What’s new in airman testing, September 2020


FAA recently published its September edition of “What’s New in Airman Testing” advising of recent and upcoming changes affecting the airman testing process. In the most recent edition, FAA advises it’s reviewing and revising a number of its reference handbooks. Many of the updates are related to updating terminology on recommendations from industry working groups. Terminology updates will include the term “learner” as opposed to “student” as well as “flight deck” as opposed to “cockpit.”

Handbooks currently under revision (release dates TBD) include the Airplane Flying HandbookInstrument Flying Handbook, and Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Airman Knowledge Test Guides

FAA anticipates revising several Airman Knowledge Testing Supplements with an effective date of June 2021 including

  • FAA-CT-8080-2, Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Remote Pilot, and Private Pilot
  • FAA-CT-8080-5, Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Flight Instructor, Ground Instructor, and Sport Pilot Instructor

The current editions of the Airman Knowledge Testing Supplements are available here.

FAA Airman Knowledge Tests

New/Revised test question activation dates for 2020 are September 28 and December 28. Questions about Notice to Airmen Publications (NTAP) have been removed from all airman knowledge test banks. Other updates applicable to specific tests include:

  • Private Pilot – Questions about Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out were added effective March 30, 2020.
  • Commercial Pilot – Questions about Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out were added effective March 30, 2020.
  • Instrument Rating – Questions about FAA International Flight Plan have been added effective September 28, 2020.

Read the complete notice here.

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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.