Revised training standards released

Draft standards for instructors make public debut

July 24, 2013

Members of the general aviation community can now review new draft airman certification standards for authorized instructors, and can study revisions to previously released draft certification standards for the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating. Comments may be submitted on all three publications until Aug. 23.

The aviation industry-led Airman Testing Standards and Training Working Group (ATSTWG), which AOPA co-chairs, published the documents and has solicited comments on the publications, said the FAA in a July 24 notice in the Federal Register.

AOPA and the working group will host a forum on the draft standards at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., on July 31 (see below for details).

As revised, the private pilot certificate and instrument rating airman certification standards now incorporate many of the comments received by July 8. The working group received more than 300 comments and questions on the standards, which AOPA believes will improve training while centralizing all skill and knowledge requirements in one easily identifiable document for each certificate or rating. The standard will be the focal point for both the knowledge test and the practical exam. 

After reviewing the comments received and incorporating changes, the working group requested that the FAA make the revised private pilot certificate and instrument rating standards available for additional review. The working group is scheduled to complete its work in September.

The draft airman certification standards for authorized instructors, now available for its first public inspection, is intended to define the acceptable performance standards for instructional knowledge and skill, including the Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI) concepts listed in 14 CFR Part 61.

The draft airman certification standards follows the overall concept and framework developed for the private pilot and instrument rating airman certification standards publications, but there are some fundamental differences.

At its core, the authorized instructor airman certification standards “addresses practical application of the instructional concepts and techniques presented in the traditional FOI,” said David Oord, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. Appendices in the document contain the acceptable standards for knowledge, skill, and risk management in the aeronautical proficiency tasks for a particular instructor certificate or rating. The authorized instructor airman certification standards are designed to be used in conjunction with the airman certification standards for the pilot-certificate level or rating for which the instructor applicant seeks authorization. That approach combines mastery of knowledge and skills in the authorized instructor airman certification standards with demonstrating instructional competence in tasks to be taught for the appropriate certificate level or rating, including analyzing and correcting common errors, he said.

Oord added that the working group is also acting to bring its other tasks to completion. One project is to develop a proposal to for streamlining and consolidating FAA handbooks with each integrated airman certification standards document. Another is to propose methods to ensure that knowledge-test questions are consistent with airman certification standards contents, and apply the principles for test-question development set forth in recommendations made to the FAA by the aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) on which AOPA also served.

The AirVenture forum on the draft Airman Certification Standards will be held on July 31 from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Forum Pavilion 08.

Members can review frequently asked questions and answers about the airman certification standards publications here.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz | Aviation Writer

Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.