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135 charter pilot schedules

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Active member
Jan 3, 2002
This question is for all pilots operating under part 135 flying charter. What, if any, kind of schedule do you use? How many "hard" days off do you get? Also, how many days a month do you spend out of town on average?
Likely to get many different answers. For a small 135 outfit, the nature of on-demand charter throws out any schedule. You get into an outfit that is operating larger jets or more than 4 or 5 jets of the same type you may have enough crews allocated to set fixed "on-call" schedules. A small outfit with a light jet or turboprop and you will probably will not have too many overnights. Fly for a larger outfit with larger jets and the size of your overnight bag usually reflects the size of the aircraft.
I work for a medium size charter company that has approximately 30 pilots. We have an Astra, 2 Hawkers, a Falcon 50, 3 Citations, 3 King Airs, and around 12 Caravans on our certificate. Our full time pilots are on call from 4am Monday morning through 4pm Friday night. Weekends are optional, but you are encouraged to make yourself available every once in a while should something pop up. We have a board that shows when we have trips scheduled for the next month or so, but a crew is not assigned until the day before. If you look at the board, you can get an idea of when you might fly, but you won't know for sure until you are dispatched the day before. I'm checked out in the King Air and Caravan, and so far i've been averaging anywhere from 2-4 overnights per month. In another week or two i'll be checked out in the Citation as well, which will probably mean an extra couple overnights. Generally speaking, the bigger the plane, the more overnights you will have. The Hawker pilots often spend several days away from home at a time.

Like cvsfly said, you are likely to get many different answers. Some companies do operate on set schedules with "hard" days off, but those are usualy the larger companies. Anyway, hope this helps and was what you were looking for.
Hard Days

The concept of a "hard day off" is almost unknown in the on-demand cargo business, if you are home and your scheduled days off come up, you will probably get them, if you are in rotation one hour before going off and a trip comes up, bye bye you are going flying. If you are on the road, your days can be rescheduled or sold back to the company. Vacation is normally a hard day off.

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