I finished off my first week on the job! Finally by Friday I was feeling somewhat useful, but I have a lot more training and on the job learning to go. I passed my operation control exam and can authorize trips, which I’ve yet to do, but will feel great when I do.
The biggest thing I’ve been learning this week is how different corporate aviation is from airlines and from general aviation. Obviously, I knew there were differences. It’s just discovering what those differences are.
The company I work for does operate under Part 91 and Part 135. We never operate under Part 121 – that’s the airlines and some cargo companies. What are the differences?
This is what you operate under when you fly just for fun. It’s what we operate under when ferrying our flights from airport to airport without any passengers. It’s just the pilots and it’s a lot less restrictive than Part 135. There’s no rest rules for the pilots, there’s technically no minimums (we have company minimums) so they can take off in zero visibility, again, we have company minimums so our pilots can’t do that. Also, when we are flying the owner of the aircraft around, depending what they want, we can operate that flight under Part 91. Some chose to keep it Part 135 for the higher safety standards, but it’s their choice and what’s in their contract.
The majority of our flying is under this Part. It’s for non-scheduled charter flights. Meaning, someone who wants to fly somewhere, gives us a call and we do it around their schedule. Our pilots have a minimum rest time, a maximum duty and flight time per day/month/quarter/year. We have to adhere to it, unless out of our control, which can be used in weather. Another trick is if the last flight of the day is Part 91, then they can go over 14 hours as well. Part 135 wasn’t hit with year with the more restrictive rest rules (Part 117) like the airlines were. Both Part 121 and Part 135 do adhere to Part 119, which brought Part 135 up to more restrictive safety measures. We, as a company, always hold operational control over these flights.
Considered the most restrictive Part to operate under, and that’s the airlines. Some cargo operate under Supplemental Part 121. They have all the complicated FARs and lots of requirements to meet for the FAA. Their companies have to be much more structured and broken down than Part 135 carriers, because most likely they can be a lot bigger.
Now, my job is a requirement under Part 121. All airlines must have sufficient aircraft dispatchers for the amount of flights they operate. My license isn’t required for the job I have at a Part 135, and more is added to it, and some is taken away (hopefully that is changing for me). My company prefers to hire people with their dispatch licenses or get them licensed because it’s just safer.
This was just a quick overview. There are tons of differences and lots of FARs that apply to each. I’ve spent my fair time with my nose stuck in the FAR/AIM FC, and it’s worth doing some studying straight from there if you’re ever interested in working for an airline or charter company in any capacity. Maybe one day I’ll break it down further, if people would appreciate that.
I’ve recently got to sit in the cockpit and cabin of a few of our private jets! I definitely avgeeked out. I’ll be sharing more about those jets later!