...And Training Races To Keep Up
With some recent accidents and a less-than-spotless safety record for Cirrus, training has become a front-burner issue, with all those new airplanes coming into the market with advanced avionics and systems. The FAA's answer to these changes is called FITS, for FAA/Industry Training Standards, and a curriculum based on the SR22 was its first project. Some in the industry have raised concerns about the FITS concept, saying it will cost pilots more, it could allow insurance concerns to drive training requirements, or could even lead to the FAA's mandating type ratings or recurrent training for pilots of single-engine aircraft. The FAA says FITS will cost less and make training more efficient by focusing on real-world needs. Cirrus, working with the University of North Dakota, has developed standardized transition training for new owners using the FITS model, which takes up to four days of ground school and flying. Cirrus has also developed standardized training for instructors who will be available in the field to train buyers of pre-owned Cirrus aircraft.