Nohag
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Largest One-pilot Plane

Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:09 pm

Hi everyone,

I was wondering which regulations determined a plane to be a one-pilot plane or a two-pilot plane. The second part of the question being which plane is currently the largest to fly on your own (legally) (jet and/or prop).

eg You have some millions to spend  dollarsign  and want to buy yourself a nice business-jet (or prop) to fly your friends and familly to all the nice places all over the world. (I think i'm dreaming a bit to much  crazy  Wink What type of plane could you buy to fly legally as the sole pilot and some (non-paying/non-commercial) passengers?

As I think it has something to do with al those FAA and JAR rules I posted this question in this forum instead of the Civil Aviation Forum.
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SlamClick
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:39 pm

Well, if you want to play John Travolta just hire a pilot. They come cheap compared with the operating costs of large airplanes.

I'm not really up to date on the regs but it used to be that you could fly a plane with nine or less passenger seats in scheduled service with one pilot and a functioning autopilot. I did that for a while. More than that and two pilots are required even if there is nothing for the other guy to do.

It was military but the biggest single-pilot production aircraft I've ever seen was the Douglas AD Skyraider. Almost as big as, and heavier than a DC-3. I'd post a picture but the photo database seems to be broken this morning.
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TripleDelta
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:51 pm

The PC-12 has a cabin in size near that of the King Air 200 (seating from 6-9 passengers in regular layout) and is certified for single-pilot ops.

EDIT: according to the a.net a/c data (without crew):
- 6 pax in executive layout
- 9 pax in high density (regional airliner) layout
- 4 pax + cargo in combi layout

[Edited 2005-07-20 15:55:14]
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WrenchBender
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:05 am

The largest I can think of is


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727EMflyer
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:19 am

IIRC all turbo jet powered aircraft must have two pilots. I don't remember the manufacturer, but there was a new small design mentioned in the "engine to power car sized jet" thread from a couple months ago that was trying to get a single pilot cert. I think it was only a four-place design.
 
citation501sp
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:47 am

Some Cessna Citation 500s all 501s and the 551 models are single pilot certified. The Citation Jet CJ1 is single pilot certified, I'm not 100% about the CJ2 or CJ3. Nealy all the Business class Turboprops can be flown single pilot, however most Charter companies or the business that owns the aircraft fly with two pilots for insurance reasons.

12,500 lbs MTOW is the cutoff point, but there are exceptions, later. Aircraft under 12,500lbs can in most instances legally be flown by one pilot, over 12,501lbs, MTOW require 2 pilots. The original Lear 23 was under the 12,500lb limit for single pilot certification but the complexity of the aircraft required it be certified for 2 pilots, the intent was to certify the Lear 23 for single pilot operations.

For Pilots to fly a single pilot jet the trick here is you require a type rating for the aircraft, and you must get a single pilot type rating. Hey you even need a Type Rating to fly a DC-3.

As is the case for flying any aircraft. Sometimes its better to have more than one set of eyes, ears, and hands in the cockpit.

Ironicly

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sanjet
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:43 am

501SP is right. I recall some lear 45's that were also flown SP. There are some requirements such as it is mandatory to have a 2 axis auto pilot along with other things. As stated, the insurance cost is so high for single pilot ops that most companies just add an f/o.

Personally I will never fly on any high performance aircraft that is only flown by one pilot.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:15 am

SlamClick, I think I have the rare chance to correct you here  Smile. The Lockheed A-12 Blackbird is the largest single pilot aircraft I can think of, at roughly 102' long and 140,000lbs, and in fact it had only one person on the entire plane. Its larger siblings the YF-12 and SR-71 still were single pilot, though they had back seat weapons officers (WSO and RSO respectively).

And was the A-5 Vigilante single pilot? I can't recall.
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citationjet
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting Citation501SP (Reply 5):
I'm not 100% about the CJ2 or CJ3.

The CJ2 and CJ3 are also certified single pilot, at least for private operations. The 550 and 560 can be flown single pilot, as long as the plane is configured for SP, and the pilot is qualified. Usually, however the insurance rates for single pilot operation is high enough that most people use two pilots (co-pilots are cheap).

Here is the largest Citation that can legally be flown, as far as I know.


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Photo © Chris de Stefani - SpotIT

Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
citationjet
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:48 am

Quoting Nohag (Thread starter):
I was wondering which regulations determined a plane to be a one-pilot plane or a two-pilot plane.

First of all, the number of pilots is an operational rule, and not a design or certification rule, therefore FAR Part 23 or 25 does not apply.

FAR Part 135 covers Commuter and On-Demand Operations (Commercial operations).

FAR 135.99 states
Composition of flight crew.
(a) No certificate holder may operate an aircraft with less than the minimum flight crew specified in the aircraft operating limitations or the Aircraft Flight Manual for that aircraft and required by this part for the kind of operation being conducted.
(b) No certificate holder may operate an aircraft without a second in command if that aircraft has a passenger seating configuration, excluding any pilot seat, of ten seats or more.


This is what allows the smaller Cessna Citations (Model 560 and lower) to fly single pilot for commercial operations.

In Europe, the JAR OPS regulations are the equivalent to FAR Part 135. They require dual pilots for commercial operations with greater than nine seats or greater than 12,500 lb. Therefore some Citations like the Models 525B (CJ3), 550, 560 in Europe cannot operate single pilot commercially.

[Edited 2005-07-21 01:51:07]
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:10 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 7):
And was the A-5 Vigilante single pilot? I can't recall.

The bomb crapper had a navigator, but was single pilot.
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Mir
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:28 am

AFAIK, the Raytheon Premier is also single-pilot certified. Most of the VLJs coming out now are as well, or will be.

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G550
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:41 pm

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 9):
First of all, the number of pilots is an operational rule, and not a design or certification rule, therefore FAR Part 23 or 25 does not apply.

So based on what you said here, I could fly a 747 single pilot under Part 91? I dont think so. Yes part 135 and part 121 specify the number of crew required, but the aircraft certification determines this as well.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:29 am

The Beech 1900 airliner is type certificated as a single pilot aircraft for Part 91 operations. 19 seats, MTOW 17,120lbs. But operating it under 121/135 requires two pilots.

I know of a pilot who had some spare cash laying around and bought himself a CJ2, and he flies it single pilot.
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SkyWestFan
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:33 pm

Was the old Sukhoi T4 (100) a single pilot airplane? I know the 101 version wasnt but I thought the original 100 prototype project aircraft may have been single pilot....

Any other info on this?


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G550
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:51 pm

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 13):
The Beech 1900 airliner is type certificated as a single pilot aircraft for Part 91 operations. 19 seats, MTOW 17,120lbs. But operating it under 121/135 requires two pilots.

The Beech 1900 aircraft can also be flown single pilot under part 135 in addition to part 91. Examples of this are most cargo carriers that fly cargo in the 1900.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:22 am

So far nobody has bettered my answer, so I take it that the A-12/SR-71/YF-12 Blackbird family are the largest single pilot airplanes to have gone into production (well the YF-12 didn't get past prototype, but still).
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Boeing Nut
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:38 am

Quoting Nohag (Thread starter):
Largest One-pilot Plane

Why the 747 of course!!

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citationjet
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:00 am

Quoting G550 (Reply 12):
So based on what you said here, I could fly a 747 single pilot under Part 91?

No you cannot fly a 747 single pilot, but that is because of the operational requirements in FAR Part 91, not the design requirements in Part 25.


For Private operations (Part 91) the co-pilot requirements are specified in FAR 91.531, which says
For large aircraft (Part 25) a second in command is required.
For Turbojet powered aircraft and commuter aircraft based on number of pilots required under the Type Certificate.

There is only one paragraph in FAR Part 23 & 25 that addresses minimum flight crew requirements - FAR 23.1523 and 25.1523. Part 23 & 25 do not quantify a minumum number of pilots required.

The minimum required pilots are documented on the aircraft's type certificate data sheet.

FAR 25.1523 Minimum flight crew.
The minimum flight crew must be established so that it is sufficient for safe operation, considering--
(a) The workload on individual crewmembers;
(b) The accessibility and ease of operation of necessary controls by the appropriate crewmember; and
(c) The kind of operation authorized under Sec. 25.1525.
The criteria used in making the determinations required by this section are set forth in Appendix D.


Appendix D to FAR Part 25 states that the criteria for determining the minimum flight crew is:
(a) Basic workload functions
(b) Workoad factors
(c) Kinds of operations authorized.
The determination of the kind operation authorized requires consideration of the operating rules under which the airplane will be operated.

However, FAR 91.531(b) allows the FAA to issue of letter of authorization for an airplane to be flown single pilot if the aircraft is design and certicated with only one pilot station. Highly unlikely for the 747.

Link to FAA regulations:
http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...y/rgFAR.nsf/MainFrame?OpenFrameSet

Link to FAA Type Certificate Data Sheets:
http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...keModel.nsf/MainFrame?OpenFrameSet

.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:03 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 7):
SlamClick, I think I have the rare chance to correct you here

I've lost the will to live. 

Just kidding.
Good call HaveBlue at least if, at one "each" it can be considered "production."

The F-105 is a contender.
Good call on the Viggie. Gorgeous airplane too, I might add. Had one go over my head inverted about a hundred feet above me once, just north of CEW. The pilot waved! (I was flying a T-42)

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 17):
Why the 747 of course!!

Well, we do have it on good authority (another member with many years experience in transport aircraft) that "the copilot's job is to do what the captain tells him" so that makes the 747 pretty much a solo operation in some parts of the world.

Beech 1900 notwithstanding (whatever the hell that means) the type certificate for all jetliners I've flown specifies in the AFM Limitations, a minimum crew of two pilots.

edit: True confession time here. My first leg in a jet airliner I was so far behind the aircraft that I would not have even been a witness! The training captain, an able hand for sure, pretty well soloed that one.

[Edited 2005-07-23 01:04:33]
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Woodreau
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:30 am

Anybody know where you can buy a YF-12/A-12/SR-71 legally? That's what the original question was:

What was the biggest plane you could buy and fly single pilot legally?

The military aircraft are single pilot airplanes, like the F-15 (60,000lb +) and some of them are pretty large, but I don't think you can buy any of them unless they've been demilitarized. Do they sell F-4's on the market? I don't think you can buy an SR-71 on the market anywhere. You can get MiG-15/17's how big are they?

The 1900 type certificate only specifies one pilot as a minimum. At 17120lb GTOW, that's the biggest one I'm aware of that you could buy off the street and fly it single pilot - you do have to have a type rating. But I do have to admit, I haven't been looking too far or long, so there may be something bigger... All of the other airliners I've looked at specify two pilots, even the bigger Citation jets like the Citation X, Sovereign, Bravo, all require 2 pilots.
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SlamClick
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:12 am

Well, it is coming back around to my first guess, the Douglas Skyraider.

Fifty foot wingspan.
25000 lb gross weight
hours and hours of loiter time
carry more ordnance than a B-17
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HaveBlue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:26 pm

Woodreau,

Other people brought up military planes as well. And while you'll never be able to buy a Blackbird, they were in production (30 or so SR's and 12 or so A-12's) and were flown by civilians (NASA leased a few for decades). And there are multiple F-104's on the civilian market, and at least one flyable and active civilian F-4 Phantom on the airshow circuit (Bob Collins Foundation). So, maybe the F-4 would qualify as far as the biggest one that has been bought by a civilian that can be flown single pilot.

 

[Edited 2005-07-23 06:29:21]
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Starlionblue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:44 pm

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 20):
Anybody know where you can buy a YF-12/A-12/SR-71 legally? That's what the original question was:

You can't. I bet there's still classified stuff in there. Maybe, maybe, you could get a gutted one you would never be able to fly.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 22):
So, maybe the F-4 would qualify as far as the biggest one that has been bought by a civilian that can be flown single pilot.

There was some museum in the UK with one, and they were forbidden from flying it because it was too modern.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:19 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 23):
You can't. I bet there's still classified stuff in there. Maybe, maybe, you could get a gutted one you would never be able to fly.

Actually Starlionblue, if I remember right the true specs of the SR-71 will not be declassified until 2021. Makes you wonder what the big secret is, since they are completely out of service  Smile.
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L-188
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:51 pm

The Lanc came first to my mind, and then the A-12.. But one could make an arguement that the U-2 and that russian bird had bigger wingspans.

I wonder if somebody could make an arguement on the B-47?
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HaveBlue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:45 pm

Is the Lanc only single pilot L-188? Hmm, never knew that but interesting. And I always assumed the B-47 had a pilot/copilot, but hey, ya learn something everyday right?  Smile

As far as the U-2 goes though, when the word 'largest' is used I've never seen the wingspan be a consideration. It used to bother me that even though our C-5 was 247' long, the shorter An-124 was called the largest, but the term usually goes by weight. And except for its glider like wings, the U-2/TR-1 is a pretty dimunitive airplane anyhow, so personally I wouldn't even put that in the running  Smile, but that's just me.
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L-188
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:07 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 26):
Is the Lanc only single pilot L-188? Hmm, never knew that but interesting.

Yup, single pilot, single yoke.

However the flight engineer was right next to the guy and if he needed some extra help to pull the yoke over, he was there to help.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:37 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 24):

Actually Starlionblue, if I remember right the true specs of the SR-71 will not be declassified until 2021. Makes you wonder what the big secret is, since they are completely out of service

Good info thx. Governments are always overparanoid. But with the specs, China (just as an example) could build their own and threaten US interests. The SR-71 is still the fastest jet ever so it's hardly obsolete. It makes sense.

By 2021, the US Military will be using the Star Trek Transporter (RIP Scotty) anyway so the SR-71 will definitely be obsolete.
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SlamClick
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:45 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 25):
I wonder if somebody could make an arguement on the B-47?

The B-47 was two pilot, seated fore and aft, plus a navigator/bombardier.

In my opinion, gross weight is the most significant index of airplane "size."
A single engine Cessna might have a greater wingspan than a post-century series fighter but it would just be silly to call it bigger.

[Edited 2005-07-24 21:48:20]
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L-188
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RE: Largest One-pilot Plane

Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:37 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 29):
In my opinion, gross weight is the most significant index of airplane "size."

Excellent point because I was using span to justify my U-2 suggestion.
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