If you have been thinking about a private plane charter, you may have questions about the safety of these services. Are private jets regulated as carefully by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA)? Do private plane charter pilots have as much experience as commercial airliner pilots? If you’re worried about these questions, you would be surprised to learn that private plane charter services can be safer than commercial flights for a number of reasons. Here’s why:
More Pilot Training
Just like their commercial airline colleagues, pilots flying for private plane charters must be US Citizens with no prior criminal or police records, be medically certified by an FAA examiner, and typically have a college degree. Private pilots must also meet flight hour requirements and minimum levels of pilot training. As a bare minimum, 40 to 60 hours of flight school and air time flying a plane are required to earn a private pilot’s license, though pilots typically have much experience than that. In addition, pilots must also earn an FAA instrument rating, requiring them to spend another 50 hours of Pilot in Command time and 40 extra hours of flight or simulator training. All of this is required just for private pilots to be able to legally fly themselves. If they want to be able to fly with anyone else in the aircraft, they are required to receive a commercial pilot’s license through the FAA.
And that’s not even the end of the training. In addition to all the requirements shared with commercial pilots, the pilots of any private plane charter must also apply for and receive an Airport Transport License. Getting that requires that pilots go through an additional level of FAA training and testing with at least 1,500 hours of flight time. Earning this is especially impressive when you realize that flying time is limited to 1,000 hours per year by the FAA. This of course means that no one can fly for a private plane charter without receiving years of training and hands-on experience.
The Federal Aviation Association regulates all aviation throughout the US, including private plane charters. Commercial airlines, for example, are legally obligated to operate under a certain set of Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). Private plane charters must follow these same FARs, but are also required to comply with section 135 of Title 14 of the FARs. This section of the regulations was developed specifically for rental of planes with payloads of under 7,500 lbs of and fewer than 30 seats. These regulations are very complicated, precise, and detailed. Indeed, there are many instances where section 135 of the FARs is actually much more stringent than section 125 which governs large commercial jets.
Every private plane charter agency has to go through strict safety inspections carried out by both the FAA as well as outside inspection firms. These inspections are scored on a number of factors including protocol, aircraft maintenance, flying procedures, pilot training and experience, and more. After and before each and every flight it makes, a private plane must pass a rigorous set of checklists ensuring safety and mechanical soundness.
A Safer Way to Fly
With increased piloting experience and the stricter FAA regulations, it would seem that hiring a private plane charter for your next trip is a no brainer. And with the added benefits of comfort, convenience, and flexibility, you will be able to relax as your flight brings you to your destination in style. Don’t settle for anything less than the best in air travel. A private plane charter will put you in the best and most capable hands.