to integrate their knowledge, skills and risk management proficiency to demonstrate to the examiner they can do more than just perform standard training procedures and maneuvers.

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