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.