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New MU-2B training rules take effectNew MU-2B training rules take effect

AOPA supports the goals of a new rule that updates training requirements for the Mitsubishi MU-2B twin turboprop effective Nov. 7, the association said in formal comments submitted to the FAA.

Mitsubishi MU-2B

The new rule, which the FAA published in September and made effective immediately to mitigate “safety risks,” applies flexible standards to MU-2B training programs and revises specific components of training, such as bringing MU-2B stall recovery training into conformity with “the FAA’s new philosophy on proper stall recovery methods,” said Justin Barkowski, AOPA director of regulatory affairs.

“AOPA and its members have long supported reasonable efforts to address the unique challenges of operating a MU-2B airplane, and thoroughly support the FAA’s fundamental goals with this rulemaking,” he wrote in comments submitted Nov. 7.

In comments that supported the enhancements as a “common-sense shift” of policy away from rigidly prescribed actions, AOPA proposed several clarifications of terms relating to the use of full flight simulators in training, and the status of MU-2B simulator instructors.

AOPA also proposed eliminating the expiration every 24 months of approved MU-2B training programs, as a way to cut down on needless paperwork and processing in light of a shortage of aviation safety inspectors.

The aviation safety inspectors “have many responsibilities across a wide-range of aviation activities. The growing amount of paperwork prevents ASIs from focusing on higher-priority tasking,” Barkowski wrote.

The new rule modernizes the training requirements first mandated under a special regulation published in 2008 after a 20-year period in which MU-2-series aircraft had 80 accidents with 40 fatalities, according to an FAA safety evaluation of the turboprop.

Since the original training provisions were implemented for the aircraft—which has “unique control surfaces and characteristics” such as spoilers rather than ailerons used for roll control—only two fatal accidents were experienced in the fleet of approximately 300 aircraft that operate under Parts 91 and 135, the FAA said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Turboprop, Advanced Training, Loss of Control

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