The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced airline pilot training. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
Required improvements include updating ground and flight training to teach pilots how to prevent and recover from stalls and upsets. These will demand new standards of fidelity for flight simulators that are currently not programmed to offer the level of precision necessary to re-create the stall environment.
“We await the publication of the Part 60 NPRM to provide further guidance on the [simulator] fidelity improvements required to support the full stall training, at both low and high altitude,” CAE chief safety officer Lou Nemeth told AIN. “We recognize the fidelity of the stall simulation will depend on the availability of suitable flight-test data, and other empirical data, as well as inputs from experienced flight-test pilots.”
Under the new rule, airlines will also be expected to use data to track the remedial training of pilots who fail proficiency checks or exhibit unsatisfactory performance during flight training. Additional areas of focus include the development of improved training to teach pilot monitoring skills, enhanced runway safety procedures and expanded crosswind training, including operations in gusty conditions.
The new rule requires compliance by all parties within five years.