Last week we blogged about how we ensure our aircraft are fit and legal to operate. Well the aeroplanes are no good without pilots, and there are a number of essential steps that we have to take to also make sure that the Wildcat pilots are fit, healthy and legal to fly.
We are already ahead of the game in one respect in that our personal Display Authorisations were revalidated during our last display of the 2015 season at the Great Yorkshire Airshow. This is an annual requirement, which requires us to be checked out by a Display Authorization Examiner to ensure we are operating safely within the limits of our personal authorization.
Certificate of Experience
Every 24 months, all pilots are required to revalidate their license and class rating. The revalidation can be done by ‘skills test’ or by ‘demonstration of experience’.
We follow the ‘by experience’ route and in order to have our ‘SEP (Single Engine Piston) Class Rating’ revalidated we must demonstrate that we have completed the following in the 12 months prior to the expiry date of the rating:
- 12 hours of flight time in SEP or TMG (touring motor glider) aircraft as appropriate, to include;
- 6 hours as pilot-in-command;
- 12 take-offs and landings;
- A single training flight of at least one hour’s duration with a Flight Instructor – which we have recently completed with our friends at Old Buckenham Aero Club in their PA28…quite a different aeroplane to the Pitts Specials we’re used to: we can’t turn them upside down for one thing!
The Wildcat pilots operate on UK and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) Private Pilots Licenses, which require them to undertake (and pass!) an annual Class 2 Medical check. This is carried out by Dr Vincent Keilty of Examinair at Norwich Airport who, as well as being a Doctor, holds a PPL.
Next time, we’ll talk about the prep needed as “Team Wildcat” to get ready for a busy season. As ever, do send us any questions which we’ll do our best to answer!