Caveat Emptor – Safety Concerns with Charter Flights Provided by Non-Certified Pilots

Stratos Jet Charters is a well known resource to those seeking information on jet charters and jet rental service. As the private aviation industry grows and welcomes a new wave of jet charter flyers to their ranks; Stratos Jet Charters will continue to provide assistance to jet charter flyers. Their goal is to help jet charter flyers make informed decisions by educating them on important issues related to private charter flights, jet charters and air charter safety.

Requirements for Legal Charter Flight Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration requires all charter flights to be conducted under Part 135 operations. Even though these rules are clearly spelled out, private pilots and aircraft owners regularly provide air transportation to friends and friends of friends. While this arrangement is perfectly acceptable under Federal Aviation Administration Part 91 regulations, they are forbidden from profiting from their service. Unfortunately, illegal charter flights of this nature are conducted everyday under the Part 91 guidelines. There are some key issues that one should be aware of regarding the safety and insurability of one who engages in this activity.

Part 135 – Charter Flight Safety

Part 135 requirements for aircraft maintenance and safety procedures are far stricter than that of the general aviation Part 91 requirements. The FAA requires that all charter flights be conducted under the Part 135 Operating Requirements. These requirements are designed to provide a standard for professionalism, safety and best practices within the private charter flights industry. The Part 135 rules govern pilot training and experience, aircraft maintenance, safety procedures, insurance requirements and the general best practices of the airplane charter industry. It is important to one’s own safety to make sure that the aircraft is a registered Part 135 Certificate holder and is in good standing with the FAA before chartering a private jet. One should first determine whether or not any limitations have been placed on the charter operator’s operations specifications (ability to fly charter flights). These limitations could be limited to the charter company’s ability to provide international charter flights or prevent the charter operator from conducting flights under the instrument flight rules. It is important to know the operational history of the company providing the charter flight. Make sure that your charter agent or broker works only with reputable FAA certified air charter operators.

Part 135 – Charter Flight Insurance Requirements

In tough economic times people begin looking for ways to bring in extra income in order to support their expensive hobbies. For most hobbies, this can be a great way to continue the activities one most enjoys. Like the fisherman who loves to fish that applies for his captain’s license in order to fish on the weekends or the golfer who gives a few lessons to pay his weekly greens fees. The general aviation pilot who charters his plane for private and business flights however, is breaking the law and putting their passengers at risk. Illegal charter flights violate the terms of the insurance required for legitimate Part 135 charter flights. This means that in event of an accident or injury the passenger may not have adequate insurance coverage to meet their needs or the needs of their family. This can be especially dangerous to jet charter consumers who unknowingly fly on part 91 flights. Even those who used a jet charter broker, who put his own interests ahead of their clients or did not do the appropriate research to verify operational history of the aircraft operator. Stratos Jet Charters recommends requesting a background repot of the aircraft operator for all charter flights.

Jet Charter Agents – Their Role in arranging charter flights.

The private flight advisor’s knowledge of the charter market plays an extremely valuable role in arranging charter flights. The primary role of the private flight advisor is to know the operational history of the part 135 certificate holders and to ensure the qualifications of the pilots when arranging charter flights. A caring and professional private flight advisor will put the safety of their client first will provide them with a detailed report verifying the Part 135 certificate and the pilots level of experience. If your charter flight agent does not provide this background report with your flight itinerary, you should ask to see it. Third party verification companies make it easy for private flight advisors to quickly research the safety habits of the charter aircrafts operations.

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