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Old 11-04-2017, 08:32 PM   #1  
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Default "SIC" vs second pilot 135?

Some form or another of this comes up every few years, seems like.

Situation: Small 135 operator. Single pilot certified light twin jet. Single pilot qualified/typed/ PIC. Client requires 2 pilots. Can you pay Joe Pilot with a commercial multi-engine to sit in the right seat?

Argument For:
Joe SIC can be treated as a passenger since they are not technically required by the FAA as long as they don't touch the controls. (Lets assume that the particular operation doesn't include anything that is exempted single pilot. ie: low visibility T/O, Autopilot is working, etc...) I'm guessing if you wanted to go all-in on this argument that you would have to file FET/Segment fees for this "second pilot" as well...

Argument Against:
The fact that the client requires two pilots makes the second pilot a de-facto SIC that would require training per the 135 training manual, an SIC type rating and a .293. Also, if you were paying someone to sit in that seat, they would be using their commercial pilot privileges, and would require an appropriate type rating in the aircraft.

I've had different POI's agree with me from both points of view, and I can't find an appropriate legal interpretation. Anyone with any input? Am I missing something?

Obviously the equation changes somewhat if the client requires a particular 2-crew safety rating (Wyvern/Argus/etc...) instead of the more generic "2-pilot crew". Even if the bar to meet the SIC requirements for the safety rating is low, you are still making them an SIC on paper, which I would think would trigger the training requirements. Would just a SIC type rating suffice in this case?

I know there are plenty of 135 operators that operate on both sides of this one, and that our current POI has pretty much the only opinion that counts, but I wanted to have a clear picture when it comes to having to hire a third full-time pilot vs using an occasional contract guy.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:41 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobnu View Post
Some form or another of this comes up every few years, seems like.

Situation: Small 135 operator. Single pilot certified light twin jet. Single pilot qualified/typed/ PIC. Client requires 2 pilots. Can you pay Joe Pilot with a commercial multi-engine to sit in the right seat?

Argument For:
Joe SIC can be treated as a passenger since they are not technically required by the FAA as long as they don't touch the controls. (Lets assume that the particular operation doesn't include anything that is exempted single pilot. ie: low visibility T/O, Autopilot is working, etc...) I'm guessing if you wanted to go all-in on this argument that you would have to file FET/Segment fees for this "second pilot" as well...

Argument Against:
The fact that the client requires two pilots makes the second pilot a de-facto SIC that would require training per the 135 training manual, an SIC type rating and a .293. Also, if you were paying someone to sit in that seat, they would be using their commercial pilot privileges, and would require an appropriate type rating in the aircraft.

I've had different POI's agree with me from both points of view, and I can't find an appropriate legal interpretation. Anyone with any input? Am I missing something?

Obviously the equation changes somewhat if the client requires a particular 2-crew safety rating (Wyvern/Argus/etc...) instead of the more generic "2-pilot crew". Even if the bar to meet the SIC requirements for the safety rating is low, you are still making them an SIC on paper, which I would think would trigger the training requirements. Would just a SIC type rating suffice in this case?

I know there are plenty of 135 operators that operate on both sides of this one, and that our current POI has pretty much the only opinion that counts, but I wanted to have a clear picture when it comes to having to hire a third full-time pilot vs using an occasional contract guy.
According to Bernier-Winner Aviation (2015), if the pilot just sits there with no assigned duties, no training or checking required. If he has assigned duties, then he needs to be trained and checked. POIs, or any level of inspector for that matter, are never the only opinion that "counts". The only opinion that ever "counts" is that of the FAA Chief Counsel's office.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:22 AM   #3  
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The 135 regs require an SIC for IFR passenger-carrying flight, so I’m assuming that they have the OpSpec allowing autopilot in lieu of the SIC? If you talk to5 different people, you’re gonna get 5 different answers.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:21 AM   #4  
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Yes. Autopilot in lieu of SIC is in effect.

Thanks for the legal reference. Good place to start.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:46 AM   #5  
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There are companies that will list the guy in the right seat as a CO or Company Observer. Not sure if that skirts any regs but it happens.

Especially in 135/Corp it seems there is the rule and then there is common practice.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:00 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMAW View Post
The 135 regs require an SIC for IFR passenger-carrying flight, so I’m assuming that they have the OpSpec allowing autopilot in lieu of the SIC? If you talk to5 different people, you’re gonna get 5 different answers.
Unless you have an autopilot and the authority within Ops Specs to use it in lieu of an SIC, which many, if not most, IFR 135 operators have.

135 rules are clear. All personnel must be trained. If the guy does anything but just sit there, as in they touch the controls, they need to be trained for that function. This means you just can't throw a guy up there with a pilot cert and have them "help out", unless they've been trained by the carrier. That does not, however, make them a required crewmember. Sometimes the carrier gets an insurance break for using an SIC, which is fine and dandy, but unless that plane requires two pilots by regulation or type certificate, it's not a required crewmember. It's grey where you have two pilots and an operable autopilot and you want to log SIC because you are "not going to use the autopilot", FAA policy (headquarters) has not supported this as log-able SIC time, I would assume from the fact that you can't say it was "required" for the flight. Now, you can log it as anything you want and the airline you are applying for might or might not accept that for hiring purposes. The FAA doesn't care what you do there, only what you use in applying for certificate or rating/privilege.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:08 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Liberty Pilot View Post
There are companies that will list the guy in the right seat as a CO or Company Observer. Not sure if that skirts any regs but it happens.
I know it's happened/happens, and they can do that, but in short, the guy just can't touch the controls unless he is a rated crewmember, meaning he's gone through a training program for that position. It's a huge red flag if a carrier is doing that (putting them up there and calling them observers or passengers), it basically means they are trying to blow smoke up your a$$.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:55 PM   #8  
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The truth comes out in how the “extra person” sitting in the right front seat is listed on the load manifest. Are they designated as “pilot/SIC” or included in the “passenger” count? How do they fill out the weight & balance form? Nobody would risk losing their certificate(s) over intentionally falsifying a required record, would they?
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:06 PM   #9  
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135.115 is pretty straight forward about this. Qualified means you have passed your 135 ride and completed the training.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:08 PM   #10  
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The easiest and most clear-cut way to deal with this is to lose the A015 ops spec. Of course then you'd have to have SICs for all clients. Not just the one in question.
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