FAA mandate requires yearly training for single-pilot jets

Washington DC
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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Starting 31 October, the US Federal Aviation Administration will require pilots of business jets certified for single-pilot operations to pass yearly proficiency checks.

The mandate will affect the pilots of most new very light and light jets on the market, including the Eclipse 500, Cessna Citation Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100 and Phenom 300.

The agency said the amended training rule, which was first proposed two years ago, will require approximately 3,000 US-based pilots to spend nearly $4,000 per year on the flight checks, which must be performed either in full-flight simulators or in an aircraft with an FAA-designated examiner on board.

Today, pilots are required by regulation to complete a generic flight review with a flight instructor every two years, though insurance companies generally require more frequent, recurrent simulator-based training.

Ben Marcus, co-founder of California-based jet sales and training company JetAviva, said insurance companies generally require simulator sessions annually - or in some cases every six months - depending on the pilot's experience level.

"If you're already going to annual recurrent training at a simulator school, it's not going to be that different," Marcus added.

Pilots preferring in-aircraft training will see a difference however, as they will now have to pass the yearly proficiency using a limited number of FAA-approved pilot examiners.