The Coming Revolution in Aviation Training

American Revolution

Every once in awhile, people get so frustrated with the status quo that they decide to do something about it. Often the outcome is labeled a Revolution. Aviation Training is headed in that direction.

People in the industry are tired of regulatory agencies dictating their skill development. Training is rarely driven by a quest for knowledge or growth in professionalism but rather by fear of not meeting standards and loss of certification. Apathy has set in. Instead of inspiring people to create and grow, training experiences are routine, predictable, standardized and often down right boring.

If you are tired of the status quo, we invite you to join us in our revolution. We have a passion for training that is applicable, meaningful, enjoyable, unique, and tailored to the needs of individuals and the departments they work in. We have some creative ideas to spark this revolution. We intend to circulate them here. But we need your help, too. We believe that you have creative ideas as well. So leave your comments, testimonies, and ideas to inspire us all.

Together, we can take back the training industry and make it of the people, by the people, and for the people.

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4 Responses to The Coming Revolution in Aviation Training

  1. Working Professional Pilot says:


    As a working professional pilot I dread recurrent training. Not because it’s difficult, but because it’s a system designed only to test and check against outdated “good ole boys club” standards. Those antiquated standards cause only good pilots to become stressed pilots that fail to demonstrate the true level of their competency for fear of the aforementioned certificate loss and or worse – loss of employment.

    The current training system only evaluates and checks. It does not train. How can we as professional pilots demonstrate sufficient proficiency in skills that we cannot practice anywhere but a once a year or every six months in a simulator evaluation? I find myself completely baffled when those “good ole boy” trainers convey irritation at your first attempt in a year to fly a V1 cut like you were born in the sim then you fail to do so! It makes no sense.

    The AQP training system has promise but can be easily abused and manipulated. Training managers that are used to having their own disretion with training procedures can use the AQP program to its full advantage insofar as how it can be custom tailored to the individual carrier. This means a training department under AQP is usually either excellent, objective and professional or the extreme opposite of being a company department used for disciplinary enforcement and retaliation against pilots that are on the “bad boy” list. I have experienced both of these extremes and believe it – they exist.

    The answer in my view is to eliminate the “pink slip” from the recurrent training process in its entirety. “Check rides” should be used only for certificate awards, i.e. PVT, INST, COM etc etc.., or type ratings.

    If a pilot goes to recurrent knowing their job or career is NOT on the line then that pilot will adsorb more, perform better and come back to the line with improvements to their professional skills and book of techniques. Jeopardy event training in professional aviation is obsolete thinking, unnecessary and does not improve or enhance the safe operation of an aircraft.

  2. Kyle and Linda Reynolds says:

    AQP is designed mainly for the cognitive (knowledge) level alone. For those unfamiliar with AQP (Advanced Qualification Program) here is the definition given by the FAA: It seeks to integrate the training and evaluation of cognitive skills at each stage of a curriculum. For pass/fail purposes, pilots must demonstrate proficiency in scenarios that test both technical and crew resource management skills together. Air carrriers participating in the AQP must design and implement data collection strategies which are diagnostic of cognitive and technical skills. In addition, they must implement procedures for refining curricula content based on quality control data. Our latest blog, “Aviation Training Resources: How effective are they?”, discusses how effective training resources move beyond the cognitive level and incorporate the “experiential” component.

    We totally agree with you. Recurrent training should be renamed “Recurrent Learning” in our opinion. Pink slips should be placed in the dumpster along with box checking and check rides.

  3. Aaron Fiss says:

    As a flight instructor I find this evolution of thinking fantastic! I’m not in a position yet where a pass/fail could ruin my job. However, gone should be the days of preparing for what people plan for the exact 1 hour of ground and 1 hour of flight training to satisfy the requirements of the BFR. I like the freedom of what can be covered in our time together but pilots always think that they will get it done in exactly 2 hours and that’s definitely not the case for most. Usually I find just basic airspace and weather minimums severely lacking as well as a good portion of regulations. During the flight I rarely do the just the standard air work; I make a point to cover emergencies with a systems overview as well as a flight to another airport to include pilotage & possibly a deviation. These are skills that ALL pilots should have a confident grasp of not covered once every two years. A change needs to be made in the industry and it can start with flight instructors.

  4. Kyle and Linda Reynolds says:

    Thanks for the comment Aaron, it can definitely start with flight instructors. As you know, a firm foundation will follow a pilot throughout their career. If they’ve been a part of a good learning environment from the very beginning, these pilots will continue to grow and mature not only as competent aviators, but as life long learners. Keep up the good work.

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