FAA alleges Massachusetts operator conducted 1,400 illegal charter flights

Illegal private jet charter

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $1million fine for illegal charters again Weathervane Aviation Services, LLC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $1,001,000 civil penalty against Weathervane Aviation Services, LLC, of Westport, Mass., for allegedly operating illegal charter flights.

Air Charter Safety Alliance launched by private aviation trade groups

Illegal charter

The Air Charter Safety Alliance wants to raise awareness about illegal on-demand private air charter flights

Seven private aviation industry trade groups are joining forces to combat illegal private jet charters. They plan a coordinated effort to combat illegal on-demand charter flights in the sector.

The group, called the Air Charter Safety Alliance (ACSA), will raise awareness among potential customers, charter brokers, ministries of transport, and national aviation authorities regarding the use of unauthorized aircraft operators for on-demand flights.  

Cheap private jet flights: 11 big mistakes private flight buyers make

cheap private jets

Don’t believe articles that technology is lowering private jet prices. Promises of cheap private jet travel are often based on misleading press releases and a lack of knowledge

Promises of cheap private jet flights invoking Uber analogies and claiming technology breakthroughs that lower charter costs are common themes of uninformed coverage. The articles are wrong. Apps don’t impact how much you will pay. In fact, most online pricing tools for private jets don’t even give you hard quotes. They are simply tools to capture your contact information so sales reps can follow-up.

Much of the charter rates you see online are estimates. And for every slick app, you’ll find if you aren’t familiar with the industry’s ins and outs, it’s easy to make big mistakes when buying private flights. With COVID-19 causing more consumers to shop for private aviation options, if you are serious, buyer beware.

Illegal private charter flight reports take a “dramatic uptick”

illegal charter

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.

Private Jet execs bullish on recovery, near-term and into next year

private jet trends August 2020

45% of business aviation executives expect to finish 2020 in a stronger position, compared to just 16% who predict a decline. 92% are very/fairly optimistic about 2021

Major airlines warn that a full recovery may now take into 2024. Business aviation executives say that’s not the case for private jet travel.

A poll of more than 500 attendees at Corporate Jet Investor’s weekly Town Hall meeting showed a confident outlook about the future.

COVID-19 raises illegal charter concerns a year after Sala’s deadly plane crash

are private jets safe

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.

Pilots in deadly 2018 illegal charter crash were unqualified

Illegal charter

The Falcon 50 accident killed both pilots and seriously injured the two passengers after overrunning the runway in Greenville, South Carolina

Neither pilot flying the ill-fated Dassault Falcon 50 than overran the runway at Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in September 2018 were qualified to operate the flight as a Part 135 charter, according to a final report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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