My final year at Purdue, I was one of the 4 Beechjet Copilots for a semester. We had to apply for the position and then have a sim checkride in the 727 simulator at Purdue. In the checkride, the final list of applicants had to do maneuvers and approaches. Depending on how well you flew the sim and accomplished your maneuvers, you were selected as one of the copilots. Purdue selected only 4 applicants per semester and 2 during the summer session.
Before you are able to fly the Beechjet, you need the required training per the FAA. Flight Safety was the company Purdue used to do the initial training in the Beechjet. Normally, to be rated to fly the Beechjet you would be in training for a few weeks. The 3 other copilots and myself, spent only 4 days at Flight Safety to accomplish the training required to fly the Beechjet at Purdue. After the ground and simulator training was finished, we had to do a couple take off and landings with an instructor in the actual airplane before we can be signed off on our licenses to fly the jet. Once that was completed, we were officially copilots.
During the semester of flying, I was able to fly just about 50 hours in the Beechjet. They were the best flying hours I could ever imagine. We flew to the Midwest, down south to Florida and Georgia, and a lot to Washington DC. The colleges at Purdue are able to rent the plane for their faculty for meetings or other events.
Here is a few facts about the Beechjet.
- Max Cruise Speed (535mph) – 465 knots
- Max Ceiling (highest altitude you are able to go) – 45, 000 ft – Yes, it does go that high! I was at that altitude to fly over some thunderstorms instead of flying through them!
- Max Range – 1,735 nm
Flying the Beechjet was an experience I never would have thought I would have done. The experiences of high altitude flying, Flight Safety training, the wonderful and knowledgeable captains at Purdue, and meeting exceptional people is why the Beechjet Program at Purdue is one of the well known among flight schools in the United States. If you work hard and put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want! This was one of the great experiences so far in my aviation career.
I have created a gallery of pictures dedicated to my Flight Safety experience.