August 2018 Issue

FAA Reforms Several Flight Training Rules

Agency removes instructor requirement when using ATDs for instrument currency and addresses complex airplane availability, among other certification and reforms.

In Advisory Circular AC 61-136A, the FAA defines an aviation training device (ATD) as “...a training device, other than a full flight simulator (FFS) or flight training device (FTD), that has been evaluated, qualified, and approved by the Administrator. In general, this includes a replica of aircraft instruments, equipment, panels, and controls in an open flight deck area or an enclosed aircraft cockpit. It includes the hardware and software necessary to represent a category and class of aircraft (or set of aircraft) operations in ground and flight conditions having the appropriate range of capabilities and systems installed in the device as described” by the AC. They come in two basic flavors: basic and advanced. Approval of an ATD like the Redbird LD pictured at right is at the FAA’s discretion. (Redbird’s LD is FAA-approved as an Advanced ATD.)

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