Aircraft Flight Ratings
From the Flight Deck features insights from the core of our aviation family – our pilots! This edition, learn about maintaining flight currency with Mike Kopp, Jet Linx Aviation Director of Operations.
As a Check Pilot and Flight Crewmember for Jet Linx I maintain my flying proficiency through recurrent flight training the just like all Jet Linx Flight Crewmembers. There are many categories of training the most common are Initial and Recurrent training. Initial training is required for all newly hired pilots and recurrent training is required annually for each aircraft type a crewmember is assigned to. In the aviation world, each time we learn to fly a new aircraft, we call that a “Type Rating.” A type rating is an authorization to fly a specific make and model aircraft. Type ratings apply to jet aircraft and those that can take-off at weights greater than 12,500 pounds, and not to small private aircraft..
Initial training times vary based on the complexity of the aircraft and the pilot’s prior experience in the aircraft “Type”. Full initial training for a pilot with no prior experience can be a 15 to 25 day course, pilots with recent experience can be trained in a shorter course in as little as 5 days. 5 days is also the typical footprint for a recurrent course. Pilots are trained on a long list of aircraft specific limitations and aircraft systems, including electrical, hydraulic, fuel, power plant (engine), fire protection, air conditions, pressurization, landing gear, avionics, oxygen, weight and balance, flight controls, and many more areas of study. Each pilot is also expected to show competency in emergency procedures, including how to fly the aircraft with only one functional engine and other means to safely navigate emergency situations. When you have the responsibility of passenger lives in your care, you want to be assured you are regularly trained in what it takes to manage emergent issues. The effectiveness of the training and the competency of the crewmember are verified annually for all crewmembers and twice per year for Captains by a scenario based simulator flight at the end of each training session.
As a company Check Airman designated by the FAA to conduct line-checks on their behalf I have the responsibility to the FAA to uphold the standard set forth by the FAA for all crewmembers at Jet Linx. Each Pilot in Command is checked annually in the aircraft on what is called a “line check” to evaluate their performance. The FAA has established rigorous requirements for performance on these “Check Ride” exams.
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