If The Shoe FITS

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FAA Promotes New Training Standards...

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey on Tuesday released an update on the agency's year-old program aimed at updating training practices for general aviation aircraft. Blakey said the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS) program, which aims to address technological advances in both flight systems and training techniques, already has produced a transition-training syllabus for the Cirrus SR22 and a generic master transition-training syllabus for similar technically advanced aircraft. "The core strategy of FITS is to improve safety by training pilots to fly as they would in the real world, rather than to merely pass a test," said Blakey. The FITS products primarily use risk-management, scenario- and Web-based training, and personal computer-based advanced training devices. Also in the works, and due for completion by October, are the SR22 instructor syllabus, a recurrent training program, a private pilot/instrument rating ab initio syllabus, and programs for the Eclipse 500 personal jet: a transition syllabus (type rating), recurrent training program, and instructor training program. Most of the standards developed for a specific type of aircraft can be converted to a generic template that a manufacturer or training provider can adapt to their specific aircraft or program, according to the FAA. The SR22 syllabus is already in use at the University of North Dakota. "We're thinking 'outside the envelope' to create advanced training that matches today's technically advanced aircraft," Blakey said. FITS will help pilots keep pace with new aircraft and avionics technology, new airspace, and air traffic technology emerging in the general aviation community, she added.