You are at lunch with a business colleague and the subject of your pending business trip comes up. You tell your tablemate that you have been using a local air taxi service for your flights and that you need to remember to give them a call to set things up.
“Hey,” your meal buddy says, “I own a Beechcraft Baron with a few partners out at the airport and I am free that day. Why don’t you just let me fly you there and pay me a lot less?”
His pitch sounds interesting. After all, he has been telling you for some time that he is a pilot and you know that he has been flying for years. The cost reduction would be a benefit to you and an airplane is an airplane, right?
What makes air taxi operators and fractional jet companies so great anyway? They are way more expensive that you think they should be. After all, most of what they do simply entails firing up the engines and flying you somewhere. Why not use your friend’s plane and save tons of money?
This attitude was the driving force of charter aviation not that long ago. It used to be that all you needed to have to charge passengers for travel was an airplane and a pilot that had a commercial rating. The commercial rating did not even have to include an instrument rating that attested to the fact that your pilot could fly through clouds and …