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panhandler1956 12-05-2012 04:57 PM

Good stuff Vac!

Vac 01-31-2013 11:36 AM

Syllabus Revision 1.3
I’ve completed a major revision to the Draft transition training syllabus. Since I’ve received quite a bit of helpful feedback from the forum, I’ve attempted to incorporate that. The bottom line up front is that I used the baseline syllabus to develop different tracks of training: basic, advanced, instructor and recurrent. This is practical since the objective of the syllabus is to provide quality RV type transition training and it’s possible to tweak the basic flow to accommodate different training requirements.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet finished part 3, an instructor standardization guide; but I did include flight elements through takeoff so that you can get an idea of the information that will be included in that section. Due to the method in which it is constructed, there is some redundancy; and keep in mind that it’s primarily intended for instructor’s use, but I did include upgrading pilot considerations. As a trainee, I’ve always found it helpful to read the instructor’s materials as well.

All of the changes to Parts 1 and 2 are in red. A couple of caveats: there are still some incomplete tables and references and I’ve likely still left a few embedded errors. I’ve attempted to remove any military jargon but likely I can’t see the forest through the trees and there may still be some left…this continues to be a work in progress. Although it may not yet be ready for prime time, all of the input and discussion has been extremely helpful in developing the syllabus; so I’ve decided to post the revised draft in hopes of garnering more helpful input.

The revised draft may be found here:

Points to Ponder:

Differences Training. The FAA uses the term “differences training” to accommodate different derivative aircraft of a design series. For example, a “C” model vs. an “A” model, or a -10 vs. a -90, etc. In a perfect world, a conforming trainer would be available for each RV type. If you wanted an RV-7A check-out, you would receive training in a similarly configured RV-7A. Unfortunately, the number of trainers available is limited and unless a fleet of conforming factory demonstrators of each type were to be constructed, it is fairly safe to assume no two RV aircraft are identical. Therefore, the de facto state of affairs is that we are using surrogate trainers to a certain extent. This is why I’ve chosen to draft an “RV type” syllabus that can be tweaked to accommodate individual circumstances. I do not know how practical it would be to develop separate syllabi for each mark of RV.

LODA Restrictions. These restrictions generally limit the type and amount of training that can be conducted. For example, a typical LODA will limit training to transition only. This would preclude use of the aircraft for biennial flight review, building time in type etc. Hopefully, the folks that are crafting policy are looking at regulatory "square corners" like this and realize that consideration need be given to including a full spectrum of instruction in type if we are going to improve the overall quality of training available to folks operating EAB aircraft. Individual LODA restrictions define the type of training that can be conducted and the draft syllabus may contain tracks of instruction that are unsuitable for consideration under the LODA process as it currently implemented.

Instructor Upgrade. Holding a CFI/I/ME, ATP etc. does not correlate to proficiency instructing in RV type aircraft. Some degree of “instructing the instructor” is required in any airplane, otherwise the instructor’s learning curve will be funded with the student’s money or, worse, a dangerous situation develops due to lack of instructor familiarity. Additionally, there is a cadre of folks with extensive RV time that may make excellent transition trainers but may lack a current CFI. One thing that policy makers may consider would be adaptation of a formal course of standardization training and certification by a type club (etc.) of instructors. I crafted the prerequisites for instructor upgrade with both of these cases in mind. Of note, anyone instructing in any capacity still requires sufficient background that they understand the basics of how folks learn, lesson plan development, etc.

Basic vs. Advanced Instruction. The basic and advanced track each last five hours. The requirements are different, and entry into the advanced track requires a more proficient upgrading pilot, thus it should be practical to include more in the syllabus. I fully realize that the conduct of full up aerobatic flight in any RV can be problematic based on load. I also realize that individual insurance policies may, in fact, preclude the conduct of that type of maneuvering; but I still think it’s important to address all-attitude flying in a controlled learning environment so I will continue to include it. Also, I created an “advanced top-off” track for folks who complete basic transition, but want to come back and increase their skill after they have some experience in type.

Recurrent Training. This is straight-forward and is simply a biennial designed for use in RV types.

Bottom Line. The syllabus is designed to be adopted to suit individual requirements and backgrounds. It isn’t designed to be exclusionary. Objective standards make things pretty straight forward for the upgrading pilot (he knows what’s expected) and the instructor (he knows where the bar is set). They are, in no case, more restrictive than standards contained in the appropriate FAA practical test standards and in some cases (e.g., all attitude maneuvering) limited to “safe” performance.

Please keep the inputs and discussion flowing--collaboration is more effective than just one guy typing! If you would like a Word version of the current draft, please drop a line.

Fly safe,


JordanGrant 04-08-2013 10:41 PM

Putting it to use
I'm planning on checking out a buddy of mine in my RV-6. He has extensive GA experience (grew up flying his dad's 182), owns and flies a Mooney, and is also an experienced F-16 pilot. But he has zero experience in RVs and does not have a tailwheel endorsement, so I think he could be a good test case the syllabus. Anyway, I'm going to try applying the TR syllabus to him and see how it goes. I'll let you know.

BTW, I'm very interested in seeing Part 3 continue to develop, especially the landing techniques section. I know how I land the airplane after 300 hrs or so, but I'm not so sure it's the best way to teach a new RV pilot. I like the idea of a standardized technique (or set of techniques) to apply.


Vac 04-11-2013 05:32 AM


Send any feedback after you guys have flown/validated the TR portion. Any IPUG considerations (from your viewpoint) are welcomed as well. I'll send you a more current draft of Part 3. Drop me an e-mail address.



Vac 05-29-2013 10:20 AM

Version 1.4
Syllabi updated. Version 1.4 available for review/down-load at this link:

Changes in red for reference. Changes primarily regarding advanced handling/post-stall maneuvering.

Fly Safe,


Geeman 05-29-2013 08:34 PM

File share
I was unable to open on my iPad.

Could you email me the file to Thanks. I have about 100 hours in my rv-6 and got my instruction from my Cfii dad and Cfii brother and neither one of them had flown an rv much at all. I'm interested if they trained me correctly and thoroughly. I'm all about improving my skills. :D

Vac 05-30-2013 06:19 AM


Check your e-mail. I've had the same trouble when trying to open google docs on the I pad--wonder if I've got something screwed up in the "share" settings???

Don't see how you could do any better than a dad and a brother checking you out...Sounds like you're doing great!

Fly safe,


dcl 05-30-2013 07:03 AM

Opening pdf
If you have trouble opening the pdf on your PC then:
1) Open the web page
2) Go to the FILE menu (top left hand corner of the page, not Internet Explorer menus)
3) Last option there is download, click that and either save to disk or open.

Ipad is smart enough to just open. If stuck go to the bottom of the screen. There are two options "view in mobile/ desktop" and select view in mobile

Hope this helps

Geeman 05-30-2013 04:44 PM

Got it.

This is very thorough. I'm going to study it and make sure I'm comfortable with the vast majority of it. Maybe not so much the acro but everything else looks like a good training for anyone....even some of the seasoned guys.

Thanks again. I can tell you spent a lot of time on it.

Where are you based. I'm in destin all week on vacation. I come here routinely during the summer. Flown into Defuniack springs a few times.

Take care.

Vac 05-31-2013 04:47 AM

Hi Kyle,

Check you PMs and enjoy Destin!



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