MU-2 Pilots embrace new training regs

 - October 1, 2008, 5:04 AM

Since the FAA issued the special regulation governing MU-2 pilot proficiency in February, nearly 300 pilots have completed the additional training required to fly the turboprop.

The special FAR doesn’t take effect until Feb. 5, 2009, but many MU-2 pilots have already completed training to prepare for the rule’s implementation. Another 250 pilots remain to be trained, according to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA). After the effective date next year, no pilot can fly an MU-2 unless he meets the SFAR initial, recurrent or requalification training requirements.

So far, 30 MU-2 instructors have been qualified to train to the SFAR in the U.S. and two FAA inspectors have qualified to provide Part 135 checkrides.

“The MU-2 community has fully cooperated,” said Noel Takayama, MHIA general manager in charge of the MU-2 program, “and we believe the focus on training and pilot skills has been a major factor in the current outstanding safety record. There have been no MU-2 fatal accidents in more than two years.”

In the past year, MHIA has been encouraging young people to learn about aviation. To further that effort, MHIA has supported or donated to programs at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver; the Tulsa Air & Space Museum in Tulsa, Okla.; and the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum near Washington, D.C.

The MU-2 manufacturer is represented here at NBAA Booth No. 3036 by its U.S. product support companies, Turbine Aircraft Services and Intercontinental Jet.