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EAA, NAFI Helping FAA Update, Improve Knowledge Tests, PTSs


January 3, 2006 — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enlisted the expertise of EAA, NAFI, and other industry organizations involved in the flight-training field during a December meeting in Oklahoma City. This group was asked to provide feedback and assist in the development of revised materials and objectives for the FAA knowledge tests as well as the practical test standards (PTS). NAFI vice presidents Sandy and JoAnn Hill took part on behalf of EAA and the National Association of Flight Instructors.

An effort was made during the meeting to define the real intent and purpose of oral, knowledge and practical tests. From an industry perspective, the tests should be less of a barrier and more of a process that facilitates learning, retention, and safety. Participants discussed what constitutes the best questions to ask to help ensure that airmen and prospective airmen are learning the most critical information necessary to operate safely and proficiently.

Notable upcoming changes include adding test questions relating to technically advanced aircraft (TAA); deleting obsolete test questions (i.e., automatic direction finder [ADF]/nondirectional beacon [NDB] questions); revising the sport pilot knowledge test to enhance relevance; granting Letters of Authorization (LOA) to designated pilot examiners (DPE) for technically advanced aircraft; and adding sport pilot class ratings to airman certificates.

"We are happy to be able to participate and give our input in this important area," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs. "We look forward to the FAA implementing the findings of the ad hoc group."

Other participating organizations included AOPA/ASF, ASA, GAMA, Gleim Publishing, Jeppesen, King Schools, Sporty's Academy, the University Aviation Association, and two computer testing services.

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