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The Airmen Certification Standard (ACS) is the test guide for the practical test. It is to ensure the pilot applicate has the knowledge and processes the skills needed to exercise the privileges of Pilot in Command (PIC) for the certificate and or rating sot.

There is a book for each pilot certificate.

  • Private Pilot

  • Instrument Rating

  • Commerical Pilot

  • ATP Pilot

  • All Flight Instructors and more

The ACS is broken down into Areas of Operation, a few examples are:

  • Preflight preparation

  • Airports and Seaplane Base Operations

  • Takeoffs, Landing, and Go-Arounds

  • Navigation

  • Night Operations

Within each Area of Operation are tasks. Each task in the ACS is coded and is broken down in to four elements.

Example 1:


  • PA = Applicable ACS (Private Pilot ‒ Airplane)

  • I = Area of Operation (Preflight Preparation)

  • A = Task (Pilot Qualifications)

  • K3 = Task element Knowledge (Medical certificates: class, expiration, privileges, etc.)

Example 2:


  • CA = Applicable ACS (Commercial Pilot ‒ Airplane)

  • I = Area of Operation (Preflight Preparation)

  • B = Task (Airworthiness Requirements)

  • K3a = Task element Knowledge (Flying with inoperative equipment)

As previously mentioned in the last lesson about the FAR/AIM. If you see a black vertical bar next to the text in the ACS, that represents a change or revision has been made from the previous.


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