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According to FAR 61.57, the regulation requires different experience requirements when a pilot uses FTD or ATD for their experience minimums. So I have tried to look up the difference between those two but I don't really understand.

According to Advisory Circular 61-136A, the definition of ATD is a training device, other than a FFS or FTD, that includes

a replica of aircraft instruments, equipment, panels, and controls in an open flight deck area or an enclosed aircraft cockpit.

The definition of FTD, according to FAR Part 1, is also

a replica of aircraft instruments, equipment, panels, and controls in an open flight deck area or an enclosed aircraft cockpit

They look pretty much same to me.

Could you give me the examples of those two?

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14 CFR Part 141, Chapter 41 Flight simulators, flight training devices, and training aids. Requirements for a FTD:

(1) Be a full-size replica of instruments, equipment panels, and controls of an aircraft, or set of aircraft, in an open flight deck area or in an enclosed cockpit, including the hardware and software for the systems installed that is necessary to simulate the aircraft in ground and flight operations;

The important mention is it must be a full-size replica of controls and panels. This doesn't apply for an ATD (see definition in AC 61-136A, appendix 2).

See also:

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An AATD is an Advanced Aircraft Training Device. It is the lowest qualified device by the FAA (think Redbird.) An AATD will have to simulate a cockpit of a specific aircraft. An FTD or Flight Training Device, will feature a full cockpit of the aircraft, reinforcing the proper muscle memory for training (think of a full motion sim - minus the motion.) FTD's are qualified from level 1 to level 6. Level 6 will incorporate the fight physics and aerodynamic data of the real aircraft. There is a level 7 however, it is designated for rotorcraft only. Lastly, there are FFS's or Full Flight Systems. There are only level C and D's. Only aircraft that are more than 12,500 lbs are required to be trained in a FFS and most are for acquiring a FAA Type Rating.

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    $\begingroup$ It would be helpful if you could link to an authoritative source document that delineates these distinctions. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Apr 29 at 17:04

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