Aircraft Sales Insights

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Advantages and Complexities of Hiring & Managing Your Own Flight Crew

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One of the benefits of owning an aircraft is the opportunity to select the flight crew and cabin staff for your aircraft.

“As a financial services company, we thoroughly vet all of our employees. Having our own aircraft allows us to extend that due diligence to the pilots and crew. We can confidently hold strategy meetings, discuss sensitive business, and have confidential documents in our briefcases and on our laptop computers just as we would in the office, since we know that everyone on board is a trusted team member. That’s a significant advantage since we spend a lot of time on the plane. In some of the places we travel, the airplane is the most secure, comfortable place to do business!” 

-Name Withheld

Purchasing an aircraft such as this 1994 Gulfstream GIVSP brings the option of hiring your own flight crew, which has some advantages and complexities. We're here to help you work through the details.

Purchasing an aircraft such as this 1994 Gulfstream GIVSP brings the option of hiring your own flight crew, which has some advantages and complexities. We’re here to help you work through the details.

This “comfort level” goes far beyond the reassurance of familiar faces. You can run background checks, execute confidentiality agreements, and use any of the other methods you would use to feel confident in hiring an employee.

Along with the advantages of hiring and managing your own flight crew, there is also complexity that few new or upgrading aircraft owners anticipate.

Example – Scheduling the Flight Crew for an International Mission

To illustrate how complex it can be to schedule a flight crew for typical operations, this is a glimpse into the high-level trip planning for a company that needs to send a project team abroad to support the launch of a new product on the international market.

The trip involves international travel to several cities, in an aircraft that requires two pilots.

Planning an international trip in a private jet? Many new or upgrading jet owners underestimate the complexity of crew planning

Please note that it’s more efficient to fly from west to east, so a professional flight planner might make different recommendations, but we understand that our clients need to go where and when their business takes them.

So far so good, except that like many corporate flight crews, the company in our example is subject to the FAA requirements for unscheduled carriers.

The following excerpt is from the regulatory requirements for charter pilots and is regulated under the Federal Aviation Regulations  “Part 135.”


§ 135.267 Flight time limitations and rest requirements: Unscheduled one- and two-pilot crews.

(a) No certificate holder may assign any flight crewmember, and no flight crewmember may accept an assignment, for flight time as a member of a one- or two-pilot crew if that crewmember’s total flight time in all commercial flying will exceed—

. . .

during any 24 consecutive hours the total flight time of the assigned flight when added to any other commercial flying by that flight crewmember may not exceed—

(1) 8 hours for a flight crew consisting of one pilot; or

(2) 10 hours for a flight crew consisting of two pilots qualified under this part for the operation being conducted.

(c) A flight crewmember’s flight time may exceed the flight time limits of paragraph (b) of this section if the assigned flight time occurs during a regularly assigned duty period of no more than 14 hours and—

. . .

As you can imagine, it goes on and on . . .

(Click this link for the current regulation if you’re curious.)

Depending on your particular situation, the regulatory requirements may be somewhat less restrictive, yet still daunting. Of course all of these regulations are subject to change at any time, and it takes a professional to know when and how to apply them.

Imagine the difficulty of an aircraft owner attempting to determine how many pilots to hire, train, and pre-position or send on this trip to support the mission!

Depending on the needs of your organization, you can see how it would be beneficial to have DJI’s assistance to help you understand how to hire the right personnel that has the operational experience and flight experience to organize and perform the trip.

Options for Managing Your Flight Crew

DJI understands the advantages and complexities of managing a flight crew, and we provide an array of services to help our clients benefit from the advantages while managing much of the complexity for you.

Some of the options:

  • Provide DJI with your requirements and DJI will do the recruiting and preliminary vetting of pilots and crew members for your company to hire and manage.
  • We enter into an agreement and DJI hires and manages your flight crew to your specifications, including background checks, confidentiality agreements, and so on.
  • Many other combinations are possible, based on your needs.

DJI’s goal is to ensure your aircraft ownership experience is a positive one especially with the crew.