a candid look at piloting your business aircraft
For some of our clients, the choice to purchase a business aircraft is based entirely on their ability to fly it themselves. The freedom of going straight from the boardroom to the airport to fly home after a long day is a huge advantage to aircraft owners, but choosing to fly yourself may not always be the best option.
You May Not be Fit to Fly
During flight training your instructor will spend considerable time reviewing what it means to be mentally fit for every flight. Traveling for business can be very stressful. That big pitch you’re going to make after you land, upcoming year-end deadlines, a conversation you need to have with an employee when you get back… all of this can become consuming - is your head really wrapped around everything going on in the cockpit? Maybe, maybe not. These thresholds are different for everyone - but being able to stop yourself and realize you’re unfit to fly is an important part of being a safe pilot.
Sacred Work Time
For many private flyers, aircraft ownership is about gaining back lost time. Using your new found time to fly an airplane may not be attractive. Sitting in the back catching up on work in relative solitude is often cited as a leading factor in owner satisfaction.
You’re Not Interested in a Second Career
At Flight Level, we may be one of the biggest advocates of private aviation - we understand the value it adds and encourage nearly everyone we encounter to give it a shot. We also understand that becoming a pilot is a major time commitment, a resource that business-people are often lacking. In an earlier blog we talked about how insurers rule the skies and often limit the type of aircraft you can fly - despite holding the appropriate certificate (albeit, for good reasons). If you have your eye on a shiny Pilatus when you start flight school, you may find it could be years of flying experience before you sit in the left seat.
despite all of this, many owner-pilots would never go back to a passenger seat
For any one negative there are dozens of positives. Flying yourself offers the ultimate flexibility and can be a substantial cost-saver over hiring or contracting professional pilots. Ultimately, individual circumstances should dictate your decision to fly, or be flown, but going in with an understanding of the big picture will keep from encountering costly disappointments.