Will I be able to fly the Mustang?

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Dear Phillip,
my partner is trying to convince me to get with him into a Mustang for our consulting
business. Financially is more than justified, since we have an office in the caribbean;
however I wonder if I would be able to fly it. I have a very good theoretical aviation
knoweldge and sat many times in the left seat of Cessna singles and Beech twins, but I
haven't got a license.
it will be possible for me to fly the Mustang or a CJ1+ single pilot? I will work hard to get
my license and rating, and probably get continuos yearly training. But I wonder if that
kind of aircraft is to be flown by pro pilots?
Have any advise on the subject?
Cheers,

AJB

-- Albert Brewer, February 13, 2012

Answers

Sorry for the late answer. These airplanes are not ideal for solo private flying if only because there is so much work associated with supervising maintenance, database updates for the avionics, preflight inspections, flight planning, etc. Since you'll want someone to handle all of that for you, you might as well hire a person who is competent to fly the airplane. You'll enjoy convenience in being able to arrive at the airport 5 minutes before starting the engines instead of one hour. Your passengers will enjoy an extra margin of safety from having two pilots share the work.

-- Philip Greenspun, May 16, 2012

There are really two parts to the answer. The first is whether you would be competent to fly the aircraft. There are many factors that go into this answer, but I think most people would say you should learn in a piston single and accumulate at least a few hundred hours before transitioning to a high-performance and/or complex aircraft, then on to a multi-engine, and only then on to a jet.

The second part is whether an insurance company will cover you. If you pay for the jet in cash, you can forego hull coverage although you would then have to pay for damage out of pocket and be at risk for the value of the aircraft. You would still need liability coverage anyway or your risk would be essentially unlimited.

My suggestion is that you call one or two aviation insurance companies and ask them what type of requirements they want to see for the Mustang.

The time commitment to be competent in any aircraft, but especially a jet, is significant and on-going. You said you "have a very good theoretical aviation knowledge," so you might really enjoy learning more as you complete your certificates ratings. I know I have.

The Mustang can be flown single pilot.

Todd

-- Todd Ramming, February 15, 2012


I know most people don't want to hear this, but you will probably kill yourself and your family doing what you anticipate. If you can financially justify to own and operate a private jet airplane, you can more than financially cope with the added cost of hiring a prof. (safety) pilot. Get your certificate and rating, and have a pro sit next to you at all times who will not shut up when you run into problems. The cost of a pro pilot's yearly salary will give you the extra benefit of having all duties associated with airplane ownership and operation and associated paperwork taken care off by him, so that things are ready when you want to go fly.

There are enough owner-pilot people out there already (ask any pilot, he knows at least one friend/club colleague/family member) that killed themselves and others in piston props and small turbines...and more frequently as times pass in jets!

-- Pat Rick, March 16, 2012