January 2017 Issue

Light Business Aircraft

If single-pilot operations of sophisticated aircraft ever become as safe as two-pilot corporate crews, it’ll be thanks to enhanced risk management.

Single-pilot IFR (SPIFR) used to be a thing, back in the days before things like headsets, autopilots, moving maps and automated navigation became widespread. Journals like this one often carried articles urging pilots to pay attention to things like backup instrumentation, cockpit organization and fatigue to help minimize its risk. While these factors remain important, increased automation, improved procedures and charting, and training that recognizes SPIFR’s do-it-all imperative—among other evolutionary changes—have combined to make the practice much more prevalent and accepted today.

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