Manage / fly light jet

jrh

Well-Known Member
Any advice for managing a light jet?

Suppose I were going to both manage and fly a light jet, Part 91, single pilot, in a medium-sized midwestern city...what would be appropriate compensation?

I've worked in general aviation a long time, owned my own piston single in the past, and operated similar jets for a Part 135 charter company for a couple years, so none of this should be terribly outside my skill set, but since I haven't formally "managed" a turbine aircraft I'm not entirely sure where to start.

It sounds like it isn't much different from what I did as an owner...clean it, coordinate maintenance with a shop, set up insurance, recurrent training, etc. Am I missing something? What are important details to talk about when negotiating the scope of job responsibilities?
 

Inverted25

Well-Known Member
Depends. At 15k I would say $100–115k unless you are in an expensive location. But ask for $145 and work down from there


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BEEF SUPREME

Well-Known Member
Find NBAA numbers.

Come up with a good policy on using a trusted well liked contractor that works well for the aircraft owner. That way you can take a break. Things can get overwhelming pretty fast.

Good luck.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
@BEEF SUPREME is correct, heed his advice. I've seen people trampled by owners that assume they own their pilots just because they own their airplane. Don't be that guy.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
I would say 100 to 115 for a light jet like an M2 or whatever. If it were an extremely light use, maybe a little less.
 

SrFnFly227

Well-Known Member
I would say 100 to 115 for a light jet like an M2 or whatever. If it were an extremely light use, maybe a little less.
Salaries have come up drastically in the last few years, especially for the smaller equipment. $100-115k would be correct for Captain pay. With full management responsibility, I would say $125-140k depending on cost of living and aircraft usage.
 

bucksmith

Did you lock the doors?
I'd separate management and pilot duties. Management, flat monthly fee. Day rate for pilot services. Keeps everyone honest.
To expand, you could also negotiate a salary to fly the plane, and then just charge a bit less than the local charter company would charge to manage the jet and convince the owner to charter their nice new jet. ($2.5-5k/month)
Skip the charter, learn about dry leasing from NBAA. Start an LLC for the management company and start a separate LLC for pilot services. You’ll understand as you learn about dry leasing. (It’s been a while, I could be wrong, maybe the management company can also supply the pilots. (Just because it’s just you doesn’t change the rules)
General advice I don’t hear many others giving.
These guys are masters of their universe’s, they command everything they see and they’ve gotten wealthy building their little empire. When it comes time to talk airplanes, they go dumb, call their charter broker and say “I want to buy a jet, can you help?” And they say, “suuuuuuure.” Then the HNWI suddenly gets sucked into a cycle that drives many to NetJets or back to charter.
The reason is this industry is filled with people trying to strip wealthy people of their money. It seems like they don’t understand there is plenty of money to go around, all you have to do is care about an individuals goals. Approach this guy as the only person in this business that will act in their best interest at all times in exchange for a fair wage and they might be smart enough to realize they have a great opportunity to start their experience in general aviation on the right track. Bottom line, treat their money as if it was your own. They didn’t get wealthy throwing round their money with blatant disregard, so stick around in their lives by adopting the same attitude. Negotiate fuel prices, shop around maintenance, if you ate a steak yesterday, check out Jimmy Johns today.
If this is a serious opportunity for you, don’t take it lightly and don’t think about it like it’s just a couple steps greater than running your piston single. Get a mentor, someone that has been doing this for a while, and I don’t mean someone that has made a living in the narrow margins of the charter world, where the same company that manages the airplane does the maintenance. (IMHO, largest conflict of interest that exists in this business)
Sorry for the straight shooting, but if you’re not going to completely immerse yourself in how to do this job, then start by calling NetJets to find out if they pay any finders fees.
Good luck! I’ve been down this road a few times and I’ve got the mentor that led me down a good path each time. Got close once, haven’t pulled off this scenario yet. Currently enjoying just being the pilot, but I’ve always got my eye out for a great opportunity like this. If you can put this together and it’s the right fit for you, it could be the best deal in aviation. Keep us posted!
 

bucksmith

Did you lock the doors?
Any advice for managing a light jet?

Suppose I were going to both manage and fly a light jet, Part 91, single pilot, in a medium-sized midwestern city...what would be appropriate compensation?

I've worked in general aviation a long time, owned my own piston single in the past, and operated similar jets for a Part 135 charter company for a couple years, so none of this should be terribly outside my skill set, but since I haven't formally "managed" a turbine aircraft I'm not entirely sure where to start.

It sounds like it isn't much different from what I did as an owner...clean it, coordinate maintenance with a shop, set up insurance, recurrent training, etc. Am I missing something? What are important details to talk about when negotiating the scope of job responsibilities?
More directly, to answer some of your questions,
Start by forming a list of questions and a checklist of things to cover. Job responsibilities are simple. The owner picks up a phone and tells you he or she wants to be in Toledo on Tuesday and hangs up. You do everything else. Not to be flip, but what you are offering is turn key, worry free air transport. Most of us think we are the greatest thing since sliced bread and flying the plane is sooo cool. But the reality is, that jet is a tool in this persons life, like a laptop, and you are just the mother board. It just needs to work, so you can see, flying the airplane is a small part of the job.
You need to familiarize yourself with parts of the FAR’s you might never have read.
The owner needs a aviation tax guy.
One of your biggest jobs is to manage the owners expectations. Be sure they understand the costs and make sure they get into the right airplane for the mission. Many of these folks’ eyes are bigger than their wallets. Put them into a bad spot and you’re looking for a job in a couple years.
Have fun!
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the good info everyone, especially @bucksmith for taking the time to be so thorough.

I interviewed for this position and it went well. Family recently purchased the aircraft and seem to be exceptionally nice, professional, reasonable people. They had looked into various aircraft management companies in the area and didn't feel like the fees involved were justified for the amount of service they'd be receiving, which is why they were searching for a full time employee to run the show even though they did not expect to be flying more than 150 hours/year.

After much discussion, I had some slight concerns about the schedule and compensation. We agreed to each think it over for a few days.

I concluded that even if I were offered the position, I would decline it for one main reason...I'm not ready to fly so little.

My whole career has been pretty weird by most pilots' standards and I think. I'm currently flying jets for a Part 135 operation. While everyone else in the industry is like, "Part 135 is a nightmare, get out as quick as you can," I'm over here like, "Easy flying, ok pay, good crews, fun trips, I could roll like this for years yet." I fly 400-500 hours/year and the thought of dropping to a third of that isn't what I want right now.

As I pondered how to help these owners, I decided to recommend they reevaluate management solutions, as I think finding the right individual might be difficult for them.

When the owners contacted me a few days later, they said they'd decided to go with a management company after all. They asked to keep my contact info for possible work as a contract pilot in the future.

I'd say we both got exactly what we needed. All's well that ends well.
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the good info everyone, especially @bucksmith for taking the time to be so thorough.

I interviewed for this position and it went well. Family recently purchased the aircraft and seem to be exceptionally nice, professional, reasonable people. They had looked into various aircraft management companies in the area and didn't feel like the fees involved were justified for the amount of service they'd be receiving, which is why they were searching for a full time employee to run the show even though they did not expect to be flying more than 150 hours/year.

After much discussion, I had some slight concerns about the schedule and compensation. We agreed to each think it over for a few days.

I concluded that even if I were offered the position, I would decline it for one main reason...I'm not ready to fly so little.

My whole career has been pretty weird by most pilots' standards and I think. I'm currently flying jets for a Part 135 operation. While everyone else in the industry is like, "Part 135 is a nightmare, get out as quick as you can," I'm over here like, "Easy flying, ok pay, good crews, fun trips, I could roll like this for years yet." I fly 400-500 hours/year and the thought of dropping to a third of that isn't what I want right now.

As I pondered how to help these owners, I decided to recommend they reevaluate management solutions, as I think finding the right individual might be difficult for them.

When the owners contacted me a few days later, they said they'd decided to go with a management company after all. They asked to keep my contact info for possible work as a contract pilot in the future.

I'd say we both got exactly what we needed. All's well that ends well.
Those of us that say part 135 is a nightmare are saying it because we got out and now realize how crappy it was. When I was doing it, I thought it was normal and that anything else would have its own set of issues.

I’m sure there are some decent 135 jobs out there though, and hopefully that’s where you’re at.
 

bucksmith

Did you lock the doors?
Thanks for the good info everyone, especially @bucksmith for taking the time to be so thorough.

I interviewed for this position and it went well. Family recently purchased the aircraft and seem to be exceptionally nice, professional, reasonable people. They had looked into various aircraft management companies in the area and didn't feel like the fees involved were justified for the amount of service they'd be receiving, which is why they were searching for a full time employee to run the show even though they did not expect to be flying more than 150 hours/year.

After much discussion, I had some slight concerns about the schedule and compensation. We agreed to each think it over for a few days.

I concluded that even if I were offered the position, I would decline it for one main reason...I'm not ready to fly so little.

My whole career has been pretty weird by most pilots' standards and I think. I'm currently flying jets for a Part 135 operation. While everyone else in the industry is like, "Part 135 is a nightmare, get out as quick as you can," I'm over here like, "Easy flying, ok pay, good crews, fun trips, I could roll like this for years yet." I fly 400-500 hours/year and the thought of dropping to a third of that isn't what I want right now.

As I pondered how to help these owners, I decided to recommend they reevaluate management solutions, as I think finding the right individual might be difficult for them.

When the owners contacted me a few days later, they said they'd decided to go with a management company after all. They asked to keep my contact info for possible work as a contract pilot in the future.

I'd say we both got exactly what we needed. All's well that ends well.
Great post, the break down of the thought process is great for all those that come here to read this thread in the future. (Hello future readers :cool:)
Too many of us take on these jobs as if managing the plane was just an extra duty, like updating the jepps or keeping the supplies stocked. And it’s often a lot less flying than many other gigs. The BS will often out weigh the aviating, so ya gotta be into that kind of thing.
Glad you’re happy and making good decisions about your career. There are certainly no clear cut paths in this business!
 

MikeOH58

Well-Known Member
Employers typically laugh at and dismiss NBAA numbers. Just saying...
If you are a smart pilot you will laugh and dismiss NBAA numbers. They aren’t even remotely accurate or reflective of the current market for super mids and up.
 

Crop Duster

E pluribus unum
Approach this guy as the only person in this business that will act in their best interest at all times in exchange for a fair wage and they might be smart enough to realize they have a great opportunity to start their experience in general aviation on the right track. Bottom line, treat their money as if it was your own.
If those HNWIs were only aware enough and perceptive enough to recognize good when they've got it. Most of these guys are so paranoid from their past biz dealings they just assume everyone is out to take 'em. Yet, they are still, often as not, susceptible to the "right class" of salesperson who is, often as not, actually out to take 'em, but in a kinder, gentler, properly-attired fashion. HNWIs are typically no smarter than the average bear, just richer. Typically, they're much more drawn to appearances and "the right referrals" than they are to due diligence and competence.
 

TUCKnTRUCK

That guy
Employers typically laugh at and dismiss NBAA numbers. Just saying...
If you read the data exclusion list - so should the pilots!

I’ll be 100% honest. At my gig we have a nice schedule, a pilot group that works well together. We’ve got the operation to a point where most everything is nearly automatic.

that being said- every time it’s “raise time” it sucks. The NBAA number can be all over the place. The owners at least recognize that our staffing competition isn’t another hawker operator that pays more, so we factor in local super mid, and large cabin jobs. Then I typically look at same year major airline pay+ benefits valuation and try to make it so that our guys have no real desire to go elsewhere.

I’ve never had push back which is nice, but I’m always ready for the argument if need be. The trump card always being “ if you want to keep the group you have without turnover, the pay needs to reflect that value to you”

Re: managing an airplane - depending on where it’s located it can be an easy job, but it can also be a difficult one.
If they want you to work up a budget on a new plane with no history - good luck. If they have had it for a while, and you can pull a history to start, it’s not bad. Just make sure they understand even a light jet is going to cost them at least 3k a day to own and fly. Every day of the year. :)
 
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