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Single? or Dual?


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There's still alot of single pilot IFR Ops out there that I for one feel is not the way to go. I believe it to be too much of a workload and in the end just unsafe. Day VFR is one thing but night VFR and IFR should be dual crew. Comments?


I'll duck for cover now...... :D

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I could agree with night IFR, however night VFR ... ok in my book.


I think the real question is more of proficiency wouldn't you?  My favorite saying is "Current doesn't mean proficient."


If the single pilot who is doing night VFR or single plot IFR all the time, and is proficient, not just current, then that alone reduces much of the risk involved.


I add the proficiency bit because it's been shown that just having another pilot may not always save the day, two lost pilots can be just as bad as one depending upon the situation.



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  • 5 months later...

I think the answer is, again, "it depends".  


Our company is starting to do more EMS SPIFR, & I don't like it much, & plan to stay away from it.  But at least it's mostly airport-to-airport, so it isn't as difficult as doing instrument approaches to offshore platforms.  Night VFR over cities, in CAVU weather, isn't that difficult, but doing it on a dark, moonless night over open ocean is something different.


I'll take a 2-pilot crew every time, if I can.  I feel much better having someone watch out for me, & I can't count the times one of us has caught the other in a mistake, which may not have been fatal but would have certainly been embarrassing.  Even with a full flight-director, 2 heads are better and safer.  That said, they're also more expensive, so owners will do whatever they can to get rid of one, going for short-term profits at the expense of long-term safety.   :angry:

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After nearly 20,000 hours of both fixed-wing and rotor-wing flight time, I'd definitely go with dual pilot IFR.  Even after flying sophisticated FMS, EFIS,TCAS and EGPWS equipment, with single/dual/triple autopilots, it still boils down to "garbage in = garbage out", therefore having two pilots in a true IFR environment is the better situation.  In 33 years of flying professionally I have been saved by, and have saved my copilot...he/she can be the BEST safety device on the flight deck.  Most operators use false economics when accounting for 2 versus 1 pilot IFR operations.  Not only will one accident cost more than that 2nd pilot, but usually there is a savings on the insurance premium...and these days that could be sizeable.  Thats my opinion...and I'm sticking with it !!!
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