Ask the right questions
When evaluating and selecting an aircraft provider, gather detailed information about the firm so that you can accurately assess whether it will be a good fit for your needs.
First and foremost, evaluate prospective aircraft management providers’ safety records and financial stability. The FAA holds aircraft owners/operators responsible for making sure mandated scheduled maintenance is performed, so you need to find a company that is reliable and has an excellent reputation. To do so, you can ask questions such as:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Has the company had any accidents? If so, get details.
- What are the crew’s qualifications?
- What type of equipment does the company have experience with? There are excellent management companies that won’t work for your situation because they don’t have experience with your aircraft. Ideally, the provider should be well-versed in flying and servicing your aircraft model.
- Has the company been Wyvern or ARG/US audited and at what level? You can cross-reference their responses with the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA to determine whether the company or its managed aircraft were involved in any incidents or accidents.
- What best practices and safety management procedures does the company abide by? When you visit the facility, are you comfortable with what you experience?
- Is the company’s focus compatible with your travel aims (e.g., long-haul international versus domestic experience)?
- What is the firm’s maintenance program? You need to be aware of the schedule for replacement of parts and maintenance, and you’ll want to check that repair records are duly documented for resale and regulation.
- Does the contract address your particular requirements and clearly state both parties’ expectations?
With all the i’s to dot and t’s to cross in private jet ownership, maintenance and management can be overwhelming. The right aircraft management firm has the experience and bandwidth to lighten this burden and be your guide, so that you can focus on the benefits of owning and operating your aircraft.