How to Charter a Plane

How to Charter a Plane
Chartering a plane to get you and your group to your destination, possibly to a wilderness area only accessible by air, is an option valued by many outdoor adventurers. By chartering a plane, you and your group are the only individuals on board. You don't have to worry about lost or stolen luggage or the possibility of terrorism. You will want a pilot who has significant experience in flying through remote expanses of terrain, especially if traversing mountain passes to take you to your next remote adventure.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Find a charter service that meets your needs by consulting with pilots or other airport personnel at your local airport. Although you also can check the phone book or look online, speaking with others at the airport is better way to ask who they would recommend and to inquire about the experience of charter service pilots. You'll need a pilot with "bush flying" experience to get you into isolated spots only accessible by air or arduous trekking. Bush pilots are known for taking outdoor enthusiasts into remote areas and flying on search and rescue missions. Their services can be reserved a few hours before your flight time, depending on the season and weather.
Step 2
Determine the size of your group and select the size of plane that will most accommodate everyone and their gear. Many charter services have a list of planes that they fly and can help you select the plane that will suit your needs best. Avoid chartering a plane just for extra space. The larger the plane, the higher the cost of chartering it. Check the maintenance schedule of the plane that you'll be chartering as well. You don't want to go up in a rusty crop-duster and hope for a smooth landing.
Step 3
Charter the plane outside the peak travel season or on busy weekends and holidays if you need to hold down your costs. Flying midweek or during low travel seasons will ensure that you pick the most cost-effective charter.
Step 4
Choose a charter service as close to your destination as possible. Stick to smaller general aviation airports rather than larger commercial airport if you can. Charter services at larger airports typically cost more during any season and flying from closer to your destination will greatly reduce the cost. Most charter services bill by the hour that the plane is in use, while others cover the cost of fuel and a pilot's predetermined hourly pay rate.
Step 5
Calculate your expenses for "empty leg" time. If you want the plane to come back and pick you up, you'll have to pay for every hour that the plane is reserved, whether in flight or not. This can become quite costly, especially on long backpacking or mountain climbing trips. Consider a one-time-in flight, then hike out of the bush on your own and arrange for alternate transportation from your destination.

Tips & Warnings

 
Traveling in large groups reduces the cost of chartering a plane because the expense can be split more ways. Most charter services do not charge per person, so a $6,000 flight can be split by 12 people and you'll only be paying $500 per person out of pocket.
 
Traveling in large groups reduces the cost of chartering a plane because the expense can be split more ways. Most charter services do not charge per person, so a $6,000 flight can be split by 12 people and you'll only be paying $500 per person out of pocket.
 
Always ask for plane safety and maintenance records, experience certifications and hours of flight time from the pilot and charter service. This will ensure your safety and peace of mind that you and your group will be in good hands once you've verified these.
 
Always ask for plane safety and maintenance records, experience certifications and hours of flight time from the pilot and charter service. This will ensure your safety and peace of mind that you and your group will be in good hands once you've verified these.

Article Written By Jeremiah Blanchard

Jeremiah Blanchard has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in topics related to nature, the environment, conservation and philosophy. His work has appeared in activist columns on Socyberty and Authspot. Blanchard studied art at William Carey College and history at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.