(ELIGIBILITY and TRAINING REQUIREMENTS)
In order to fly as pilot-in-command of a surplus military turbine (or piston, for that matter) aircraft, you will need to meet certain requirements as specified by the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA"). While you must have a valid pilot certificate, you will also need to obtain a Letter of Authorization ( commonly referred to as an "LOA"). The complete training guidelines are contained in Chapter 32 of the FAA Handbook , a copy of which can be requested from your local Flight Standards District Office. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 32 as it relates to a persons eligibility for an LOA
7. ELIGIBILITY FOR AN LOA
A. Surplus Military Turbine-Powered Airplanes. To be eligible to serve as PIC of a surplus military turbine-powered aircraft, an applicant must:
(1) Possess at least a private pilots certificate with an appropriate category and class rating (e.g., airplane, single-engine-land), and
(2) Posses at least a valid third class medical certificate.
(3) The applicant must have logged a minimum of 1000 hours pilot flight time including 500 hours as PIC in the airplane category, or
(4) Have logged a minimum of 500 hours of pilot time in the airplane category and have completed the U.S. armed services qualifications checkout described in paragraph 9A(1) of this section.
Once you meet the eligibility requirements, the FAA has set forth guidelines regarding the minimum training that will be necessary before you can receive your LOA. Again Chapter 32 of the FAA Handbook sets forth the training requirements. The following is a excerpt from Chapter 32 as it relates to the minimum training requirements.
GENERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENT.
The FSDO must receive documented evidence of appropriate training before it can issue the LOA. The applicant should obtain the most comprehensive training available. The manufacturer, the military, and outside contractors may be sources of ground, simulator, and flight training.
A. Training Options. The applicant's training program may consist of any one of the following:
1. The applicant may have completed a U.S. military service qualification checkout to act as PIC in a specific or comparable type of fighter or attack airplane. The applicant must have flown as PIC of any turbine- or piston- powered airplane, as applicable within the preceding 3 calendar months. The applicant must also have logged 10 hours as PIC in the specific (or comparable) type of aircraft during the preceding 12 calendar months.
2. The applicant may have completed the manufacturer's PIC qualification checkout in the specific type of airplane. In addition, the applicant must provide the FSDO with a copy of the manufacturer's training program curriculum.
3. The applicant may present an endorsement from the holder of a current LOA in that type of airplane. The FAA must have authorized the LOA holder to make the endorsement. An endorsement is acceptable when a military or manufacturer's checkout is not available or not feasible.
(a) The endorser must indicate that the applicant has received ground instruction and has adequate aeronautical knowledge in the following areas:
(i) The airplane's systems and components.
(ii) Normal and emergency procedures, including abnormal procedures, if described in the airplanes checklist.
(iii) Use of performance charts, including (but not limited to) take-off, climb, cruise and landing.
(iv) Fuel requirements and fuel management.
(v) Runway requirements and limitations (e.g. minimum runway lengths and crosswind limits of the airplane.
(vi) Contents of the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or equivalent.
(vii) Operating limitations prescribed for the specific airplane.
(viii) Operation of the airplane in the high altitude regime, if applicable.
(ix) Specific flight characteristics.
(b) The endorser must have personally flown with the applicant in the type airplane (for multiple place) or a comparable type (for single place) and have found that applicant competent to safely perform the following:
(i) Airplane preflight.
(ii) Cockpit resource management, as appropriate.
(iii) Powerplant start procedure, taxing, and pre-take off check lists.
(iv) Takeoffs and landings ( normal, crosswind, and arrestment procedures, as applicable).
(v) Aborted takeoffs.
(vi) Flight at critically slow airspeeds.
(vii) Approaches to stalls, if appropriate for the airplane.
(viii) Recovery from specific flight characteristics.
(ix) Normal and emergency procedures (and abnormal, if described in the airplane's checklist).
(x) Maneuvering to landing with simulated Powerplant failure in multi-engine airplanes.
(xi) Zero flap landings as appropriate.
(xii) Rejected landings.
(xiii) Acrobatics, if appropriate to the airplane and requested by the applicant, provided that the applicant can show justification for such maneuvers and if safety would not be derogated.
(4) The applicant may submit, in writing, a curriculum of the applicant's choice and design. The training program must:
(a) Include transition ground and flight training appropriate to the airplane.
(b) Provide the applicant with training at least equivalent in scope and content to the requirements outlined in paragraph 9A(1), (2), or (3).
WARNING: Before preparing for flight training,
please refer subsection 7, paragraph C., entitled "Application". It sets forth the requirements for applying for your LOA. Be advised that 30 days notice to your FSDO is required before flight training can begin. As many have experienced, FSDO's vary from office to office regarding their interpretation of the rules and regulations. Some FSDO's may not require certain information that is required by others. The best way of getting started is by contacting your local FSDO and discussing with them your intent of obtaining an LOA and what they will require. TFSI's suggestion is to obtain all the information available from your local FSDO and proceed
with an abundance of patience. Many Airworthiness Inspectors are not always familiar with these
regulations since they are not referred to on a regular basis.