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As Safety Pilot

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As Safety Pilot

Old 14th Dec 2015, 01:12
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As Safety Pilot

Kindly enlighten me on being a "safety pilot".

1. Does the safety pilot have to be qualified to fly (rated on) the aircraft?
2. Is the SP same as co-pilot?

Cheers!
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Old 14th Dec 2015, 04:10
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puntosaurus
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(1) Depends who is specifying the term. Could be your local aviation authority, an insurer, or a flying club.

For example in EASA land there is the following definition in Part-MED

OSL Valid only with safety pilot and in aircraft with dual controls
The safety pilot is qualified as PIC on the class/type of aircraft and rated for the flight conditions. He/she occupies a control seat, is aware of the type(s) of possible incapacity that the pilot whose medical certificate has been issued with this limitation may suffer and is prepared to take over the aircraft controls during flight. Applicable to class 2 and LAPL medical certificates only.

It is also defined similarly in the context of simulated instrument flying.

(2) The ICAO definition of Co-pilot is

A licensed pilot serving in any piloting capacity other than as pilot-in- command but excluding a pilot who is on board the aircraft for the sole purpose of receiving flight instruction.

In general the term is used in the context where more than one pilot has a defined role in the cockpit, typically multi-crew operations. I think you could possibly legally stretch the definition above to cover a 'safety pilot', but it is not the generally accepted meaning of the term.
 
Old 15th Dec 2015, 08:42
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Reply to Puntosaurus

Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Typical scenario to make things more tangible:

1. I am being hired to fly a certain heli let us say Bell 206 series can I act
as safety pilot to other helis if there happens to have lacking pilots
to fly another heli type maybe let us say an AW109 type or AS355 or any
other twin engine heli? I have no rating on these mentioned heli types.

2. Does the rule for allowing or disallowing the above safety pilot practice
apply all countries? CAA and FAA or other places
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Old 15th Dec 2015, 09:54
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puntosaurus
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If you're not rated on a machine, and it's not a training flight, then you have no formal role in the cockpit and can't log hours. From the point of view of a regulator you are just another passenger, and must be briefed and treated as such by the commander.

However you can gain extremely valuable experience of operations in more complex types by sitting in a spare front seat, and there is no bar to you doing so.

Do be careful about the requirements for and the boundaries between public transport flights and private flights though. Check the operator's manuals and local legislation carefully to make sure you are on the right side of the law. For example in EASA land there is nothing wrong with you handling a machine on a private flight under the supervision of an appropriately qualified commander. You might think that would allow you to gain experience, but flights for an Air Operator are often defined as public transport (ie not private) even when there are no passengers (eg. positioning).
 
Old 15th Dec 2015, 15:21
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Let me get that right:

You wanna act as a "safety pilot" on a machine you have no rating on to log hours!?

Now during an engine failure the pilot becomes unconcious because he gets overexited (because he has a bad heart or something).

You donīt know f*+k about the type eccept how to fly a helicopter in general - what great would you do as "safety"???
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 14:59
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safety pilot

Evil7,

Yeah, but not really. The employer does. That's why I am asking if it is a practice. I mean acceptable practice all across, that pilot not rated on the heli will be placed on the co-pilot seat for the purpose of safety pilot duties.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 14:07
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Hallo nerf97,

In my understanding you cannot be a safety pilot on whatever type if you are not rated. Definitely you cannot log hours on the type if you are not rated

I understand a safety pilot as a more experienced pilot on the type to help the inexperienced pilot in case the s++t hits the fan.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 17:59
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puntosaurus
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Well you might want to start by asking your employer what duties they have in mind. If it's as an additional pair of eyes to keep a lookout or someone to help with the bags, then there's no problem. If it's because the client wants to see two white shirts up front, then it's a bit more complicated.
 
Old 17th Dec 2015, 21:43
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To me this sound as the employer wants to save some money he should spend on training and rating a second (or third) pilot on his twins.
And at the same time he still wants the coverage of having a "safety" on board.
That won't work in any authority if the going gets rough.

Do yourself a favour and tell the employer:
If you want me as safety pilot, please pay my type rating for this model and I'll be happy to server you.
Otherwise you can only ask me being "flight attendant" or "passenger occupying the spare front row seat". Oh, and just in case: If it's the cost of this rating, imagine the possible earnings you can make in selling heli services with additional fully rated "safety pilot".

Well, you get the idea, I hope ;-)

Thracian
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 01:11
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So let me ask,

Does this never happen over there where you guys are? Or have you experience this or heard about it too in your neck of the woods?

Would you be so kind to answer that please?
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 05:29
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Yes it does, subject to all the caveats you've been given.

You are a very fortunate individual. You have a paid job flying SE turbines that will allow you to build your CV. You have an employer who is happy to have you gain experience in twins, and if you continue to get paid then sooner or later you'll be able to afford a rating.

The issue is what does the client think you can do, and what would you tell your authority if you were ramp checked ?

At least one reputable operator I know in the UK faces this problem from the other way round. A broker might ask for their own representative to be on the flight who is probably known to the client, but may or may not be a qualified pilot on type, and who doesn't meet the recurring training, checking and currency requirements to fly as commander. They get the 'representative' and the broker to sign a waiver explaining that the 'representative' is just another passenger.

At the very least, you need to have a full and frank discussion with your employer. If they have a problem (shortage of qualified pilots) and you can be part of the solution, then as Thracian says why not try and find a solution that allows you to do it properly. Just make sure that you know what 'properly' means.
 
Old 18th Dec 2015, 05:45
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puntosaurus
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PS. Just for the avoidance of doubt, if they insist on calling you a safety pilot and that's how they sell you to clients, then there's nothing more to talk about. You need to invent a term that doesn't have any regulatory overtones. How about Pilot's assistant ?

Last edited by puntosaurus; 18th Dec 2015 at 09:30.
 
Old 18th Dec 2015, 09:43
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I have a last question(s), I hope you would allow me.


In general, what are the insurance implications in case of incidents or worse? Do I stand to lose my license for acting so?
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 10:00
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I think the PIC would be in a lot more trouble to hand over the controls to a "non-rated" pilot / passenger in case of emergency / trouble than the "flying passenger".

But donīt worry - after the case of emergency you wonīt face any touble. But your left behind relatives would.
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 10:46
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Why do people always want to save money when it comes to safety?
If they can afford to run an operation with several helicopters they should be able to pay for an additional rating. If not, I would be concerned about MY safety and run
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Old 18th Dec 2015, 11:49
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puntosaurus
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Surely what you want to do is become qualified and advance to commanding these machines. If you are proactive with the company, and offer either a bond of some kind a salary sacrifice to pay for the rating then everyone wins. Your first OPC can be done as a part of your type rating test, and then you're off to the races.

Look at the rates you can charge for twin work and do a quick cashflow calculation to see how long it would take to pay for itself. Getting the first 500 hours of ME time is THE hardest trick in this business, and once you've done that you can earn a good living. You my friend appear to be in the most fortunate situation of having a route through the maze to the cheese. Unless you're older to the point where you'll never get the money back, the earlier you start the more your lifetime earnings will potentially be.

In the meantime, if you have a legally sound waiver (take advice for the wording) signed by the operator that you are only acting in a non-piloting capacity then there's nowhere for for the regulators or the insurers to go. If you're really paranoid you could ensure that you never wear bars and have a fireproof badge made for your shirt pocket that says your name with 'Pilot's assistant' or other some such underneath .

Last edited by puntosaurus; 18th Dec 2015 at 12:49.
 
Old 4th Jan 2016, 03:31
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Thank you guys for taking time to answer my query. I have my opinion on the matter but I still have to ask the question to learn from others.

Happy New Year 2016.

Stay safe flying!
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 16:25
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puntosaurus: For example in EASA land there is nothing wrong with you handling a machine on a private flight under the supervision of an appropriately qualified commander.
Oh! So me, a piston rated PPL(H) may legally act as pilot flying some nice turbine heli,
as long as the (CPL) sitting in the PIC's seat is a qualified commander,
say, when "ferrying" the ac back, after the paying customer had exited?
In EASA land??

Does that include takoffs and landings?
Does he have to be a FI for that type?
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 17:45
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puntosaurus
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Pilot Flying is a particular piece of terminology associated with two crew operations so I wouldn't use it in this context.

On a private flight if the commander is happy for someone with no status to handle the controls, then that's his business, as long as he recognises that he is the commander and ultimately responsible for the flight.

On your last point, most UK AOCs define positioning flights as CAT, and within PART-OPS there is a prohibition on unqualified persons handling the controls.
 

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