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USCGC130
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Pilots For Private Jets

Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:57 pm

Let's say you're J. Random Rich Person who travels a lot, and who can justify and afford the purchase or lease of a small-to-medium-sized private jet. I'm talking about a plane for personal travel, not corporate use. Someone like Bill Gates or Bill Allen, or that Russian guy with the sand-colored 767, can hire pilots on a full-time basis and put them on the corporate payroll. But what about an individual who flies often, but not often enough that it would make sense to hire pilots full-time?

I suppose Oprah Winfrey, who owns a Gulfstream, is a good example of the sort of person I have in mind. Who flies airplanes for people like that? Do such people have pilots on retainer, or make arrangements with companies who can provide pilots qualified on certain types of aircraft when the need arises, or what?
 
n710ps
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:29 pm

Most people opt for part 135. It is cheaper and easier. I flew for a part 135 outfit for a while prior to the airline business becoming my form of payroll. The vast majority that do fly on biz jets though do own if it is not owned by their business.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
 
juventus
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:32 pm

People like Oprah or Michael Jordan own biz jets, and the same pilots usually fly them. Those same pilots, when not being used and/or "days off" usually do contract work for other flight departments to supplement their salaries. I've heard a G-IV or G-V pilot can make more than $1,000 per day doing contract work, a Hawker guy usually around $500. If they do a lot of contract work, plus their regular flying job, $120K to $150K a year can be achieved easily depending on the aircfraft.

Large Company flight departments such as Exxon Mobil, Mcdonalds, and Citigroup, have their own pilots and jets. Again some of those pilots will do contract work if they are not being used, while others go in and do office work. I don't know what type of office work they do. I imagine all these large company pilots make six figures easily, even without any contract work.

I hope this helps you
 
JAL777
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:32 pm

It really is a prefernce of the owner. Some owners like to hire their full time crew and use them exclusively. Some will hire crews on a part time basis. Others will hire a crew and add their aircraft to a 135 charter certificate - this way when the owner doesn't need the plane, it can be out flying charter and earning revenue.

I do know 1 owner with a G550 who flies on average 3 times a year and has a full time crew. They don't do ANYTHING else besides the 3 trips a year. Must be nice.  Smile
 
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United_fan
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:01 pm

I was wondering about Donald Trump. I see he goes to PBI almost every weekend in the winter. Do his flightcrew just stay @ a hotel?
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:14 am

Quoting United_Fan (Reply 4):
Do his flightcrew just stay @ a hotel?

Most do or if Donald is nice he'll fly them home on the airlines. But most private and corporate pilots just bum around the town they're in for the time being.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:37 am

A vast majority of private jets are now fractional ownership-you buy a fraction of a plane and that entitles you to a certain number of hours per year. In effect it is a private charter company-it works just the same, but only those who have bought in can use it. This puts it in Part 91 instead of 135, which makes regulatory compliance easier. Flight crews are kept busy, and owners are guaranteed a certain response time-I believe it's typically about 4 hours. This is the biggest reason that private jets are selling so well.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
EMBQA
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:17 am

Quoting Uscgc130 (Thread starter):
Who flies airplanes for people like that? Do such people have pilots on retainer, or make arrangements with companies who can provide pilots qualified on certain types of aircraft when the need arises, or what?

It's just a job like any other pilot. I have a good friend that is a corporate pilot and flies a businessman around. It's his full time regular job. He has a print out of scheduled trips, plus wears a pager for anything that might come up short notice. Now, when he goes on vacation they do call a 'rent a pilot' type company that fills his seat.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
jetstar
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:30 am

I spent almost all of my aviation career in corporate and general aviation.

Most large corporations have their own flight department and their pilots are full time employees, a lot of corporations even have their own maintenance staff, with some even capable of doing the major inspections on the company aircraft.

Because pilots do not work a 9 to 5 schedule, their days off are usually between flights. Corporate aircraft do not fly anywhere near the time airliners fly, some corporations only have one airplane and one flight crew. A flight department with 2 or more airplanes will usually have an extra pilot to allow for ample time off and cover vacations and sick days, otherwise they would hire a contract pilot by the day to fill in.

In my corporate days on the Lockheed JetStar, we had 2 rated captains who flew most of the trips. They would swap seats every leg and sometimes would be out on the road all week. When they were out on the road and I was not flying my time was mine. As long as the paper work was up to date and the shop was clean I could do whatever I wanted. I did all the maintenance and even rebuilt the engine on my Cessna 150 during these periods the JetStar was on the road using the company shop.

I was officially hired as the Director of Maintenance, but because I had a commercial pilots license with multi and instrument ratings, I was sent to Flight Safety and qualified as co-pilot and often flew trips either to give one of the pilots time off or as a third pilot on long one day trips or very busy multi leg week trips. Because about 20 percent of our flying was ferry flights, I got to fly the JetStar from the left seat, if I had stayed long enough I probably would have built up enough time to get my JetStar type rating.

Our trips were usually scheduled 2 weeks in advance so we basically knew what our schedule was. Some of our week long trips left on Sunday afternoon and returned on Friday, others could be just overnights to 3 day trips. Some week long trips were back to back so I would have to work the weekend to service and work off any maintenance issues that came up on the previous trip. Occasionally I would fly these weeklong trips, work on the airplane during the weekend at home and fly out again on another weeklong tips. Sometimes if it was slow, we would not have any trips for 2 or more weeks so the chief pilot would check with the company and if there was no need for the airplane he would take it out of service for a few days so I could do the mandatory inspections and maintenance.

Unlike the airlines, fractional or charter pilots, corporate pilots jobs are to fly the executives to their destination and then wait until they are ready to fly out, sometimes this could take a few days so during this time the pilots are off, but are available in case of an emergency, which basically means no drinking during the day. A lot of corporate pilots play golf and it was not uncommon for our JetStar to have 2 sets of pilot’s golf clubs in the aft storage compartment. I knew another JetStar operator that there was always 2 sets of golf clubs permanently on board. When I interviewed for the job the first question was did I have an A&P license and JetStar experience, the second was did I play golf, yes to the first and no to the second but I still got the job.

I spent many days off on the road, some were good like sitting on the beaches in Florida in the winter, or bad like staying in Helena Montana for 3 days in January when it was –6 degrees outside or in Houston Texas during a hot humid August summer day. Almost always we had a car so during the day we would go sightseeing, if there were any aviation related museums we would go there, if not then drive around to see the local area. Since I didn’t play golf, sometimes I would drop the pilot or pilots off at a local golf course and pick them up at an arranged time later in the day so I was free to do whatever I wanted to do, usually returned back to the hotel and sat around the pool or watched TV or did some shopping at the local malls. At that time I was single and so was one of the other pilots and when I flew with him we would check out the local night spots.

Some cities we were there quite often so we got to know some of the local people and would go out on the town with them, I made friends in a lot of cities and even was dating a girl in a city we went to very often in Florida.

I also spent many days sitting around the FBO where we would park if it was a one day trip, some were good with great pilots lounges and TV’s and others were horrible with nothing to do. Some had crew cars so we would go out to a local restaurant for lunch sometimes we had lunch at the airport restaurant if it had one if not get our food from the vending machines. If there was nothing else around then lunch was peanuts, crackers, cookies and soda from our airplane.

It was a great experience during my nearly ten years in corporate aviation, especially for a singly guy. I flew to almost every state in the country, plus Canada, Europe, Bermuda and Mexico, went to a lot of great places, saw a lot of the country, ate in interesting restaurants, met some really neat people and got paid to do this, plus all expenses like hotels, cars and meals.

Plus I got to fly and work on the 4 engine Lockheed JetStar, which I still consider to be one of the ultimate corporate jets ever built. Today’s modern corporate jets can fly much farther, are quieter and easier to fly with all the computers and glass cockpits, but there is no greater feeling for me as a pilot than pushing a handful of throttles forward when taking off.
 
DashTrash
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:43 am

I flew a Sabreliner for an owner / pilot. He and I swapped seats every leg, with me usually getting the going home run.

If the trip was just an overnight, or for maybe a day or two, I got a rental car if I felt like I needed it, and a hotel. I was on my own to book them, and I had a lot of discretion on what to drive and where to stay. My only guideline on a room was that I didn't need to book the Ritz, but don't Motel 6 it either.

If the trip was longer, it was up to me whether to stay or airline home. I'd always look at what was the cheapest for the owner and do that.
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:53 pm

Quoting Uscgc130 (Thread starter):
I suppose Oprah Winfrey, who owns a Gulfstream, is a good example of the sort of person I have in mind. Who flies airplanes for people like that? Do such people have pilots on retainer, or make arrangements with companies who can provide pilots qualified on certain types of aircraft when the need arises, or what?

Many people opt to Use Companies such as Netjets to fly privately.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetJets
http://www.netjets.com

This way they can buy only a fraction of a plane and have it for use for so many hours a year. Essentially...its Timesharing Business Jets.

There are similar companies, such as Flight Options, Citation Shares and a few more....However Netjets is by far the Biggest, and has many bases world wide.
 
AA717driver
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:52 am

To add a different angle of the same job as Jetstar: I fly for a department that has 3 aircraft owned by 3 individuals. We are scheduled as far in advance as possible--sometimes we get several months notice of a trip (usually the long international trips) and sometimes we get the "how soon can you be at the airport" calls.

We don't work nearly as much as the airline or fractional (NetJets, et al) people but often, our trips are very hectic and there's little down time on the road.

Other trips we just sit for as long as 10 days to two weeks or more. The owners want to go when they want to go. We are staffed to provide a good quality of life (virtually no turnover here) for the pilot group but able to cover all aircraft operating at once--two with three-man crews.

We get a whole lot of time off at home. That is the cost to the owners of having us ready to go and able to cover any trip they might throw at us.

Hope this helps. TC
FL450, M.85
 
n710ps
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:51 pm

Than lets throw the angle I am most familiar with out there. Air Ambulance! I reccomend this as a time builder to anyone if they can get their foot in the door but for a career I would have to reccomend against it totally. I spent about a year flying the Lear 25/35 as well as a Navajo and a Kingair 100 for an Air Ambulance company untill they tanked. We were scheduled 7 on 7 off and they would airline us out to the plane because unless she was home for MX there was no such t hing as a plane being at the base airport. We would sometimes go say from Teterhole (Teterborough to Lincholn, Nebraska, than on to San Fran and than on to Sacramento in on day than sit for three days with absolutely no trips to fly. Than we would get hammered again with trips for a day and than sit the rest of the tour or just fly constantly. there were a few times where they would airline me from SRQ out to say Billings, Montana and I would sit for 6 days and than ferry the plane to another city for a trip on crew swap day. Sometimes I would stay with the plane for three weeks and never see home because we were soo short staffed and the more seinor pilots liked flying the Navajo because it never left the southeast YSA whereas we went EVERYPLACE including a LR35 trip with 2 fuel stops over to the UK once to pick up a paitent. We flew with two pilots and two nurses. The upside was we had alot of party time sometimes in certain cities. Total blast but do I think I would do it again? I am not so sure.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
 
LimaNiner
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:32 pm

RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:41 pm

Quoting JAL777 (Reply 3):
They don't do ANYTHING else besides the 3 trips a year. Must be nice.

How do they stay current?
 
jwenting
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:53 pm

Quoting LimaNiner (Reply 13):
How do they stay current?

by flying more than those 3 trips a year, but not flying passenger runs on the company schedule...
Almost certainly those 3 trips are just what's official, on the side there will be "taking the CEOs daughter to Paris for shopping and getting in some flight hours", "taking the CEOs wife to Cancun for a week on the beach and keeping current on the aircraft", "flying the CFOs son to see the Superbowl and checking aircraft systems", etc. etc.
I wish I were flying
 
cancidas
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:04 pm

one of my roomates from riddle now has two corporate gigs. he's flying both a citation and a piston twin for two different owners. he loves both jobs, and they keep him relatively busy. he doesn't ever want to work anything other than part 91 flying.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
atct
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:51 am

I have many friends flying Bizjets..

One flies G-V's and GLEX's for a big aluminum company...he works like 12 days a month (straight) then off the rest. (lots of different crews and travelling mechanics). Gets paid great and has benefits etc. (Equal to a top Legacy/Cargo airline)

I have another friend flying a Falcon 50, 20, and a Lear 31 for another company. They work whatever theyre assigned. Good crewmates and co-workers...just odd ball schedules. Its okay pay wise. (equal to say a Regional)

I also have an old instructor flying a King Air 100 single pilot. He does all the management etc. (No Maintenance...thats contracted). He gets paid well but no real benefits or retirement. So he spend alot of his money there. The plus is, he works for a small company thats run by a family and they treat their pilots well. (Ive known their past two pilots). As far as I know he loves his job and isnt planning on leaving for a "fancy button pushing job" anytime soon. (I agree personally, flying a King Air...200 / C90 preferably but the 100 is nice....is a great job if you make enough to live well).

Its all hit or miss with the Exec jobs. You could get an AWESOME company (keeping companies names out of this) or you can get stuck with a crappy one. Do your research before you accept a job.



No getting back on topic....I know a guy who has a Baron 58 and is getting an eclipse. He flies weekly. I also know a very famous racing team owner (N45CG...you might guess what CG stands for) who has a Lear 45 and a King Air (200? I cant remember). He flies almost daily. (Or I should say his crew flies...he rides lol)

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
flymia
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RE: Pilots For Private Jets

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:31 pm

Well the only Private plane I flown on is owned by two very wealthly people in Miami, they share the plane and fly it all over North American and even flown it downt o EZE before. They us the same two pilots all the time for all their flights, they only fly for these two guys on there one plane. They average about 50 hours a month.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)

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