CFI Brief: Airman Testing, February Test Roll

It’s the first “Test Roll” of 2016, a process where the FAA implements changes to the FAA Knowledge Exam and announces what’s new and upcoming in airman testing. ASA will incorporate this information in updates to our publications.

Some of the more beneficial items to note with February’s Test Roll are outlined below.

1. The FAA is intending to implement the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for both Private and Instrument Airplane on June 15th of this year. Corresponding to this will be the cancellation of both Private and Instrument Airplane Practical Test Standards (PTS) documents.

This is exciting news for the training industry and a long time coming. Once we get a little closer to the release date I will provide an update about all the outstanding and beneficial elements the new ACS documents will provide.

If you’re getting ready for an FAA Knowledge Test, then listen up!

2. Questions in the following topic areas have been removed from ALL knowledge exams. In other words, if you plan on taking the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge exam in the next few weeks you will not see questions relating to these specific topic areas:

  • Tricolor VASI
    You are unlikely to ever encounter one at an airport.
  • Flight Plans
    The FAA plans to develop new questions relating to ICAO flight plans and have on the test by October. If you were not already aware, the FAA is changing over to the ICAO flight plan format. I did a blog post on this topic back in October and you may view it here.
  • Student Pilot / Medical Certificate
    As you may have heard, the FAA has recently changed the rules and regulations to the Student Pilot Certificate. These changes have been outlined in a recent LTFB blog post found here. Updated questions relating to this topic will be back on the knowledge exams by April when the changes go into effect. 

4. Additional changes that only affect the Instrument Rating Airplane (IRA) knowledge exam are outlined below. Questions relating to these topics will be removed:

  • Radar approaches, to include ASR and PAR
  • Composite flight plans
  • Designation of instruments as “Primary” or “Secondary” for aircraft control
  • Inner marker
  • Middle marker
  • Specific number of degrees on glidepath
  • Time and distance questions involving multiple interpolation

We have been hard at work this week preparing documents listing all the changes to our knowledge test question databases and they are now available by following the link below. Make sure to check them out and update your Test Prep Books accordingly. Updates for Prepware Software and Apps will be available shortly.

Updates to ASA Knowledge Exam Question Databases

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