VLJs Single Pilot Oxygen Requirement above FL350

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The Socata folks are apparently touting that the TBM 850 is a better
option than the VLJs for single pilot ops because of FAR 91.211 which
requires a supplemental oxygen mask to be worn above FL350 when flying

Many Mustangs and 500s have been sold to owner operators. How is this
reg addressed? Do most owner pilots fly with a co-pilot? Wearing a
mask does not seem appealing when flying a twin jet. Doesn't this
affect the utility of the VLJs?

-- Ron Van Orden, August 28, 2008


Most jets that are certified single-pilot are flown by a two-pilot crew. It is a lot easier to do and much much easier to insure.

Regulations aside, a twin-engine jet certified under FAR 25 is probably less likely to depressurize than a single-engine turboprop certified under the less stringent FAR 23.

As a practical matter I think that the FARs related to use of oxygen masks in pressurized airplanes are frequently violated.

-- Philip Greenspun, August 28, 2008

Some of the VLJ's are only certified to 250 as well. I believe Cirrus is planning to make this choice, and Diamond already has.

I would suggest pilots drill putting on the mask with eyes closed quite frequently. For this to work, the mask has to ALWAYS be in exactly the same place. If you do this till you get it right. Do it a lot more, and keep practicing every few weeks afterwards, it will definitely help below 250. YMMV up higher.

-- Eric Warren, August 29, 2008