Hiring a private jet charter is a time consuming and expensive venture. However, price should never trump safety. It’s recommended to hire a broker because the benefits are many and they are great; but if you want to do it on your own, do your research. Here are tips/questions to ask when thinking about booking a private charter:
- How many flight hours has the aircraft flown?
It’s important to know that your chartered aircraft has flown enough hours to ensure that everything is working properly. And if they plane has logged many hours of flying, it should be inspected for safety.
- Has the FAA cleared any major interior, exterior and/or equipment refurbishments?
If there were any major refurbishments to the aircraft, make sure that these were all cleared by the FAA. Be thorough. Find out what changes were done and that you see a copy of the comprehensive inspection report.
- What’s the experience of the crew?
It’s important to have a crew that comes with experience. Ask how long they’ve been working in the airline industry and more specifically in the private charter arena. What type of certification do they have and how well-versed are they in safety protocol.
- How many flight crew members will be aboard your plane?
One of the biggest perks to a private charter is the personalized attention from beginning to end. Asking how many crew members will be aboard will let you know the amount of attention you’ll receive.
- Aircraft(s) manufacturer year.
A new aircraft doesn’t mean it’s any safer than an older one. You just want to make sure it’s mechanically sound. It’s ok to ask when the last full inspection was completed by the FAA or companies like Wyvern and what the outcome was.
- Number of years the operator has been in business.
A charter operator with more years under their belt, the more familiar they will be with all the FAA safety regulations and the requirements needed to ensure the most comfortable flight possible.
- Has the flight crew ever been penalized by the FAA?
If the FAA has ever taken action against a flight operator, that is a big clue that you should look for a private charter elsewhere.
- Ask to see the charter certificate to make sure your aircraft is listed.
If your aircraft is not listed on the charter certificate, it means that it has not been inspected by the FAA and likely not legal to be chartered.
- What’s the experience of the operator?
It is required to have more experience than 100+ hours of flying time. In order to fly passengers on a private charter, pilots must earn an FAA commercial pilot’s license.
- Who is the FAA certified charter company that is going to be conducting our private flight?
Ask your broker to see the flight operators name and proof of their FAA pilot license. You absolutely have the right to verify that information with the FAA to ensure it’s legitimacy and safely operating.