The FAA says it intends to issue a special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) mandating specific, recurrent training and checkrides for all pilots of the Mitsubishi MU-2B.
The hot-rod twin turboprop has had several high-profile accidents, and members of Congress are gunning to have them all grounded.
"AOPA supported the idea of an SFAR to address the special challenges of flying an MU-2, but the FAA's proposed requirements are burdensome and go well beyond what's reasonable for safety," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy.
AOPA will be filing official comments opposing parts of the SFAR before the October 30 comment deadline.
The SFAR would require anyone piloting an MU-2B to take recurrent annual training and to pass an annual checkride to commercial multiengine and instrument practical test standards.
No person could even manipulate the controls of an MU-2B unless they had complied with the SFAR training requirements. But that would prevent training in the actual aircraft for some pilots (and adversely affect demonstration flights for prospective customers).
Any pilot who hadn't logged MU-2B time in the last two years would be required to complete the 32-hour initial training program, regardless of how experienced in the MU-2B that pilot might be.
The aircraft would be required to have a functioning autopilot for single-pilot night VFR flights and for IFR flights.
See the notice of proposed rulemaking for more information on the SFAR and how to comment.
September 28, 2006