Thanks to developments in the private chartering aviation industry aimed at meeting ever-increasing customer demands, hiring a private airplane is easier today than it was in the past. There are many essential factors to consider when choosing a private airplane. Some of these factors include quality of customer service, geographic location, size, crew experience, and costs among others. There are fundamental considerations that make certain companies stand out. On that note, here are some critical questions that should be answered before hiring an airplane.
Who operates the airplane?
You need to know who operates the airplane and whether he or she is well suited for the job. As much as you might be making a booking from a certified company, see to it that the operator is certified to operate the airplane. Though it is rare to find a “shady” operator in the aviation industry, you do not have to put your safety on the line by working with uncertified operators.
How experienced are the crew?
As much as you might have a certified crew member, you also need to ascertain how long they have been in this industry. Ideally, a pilot only qualifies to operate an airplane after he or she meets a minimum threshold. Their experience should be sufficient to earn them a commercial pilot certificate to fly a private jet. As such, the Federal aviation authority (FAA) requires at least 250 hours of total flight time to register one as a commercial pilot.
Has the plane been involved in an accident?
Everyone hiring a private airplane does so with the intention of staying safe and having a good time. You might be aware that accidents are rare in the aviation industry, but they do happen. In case of some minor mishaps, aeronautic engineers can always get the airplane back to its original state. If you are interested in the flight history of the aircraft, you can always get what you want from the company or the National Transportation Safety Board. This board has a searchable database listing aviation incidents within the United States from 1962.
How old is the airplane?
The age of an airplane does not make it unsafe. However, it can shed some light about its mechanical soundness. For a fact, new models are technically superior to older ones. If the model you are about to charter is reasonably old, verify the details of the last inspection report and when it was done. As a tip, only book a listed private airplane since they must be inspected by authorized inspection bodies to be listed.
How much does it cost?
This is typically the first question anyone with intentions of booking a private airplane asks. You might be surprised to find a private flight costing less than you expect. Ideally, the prices charged depend on many factors. Some of these factors include the availability of the airplane, route, size, time between flights, and airport landing fees among others. In most instances, what determines how far you can get is the route.
Is the aircraft insured and will I be protected as a passenger?
When booking an airplane, you might want to know whether it is insured or not. If you need to know, ask this question before making a booking. Here, you need to look at things like, what happens when you are injured? What if you lose some of your valuables while on transit? Ideally, you need to know how the insurance works and have some of these fundamental questions answered.
Has the operator been audited?
Any operator or company with any FAA certification means it complies with the federal aviation codes. On the other hand, an FAA certification also comes with strict surveillance. The details in these reports can tell you a lot more than their customer representatives can. This will undoubtedly help you to make an informed decision.
Private airplanes are a fantastic way to tour various destinations. Hopefully, these questions will help you gain more insights about what to look at when booking a private airplane. Boarding the right airplane will guarantee you treasured memories, and of course, no regrets.