Tuesday, August 6, 2013
A gauntlet of ratings, currency, and proficiency—it’s worth it!
To fly higher than Flight Level 280, you'll need RVSM approval for your airplane and a logbook entry for RVSM training.
At the end of the process, most insurance carriers require some additional SOE time depending on your background and experience. Go straight from a Cirrus SR22 to a CJ3 with only 500 hours in your logbook, and you can pretty much expect to fly with an instructor for at least a year—and if you have to ask what that policy will cost, forget about it. On the other hand, the jump from a King Air to a Citation Mustang with over 1,000 hours of logged turbine time might only require 10-15 hours of SOE.
Staying Current And Proficient
All Part 91 pilots have to satisfy the requirements for recent experience set out in FAR 61.57. First on that list are three takeoffs and landings every 90 days to carry passengers [61.57(a).] Remember, that's specific to the category, class and type of aircraft, so if you hold multiple type ratings, you have to meet the requirement in each type to be current. That also means that you could be current in two multi-engine jets but not in a single-engine Skyhawk.
You also have to meet the night currency requirements to carry passengers at night [61.57(b)] and the instrument currency requirements to be able to operate under IFR as PIC [61.57(c)]. For turbine pilots, instrument currency is particularly important because getting up into Class A airspace is where turbines are the most efficient.
There are some areas in the country where it may be hard to stay current without donning a hood and recruiting a safety pilot, but letting your instrument currency lapse is simply not an option if you operate a turbine. Finally, you have to have had a flight review as specified in 61.56 in the last 24 months to act as PIC.
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