Category Archives: Safety

Aviation Safety Action Program

The air charter industry is very diverse. Charter operator and broker organizations of various sizes, quality and competencies are vying to handle your flight and dollars. New charter brokers appear continuously, offering as an expert to arrange charters as your agent, or offering a flying membership program. It is important to understand there are no real barriers to entry and literally anyone can advertise as a charter broker or membership program, and take your money up front.

The DOT and FAA government departments do their best in reviewing and enforcing practices in their separate realms, however there is little barrier to entry, government rating or seal of approval for charter brokers, and private charter fliers assume their own risk in choosing a private jet and charter service.

One key component when evaluating charter operators is whether they have implemented an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). ASAP is a confidential, nonpunitive safety reporting program that allows employees to report events when they have confidence that their reports will be used to produce positive results, and not to place blame. Companies that have implemented an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) have learned a wealth of information regarding safety-related events that otherwise would have gone undetected until a major event occurred.

ASAP is an FAA/industry partnership that provides a near consequence-free environment, whereby the participants can identify safety issues and report information that can be critical in identifying potential precursors to accidents.

Your charter broker operator will help you evaluate the quality and …

Illegal Charters

Worldwide air charter marketplace has introduced new standards to increase safety and satisfaction for private aviation travelers. These safety standards are also being met in an attempt to combat the darker side of the private aviation industry: illegal charters.

Consumers would probably be quite surprised to learn that illegal or grey aircraft charters make up approximately half of all private jet charters around the world.

One market in which illegal charter activity has recently garnered some attention is Europe as the European Business Aviation Association has commissioned a Germany-based consulting firm to conduct an in-depth study on the issue. The EBAA, NBAA’s European counterpart is committed to addressing the issue head-on.

The main problem with illegal charters is they put the customer at a high risk. In the case of an incident or accident, owner violations invalidate insurance policies, leaving passengers vulnerable and unprotected.

What exactly constitutes an illegal charter? These flights are deemed such because they lack an FAA-approved Aircraft Operating Certificate (AOC). The main cause of illegal charters is aircraft owners seeking to cover high costs associated with aircraft ownership.

General aviation pilots with valid AOCs are subject to regular flight reviews, performance audits, and various flight time requirements. Private aircraft owners are not required to maintain the same standards as those with valid AOCs, thus these flights do not adhere to operational safety standards set forth by governing authorities

To minimize the risk of booking illegal charters, private aviation passengers should follow these simple tips:


Living in Colorado and playing in the Rocky Mountains, we natives and lifestyle adoptees are no strangers to the diverse conditions that tease us every 5 to 10 minutes – sun, rain, snow, severe wind – and that’s just in one day. And all of us are well trained to adjust to the safety needs of severe weather travel and high altitude conditions.

No one balks at the weather or the additional gear that goes along with the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, however, if you’re a regular traveler and charter flight patron, balked landings are a common part of a pilots training and though very rare, a very good response in congested or last minute scenarios; a strong gust of wind, a wayward fuel truck too close to or on the runway, or another aircraft taxiing across the runway. Add a high altitude or remote location to the airport and you potentially face the local wildlife, bold and daring, and sometimes completely unimpressed by a jet engine and slow to move or stand down. In these cases, a balked landing, also known as a go-around, creates a better opportunity for a near perfect landing, and lets you have another chance to take in the terrain and surroundings from a high vantage point before emerging from the comfort of your luxury aircraft.

When it comes to mountain airports like Aspen and Eagle Colorado, surrounded by towering peaks, ever changing weather conditions, and abundant wildlife, balked landings are a part of a pilot’s …