Several collegiate flight programs have contracted with simulator manufacturer FRASCA International, to upgrade their existing FRASCA simulators to be approved as FAA Level 5 Flight Training Devices (FTDs). These include; the University of North Dakota, Liberty University, Western Michigan University, and Southern Illinois University.
The FAA’s recent Policy Change* regarding the use of simulation devices for training will reduce training credits on these devices by over 90% effective January 1, 2015. By proactively upgrading their devices to be approved as Level 5 FTDs, these schools will not need to significantly modify their curriculum and can continue to use the FTDs as originally intended in their programs.
John FRASCA, President of FRASCA International, notes “This change by the FAA seems to acknowledge that there is a difference between the capabilities of the various levels of training devices. We are pleased to be able to upgrade these existing devices so that they meet the requirements of Level 5 FTD’s allowing their owners to maximize training credits and protecting their investments“.
Don Dubuque, Director at the University of North Dakota Aerospace program states, “We have been using FRASCA FTD’s for over 40 years. They have always helped us keep on the leading edge of flight training. Upgrading to Level 5 FTD is the latest step in our fleet improvement plan. The relationship with FRASCA has been like a partnership working together to provide the best products for our students.”
“Liberty University is pleased to partner with an outstanding organization such as FRASCA. Upgrading our FRASCA FTDs to Level 5 will enable us to continue providing the best flight training possible in preparing our graduates for careers in aviation.” said Dave Young, Dean of the Liberty University School of Aeronautics.
“We’ve partnered with FRASCA for years, precisely because we value their attention to accuracy and making sure our FTDs are equipped to provide our students with an optimal experience,” says Capt. Dave Powell, Dean of the Western Michigan University College of Aviation. “This is just the next step along that path. Our goal is ensure every training experience–in the air or in an FTD–helps move our students one step closer to their goals.”
“Southern Illinois University Carbondale is very happy that there is an option available through FRASCA International to modify some of its FTDs prior to the FAA’s January 1, 2015 deadline. These modifications will go a long way to helping SIUC continue to provide a high quality of training to the students enrolled in its nationally-known Aviation Flight degree program.” added Dave NewMyer, Chair of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Aviation Program.
As detailed in FAR Part 60, Level 5 requires specific objective tests be performed on the FTD to ensure that it accurately represents and flies like an aircraft, thus contributing to a positive learning experience while minimizing the potential for negative learning. Level 5 also requires a Simulation Quality Management System, SQMS, that consists of formal maintenance procedures and oversight of the FTD to ensure that it consistently operates at optimal performance, again contributing to a positive learning experience while minimizing the potential for negative learning.
FRASCA has obtained FAA approval on over 50 devices at Level 5 or higher through the FAA’s National Simulator Program who oversees the Level 5 FTD process. For more details on this issue or questions about FRASCA’s capabilities with FAA Approved FTDs, contact FRASCA at 217-344-9200 or email info@FRASCA.com.
* For more information on the FAA’s Policy Change, see their online posting at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/02/2013-31094/notice-of-policy-change-for-the-use-of-faa-approved-training-devices (July 9, 2014)