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Pilot Transition


ironjohn929
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Let's say I have 12 helicopter pilots flying single engine turbine VFR. They all have well over 3000 hrs TT and over 100 IFR, plus commercial ratings etc. What is the minimum required training they have to go through to be twin engine rated as well as be qualified to fly a twin engine IFR helicopter? Aside from the minimum they HAVE to do, what SHOULD they go through in your opinion? Thanks!

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Kind of a confusing question. I'm assuming you are referring to a single pilot IFR operation. If you are trying to start a brand new IFR twin program at a company, I would highly suggest you bring in outside experience.

 

From what I've seen, companies that utilize twin engine SPIFR aircraft require around 3000 hrs total time, 250 multi engine (not always), 100 actual IFR, and an ATP. In addition to these minimums, most companies send their new hires through the training course.

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Let's say I have 12 helicopter pilots flying single engine turbine VFR. They all have well over 3000 hrs TT and over 100 IFR, plus commercial ratings etc. What is the minimum required training they have to go through to be twin engine rated as well as be qualified to fly a twin engine IFR helicopter? Aside from the minimum they HAVE to do, what SHOULD they go through in your opinion? Thanks!

With those qualifications, you shouldn't have to do much. Flying a twin isn't that big a deal, and if they have >100hr IFR, they should be able to handle the IFR. They need some time in the aircraft to become familiar with it, but the amount will depend on the individual pilot and previous experience. A course at FSI would certainly be beneficial, if you can afford it, but those are expensive, and it will take awhile to get 12 pilots done. I wouldn't try to make it more expensive than it has to be.

 

I will say that single-pilot IFR is not the easiest flight regime extant. You have to be on top of everything, all the time, and proficiency is very perishable. Lots of training time is needed, both for the initial checkout and on a periodic basis. If they can't fly IFR regularly, they don't need to be doing it at all. SPIFR is not a good idea, IMO, for commercial operations. If you do it, you need to force the pilots to file and fly IFR all the time. Going into the clouds alone with only 6 approaches 5.9 months ago is not safe, even if it is legal.

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