Hundreds of hours of development have gone into making this training manual as turn-key and user friendly (and FAA-friendly) as possible. However, effective implementation of any training manual will depend on the level of active commitment from the management team of the operator. The operator’s management team will need to thoroughly review the entire document.
It is also recommended for the operator’s management team to perform tabletop testing of the procedures, specifically reviewing pilot qualification, initiating training, conducting training, and completing forms and records.
Any software planned to be used by flight operations should be tested in parallel with the training manual test.
Testing these procedures should not take more than one or two days, and will give the operator confidence when presenting the document to the FAA.
Best Practice. For operators who want to have the best understanding of their training manual and develop a fuller picture of the regulatory and guidance requirements, it is highly recommended that the management team read through the 8900 training guidance and the SAS questions thoroughly and then look at the cross-reference in the training manual to see how the requirement was met. This process, though slightly painstaking, will put the operator’s management team in the best possible position for a fast approval and to be able to deal with any issues raised by the FAA.
Aircraft Specific Procedures
The operator is responsible for supplying qualified personnel who can develop and approve the final version of any aircraft-specific procedures. There are two specific cases of aircraft procedures.
Procedures supplied by your Part 142 training provider. In this case, these procedures can be adopted and used as-is by you, and incorporated into this training manual. This is most often the case with turboprop and jet aircraft. No additional work on your part is required if the training provider has supplied procedures that are acceptable you.
Procedures for in-house and in-aircraft training. In this case, we will supply you with basic templates with sample text and sample procedures. It will be up to your flight department to supply the actual data (speeds, callouts, checklists) that work for your aircraft. We will assist you during this process and integrate these procedures into your training manual.
Reading Lists. We have developed reading lists from the FAA guidance and SAS checklists. Contact us and we can provide this list along with an initial consultation. These lists will help you learn about the 10 or more requirements and the level of knowledge and procedures that will be required. These are free with the initial phone call (the call is also free).
SAS Checklists. We have a summarized version of the FAA SAS checklists (DCTs) that will give you an overview of the design requirements for a GMM. These are also available free of charge with an initial consultation.
Training Manual Format
The TRAINING MANUAL is formatted in MS Word, and uses standard paragraph heading styles and 1 inch page margins. This document is very easy to edit for operators that prefer to do their own revisions. We are always willing to assist with future revisions, but most operators have no problem working with the document and creating the revisions on their own.
Is this TRAINING MANUAL already FAA-approved?
First, a technical point, unlike GOMs, GMMs, and IOMs which are accepted, training manuals are a document that requires actual FAA approval. The main difference between acceptance and approval is that documents requiring approval must have final approval from you FSDO before they can be used.
To address the point of the question, there isn’t anything like a manual that has already been given a standing approval or acceptance by the FAA. Each FAA office has its own idea of what a manual should contain. A manual that passes review at one FSDO with no issues could end up having a long list of required corrections at another. Each time a manual is submitted, it is as though it is a brand new document with no previous history. See the next question for more info.
How long will it take to get this training manual approved?
This depends on two things: How long it takes your FAA team begins to start and complete the review, and what level of change they want to see. Substantial effort has been put into this training manual to make it as comprehensive as possible, and so far it has been passing review with a small list of corrections. In some cases, only 5-10 changes, all of them minor.
When the FAA returns the training manual with the list of required corrections, what happens next?
One major key to success is a very fast turn-around. Most of the time we can collaborate on any required changes and return the revised training manual within a week, sometimes less. In a few instances, the FAA wants a more highly developed procedure for some item. As long as the operator makes their management personnel available, we can usually turn the document around in less than two weeks.
A fast turnaround time is crucial for two reasons. First, it shows the FAA that the operator is serious about moving the process along. Second, it prevents the FAA inspectors from losing track of the project in the interim. Inspectors are busy people, and like anyone, you don’t want to give them a month to lose track of where the project was and what the nature of their required corrections were.
My current training manual is need of updating. Will this training manual help?
Absolutely yes. This training manual has been used more often by existing operators who want to update their current training manual than it has been by new start-ups. Many operators have been using a training manual that has been added to and modified over the years and is now poorly organized and hard to use. This training manual gives them the opportunity to clean up the disorganized procedures in one easy step.
Do you guarantee FAA approval?
We do not make a specific guarantee of approval. That said, we have never left an operator hanging without a completed authorization or approval. Every effort will be made to get the ball over the goal line. Having stated that, it is possible to run into some FAA offices or inspectors who make the approval process extremely difficult. So far, we have not run into one that made it impossible. There have been one or two instances where the FAA made additional demands on the content of the manual outside of the scope of the FAA requirements. In these cases there may be some small additional hourly charges. This will always be discussed with the client before any charges are made. The Terms of Service document (available upon request) sets the official terms and explains contractor and client obligations.
What about revisions? What does this cost?
While we have no problem doing revisions for you if you want us to, our real goal is to deliver a document that is very easy for you to revise yourself. Document formatting is very simple, and it does not take a Word Ninja to make simple corrections. If you really want help, we perform that on an hourly basis.
No watermarks or copyright information is places on the training manual. Once we complete the project together the manual is provided to you in an unlocked Word document. Finished PDF copies are provided as a convenience as well. No password protection or document security is used.
The only thing asked of you is that you follow the provisions in the Terms of Service agreement and avoid disclosing the document to persons who do not have a direct need for access. Rather than attempt to restrict your access or use of the document, we prefer to trust the operators we do business with. Many of our clients have given us business referrals to other operators, which is always appreciated.