Hiring Private Jet Staff

When you hire a crew to fly your business jet, you’re hiring more than a run-of-the-mill operator and flight attendant.

You are, in fact, hiring people who should have your company’s best interests at heart — from economy and efficiency to comfort and safety. They also represent your company, whether you or your customers are on board.

In effect, they are employees of your company, and you should take as much care in hiring them as any other employee or executive, according to Jeffrey Reich, principal of Elevon Consulting, in writing for Forbes.

Therefore, you should hire the best in the field: operators who understand your company’s goals, who bring value and can find ways to optimize your aviation use, and who know how their practices “tie in to added effectiveness, efficiency and risk minimization,” Reich says. They need to represent your business with “the appropriate finesse.”

That doesn’t mean that the right operator is the most experienced; rather, that you can train a sufficiently experienced aviator with high values and standards to fly your plane and bring the value you’re looking for to your company, Reich says.

However, pre-training is essential for a private jet’s flight crew.

Susan C. Friedenberg, founder of Corporate Flight Attendant Training and Consulting Services, stresses that if disaster were to strike while a jet was in flight, the passengers trust that the crew knows what to do. If the crew — including the corporate flight attendant — has not undergone emergency training, lives could be lost. offers these tips in hiring a flight crew:

  • Contact a flight crew leasing company through a local fixed base operator (FBO) or online, with your requirements to hire a flight crew. A leasing company will perform background checks, performance reviews and match the right crew for your needs. Ask for references from other current clients to make sure they are happy with the level of service the leasing company has provided.
  • Ask for references from other private jet owners you may personally know or have run into at the airport where you store your airplane. They may have operators and crew that can meet your needs.
  • Place an ad in professional operator or airplane-owners magazines or visit Airline Pilot Central’s Web site for a private flight crew. This method would take the most effort since most likely you will have to screen and interview the crew yourself.
  • Select a pool of operators and crew you want to interview. Ask for each of them to provide a resume for your review.
  • Ask to see candidates’ current operators’ logs. This will tell you how current their flight hours are. Based on your level of comfort, you can hire an operator with 250 hours or up to 10,000 miles. Regional airlines hire their pilots with just over 250 hours, whereas larger legacy carriers hire operators with more than 5,000 hours.
  • Ask for each operator and crew member to provide a criminal background check. They can receive these from their local sheriff or law enforcement agency. This will prevent you from hiring someone with a criminal history.
  • Ask for a copy of operators’ passport photos. (They will need a current passport for international travel.) Inquire if they have international experience if you plan to travel to a global destination.

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