Newcomers looking for deals and cash strapped private jet owners are causing a surge in illegal charter activity. However, FAA enforcement often misses the mark, industry experts say
Illegal charter can be deadly. Last year’s death of European soccer star Emiliano Sala came on an aircraft not authorized for commercial charters in Europe. It was flown by a pilot who wasn’t qualified. A 2018 Falcon 50 crash that killed both pilots in South Carolina found that maintenance records weren’t up to date. The pilots were not qualified to fly Part 135 charter flights.
As private jet travel attracts price-sensitive newcomers, illegal charters with unqualified pilots and aircraft are creating new dangers
“We’ve just got done with a case..The PIC (Pilot-in-Charge) was not typed in the aircraft and the SIC (Second Officer-in-Charge) was a student pilot with less than 50 hours. That’s one of the most unsafe things I’ve seen. This stuff goes on. It happens.”
– FAA Inspector
Back in 2016, I was visiting the headquarters of Jet Linx Aviation in Omaha, Nebraska. Walking with its CEO Jamie Walker between a series of meetings, he suggested I write about illegal charters. He said it was a subject he didn’t think was getting enough attention.
There are 1,929 operators of private jets, turboprops, piston aircraft, and helicopters authorized by the FAA to conduct commercial flights for hire under Part 135
How do you ensure that the operator who is flying you is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct charter flights for hire?
Private Jet Card Comparisons has published the most recent list from the FAA in an easy-to-scan A to Z format.
You can view the list here.
“Illegal air charter operations pose a serious safety hazard,” says the Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday issued what it called important information for pilots and passengers covering safe air charter operations.
It comes two days after sending the jet-sharing platform BlackBird a letter it has found serious issues.
When you charter a private jet, you’ve probably seen a reference to FAR Part 135. Here’s what you need to know
Understand why the price of private jet charters can vary so much
– Part 135 (charter) operational requirements are considerably different than Part 91 (full ownership) with much more stringent regulatory safety requirements
– There are over 2,000 Part 135 Charter Operators and four different categories impacting landing in low visibility as well as the ability to find replacement aircraft if there are mechanicals or pilots if one gets sick or runs out of duty time
When you book a private jet charter flight or are shopping
for a jet card, you probably have seen at the bottom of various websites,
wording that goes something like this: “Company X arranges flights on behalf of
its cardholders and charter clients with FAR Part 135 air carriers that
exercise full operational control of charter flights at all times. Flights will
be operated by FAR Part 135 direct air carriers that have been certified to
provide service for Company X clients that meet all FAA safety standards.”