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FAA Proposes Changes In Flight Training

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Under new rules proposed by the FAA this week, flight schools would be excused from the requirement to have a ground school space if they offer Internet-based ground-school training, and students would be allowed to apply for both a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating at the same time. The agency also said it would like to change its definition of "complex airplane" to include airplanes equipped with FADEC engines. Another change would require pilots of single-pilot-certified light jets to pass a proficiency check. The FAA also said it would like to make it easier to issue U.S. certificates to foreign pilots. "Because of changing technology in aviation, the results of successful research, and an international agreement, the FAA has determined these proposed changes to the pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school certification rules are necessary," the FAA said in its proposal. The changes will help to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, the FAA said.

The proposal also would change the requirements for commercial pilot applicants, both single-engine and multiengine, to replace the current 10 hours of complex airplane aeronautical experience with 10 hours of advanced instrument training. Fewer single-engine aircraft are being produced with retractable landing gear, the FAA said, but more have technologically advanced cockpits. "Many pilot schools have complained about the necessity to keep 30-year old Cessna 172RGs and Piper Arrows in inventory, which are less technically advanced airplanes, for the sole purpose of providing 10 hours of complex airplane training," the FAA said. Furthermore, the FAA said, most commercial pilot applicants are simultaneously applying for the instrument-airplane rating, so this proposal would reduce training costs and align the rules with current training and certification practices. For more details, click here to go to the full text of the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking.

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