Qualifications

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When staffing an aviation department, coordination among personnel from several key departments – including the human resources and aviation departments – is critical. The human resources department can ensure compliance with federal and state employment regulations and conformity with company standards. The aviation department manager has knowledge of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements and specific aviation skills. Utilizing expertise across the company will help to ensure that new hires meet the needs of the flight operation.

The specific requirements and qualifications for new crewmembers will vary depending on the nature of the flight operation. For example, the employee qualifications for a flight department that routinely uses ultra-long range aircraft for international trips may be different than those for the company the only makes domestic flights, or the small business using a turboprop to make relatively short flights within a given region of the country. The following general guidelines can be utilized and adjusted as necessary:

The captain/Pilot in Command (PIC) should:

  • Hold an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate with appropriate type ratings.
  • Have logged a minimum of 3,000 flight hours with 500 flight hours in the type of aircraft utilized by the business.
  • Hold a first-class medical certificate.
  • Meet all currency requirements regarding instrument flight time and night landings prior to flying any required trips.
  • Be able to pass an instrument competency check in the category of aircraft to be flown.
  • Have logged (if the pilot will be flying as a captain on turbine-powered aircraft) 500 hours as PIC in turbine-powered aircraft.

The first officer/second in command should:

  • Hold a commercial certificate with appropriate category and class ratings.
  • Hold an instrument rating.
  • Have logged a minimum of 1,500 flight hours.
  • Hold a second-class medical certificate.
  • Meet all currency requirements regarding instrument flight time and night landings prior to flying any required trips.
  • Be able to pass an instrument competency check in the category of aircraft to be flown.

NBAA’s Management Guide contains several sections with helpful resources on flight department employee qualifications:

News

NBAA Hopes to Broker Solution to Part 142 Training Dilemma
September 24, 2012
The NBAA Domestic Operations Committee and its Part 135 lead hope to broker new language in guidance to FAA principal operations inspectors (POIs) that will ease the interpretation of guidelines that have forced at least one operator to ground both crews and aircraft because of training and certification issues, and have led some Part 142 training centers to pull the qualifications of instructors and check airmen. Many instructors at Part 142 training centers have plenty of real-world experience as flight crewmembers for Part 135 operators. The problem is proving that in a way that is acceptable to the POI. Read more about the training dilemma.
FAA Issues Technical Correction on Instrument Proficiency Requirements
January 6, 2012
In 2009, the FAA attempted to clarify FAR 61.57(d), which explains when a complete instrument proficiency check (IPC) is required for individuals serving as pilot in command (PIC). Unfortunately, that revision caused further confusion and last month, the FAA issued a technical correction returning 61.57(d) to its original form. The correction explains that a PIC is instrument-current for six months following the completion of the recent experience requirements in 61.57(c). Following that period, the PIC has an additional six months to regain currency without completing a full IPC. If not established in this period, a full IPC must be completed to re-establish instrument currency. Review the technical correction.
FAA Releases Final Rule on PIC Proficiency Checks
September 2, 2011
Effective October 31, recurrent pilot-in-command (PIC) proficiency checks will be required for pilots serving as PIC of turbojet-powered aircraft. Currently, Part 61.58 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) only requires recurrent proficiency checks for individuals serving as PIC of aircraft requiring more than one pilot. The final rule amends FAR 61.58 to require proficiency checks in all turbojet-powered aircraft, including those that can be operated by a single pilot. The final rule also makes a variety of other changes, such as allowing pilots to apply concurrently for a private pilot certificate and instrument rating. Learn more.