Thinking of becoming a corporate pilot? As a corporate pilot, you can work for private individuals, corporations, charter operators, and employers that operate airplanes under a fractional ownership program. Most of us are familiar with the many enticing reasons to take this aviation career path, including prestige, the chance to meet celebrities, and the opportunity to travel the world, but here are 5 key points you didn’t know about being a business aviation pilot:
The role of the private jet pilot is often glamorized, but it is much more than just flying the plane. As a corporate pilot, you can expect a lot of variety in your duties and have the independence to do it all yourself. Pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight – a corporate pilot is involved in every aspect of the trip. From loading bags, preparing catering, cleaning the plane’s interiors, sometimes even conducting their own flight planning and dispatch and of course, flying the aircraft. Corporate pilots have a lot of responsibilities and a lot to remember. Of course, this isn’t always the case as some corporate flight departments do employ cabin crew as support for corporate pilots as well.
Because they work in the corporate world, corporate pilots are on call 24/7 and trips can vary dramatically. Pilots can go from a day trip and be out for 12 hours or fly for 4 hours sit for 3 hours and then come back another 4 hours or so. Or an extended trip where the longest trip he’s done is 4 weeks and some routes require pilots to drop off passengers and ferry the aircraft back to a holding spot or just generally transporting an empty aircraft to the location of its passengers.
Airplanes flown in corporate aviation can range in size from small single engine piston airplanes all the way to converted airliners that fly across oceans. Whether turboprops or jets, these aircraft are more likely to have the latest and greatest technology. Some would even call these aircraft the sports car of the sky. Corporate pilots are often qualified to fly multiple types of airplanes if their employer has a mixed fleet. Most corporate jets are flown by a crew of two, a captain and a first officer. However, several types of corporate jets can be flown by a single pilot. Many turboprops can also be flown single pilot.
Whether it’s a business trip to New York, London or Dallas or chartering a family to their Caribbean vacation, corporate pilots are expected to fly when and where their owners specify. Compared with the airline pilot, corporate pilot flying assignments are far from routine.
The best part is, business pilots are more likely to have the opportunity to stay with the aircraft on long layovers, waiting for the owner, in some incredible destinations all over the world.
As a corporate pilot working for private owners, charter companies or corporations, there is a higher chance of working with a diversified fleet of aircraft, which translates into the opportunity to be type-rated in multiple platforms and experience flight in different planes. As opposed to earlier days, this sector is today operating machines as sophisticated as the aircraft flown by airlines. The variety of aircraft has grown substantially with corporate pilots flying Gulfstream 650 aircraft, Dassault Falcon 8X and the Bombardier Global 7,000 amongst others.
If your company owns one aircraft, you will probably have an irregular schedule. If your company owns a fleet of planes or if you work for an operation that leases a single plane to many companies, you may get to fly a more regular schedule.
If you’re a person who likes variety over a routine, business aviation could be for you.
You should always stay active in your professional network and be sure to keep your skills fresh as you never know what opportunity could arise in this quick-moving industry.
Do you have a private pilot's license and think you may be interested in a business aviation type rating? Discuss with a CAE team member today! https://trainwithcae.com/contact-sales
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