Advisory Circular: Transitioning to unfamiliar aircraft

The FAA recently updated their Advisory Circular about transitioning to unfamiliar aircraft (AC 90-109A) in recognition that the creation of a new category of aircraft such as the light sport category, the appearance of a variety of new experimental planes, and new electronic panel devices creates challenges for pilots wanting to transition to a different aircraft. So-called flight standardization board (FSB) established by the FAA establish baseline training and procedural requirements for each newly certified aircraft but the diversity of the evolving general aviation fleet requires a ‘tabletop’ approach. “Using the tabletop methodology, the group established “families,” or categories of airplanes with similar handling, performance, configuration, or complexity, and identified the knowledge and skill required to safely fly an airplane of that category.”

The AC provides some guidance about how to approach training for transition to a new or unfamiliar aircraft and where to find pertinent information and performance data.

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