135 Operator Worksheet
Questions To Ask of Your Air Charter Provider-
The first question I always hear is what are your rates, how
much to fly from X to Z? If the response to that question
is we'll beat any price by X amount or we have the lowest
rates in the industry, a red flag should be raised and further
evaluation is required. All FAA Part 135 operations are not
created equal. They are all issued certificates and overseen
by the Federal Aviation Administration but depending on the
inspector to operator ratio or relationship, some things may
fall through the cracks.
It is the responsibility of the operator to keep updated with
current regulations and standard industry practices and this
is where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Does the operator
add programs or equipment because they will enhance operational
safety or do they simply do it to meet the minimum FAA requirements?
Are safety programs and equipment added even thought they
are not currently required? What training programs do you
have for both pilots? Is there any military aviation experience
in the company?
Most jets require a two-pilot crew which makes the FAA training
apply to both of them. Most turboprops are only required to
have one pilot. A turboprop operator will hold itself out
as a two pilot crew but the co-pilot is the local flight instructor
or line guy who is just trying to build time. They are not
trained or checked by the FAA but you are getting billed for
an additional unqualified pilot.
There are third party providers that will do an "independent"
audit but like anything else, some are good, some are not
so good. I find the best overall indicator of how well an
operation is run is by the liability amounts carried on each
aircraft. A properly insured operation will have an experienced
aviation adjuster review the complete operation typically
annually and in some cases every six months. The insurance
company will have a significant interest in a properly maintained
operation and they will know the complete background history
of all the pilots, schedulers and maintenance personnel affiliated
with the company.
Quality Standards of Insurance
Piston Twin 2 to 5mil
Know Before You Go-
In an effort to help you compare apples to apples, click on
the PDF file titled "Part 135 Operator Worksheet".
It is a very short survey that can be sent to any operator
you plan on using but will answer the majority of concerns
you should have when selecting an On-Demand Part 135 Operator.
I would be very suspect if there is any hesitation from the
operator or any missing documentation when completing the
As always, the best customer is an informed customer.
135 Operator Worksheet