FAA Issues New Airline Pilot Training Rules

Emphasis placed on stall and upset recovery.

Airline Pilot Training

Airline Pilot Training

The long-awaited response to training shortcomings that surfaced after** the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407** in Buffalo, New York, in February 2009 became official with the FAA's adoption of new training requirements for all U.S. airline pilots on Tuesday.

The new rules put a greater emphasis on recovery from stalls and upsets during recurrent simulator training. Airlines will have five years to introduce the new standards to give simulator makers time to update their training software.

Investigators blamed the pilots of Flight 3407 for not recognizing the symptoms of an imminent stall on approach to Buffalo at night in light snow with the airplane on autopilot. All 49 people aboard the Dash-8 Q400 were killed in the crash, along with one person on the ground, prompting Congress to order the FAA to improve airline pilot training.

The new rules also mandate expanded pilot training on how to handle crosswinds and wind gusts, as well as enhanced runway safety procedures. As part of the rule, airlines must use data to track remedial training for pilots with performance deficiencies, such as failing a proficiency check or unsatisfactory performance during simulator training.

The FAA's final training rule is the latest in a series of major changes aimed at improving U.S. airline safety after earlier overhauls of pilot rest and duty time rules and a requirement last August that all airline first officers hold Airline Transport Pilot certificates.

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