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What Does Your Training Regimen Look Like?

Author: Robert A. Wright

Piloting general aviation aircraft in today’s complex operating environment is often an unforgiving process. This is especially true if you are operating newer generation high-performance light business aircraft (LBA) that range from sophisticated piston single-engine airplanes, such as the Cirrus SR22, all the way to single- and multi-engine turboprop and even turbojet aircraft.

The challenge is even greater for those operating these capable aircraft single-pilot.

Training is obviously essential to flying such aircraft safely and efficiently. With few exceptions, original equipment manufacturers offer initial transition and, when required by aviation authorities, type-rating training to purchasers of their complex aircraft. Aftermarket recurrent training is also available for virtually all turbine LBAs and some piston-engine LBAs. This training is usually offered in sophisticated full-motion flight simulators (FFS), supplemented and in some cases replaced by equally sophisticated non-motion flight training devices (FTD) or advanced aviation training devices (AATD).

With these devices available, one would think that pilots have all the options they need to obtain adequate initial and recurrent training in virtually any aircraft. This is often only partially true, however, and pilots should look beyond the excellent simulator training available in order to ensure that all of their skill and knowledge requirements are covered. In some cases, the training provided by organized training centers is missing some critical elements.

Training centers generally do an excellent job in training and testing maneuvering skills, emergency procedures, and aircraft and avionics type-specific systems and equipment. In some cases, however, the critical skills represented by Crew Resource Management (CRM), for multi-pilot crews, and Single-pilot Resource Management (SRM), for single-pilot crews, are not adequately covered.

These skills are crucial to operating LBA safely, especially those flown single-pilot. The elements of SRM include risk management, automation management, task and workload management, and maintaining situational awareness. All of these skills are essential, and failing to use them properly is often a root cause of accidents.

For example, data indicates that 65-83% of all fatal accidents for some general aviation aircraft are due to the pilot’s failure to use risk management techniques. In the US, new airman certification standards that require risk management proficiency are being developed by an FAA/industry work group.

How can you as an LBA pilot ensure that you are proficient in SRM skills? One way is to supplement regular simulator or other scheduled training with convenient online training options., in cooperation with Crew Resource Management LLC, now offers a complete online SRM course for business aviation (available for purchase through our storefront).

Robert A. Wright is the president of Wright Aviation Solutions, LLC. He is a member of the leadership team of Crew Resource Management, LLC, which has been providing comprehensive CRM training to corporate flight departments for over four years.

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