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How CaBilAvi fulfilled its objective 1 & objective 3

First and third specific objective of the CaBilAvi project are to implement new knowledge about GNSS into pilot training courses, update the requirements, guidelines and curricula for IFR and VFR pilot training respectively. We can all agree on the fact, that understanding of GNSS by pilots in training and integrating GNSS among the other already standardized navigation systems is the key issue. It is not only important in the matter of safety, but also due to evolution of modern world, where GNSS technologies have their firm place. On the basis of this evolution, the project´s consortium is aiming to update the pilot training in the matter of GNSS for all training modules for all pilot license types. This will lead to a guarantee of adequately trained pilots, with the ability to use all gained knowledge and experience with the newest navigation technologies to navigate the aircraft during flights or landings in any kind of severe weather.

The essential part of the pilot training within the CaBilAvi project is an effort to standardize rules for GNSS utilization for general aviation pilots. Small general aviation aircrafts are those mostly flying under good meteorological conditions (“good weather”), so-called VFR flights, which means they are navigated by a view out of an aircraft cabin and comparing paper maps with significant points in the open countryside. These aircrafts can be mostly seen in aero-clubs, where the use of mobile navigation devices receiving satellite signal (GNSS) is quite popular and therefore pilots often forget about the basic rule – always hold the paper map. Forgetting this basic rule may lead to disastrous consequences. Project partners are trying to eliminate this mistake and point out incontestable benefits of mobile navigation devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets or other professional mobile navigation devices), as well as the issues concerning the use of such mobile navigation devices. Practical knowledge and experience of a professional expert team and flight instructors involved in the CaBilAvi project reveal complications, such as overheating or a low battery, causing the loss of awareness about current position by the pilot. Pilot is then exposed to search for an emergency landing location only by memory and a map (in case, the pilot is equipped according to the rules), which can be quite complicated under certain circumstances when the pilot is not familiar with the given area. And finally, this may lead to catastrophic consequences.

To accomplish these objectives 14 deliverables have been created by project partners. Some of them are publicly available on the project´s website others are shared within professional stakeholders´ community and the rest are processed within the European Commission and its agencies i.e. the GSA agency and the EASA. Beside printed materials and learning books an education video series for pilots were produced and broadcasted via YouTube channel in English and Czech language. The last but not least output of the project is the brand new e-Learning application that provides a comprehensive and new learning materials related to GNSS and its utilisation during VFR and IFR flights.

Brief summary of confidential deliverables

In this part the reader can make a brief overview of those deliverables that are shared within professional stakeholders´ community. If you are a stakeholder engaged in the pilot training process and are willing to get more detailed information, please do not hesitate to address the CaBilAvi project coordinator with your question.

The deliverable “New curricula with GNSS for ATPL(A), CPL (A) an IR theoretical training” proposes a new syllabus of a theoretical training. Detailed theoretical knowledge syllabus outlines the topics that should be taught in order to meet the theoretical knowledge requirements appropriate to the Air Transport pilots licence (ATPL), Commercial pilot licence (CPL) and Instrument rating (IR). Proposed changes to syllabus are presented as additions to chapters, subchapters and learning objectives (LO).

The deliverable “Structure comparison of IFR training curricula, substitution, addition and extension of curricula and introductory testing & feedback except the ATPL and helicopter curricula” proposes updates to current training syllabus for commercial pilot license, instrument rating qualification and instrument rating instructor privileges with a focus on the use of satellite based navigation and PBN concept. Testing results performed within this task give a proof that knowledge of current pilots lacks of some important PBN elements, mainly in emergency procedures, so an update of the training syllabus is really needed. Scenarios for instrument rating training course were prepared. These can be used as Scenario Based Training to make standard exercise from the syllabus more realistic. Finally, exam questions related to practical pilot training, which will form an essential part of this educational portal were proposed as well.

The main outcome of the deliverable “Simulator and practical part of the training for ATPL pilots” is an upgraded training course for the L410 and B737 Type Rating, consequently generalised to any type of twin engine aircraft. More comprehensive information about GNSS usage possibilities to pilots, including its use under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in the ATPL level are proposed to be taught according to the newly developed syllabus of practical training. These practical skills syllabus outlines the topics that should be included and tested in order to meet the practical skill requirements appropriate to the ATPL type rating and Type Rating Instructor (TRI) requirements.

The purpose of the deliverable “IFR training for helicopter pilots” is to propose modernized curricula for training helicopter pilots for navigation under Instrument Flight Rules (IR (H)). The curricula include training on GNSS in order to exploit this technology. In other words, the goal was to update current IR(H) training syllabus with a focus on using satellite based navigation. The modernized IR (H) training syllabi is divided into two parts, the ground preparation (theoretical knowledge (TK) training) and the flight training – flight training syllabus is focused to acquire the necessary Practical Skill (PS). Passing the theoretical training the trainee should be able to utilize the advantage of GNSS technology, as well as he/she should be aware of its limitations. IR(H) training is more focused on IFR procedures, so the advanced knowledge of GNSS will be requested from a training applicant. The aim of the Practical part is to propose a generic practical training syllabus for Helicopter pilots in order to obtain IR(H) rating. After an accomplishment of that training the privileges of a holder of an IR are to fly aircraft under IFR, including PBN operations, with a minimum decision height of no less than 200 feet (60 m). In the case of a multi-engine IR, these privileges may be extended to decision heights lower than 200 feet (60 m).

Within the deliverable “Recommendations for changes or additions to curricula for practical part of IFR pilot training” a new syllabus of practical skill training, based on a syllabus published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and new curricula and Learning Objectives (LOs) for theoretical knowledge (TK) training developed earlier in the project, was proposed. The detailed practical skill syllabus outlines the topics that should be included and tested in order to meet the practical skill requirements appropriate to the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Instrument Rating (IR) and Instrument Rated Instructor (IRI) certificate for IFR flights. The deliverable proposes changes to the Part-FCL sections, e.g. missing exercises relevant to modern cockpit (equipped with GNSS device). The deliverable highlights an important issue, that majority of information sources for IFR flying is in English language and GA pilots are not required to have any foreign language skills. Therefore, it is essential not to exclude them from the opportunity to learn correct procedures, which means that learning materials must be provided in the appropriate national language. This is a current problem, since most helpful publications and modern materials for IFR flying are released in English only.

The purpose of the deliverable “New curricula with GNSS for VFR training” was to propose the necessary changes in theoretical training for visual flight rules (VFR) pilot licences as needed by the current evolution of navigation devices. These changes shall be suitable and relevant to achieving the goal of changing the pilot licences theoretical training so that the use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) becomes an integral part of the training and so that pilots are able to safely use GNSS to its full potential.

Within the deliverable “Recommendations for changes or additions to curricula for practical part of VFR pilot training” a new syllabus of practical training of VFR pilots was proposed. Proposed additions and changes of existing syllabus are developed upon previous theoretical baseline done earlier within the project and followed by practical outcomes verified by real flight and simulator testing. The detailed practical skill (PS) syllabus outlines the topics that should be included and tested in order to meet the practical skill requirements appropriate to the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL), Private pilot licence (PPL) and Flight Instructor (FI) certificate for VFR flights.

The deliverable “GNSS training and implementation GNSS technology into a VFR pilot training of the PPL (H) pilot licence” proposes changes in both part of the PPL (H) training, i.e. ground preparation and flight training itself. As an outcome, the theoretical ground preparation syllabus has been amended by GNSS learning objectives which a PPL(H) pilot should be aware of before commencing his/her flight training. That resulted into proposed enlargement of the theoretical ground syllabus by 8 teaching hours. Secondly, the existing flight training syllabus was revised. During the flight training, the GNSS technology should be introduced to a pilot license applicant on an everyday basis and during each flight training lesson. It is proposed to initiate a process of discussing and considering the necessity for Part-FCL syllabus of the PPL (H) training to still include in its sub-topics, such as radio navigation, learning objective NDB/ADF. In recent aviation world, such a NAVAIDs like NDB/ADF, is not normally used anymore. However, on the other hand, there is still a chance for a helicopter PPL pilot to make use of a live AM radio aerials for “homing” or as a back-up means of navigation at some point in his/her career if the aircraft´s equipment allows it.

The purpose of the deliverable “Advisory procedures for VFR flying” is to propose a novelty for advisory procedures during flight using GNSS navigation. Advisory procedures are meant to be simple operation procedures based on the use of GNSS when flying under VFR, without degrading flight safety. These can be defined as: ´A series of procedural steps or predetermined manoeuvres, both by reference to GNSS devices, during which the pilot remains under VFR and hence responsible to maintain separation from obstacles and airspace structures and safe distance from other traffic’. This deliverable shows the necessary basis for introducing such advisory procedures to be used by any operator and accepted by all aviation authorities, stakeholders and experts. In addition, five specific advisory procedures are defined, which can be used in typical VFR problematic situations.