VLJs appeal to a wide variety of pilots and operators — both highly experienced and those relatively new to the aviation industry. A critical consideration in the candidate evaluation process must be the availability of insurance and satisfying underwriting requirements. A candidate can invest significantly in both the planning and acquisition of a VLJ, but without the early input of the insurance underwriting community, he or she may find they are uninsurable when it comes time to take delivery of the aircraft.

Insurance underwriters have been keenly interested in the development of VLJs and have taken a proactive role in learning about the capabilities of these aircraft and the various markets for which they are intended. However, in spite of aircraft technology advances, unprecedented emphasis on proper training and the concept of mentor pilots, the nature of aviation underwriting still does not lend itself to formulating universally accepted minimum candidate credential and experience levels for VLJ operations. There simply are too many variables to consider and any minimum guidelines very well may be outdated by the time they are published due to the dynamic nature of aviation underwriting.

Each candidate therefore must engage the insurance community early in the purchase process with the goal of finding mutually agreeable terms and conditions for transitioning into the VLJ. These NBAA training guidelines are designed to provide a common denominator for the candidate, underwriter and manufacturer to collaboratively tailor a training course for each candidate, based upon that candidate’s unique background, experience and intended operations. The training course will need to be for a specific aircraft type, panel layout and installed equipment.

Before enlisting in a very light jet training course, the candidate should have an initial evaluation to determine proficiency in a number of areas. These include but are not limited to:

  • Flight Skills Assessment
    • Practical in-flight exam to test instrument skills and airmanship
    • Oral exam to evaluate judgment skills
    • Written exam to determine aeronautical knowledge

If deficiencies are detected, the manufacturer or training provider should arrange supplemental flight training to bring candidates up to the necessary flight skills level. The manufacturer should oversee this arrangement; however, the candidate may have the option of obtaining the supplemental flight training elsewhere provided a reassessment is undertaken.

In addition, the evaluation is to be used to determine those candidates most likely to succeed in the training program based upon experience and knowledge, recency of experience, background and type of experience.