Safety guidelines updated for winter flying for VLJ and TAA pilots

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has updated its training resource for single pilot operations for Very Light Jets (VLJ) and Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA).

The NBAA Training Guidelines for Single Pilot Operations of Very Light Jets (VLJ) and Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) was revised in response to a safety recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following an Embraer Phenom 100 accident in 2014 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s attempt of an approach in icing conductions without proper use of the airplane’s deice system or accurate consideration for landing performance speeds based on weather conditions and aircraft weight.

“In the safety recommendation, the NTSB tasked NBAA with developing enhanced training guidelines related to risk management in winter operations and special emphasis on appropriate use of ice protection systems and related standard operating procedures, as published by the manufacturer,” said Mark Larsen, NBAA’s senior manager of safety and flight operations. “These revised Training Guidelines for Single Pilot Operations of VLJ and TAA reflect the safety recommendation by placing additional emphasis on these key skills.”

Specifically, the updated guidelines feature expanded discussions of:

  • The areas of greatest risk to these operations, including the implications of winter operations, aircraft performance, and procedural noncompliance
  • Pre-arrival training and proficiency, including advanced cockpit procedures, aeronautical decision making, and risk management
  • Recurrent training recommendations
  • Increased aerodynamics knowledge during training to address unique flying qualities of the aircraft type.

The guidelines do not establish mandatory training requirements, according to NBAA officials. Rather, they are meant to describe the minimum curriculum the association believes is necessary for successful VLJ transition and recurrent training programs.

The guidelines help pilots and training providers establish their own training programs using these industry best practices, association officials add.

The NBAA Safety Committee, which is made up of aircraft operators, manufacturers, insurance experts, flight training providers, and more, developed the original guidelines in 2005. A special project team made up of representatives from the NBAA Safety Committee, aircraft manufacturers, simulator and in-aircraft training providers, industry safety leaders and relevant safety experts developed the revision.

Review the new guidelines.

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