VLJ Training Means Thinking Differently; Survey 2

By Robert Mark on March 9th, 2008

Bob Barnes  is already looking at VLJ training from a different perspective, one way he hopes to prevent a rash of human-caused accidents once aircraft deliveries surge to low-time pilots as I mentioned a few weeks back,

 wall_1024_03 And as the voluntary chairperson of the International VLJ Training Stakeholders’ Discussion Group, he’s actually not alone. Most of the group’s members are also worried that the VLJ may experience a surge of early deliveries and rapid growth followed by a series of tragic and preventable accidents. They’d like to help stop that by developing a series of VLJ training best practices.

The early results of the group’s first survey last month – nearly 400 people took part – revealed virtually all members believe the need for some sort of VLJ training best practices are vitally needed to prevent a redo of early Piper Malibu-like crashes that soon focused around questionable training standards when they were sold to low time pilots.

This new VLJ training group has now organized a second survey to begin digging deeper for the insights to keep VLJ operations accident free while they begin developing data and ideas succinct enough that major aircraft manufacturers, training providers and regulators will support them.

Here’s your chance to offer up opinions on some of the burning questions; should a  mentor pilot be a CFI; will that mentor pilot fly as PIC; who should even be labeled a mentor pilot in the first place? Insurance providers are also expected to weigh in heavily on required training and standards developments before they’ll let new customers blast off by themselves.

Click here to take the second VLJ training survey and make a difference in how this new segment evolves. At least three hundred people from all over the industry working together to develop solid science with answers that might well save someone’s live when they’re implemented.

In case you’re wondering how the aircraft builders may take to a bunch of researchers and pilots trying to solve this outside their company, you may find comfort in knowing that many of the VLJ building and operational people are playing a role in this research even if they aren’t flashing their company cards around.

If you have something to say about VLJ training, this is your chance. At a minimum, every pilot, every instructor should take a look at the group’s survey. we’ll report the results back here when they’re complete.

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8 Responses to “VLJ Training Means Thinking Differently; Survey 2”

  1. VLJ Training Means Thinking Differently; Survey 2 | Advanced Training Says:

    [...] the rest of this great post here Author: Time: Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 10:55 pm Category: Training Comments: You can [...]

  2. Bill Says:

    Rob,
    The survey indicated that the “mentor” program was uncharted territory. Perhaps for the Part 61 world, but the airlines have been doing this for many decades and have lots of experience and lessons to share.

    Airline OE instructors are trained, monitored, and must participate in regular instructor standardization sessions (meetings). They have specific subject matter to review during the OE period, and often have a specific number of tasks that must be accomplished successfully (depending on the aircraft and operator) – examples include: a minimum of 4 landings, 2 ocean crossings, an approach to SNA, or other operation specific goals.
    The experience and qualifications of the airline pilot receiving OE is somewhat known factor. The VLJ pilot will be from a very broad range and safety must NOT be jeopardized for the sake of expediency or convenience.

  3. Jeff martin Says:

    Low time pilots in high performance jets. Sounds like Munson in a Citation. This definitely needs to be addressed sooner rather that later.

  4. Robert Mark Says:

    The IOE comparison is a good one Bill. And I think there is – and should be – a direct correlation, right up to the example of how much experience a mentor(IOE)pilot needs to be of value.

    Five thousand PIC turbine to sit right seat in a baby jet is probably a stretch which is one of the primary reasons the survey is out there.

    The discussion group is trying to gather some common sense guidelines before they are forced upon anyone. Right now it seems as if there is probably quite a bit of turf protecting going on.

    Rob

  5. Bob Barnes Says:

    I’m just back from a VLJ conference in London sponsored by the Royal Aeronautical Society. Vern Raburn (Eclipse CEO) challenged the audience to initiate a research project that would make it possible to fly VLJs as air taxi with a single pilot (current JARs require two pilots). Eclipse is willing to fund the study.

    What do you think about this?

  6. Robert Mark Says:

    I think this is great news Bob. I really think that when we start flying VLJs single pilot in Part 135 as we have for years in King Airs, the doors are really going to open.

    Rob

  7. Bob Barnes Says:

    I just posted the following questions for comment by our International VLJ Training Stakeholders Discussion Group members:

    1. Apart from a regulatory requirement, what are the VLJ air taxi operational issues and concerns that require a two-pilot crew?

    2. Are these issues and concerns the same regardless of manufacturer?

    3. If the VLJ is certified for single-pilot operation, what would need to be done to validate that it is acceptable for single-pilot air taxi operation?

    Perhaps some readers here would like to comment as well.

  8. air taxi Says:

    Thank You for the Article.

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