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    « Clancy Prevost, CFI, American Hero | Main | The ADS-B NextGen Mandate: Time is Running Out for Your Comments »


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    I'm not (yet ?) a jet pilot, so this is more question than a comment.

    The big difference between VLJs and classical jets will probably be the level of experience of the pilot, and the fact that they will be operated by a crew of one, possibly with a private license.

    So do jet experts think it is feasible / smart / possible to fly a jet on a "couple of hours a month" strategy ?

    Robert Barnes

    Excellent question. Thus far, most “experts” have been debating the issue of transitioning a general aviation pilot from props to jets. Your question takes this one step further and opens a discussion about maintaining currency.

    Do I think that a general aviation pilot can safely transition from a Cessna 172 to a high performance, single pilot jet? Yes. I went from having a private pilot’s license with little more than 50 hours total time to a fully qualified USAF Jet Instructor Pilot (T-38) in slightly over a year. Was my training designed to optimize the effectiveness of each training hour? Most definitely.

    Maintaining a personal level of proficiency, on the other hand, is a different matter. A truly safety-conscious pilot establishes his or her own personal minimums, including task proficiency. When I was a T-38 instructor, I flew about 100 hours per month yet there were still things that I needed to practice separately because I didn’t do them very often.

    Today, we have a variety of ways to practice our flying skills without even getting into the airplane. Will you regularly do so? Will you practice an entire flight in advance of actually flying it? What will you routinely do to ensure that you are absolutely ready to make every flight a safe and successful one even if there is no regulatory requirement to do such things? And, how do you plan to maintain a high level of personal flying discipline when there will be no one else in the cockpit to see what you are doing?

    The answers to these questions should help you begin to answer your question.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

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