FAA New Aviation Training Products

WASHINGTON, DC - Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) Administrator
Marion C. Blakey has announced that an
FAA partnership with industry and
academia is producing new innovative
flight training products for advanced
small general aviation aircraft. The
FAA/Industry Training Standards
Program (FITS) will help pilots keep
pace with new aircraft and avionics
technology, new airspace, and air
traffic technology emerging in the
general aviation community.

The program is focused on piston- and
small turbine-powered aircraft used
primarily for transportation, rather
than for recreation or sport, and
flown by a single professional pilot
who is the aircraft’s owner. The FITS
products primarily use risk
management, scenario- and web-based
training, and personal computer
advanced training devices for initial,
transition, recurrent, and flight
instructor training.

“The core strategy of FITS is to
improve safety by training pilots to
fly as they would in the real world,
rather than to merely pass a test,”
said Blakey. “We’re thinking ‘outside
the envelope’ to create advanced
training that matches today’s
technically advanced aircraft.”

The FITS development team includes
Cirrus Design; AirShares Elite, a
major fleet customer for the Cirrus
aircraft; and Avidyne and Garmin, the
avionics suppliers for Cirrus. The
initial products issued under FITS
include a transition training syllabus
for the Cirrus SR-22 and a generic
master transition training syllabus
for similar technically advanced
aircraft.  The SR-22 syllabus training
is currently conducted by the
University of North Dakota Aerospace.
The development team also includes the
FAA’s Center of Excellence for General
Aviation Research and Embry Riddle
Aeronautical University.

Eclipse Aviation is pioneering FITS
development for turbine-powered
aircraft, such as their Eclipse 500.
Adam Aircraft, Diamond Aircraft, and
Lancair have announced programs for
producing single pilot small turbine
powered aircraft.


The FITS partnership also includes
training product suppliers and
insurance entities. The Air Safety
Foundation, Jeppesen, and King Schools
are developing FITS products.  Avemco
has announced that satisfactory
completion of certain FITS training
may qualify pilots for premium credits
of up to 10 percent under their Safety
Rewards Program. An industry oversight
team that includes the Small Aircraft
Manufacturers Association, General
Aviation Manufacturers Association,
National Air Transportation
Association, and the Air Safety
Foundation provides additional support.

Incentives such as insurance benefits,
reduced training times, convenient
training such as self directed web
based tutorials, and training relevant
to the pilot’s type of flying should
encourage the general aviation
community to quickly adopt FITS. No
regulatory mandates will be used and
pilots may continue to comply with
current regulatory standards such as
the flight review and pilot
proficiency or “Wings” program. 

The FITS program is managed by the
FAA’s Flight Standards Service General
Aviation and Commercial Division.