FAA REVERSES PROPOSAL TO ALLOW GREATER SIMULATOR US

by Jenny Furst on January 22, 2015

Less than a week before it was to take effect, the FAA pulled the SAFE-requested direct-to-final rule to allow pilots up to 20 simulator hours toward an instrument rating, citing “adverse comments.”  The unexpected move leaves pilots limited to no more than the 10 simulator hours allowed by FAR 61.65.

A SAFE analysis found only one adverse public comment, filed December 17, in the FAA’s docket.  It resulted in an immediate protest by SAFE labeling the comment as “personal opinion, lacking substantiation and contrary to current education doctrine regarding use of training devices.”

Agency spokesman Les Dorr confirmed that the FAA is required by Federal regulations to withdraw any direct-to-final rule if even one adverse comment is received.  Proposed regulations that are not expected to draw any protest from the public, such as this one, are often issued as direct-to-final rules.

“We are disappointed that this beneficial rule change was withdrawn based on a single negative comment out of the hundreds submitted on this issue,” said John Dorcey, interim Executive Director of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).  “We understand the FAA’s need to follow their protocols but will continue our efforts to get these changes enacted.”   He said SAFE will ask the FAA to expedite re-issue of the rule as a conventional NPRM, not subject to dismissal due to a single negative comment.

Dorr said he is not aware of further FAA action planned on this rule-making, although the original document cited substantial advantages of additional simulator time, including relieving burdens on pilots seeking to obtain aeronautical experience, training and certification.  It called simulators an “effective, safe and affordable means of obtaining pilot experience,” and said the rule was necessary to bring the regulations in line with current needs and activities of general aviation training community and pilots.

“The fact remains that the existing FAR 61.65(i) is outdated,” said Dorcey. “Both before and after this regulation was issued in 2009, the FAA issued hundreds of Letters of Authorization to simulator manufacturers permitting simulator hours in excess of the regulation.”

SAFE, now representing nearly 1,000 of the nation’s top flight instructors and aviation educators, works to create a safer aviation environment by supporting aviation educators with mentoring opportunities, educational resources, and other benefits; inspiring professionalism through promotion and recognition of excellence and enhanced education; representing aviation educators through interaction with the aviation industry and government and promoting learning in all areas of aviation for everyone at every level

John Dorcey Interim Executive Director

by David St. George on January 6, 2015

We are glad to have the steady hand of John Dorcey as our PIC (interim Executive Director) while the search committee works it’s magic. John has all the scout badges; ATP, CFI (instrument and multi) and is a veteran Master CFI as well. John was a SAFE charter board member and directed the board for two years. Other hobbies: He served as Operations Manager for Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh until his retirement in 2012 and was previously, the Chief Pilot for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation! Welcome back John!

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Fall 2014 issue of SAFE Magazine is now available to members through the Resource Center

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Skyport to Host SAFE’s First Regional Pilot Proficiency Project

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Safety Forums, Simulator Training in San Marcos, TX, October 26-27, 2013 In partnership with Redbird Flight Simulations, the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) will present its first regional Pilot Proficiency Project™ at Skyport in San Marcos, TX on October 26-27, 2013. The Project brings valuable proficiency training to pilots by combining relevant safety […]

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