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Multi Crew in Single Pilot Helicopters...

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Multi Crew in Single Pilot Helicopters...

Old 6th Jan 2014, 15:11
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Multi Crew in Single Pilot Helicopters...

People may have different opinions as to the benefits and disadvantages of such a set-up, but the fact of the matter is that every now and then, around the world, there are customers who ask for 2 pilots to man a single engine, single pilot machine flying VFR (206L, AS350 etc.).

And while many IFR crews have gone through some kind of MCC, CRM etc. course, most VFR guys in the above mentioned situation are just thrown into it - with the typical scenario being one experienced pilot paired with one less so.

Considering the 2 pilot, SE VFR scenario, if anyone is willing, can they please post ideas, basic rules of thumb, tips, advice etc. (maybe from experience in a multi-crew environment) to help make the above situation safer, run more smoothly and, overall, actually be successful.

Any contributions much appreciated.


Thank you.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 16:12
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Agaricus bisporus

In the rather bizarre situation described I'd firstly try to talk the customer out of it,
Why..... we have clients who want to do this all the time. They feel more comfortable having two people looking for traffic etc. We are flying them low level through the Los Angeles Basin. We have two fully qualified pilots, both certificated in the aircraft. One does the flying, the other does the radios and call outs etc. On multi-leg flights we switch up who is primary each leg. All VFR.

It is not a problem as long as we do a briefing prior to going.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 16:50
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It matters not a jot whether the other is rated on type of course.
Unfortunately, it does, at least on the east side of the big pond.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 17:06
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I am with Gordy. Same here. Customer demands two engines and two pilots.
Any flight ops manual/SOP, especially in Europe, does or at least should have that situation covered and it will usually say: "In case two rated pilots are in the cockpit the chief pilot will designate a PIC in WRITING".
So there are no two opinios about it.
And the second man is not just in for a jolly ride, as stated, he has to earn his per diem by acting as a PNF, pilot not flying, navigating, radios, checking instruments and airpace. Keeping track of timing, fuel, etc. you get the idea.
He can of course take over in case the PIC becomes incapacitated, that's the idea behind it.

Now, of course, he can't log any pilot time, neither PIC nor SIC, but that's another story.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 17:07
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Why does a customer feel he knows better than the operator or regulator?
They don't, but they are the customer and are willing to pay extra. It is not uncommon for them to be charged an additional $500 a day plus expenses for their request.

BTW---this is in a single pilot VFR S-76, and the "customers" have more money than they know what to do with.

And yes, for the OP...it can be done safely, it just takes a solid understanding of CRM, good brief, and pilots willing to check their ego at the door.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 17:25
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Having two crew is a great luxury in a single pilot machine ! It means you have someone else to fold maps find plates do the radios etc which halfs the workload, on the odd occasion I have done it I found it very helpful. If the pax want to get in or out rotors running having a second pilot to act as a handler is very helpful and if the client is paying then great.

Any pilot that comes though via the instructor route should have no problems with two crew operations as two way communication with a student is not that far removed from having two pilots working together, plus it gives you someone to chat too on boring legs.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 17:25
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GoodGrief

Now, of course, he can't log any pilot time, neither PIC nor SIC, but that's another story.
Yes indeedy, and I have had people apply for jobs with me saying the had X amount of time in certain aircraft......on one occasion, a pilot had logged about 500 hours, (some of which was long line with no bubble window).....I educated him.

Having said that, we have one client who does not require the "other" pilot to be current in the aircraft. We have our company instructor go as the "main" pilot and use other company pilots in the second seat. We have them fly the aircraft on the "dead" legs as training and hours building on type. In this instance, they can log the time as PIC dual received.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 18:41
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E side of the pond = Europe? How does a passenger (for that's what the other pilot is legally) need a type rating?
The point is, if the second pilot has a type rating, he may use the radios or touch controls, as long as the Ops manual caters for this for a public transport flight. If not, he cannot do either because yes, he is classed as a passenger.

Which is why I said the type rating matters.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 18:51
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E side of the pond = Europe? How does a passenger (for that's what the other pilot is legally) need a type rating?
Because, on a commercial flight the dual controls must be removed unless the seat is occupied by an appropriately rated pilot. Alternatively, being left empty.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 18:53
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Other countries, different rules.
Used to work in LaLa-Land where the authorities *cough* say that the duals go physically out of the aircraft, signed for by an engineer, when a passenger or a NON-rated pilot sits in the left seat.

Nubian was faster
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 19:24
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Because, on a commercial flight the dual controls must be removed unless the seat is occupied by an appropriately rated pilot. Alternatively, being left empty.
Might that be a company requirement, rather than a legal requirement?

However, CAA FODCOM 21/2010 gives more guidance on the interpretation of the rules.

Note that the rules apply to public transport flights.

www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/FOD201021.pdf
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 19:50
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As some here will know. I dislike 'grey areas'. My experience leads me to believe that such areas are often inhabited by people who seem to 'know better' than the rules allow.

Not normally a situation which enhances safety.

Some of the a/c being discussed, are reasonably likely to be fully equipped and regulated for two pilot ops, though at times flown single pilot. That's fair enough.
The point is, if the second pilot has a type rating, he may use the radios or touch controls, as long as the Ops manual caters for this for a public transport flight. If not, he cannot do either because yes, he is classed as a passenger.
One assumes that each pilot also requires a specific qualification, and sim check to sit in either seat? So for example a captain would need a specific LHS qualification to be a 'co-pilot' on a PT flight? Also some form of MCC qualification might be required from BOTH pilots for PT? Otherwise one presumes they are no more than a bag carrier/map folder, and regarded as completely unqualified to play any part in the operation? Which is precisely why they can't enter such time in their logbook.

Other than on an instructional flight, of course on a helicopter laid out for just a single pilot, any one in the LHS cannot possibly be anything other than a passenger, and certainly not on a PT flight. Period!

A millionaire paying 500 for a 'second pilot' could be paying 500 just to carry one extra passenger! Rather naive?

Edited to add:
Shy, good link!
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 20:57
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So if you have a non type rated safety pilot along for the ride and he is not allowed to touch anything and the rated captain becomes incapacitated what then? All of a sudden it will be ok to take control I suppose.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 21:18
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chopjock

No type rating required in the US until 12,500 lbs or more. Hence I stated "current" on aircraft type. I suspect most professional helicopter pilots could land a helicopter whether they were current on type or not.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 21:50
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If its an S-76 as you mention, if a pilot is S-76 rated and occupies the LHS, why wouldn't he be able to log P2 time? S-76s have been flown 2 crew under VFR for 30 years.
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 22:14
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A millionaire paying 500 for a 'second pilot' could be paying 500 just to carry one extra passenger! Rather naive?
I think that's a bit over the going rate but if you could be so kind as to let me know where this naive millionaire is, I'm certainly up for it as a mercenary bag carrier and these days I wouldn't be at all bothered about not logging "passenger" flights.
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 02:15
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Now back to the question at hand........
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 03:38
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If its an S-76 as you mention, if a pilot is S-76 rated and occupies the LHS, why wouldn't he be able to log P2 time? S-76s have been flown 2 crew under VFR for 30 years.
Because the Type Certificate Data Sheet (See Here ) only requires one pilot, therefore only one can log the time, unless instruction is being given. (Which cannot occur on a Part 135 flight). Comes down to people "bending" the rules again....

Shytorque

I think that's a bit over the going rate
Not really, when you take into account employee pay, workers comp, insurance etc...... plus a bit of profit---we do not do this for charity.

let me know where this naive millionaire is
There are all over.... I get calls from clients who will not fly in an aircraft over 5 years old, and actually had a client a few weeks back who tried to charter 2 helicopters....one for him and one for his bags so that he did not have to wait for them to be unloaded from his airplane. I too was shocked, as I am more used to the utility market....
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 07:12
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Wow Gordy

That's a whole heap of S-76 Co-Pilot hours flown on the North Sea by some people invalid then. I think that the regulations are obviously different in the USA where you don't need a type rating.

So, how does a co pilot flying an S-76 or a Bell 412 in the GOM, not under instruction log their flight hours and duty time. If you can't log the flight hours, then there must be no duty time? Sounds like I may have found a way to reduce my contract costs, require 2 pilots, only pay for the one that counts.
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 07:20
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It all comes down to HOW the helicopter is listed.

A helicopter-independent of its type or weight-can be listed as a "multi pilot helicopter" or "single pilot helicopter"-for all, or only for a few operations (e.g. "VFR: 1 pilot, IFR: 2 pilots).

This needs to be written either in the OM or the FM, and needs to be approved by the authorities.

Once this is done, there is no way an additional pilot can log P2 (in an approved SPH-unless under instruction, but then NOT in commercial air transport), or that a helicopter can be flown with one pilot (if approved as MPH).
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