On Monday the FAA will publish its Final Rule titled “Flight Simulation Training Device Initial and Continuing Qualification and Use”. The Final Rule consolidates and updates flight simulation training device (FTSD) requirements that currently exist in different parts of the FARs and advisory circulars into a new part (FAR Part 60) to set forth qualification requirements for FTSDs. The new part also requires that sponsors of FSTDs have a Quality Management System. According to the final rule, “[t]hese changes are necessary to promote standardization and accountability for FSTD qualification, maintenance, and evaluation” and are intended “to ensure that users of FSTDs receive training in devices that closely match the performance and handling characteristics of the aircraft being simulated.”
The new FAR Part 60 contains the requirements for the evaluation, qualification, and maintenance of FSTDs that are based on the current guidance regarding the capability and performance of simulators contained in Appendix H of part 121 and FAR 121.407. However, Part 60 will apply to all FTSD training regardless of the FARs under which the flight operations will occur (e.g. Part 121, 125, 135 etc.), but will not apply to Level 2 and 3 Flight Training Devices.
Part 60 also contains information previously found in the advisory circulars addressing airplane and helicopter FTSD qualifications. The standards from these ACs, as well as specific items that are subject to change through technological advancements will be placed in appendices to Part 60. Two additional appendices will cover “Qualification Performance Standards for Quality Management Systems for Flight Simulation Training Devices” and “Definitions and Abbreviations.” Compliance with the qualification performance standards contained in the appendices will be madatory.
The Final Rule becomes effective October 30, 2007. If you would like further information you should review the details contained in the final rule or you may contact Ed Cook, Air Transportation Division (AFS-200), Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30354; telephone: 404-832-4700.