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6 Answers

What is “Required” for me to fly a turboprop?

Asked by: 12845 views , , , ,
General Aviation

I'm thinking about getting a TBM850.  I am a retired Naval pilot (F-4 and F14), yet I only have 70+ hours on my private ticket.  I know I don't need a type rating.  What exactly do I need?  Must I attend a costly two week school or can I get a CFI to sign off my endorsement privately?  I intend to get my instrument ticket after acquiring the aircraft.  Until then, I will be flying it VFR.

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6 Answers

  1. Matthew Waugh on Mar 21, 2012

    Everything else is secondary to their requirements.

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  2. Micah on Mar 21, 2012

    Matthew is correct. Insurance = flying and there are seldom more restrictive requirements.
    A few other comments. You have more than 70 hours–there isn’t any such thing as hours military vs. hours civilian. If you have flying hours/experience that you can document then you have them and can use them to meet experience requirements as defined by the FAA or your insurer. If you can document 1,200 hours turbine experience that may go a long way toward satisfying your insurer (not that they won’t still require specific schooling).
    As far as the FAA is concerned, if the TBM850 does not require a type cerification then all you need is a private pilot certificate with the appropriate endorsements and ratings. These will be complex and high performance endorsements at minimum, and presumably also a high-altitude endorsement and the instrument rating depending on the operations you expect to perform.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Mar 21, 2012

    Please see 14 CFR 61.73 (a) & (b).  Based upon the fact that you were a military pilot, you can present the appropriate documentation (as outlined in the reg) at your local FSDO and be issued a Commercial pilot certificate with a multi-engine rating (limited to center thrust) and an instrument rating.
    No need for you to jump through the training hoops for these, although you may be rusty and need training to proficiency.  The aircraft you describe suggest that you were flying them prior to August 1997 and if that is the case, you won’t need endorsements for high performance or high altitude.  While most anyone would concede that an F-4 or F-14 are certainly complex airplanes, the FAA definition seems to require that it have a propeller.

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  4. Earl Kessler on Mar 21, 2012

    My other gig beside being an active CFI is a Pilatus pilot. I have done transition and mentor training in Meridians and Pilatus PC12s. There really is nothing special you need to do to satisfy the FAA. The rules are really made by the insurance carriers. Each time they receive a request, the send out a questionnaire the is generally pretty comprehensive and usually will ask about all of your flight experience. Include everything so that the underwriter that evaluates you has a chance to use your experience in determining the rate and the amount of training you will need. At least, you can expect they will ask you to do an initial training with an approved school, like American Airsafety Accreditations or Simcom. The initial course for the small turbines is usually a week and then you can expect a mentoring period with another qualified pilot who knows the airplane, holds a CFI and satisfies your training time requirements. After that, expect an annual requirement of recurrency with one of their approved trainers, usually 2 or 3 days. Good luck

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  5. Mark Diaz on Mar 27, 2012

    Hello Dennis,
    As the manufacture of the TBM 850, DAHER-SOCATA, is preparing to deliver the TBM into the 27th country.  To begin training we require a PPL with 500 hours of flight experience and a current Instrument Raring. This base-line allows pilots spanning the globe to receive a level of training that qualifies for a TBM Class Rating. Basically we can take a 500 hour Cirrus pilot and step either him or her up to the TBM. Matthew’s comment above is true on a couple fronts:  The insurance company will impose the minimum hourly requirement for you and that you participate in a factory approved #TBM850 Initial Pilot Training program. Caution:  approaching an insurance broker prematurely may result in undue delays. Any TBM broker from within Socata’s network would steer you around these obstacles. Do not be surprised if the underwriter asks for time in Make & Model with a qualified and experienced TBM 850 Mentor.  The initial operating experience will significantly reduce wear and tear resulting in decreased operating costs during the first year.
    We look forward to welcomong you to the TBM family.
    Mark Diaz

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  6. DC on Apr 02, 2012

    I’m note sure what the 6-day initial course at SIMCOM costs, but I would be real surprised if even comes close to being an appreciable fraction of the price tag attached to a $3.5 million 2012 TBM 850.

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