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Approved Flight Training Device

Old 09-05-2008, 07:58 PM
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How can you tell if logged FTD time is in an "approved" flight training device? It seems most instructors indicate the manufacturer of the device, such as "Frasca" or "Hawk" but no additional information to document that the device is "approved."

Or can the time only be logged in the first place if the device is "approved," and therefore the signoff of the instructor who made the logbook entry provides assurance that the time can be used, for example, to meet the experience requirements of part 61.129 for a commercial pilot certificate?
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:41 AM
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It is my understanding that FTDs are approved by the FAA, and maybe even individually by the FSDO. A call to the local FSDO would solve this problem.
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:50 PM
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The device will need an annual certification letter, which must be posted at the facility. Make sure it's not out of date.

Unfortunately, for training to be valid ALL requirements must be met. Training conducted in a non-approved or out-of-date FTD/Sim is called a "video game"...it cannot be logged, and if discovered after-the-fact, the FAA might go through school records and revoke all certificates issued based on time in that device. This has happened.

You would probably not be held directly responsible (the CFI might) for using an expired FTD, but you would have to redo the invalid training and checkride.
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:16 PM
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rickair is right. The FTD has to be approved. I had to demonstrate to our FSDO that our Frasca 242 represented an airplane. Once they were satisfied with it they issued us a letter that we keep posted on the side of the frasca so that it is visible to everyone.
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:02 PM
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Thanks for all the information guys... I'm aware of the FAA certification requirements, but my question is how can one determine whether hours in a logbook are in an FTD device so approved. If a student has FTD hours at a school and from another instructor that are unknown to me, and the student wants to count those hours towards the commercial requirements per part 61.129(i), can I proceed accordingly?

Rickair, it sounds like you're saying that the time can only be logged in the first place if it was in an approved FTD/sim. Do I need to call the other school to verify before endorsing a student for the commercial practical test?

And if he already has an instrument rating, and the FTD time was used to meet the requirements of that rating, is that further assurance that the hours are in an approved device because they have already been accepted by the FAA for a rating?
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RXS676 View Post
And if he already has an instrument rating, and the FTD time was used to meet the requirements of that rating, is that further assurance that the hours are in an approved device because they have already been accepted by the FAA for a rating?
If it was from a previous rating, I'd say you're safe, because the FAA has already reviewed the logbook and approved those hours when that rating was issued. I'm not sure how I would go about handling a student who has outside sim time that wasn't part of a rating. Couldn't hurt to call the CFI or school that the other hours came from and verify that the device was approved.
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