Flight Simulation Training Devices

What is an FSTD?

FSTD is a collective term for synthetic training devices used for pilot training. While some devices are used to practice handling, others are intended for training the operation of aircraft systems. FSTDs simulate, for example, the aircraft's avionics, instruments, controls, steering forces or sounds. In addition, they also often provide a visual image of the environment and even a motion system.

What levels of FSTDs are there?

An FSTD is certified by the aviation authority and assigned to a level. The following levels can be distinguished, sorted by ascending complexity:

  • Basic Instrument Training Device (BITD)
  • Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer: FNPT I, FNPT II
  • Flight Training Device: FTD 1, FTD 2, FTD 3
  • Full Flight Simulator: FFS A, B, C, D

FCL.050 Recording of Flight Time

At a minimum, flight log entries of FSTD sessions conducted should include information on the type and qualification number of the training device, the FSTD instruction, the date of the session, the total time of the session and the cumulative total time.

Does simulator time count towards flight experience?

For certain licence applications, recency and other conditions, simulator time may be credited. Often, however, this creditability is limited to the level and/or maximum number of hours. For example, the three take-offs and landings for PAX recency under FCL.060 (b) (1) may also be performed on FFS:

Aeroplanes, helicopters, powered-lift aircraft and airships. A pilot shall not operate an aircraft in commercial air transport or to carry passengers: as PIC or co-pilot unless he/she has carried out, in the preceding 90 days, at least 3 take-offs, approaches and landings in an aircraft of the same type or class or an FFS representing that type or class.

The FSTD sessions must be recorded decoupled from the flight entries and must not be counted as part of the flight experience unless explicitly mentioned or requested.

Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer FNPT

An FNPT is a training device that represents the flight deck or cockpit environment, including the set of equipment and computer programs necessary to represent an aircraft type or class in flight so that the systems appear to function as if they were on an aircraft.

Flight Training Device FTD

An FTD is a scale replica of the instruments, equipment, panels and controls of a specific type of aircraft in an open flight deck area or an enclosed flight deck of an aircraft, including the assembly of equipment and software programmes necessary to represent the aircraft under ground and flight conditions to the extent that the systems are installed in the device. No power control movements or visual systems are required except for FTD level 2 and 3 helicopters where visual systems are required.

Full Flight Simulator FFS

An FFS is a full-size replica of the flight deck of a particular type or make, model and series of aircraft, including all equipment and computer programs necessary to represent the aircraft in ground and flight operations, a visual system providing visibility outside the flight deck, and a force-control system.