Fixed & Operating Costs

April 27, 2021

Things to Consider When Hiring a Private Pilot

Find the Best Candidate to Fly Your Business Jet

One of the most important moves your business will need to make after choosing to purchase a fleet of business jets is hiring a stable of pilots to fly them. Although there are various recruitment methods your company may use, most will use the same guidelines when considering pilot candidates.

Before casting your net into the metaphorical sea, you’ll want to narrow down your selection criteria, including experience and qualifications. A good guideline to follow is seeking out candidates who are qualified to fly for a regional airline, at a minimum. You may want to add additional qualifications, however, to find the best possible candidate for your company.

Flight Experience and Licensure
Your pilot candidates should hold a valid commercial pilot’s license, the first tier at which they legally can get paid for flying. A private pilot license is a misnomer; one of these does not legally allow the holder to be hired out, although they may be technically proficient and capable of flying your company’s private jet.

Pilot candidates also should hold instrument and multi-engine ratings, as well as their airline transport pilot certificate (ATP) and experience with Part 135 cargo operations, which includes commercial, non-scheduled aircraft operations like private charter and air taxi flights.

Applicants who’ve worked as certified flight instructors (CFIs) are a major bonus. A Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering study showed former CFIs were less likely to have non-completions for training when employed at regional airlines, while those without that experience required additional training and had more non-completions. Hiring pilots who need less training ultimately saves your company money in the annual operating costs of your aviation program.

Depending on the type of private jet or jets your company owns, the pilot you hire should be capable of flying solo, or of working with additional crewmates. It’s also ideal that you find a pilot with experience in the private aviation sector, who has flown for companies before, such as a former charter pilot, which will help minimize training expenses as well. That said, former military flyers make wonderful pilot hires, as they’re both experts in protocol and have had extensive training.

Education Requirements
Regional airlines have begun requiring a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for their pilot candidates, although they do not specify in which discipline the degree must be.

Your education requirements for your pilots does not necessarily need to align with this type of qualification.

Character Traits
Verifying training and education is quite straightforward, but only a personal interview will help you see what a pilot candidate is really like off of paper. During the interview, you’ll want to get a good feel for each candidate’s character and personality. Certain traits are important to have in your stable of pilots.

  • Positive attitude and strong work ethic. Simply put, pilots with these traits are a pleasure to work with.
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Considering the state of business seems to change in an instant, a flexible and adaptable pilot will “roll with the punches” and be amicable to plan changes.
  • Responsible and self-motivated. The nature of flying requires pilots to understand the gravity of their role to keep each passenger safe. They must also remain motivated and be able to motivate those around them to do well.
  • Calmness under pressure. High-pressure situations are frequent. Facing difficulties while maintaining composure is of utmost importance.
  • Customer-service focused. Although your pilots likely won’t be face-to-face with your company’s leaders as they travel aboard the business jet, they’ll still be interacting with them over the intercom system and perhaps during other portions of their trips, outside the aircraft. Embracing an air of customer service is ideal for such personalized travel.

Build Your Aviation Operations with Used Private Jets for Sale
If you’ve been tasked with leading your company’s aviation program, one of the responsibilities you’ve accepted likely includes acquiring the right private jets for your leaders’ travels. You can find quality used private jets for sale on AircraftExchange, the exclusive online marketplace of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA). Our search portal helps private jet buyers identify, locate, and purchase vetted and verified pre-owned aircraft from IADA-Accredited Aircraft Dealers.

And if you’re looking for pilots, your IADA-Accredited Aircraft Dealer can point you to the most reputable private aviation service providers, where you can secure every component of your private aviation program.

Contact an IADA-Accredited Aircraft Dealer to learn more.