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Single Pilot IFR

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Technology and a shortage of pilots to fill the flight decks of tomorrow’s business jets and airliners are creating pressure to facilitate more single-pilot operations. Avionics manufacturers are developing technology for safe single-pilot operations, but pilots have been flying alone safely in light aircraft through Part 23 jets for many years. Learn about factors that are causing the flying landscape to shift toward more single-pilot operations, what kind of automation avionics manufacturers are developing for single-pilot operations and what we can learn from experienced pilots flying in single-pilot operations.

Join AIN editor-in-chief Matt Thurber on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. EDT as he moderates the discussion with Tal Golan, manager, rotorcraft business development for Universal Avionics, and Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut, safety expert, and Citation owner. Sponsored by Universal Avionics

Register for the free webinar.

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Most accidents in EMS in the states are night VFR machines, 407, 350, with the occasional twin. no more single engine IFR in unstabilized aircraft.

But I agree the statistics speak for themselves.

Single Pilot IFR, whilst seemingly harsh, I don't find too intimidating in an aircraft outfitted for it. Heck the guys are doing it in Cessna 208's, and PC12s, no problem.

Until there are problems...

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I don't agree or disagree with any of the comments, but please provide some basis to back them.

In my own opinion, NO helicopter equipped for IFR should be a single engine in any commercial operation, including night. Another contentious issue is that the twin-engine helicopter is capable of single-engine operation to a destination under control and not just to the scene of the accident, in an emergency. It's amazing how only the French seem to manufacture twin-packs that are capable of performing on a single engine. Twin-Engine helicopters are manufactured, now, that is capable of single-engine performance. Educate the charterer and the company and apply Risk Management and not cost, to run 100% no accidents operation.

There is no established cost to Human Lives.


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Blackmac, the 139, the 169, the 135, the 145 etc are all capable of Cat A Flyaway, so not a real problem of flying single engine. All the ones operating in Canada now are H1 capable to helipads I believe, so good for us I guess.

In the US they have gone away from Single engine IFR. but they still do single engine night VFR and NVG, which I find quite risky. The only ones operating single engine VFR at night in Canada are police operations and OMNR. every other operator are Night VFR twins, as the minimum requirement is IFR capability to carry pax. 

In the US, the major operators all use A109/EC135/145/S76/MD900/902/BK117 and AS365, with more newer modern types most prevalent. They still most run single pilot IFR, but only in machines with good autopilot systems. The smaller operators and some bigger ones run AS350 and Bell 407 but night VFR/NVG only. Most IFR except inadvertent, is done to recover back to an airport or a hospital.

Here In Canada we don't really do much IFR other than training, as the rewards aren't big, and the risks are high.




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