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.
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Ad hoc charters can be a pain. Every trip calling a couple of brokers to get quotes, and then comparing the terms, including cancelation policies. And of course, it’s always, plus, plus, plus. And then what happens if there is the operator cancels because of a mechanical or sick pilot? Last-minute re-quotes can be expensive.