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I have been doing research on whether or not one could realistically obtain an STC for a super-midsize jet certified for two pilots and legally fly it single-pilot.

For reference, my chosen aircraft is the Hawker 4000, which can be had for significantly less than most jets certified from the manufacturer for single-pilot ops. Additionally, the Hawker boasts performance figures that laugh at all other light jet numbers and its Relative Value Analysis (RVA) is comparable to jets costing $25M+.

I cannot find information anywhere on gaining single pilot certification in any aircraft not originally certified for single pilot operations. I would even take into consideration the possibility of a complete retrofit of the flight deck with Garmin 3000 or some other system designed to be flown single pilot (like that in the Phenom 300).

Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Even if you could get it STC'd for a single pilot, nobody will insure it. The other problem you have is if the Garmin 3000 is STC'd for the Hawker 4000, which I don't believe that it is. The Hawker 400 is STC'd for the Garmin 5000, but not the 3000. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 25 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Anything is possible, but feasible is another story. As has been pointed out, even if you manage to spend enough money (likely orders of magnitude more than the cost of the bird itself) to convince the FAA to do that, it will likely be impossible to insure. This is really a question asking for opinions, so I vote to close for that reason. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 25 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ It's possible that cockpit width is an issue. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Jun 25 at 22:29
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Cessna did this sort of thing for the CE-525 series (CJ) jets. Effectively the required crew varies based on cockpit arrangement/equipment. As per the type cert

Minimum Crew for all Flights (see NOTE 5 for cockpit equipment/arrangement restrictions):

One pilot (in the left for all Flights pilot seat) plus additional equipment as specified in the Kinds of Operations Equipment List (KOEL) contained in the Limitations Section of the FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)

OR

One pilot and one copilot

Note 5 for reference:

Approval for operation with a minimum crew of one pilot is based upon the cockpit equipment installation and arrangement evaluated during FAA certification testing. No significant changes may be made to the installed cockpit equipment or arrangement (EFIS, autopilot, avionics, etc.), except as permitted by the approved MMEL, without prior approval from the responsible Aircraft Certification Office.

However that is the original type cert and it was done by the manufacturer, who has the resources to test these kinds of things. Doing it on your own is bound to be cost prohibitive, even considering you may have to pay a second pilot to fly with you for the entire ownership of the aircraft.

This is also fairly similar to the case in the heavy metal world with the dropping of flight engineers and navigators when control was consolidated to the two pilots. So far as I know none of this was done via STC but appeared on the TC itself.

Technically it may be possible, practically, it seems unlikely.

If your looking for single pilot jet performance there are plenty of early era ex-military jets hitting the market that are far faster than any business jet you can buy...

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