On August 4, 1997, a massive change to the regulations governing certification of U.S. pilots and instructors went into effect. Two years earlier, the FAA issued the largest NPRM in its history that proposed a massive rewrite of FAR Part 61. This NPRM provoked the largest number of public comments ever, and the FAA actually listened! In April 1997, the FAA finally issued its Final Rule. Then just days before the August 4th effective date, the FAA published a long list of corrections. (The Final Final Rule, we hope!) Here's AVweb's synopsis of the most important rule changes that every U.S. airman needs to know.