Saturday, June 22, 2013

Certification Changes

John Ewing wrote about upcoming changes in the pilot certification process.  You can read about them here.

A couple of comments come to mind from a first reading:

1. There is more emphasis on having candidates interpret scenarios rather than just giving rote responses.

2. Better integration of technology, eg "Equipment available enroute to aid weather assessment and route selection."  The document refers to "proper charts", whcih seems to allow EFB use.  Use of a computer-generated navigation log is allowed, and applicant must understand GPS with a fair level of detail.  Applicants are still required to record times over waypoints as an aid in case they get lost.  (One way to do this is outlined here.)

3. Making sure pilots are aware that flight into different regions (Alaska, mountains) might require additional training.  Cross-country planning includes glide distances.  (I once had a CFI candidate fail for flying too far from shore over the Great Salt Lake.  Salt Lake TRACON had terminated radar service but instead of turning toward the shore he just kept flying west, far out of glide range and toward an active Restricted Area.  The pink slip listed the deficient Area of Operations as "Straight and Level Flight.")

4. Here's a mistake: "Establish and maintain the recommended best-glide airspeed, ±10 knots." Adding ten knots to best glide has little effect on performance, but subtracting ten knots really hurts performance.  It should be -0 +10.  I'll look into suggesting this.

I'll probably have more comments as I read the document again.

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