New reg on flight training devices exempts most schools

May 15, 2008

New reg on flight training devices exempts most schools

By AOPA ePublishing staff

The FAA has created a new section of the federal aviation regulations to cover flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), but it won’t affect most general aviation training programs.

The new FAR Part 60 deals with the equipment performance standards for FSTDs, consolidating the information now contained in various sections of the FARs and advisory circulars. It also requires operators to implement a mandatory FAA-approved quality assurance program for FSTD training.

The regulation covers the types of devices used by the airlines as well as aircraft make- and model-specific sims used in general aviation, but it does not include so-called Level 2 and Level 3 simulators—the kinds found at most GA flight schools. For the time being, at least, those simulators will still be governed by advisory circulars.

AOPA fought to ensure that Level 2 and 3 flight training devices would be excluded from Part 60.

“We worked hard to ensure that any new regulations would not affect the typical GA flight school, and we succeeded,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. “There’s no safety problem with flight training devices, so there was no problem to fix.”

All existing FAA-approved FSTDs will be grandfathered in under the new regulations.

May 15, 2008