Flexibility is a skill which is always related to both, commercial and private aviation.
But what does it mean being flexible while working on a private jet?
Well, let me tell you: the flexibility you must have when you work in Business Aviation is 360 degrees.
Before the flight
Let’s start from the roster.
…….Which are actually called “rotation”.
Your rotation, in general, has a defined date for its beginning and its end.
During the time in between those two dates, anything can happen!
While on duty, you belong to the jet and the jet belongs to you.
You are always together, and part of your tasks is to provide anything the jet needs, as well as prepare every mission (flight) accordingly.
You may fly every day a few sectors per day, or you might stay in a tropical island for 10 days, waiting for the boss.
Another situation is when the number of customers suddenly rise unexpectedly and maybe with a super short notice.
And you have no more time to fix the catering.
How to use a catering for 6, now for 9 customers? Slices!
Cut everything in pieces and plate small quantities.
I’ve never been short in food with this technique!
During the flight
Not frequent at all, and almost impossible now during Covid, but the customers may change destination during the flight.
Pilots have then to hurry up and require new landing permits and get a new general declaration in order to be legal to land at the new destination.
This will also affect the cabin.
As the flight time will change, you will need to ration the food for the extra flight time or the other way round: quickly clear the cabin before landing.
While planning a mission
Talking in particular about charter operations (the so called Part 135 in America), when a customer books a flight on a Private Jet, they know they can take ANY last minute change.
Time of departure, destination, airport of departure, number of customers, additional stops along the way…..
They can change everything as many time as it’s required.
Sometimes happens that you are requested to extend your duty of one day or more due to operational reasons.
For example, positioning costs or flight connection’s availability.
If it’s too complicated to get you home form one place via airline, they might ask you to extend your duty of one day or more in order to get you closer to your base with the jet, while on duty.
This concept works also at the beginning of your duty, so when you have to start earlier.
Well, when you freelance your flexibility is extended totally.
The limit of a free lance’s flexibility is the galaxy.
It mustn’t have boundaries.
Last week I’ve been pulled out at 19.30 for a flight at 7.30 am the following day.
My duty started at 4.45 am, so I had about 9 hours from the call to the beginning of the duty.
Another example? I have been pulled out for a 15 days duty, with 24 hours notice.
I know it may sound impossible, but in Private Aviation everything is possible!