CAE and Sun Air Jets are collaborating on a Pilot Development Program (PDP) to enhance safety and address the increased need for business aviation pilots. Launched in Morristown, New Jersey, in July 2023 with courses developed for King Air’s 350 pilots, this new Sun Air Jets program allows young pilots to gain flight hours and experience by operating flights as second-in-command (SIC) on aircraft that do not require more than one pilot.

The program allows pilots to obtain invaluable on-the-job experience as they build their hours and progress to becoming a pilot-in-command (PIC). Several pilots have already graduated to PIC thanks to their participation in the CAE program, and many more will have a similar opportunity at Sun Air Jets.

“This Pilot Development Program will help provide additional qualified pilots while increasing overall safety,” says Ed Fares, Director of Operations at Sun Air Jets. “The program is designed to bring beneficial operating experience to our young pilots allowing them the opportunity to grow into bigger jet aircraft and build a strong foundation as a safe and professional pilot.”

According to the National Business Aviation Association, the SIC PDP, found in amended Federal Aviation Regulation (“FAR”) Part 135.99, allows a pilot employed by a FAR Part 135 air carrier and serving as second-in-command in a multiengine airplane or single-engine, turbine-powered airplane to log SIC flight during operations that do not require a second pilot. The revised rule also allows flight time gained in a SIC PDP to be used to meet certain aeronautical requirements of FAR Part 61 for an ATP certificate and certain aeronautical experience requirements of FAR Part 135. Part 135 operators that have been issued Operation Specification A062 are permitted to assign a qualified SIC and the SIC will be eligible to log the flight time if participating in the operator’s SIC PDP.

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