Who Will Fly Them?

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If, as predicted by the study, the air taxi market doesn't materialize as predicted, a lot of the customers for those 4,200-odd jets will be owner pilots and that raises training and insurance issues. A Canadian company is addressing the pilot issues head-on with an "introductory" course for piston pilots who think they might like to fly jets. JetSet Inc., of Burlington, Ontario, held a training session for would-be jet jockeys over the past weekend and plans another for Nov. 24-25. The sessions give students a grounding in what will be expected of them as jet pilots for the relatively modest fee of about $2,250 USD. "This introductory course is for pilots who dream about flying a jet -- a much faster and appealing aircraft -- but who have not had the opportunity before," Edward Furtak, president of JetSet Inc., said in a news release.

The JetSet course involves 10 hours of ground school on systems, glass cockpit procedures, and turbojet basics as well as ground handling and normal takeoffs and landings. The fee also includes an hour of flight time in one of the MS760X ParisJet aircraft it operates. The ParisJet is based on a 1950s French military trainer, which the French had the foresight to equip with four seats and a pressurization system. JetSet is claiming to have a jump on the VLJ market by creating a fractional ownership program with a buy-in of $60,000 for a one-sixteenth share of one of the vintage jets, which have been updated with a new interior and glass cockpit. JetSet says it has four MS760s flying and 17 more ready to go.