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FAA Issues Revised Flight Training Rules

September 1, 2011 –In a Federal Register document published Wednesday, August 31, the FAA issued sweeping changes to flight training rules that will effectively reduce many of the burdens facing pilots today.

Two of the specific changes championed by EAA were:

  • Eliminate the requirement for a FAR 61.58 proficiency check for pilots flying single-seat experimental turbojet aircraft (new 61.58(f))
  • Allow instrument flight training in aircraft equipped with a single, functioning throw-over control wheel (new 91.109(b)

EAA believes the FAA felt short of the ultimate goal of allowing pilots who receive instrument flight training in an aircraft with a throw-over control wheel to also take their instrument practical test in that same aircraft. While the practical test restriction remains unchanged (see 61.45), the change that did occur expands the types of airplanes available to pilots who seek instrument training.

Two other changes were strongly supported by EAA:

  • Changed the definition of “complex aircraft” to include GA aircraft with FADEC engine controls (new 61.1(b)(3))
  • Allows a student pilot to concurrently train for and receive a practical test for a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating. (new 61.65(a)(1) and Appendix M to Part 141)

These two changes greatly expand the flight training opportunities available to student and other pilots. The change in the definition of “complex aircraft” now allows aircraft like the Diamond DA42 Twin Star (featuring Fully Automated Digital Engine Controls) to be a complex aircraft, providing another aircraft resource for pilots to receive their complex rating. In addition, the change allows a student pilot to concurrently train for and take their practical test for both their instrument rating and their private pilot certificate.

“This is the most sweeping of all the changes, because the FAA recognizes that private pilots receive basic and advanced instrument flight training as a component of their private pilot training, and by allowing both practical tests to take place concurrently the FAA has removed a very large and costly flight training burden,” said David Oord, EAA government and advocacy specialist.

“This commitment by the FAA to expand flight training opportunities is also a commitment by the FAA to aviation’s future.”

The above changes will become effective on October 31, 2011.

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