In Business Aviation how many hours do you fly per month?
How busy are you in a month?
And what about your roster?
I heard myself these questions uncountable times….
Let’s make it clear then!
In Business Aviation….
…..We don’t have roster, we have rotation.
“I’ll leave for a 10 days rotation tomorrow”
“I am not sure I can come to the party: I am in the middle of my rotation”.
Being in a rotation means that you are stand by.
Anything can happen during your time on: you belong to the jet and jet belongs to you.
If you are assigned to multiple airplanes, you get the pairing with one at the beginning of your duty, and during the entire rotation you never change the aircraft.
Unless technical problems occur, obviously.
If you are assigned to one jet only, you never-ever change the jet.
If there are any flights (mission) you prepare them and fly, if there aren’t any, you stay at the hotel in the same city where the Private Jet is parked.
And you wait for something to come up.
You may also end up in your city during your rotation and, therefore, going home.
But you are still on duty until the rotation is over.
So my suggestion is not to consider that free time 100% free!
How long is your rotation?
This really depends on what type of operations you do.
The most common one is 15 days of duty, 15 days off.
There are other options as well, such as 20 on – 10 off, 3 weeks on – 3 weeks off, 17 on – 13 off, one month on – one month off.
It mainly depends how big is the private jet operator, what type of jets will you fly, if it’s charter or owner operations.
With that regards, owner operations are probably the less challenging ones.
You fly always with the same person and you follow his/her schedule.
In a 15 days rotation you might not fly every single day but just a few flights in the whole duty period.
Charter operations are much more flexible and less predictable because the aim in here is to sell flights as much as possible and this can happen 24/7.
In this type of job you definitely might end up flying at least one sector every day for the whole rotation.
How do you get to know about the flights planned?
There are different strategies, it depends how the Private Jet Operator is organised.
The most common and used one is an application.
A typical one is called “biz flight” but there are also others available.
You are given a username and a password and you can see the schedule of your rotation as well as the schedule of the entire fleet.
In this case, it’s your responsibility to keep it checked when you are on duty and plan yourself accordingly.
In some other organisations there is an auto- generated email system.
Every day (usually in the evening) the crew receive a detailed program of the next days of their rotation.
Every day, the crew must check that email and see if everything is the same or if something has changed.
In both scenarios you have all the relevant informations such as route, date, time of departure and arrival (in local and in UTC), price of the fuel, FBO contacts, crew member details (the ones on charge of the flight), catering wishes and customer’s information – if applicable.