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Sep 12, 2003
I am a captain at a regional airline who is considering leaving that teat and striking out on his own as a Part 135 operator. Anyone here have experience doing that? Pluses? Minuses? How did you get the money for your operation? Where do you find your market? Anyone here try it and fail?

The flying is great in the job I do, but the prospects just don't seem as bright as they once did. This job is becoming more of a punch-the-clock operation than I ever thought it would, and I'm tired of having my income limited by what total strangers negotiate it to be.

So if anyone's ever started their own 135 operation from scratch, please e-mail me at [email protected]. I'd be interested in getting your points of view.

Muchos gracias.
I haven't done it, but I can give you advice that I have picked up from those that are operators.

1. Do not own your aircraft. Get someone else to buy the airplane and put it on your certificate.

2. Get hooked up with ARGUS. The charter brokers use ARGUS exclusively and you will get more business by being listed with ARGUS than any advertising.

3. Expect to loose loads of money just starting up. The proving runs alone will be outrageously expensive.

Good luck, we are all counting on you. Just remember you can't make a lot of money unless you risk a whole heck of a lot more money.

PS...may be best to start part time (keeping your old job) and move into it full time after you get established. Helps with the cash flow.
i had a friend with a 98 baron who was trying start a 135 op. the process with the faa, getting a DO, chief pilot, etc, was such a long process he gave it up. not to "scare" you but it takes alot of time, money and patience to start. I do wish you the best of luck. and hope you do succeed.:beer:
I know a former Instructor in my area that started a 135 outfit with a new 206, all glass and leather. Nice plane, but limited operations.
I did it about 15 years ago. Started as a single pilot in command operator. Ended up with 13 aircraft, an FBO etc. Can be done. I must disagree with a previous poster, I owned ALL my aircraft, and when time came to get out,, that was my pension. Bought them as I needed them, and paid for them as I went. You don't need manuals, a DO, etc. if you start as a single pilot operator. You can work up as you go. I just went and banged on doors for business, joined the local chamber of commerce, and if you are reliable, you'll end up with more business than you can take.
Feds will try to wear you out, but getting a single pilot in command certificate should take about 3 months, easy stuff just they like to take their time. Hard part is insurance, nobody wants a one horse operator.
But,, it worked for me, so good luck.
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