FAA issues deadlines on use of flight simulator standards.

Press Release Summary:



Part 60, Change 1 covers FSTDs to receive initial evaluations, which includes new simulators or simulators upgraded in level, after Part 60 becomes effective. All existing, qualified devices will continue to hold grandfather rights in accordance with Part 60. The NSPM must receive written notification no later than May 30, 2008 of any FSTDs currently on-order and all initial evaluations on affected FSTDs must be completed no later than April 30, 2010.



Original Press Release:



Flight Simulator Training Device (FSTD) Initial Qualifications under 14 CFR 60 -Guidance on "Grandfather" Rights/Grace Period for Newly Qualified FSTDs



May 6, 2008

With the recent publication of Part 60, Change 1, some deadlines concerning the continued use of current simulator standards on newly qualified FSTDs will be addressed shortly. The National Simulator Program would like to point out some of these dates in order to ensure the fair application of the grace period as authorized in Part 60. Note that this guidance material only covers FSTDs to receive initial evaluations (new simulators or simulators upgraded in level) after Part 60 becomes effective. All existing, qualified devices will continue to hold "grandfather" rights in accordance with Part 60.

Section 60.15 of Part 60 contains the following language concerning the initial evaluation of Flight Simulator Training Devices (FSTDs) following a change to existing simulator standards. Note that a copy of the rule in its entirety along with associated appendices may be found at the NSP's internet site.

§ 60.15 Initial qualification requirements.
(c) Except for those FSTDs previously qualified and described in § 60.17, each FSTD evaluated for initial qualification must meet the standard that is in effect at the time of the evaluation. However-
(1) If the FAA publishes a change to the existing standard or publishes a new standard for the evaluation for initial qualification, a sponsor may request that the NSPM apply the standard that was in effect when an FSTD was ordered for delivery if the sponsor-
(i) Within 30 days of the publication of the change to the existing standard or
publication of the new standard, notifies the NSPM that an FSTD has been ordered;
(ii) Within 90 days of the NSPM notification described in paragraph
(c)(1)(i) of this section, requests that the standard in effect at the time the order
was placed be used for the evaluation for initial qualification; and
(iii) The evaluation is conducted within 24 months following the publication of the change to the existing standard or publication of the new standard.
(2) This notification must include a description of the FSTD; the anticipated qualification level of the FSTD; the make, model, and series of aircraft
simulated; and any other pertinent information.
(3) Any tests, tolerances, or other requirements that are current at the time of the evaluation may be used during the initial evaluation, at the request of the sponsor, if the sponsor provides acceptable updates to the required qualification test guide.
(4) The standards used for the evaluation for initial qualification will be used for all subsequent evaluations of the FSTD.

The publication of Part 60, Change 1 is a new standard as described in section (c)(1) and thus applicable to the grace period as defined. As a result, the following policy will be applied by the NSPM concerning the application of this section:
a) The NSPM must receive written notification no later than May 30, 2008 of any FSTDs currently "on-order" and have initial evaluations planned in the future where Part 60 Qualification Performance Standards (QPSs) will not be used as the simulator standard to form the basis of qualification. (§60.15 (c)(1)(i)).
b) The NSPM must receive a written request to use existing simulator standards on the applicable FSTDs as described in the notifications provided in section (a) above no later than August 28, 2008. (§60.15 (c)(1)(ii)).
c) The existing simulator standards as defined in this section will be AC 120-40B (including alternate means of compliance as outlined in qualification guidance bulletin number 07-03), AC 120-45A (FTDs), AC 120-63 (helicopter FFSs), and qualification guidance bulletin #06-01 (interim procedures for helicopter FTDs).
d) All initial evaluations on affected FSTDs must be completed no later than April 30, 2010.
e) All FSTDs currently on the NSP schedule for initial evaluation (and confirmation of an evaluation date has been received by the sponsor) are considered to have met the requirements above and no further action is necessary of the sponsor.

Please contact the NSP at 404-832-4700 for any questions concerning this issue or to make inquiries concerning the status of any applicable FSTD.

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