Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision to allow the use of personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATD), focusing on: (1) the process and information FAA used in deciding to approve the use of personal computer devices for 10 hours of instrument training; and (2) what is known about the training effectiveness of these devices and their long-term impact on a pilot's ability to fly safely.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||1. As a first step toward determining whether computer-based devices pose safety risks to general aviation in relation to other training methods, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to collect information from pilot applications for instrument ratings on how many hours students trained on PCATDs and flight training devices. This information can be used by FAA and others to study the relationship between the use of training devices and safety. FAA's revision to its rating application form allows the additional information to be obtained at minimal cost.|