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Settling a bet on air taxis and pilot entrepreneurs

changeagent

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So in the midst of a fairly interesting debate about pilot mindset and new aviation companies- would high time pilots take on pilot jobs for air taxi startups with lower than current base pay but opportunity to earn equity and eventual partner status in aircraft/company? Some say pilot mindset is employee/union/anti-management, and those guys love their big airplanes too much. Some say given the right package even senior guys might put in another 5-15 years if they ended up as owners. If the job was flying biz jets/air taxis from home city, flying 900 hrs and another 900 doing non-flying work forthe company, earning equity + salary and bens? Any opinions? No hurt feelings either way, trying to understand the environment better.
 

millhouse21

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I am an airline pilot and could be interested in something like that. It must be better than being a slave to seniority.
 

ultrarunner

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You're going to work nearly 2000 hours a year....

half of that is flying and half in the office...


So, lets take the flying hours..nearly 1000 a year....

Since you're also putting in 900 hours a year in office duty, in addition to your 900 hours of flying, lets say your on the flight schedule 3.5 days a week, and in the office 3.5 days a week. Since to use less days per week would put the daily hours at scary figures...

...900 flight hours per year/ 3.5 days a week = 34.6 flight hours per week. Plus duty time at show + duty time at termination...

34.6 flight hours per week / 3.5 day week = 9.9 flight hours per day (3.5 day week).

Think about this for a minute....

This is the perfect job for someone with NO life outside of work...

Am I missing something here....

Someone please explain this crazyness.
 
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ultrarunner

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millhouse21 said:
I am an airline pilot and could be interested in something like that. It must be better than being a slave to seniority.
And with those numbers what gives you any indication you're still not a slave????
 

ultrarunner

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FYI....40 years old...10 to go..... and proud of it!

You guys knock yourselves out, this world needs folks like you that don't give a $hit....

have fun with that gig, and let us know how it goes.
 

pilotmiketx

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Any startup, air taxi or otherwise shouldn't have to pay below average wages. In any other industry, a startup would have to pay above average wages to offset the uncertainty of the company's survival and attract qualified applicants.

Equity in the company should come as a reward for charter (meaning original)employees or through a stock purchase program, not in exchange for indentured servitude.
 

landlover

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40hrs a week X 50 weeks a year = 2000 hrs a year, with 2 weeks vacation. Sounds like any other regular job out there. Except you would eventually become an owner. You'd work that hard, if not harder starting any business.

Who knows it might be a good deal, but more than likely not.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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The Very Small Jets are coming. I thought a retired airline pilot would take his retirement and buy one of these jets and work another 10+ years... Problem is no more retirement...

The VSJ owner pilots I fear are going to become the barnacles of the pilot 'profession'. If you hate the 300 hours mid life crisis guy who buys himslef a job, wait till you get a guy that buys himslef a VSJ and is flying around the NAS.

The Feds will have to create a new FAR part for these guys....

You think txi cab drivers are shady charaters now...wait till these vultures infest the airways waiting ont he next fare to pop up at your local GA airport...

Yuck.....
 

CFIse

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pilotmiketx said:
Any startup, air taxi or otherwise shouldn't have to pay below average wages. In any other industry, a startup would have to pay above average wages to offset the uncertainty of the company's survival and attract qualified applicants.

Equity in the company should come as a reward for charter (meaning original)employees or through a stock purchase program, not in exchange for indentured servitude.
Actually I've been in another industry and that's not true. Startup companies who cannot afford to pay higher wages, average wages or even well below average wages offer significant equity positions and the employee gets to roll the dice. If it goes well you're rich, if it goes OK you break even, if it goes badly you lose.

Now, in my personal opinion, you'd have to be NUTS to take an equity position in ANYTHING related to aviation, but again, in my opinion, you'd have to be certifiably insane to take an equity position in the air taxi business. If air taxi was such a good idea we'd be doing it all over the place - just because it's a jet doesn't make it a good idea!
 

FN FAL

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Rez O. Lewshun said:
The Very Small Jets are coming. The VSJ owner pilots I fear are going to become the barnacles of the pilot 'profession'. If you hate the 300 hours mid life crisis guy who buys himslef a job, wait till you get a guy that buys himslef a VSJ and is flying around the NAS.

The Feds will have to create a new FAR part for these guys...
What's your baggage?
 

Peanut gallery

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This starts with an unrealistic assumption

To fly 900 hours in the charter market on just pop up business would be unbelievable. You would be gone almost everyday of the year just to get this done. The average charter flys out in the morning about two hours max. then you sit until meetings are done and return late in the evening. So just to continue the math 4 hours a day is about what you would do on a good day. 900 Hours divided by 4 per day equals 225 days. Last time I heard the normal business world considers 200 days the average productivity of an employee in the normal 9-5 world.

Furthermore if I could get 900 hours productivity out of my training cost for a crew on normal charter rates I would be one happy business owner.

Just my .02

PS would love to debate this futher, have lots more if you are interested
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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FN FAL said:
What's your baggage?
No baggage..just calling it like I see it.....another factor in devaluing the pilot profession....
 

FN FAL

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Rez O. Lewshun said:
No baggage..just calling it like I see it.....another factor in devaluing the pilot profession....
Do you really think some millionaire is going to take time out from being a millionaire to fly his own VLJ around on somebody else's 135 certificate? NO! It would cost him valuable time from making money when he get some schmuck to do it for 25,000 a year.
 

Geronimo4497

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What about the repositioning legs?

Does this 900 hours a year include the repo legs that will HAVE to be flown to get to the next "fare"? I would think that this 900 hours per year would have to be occupied hours, anyone agree? That being said, that airplane is going to be flown into the ground hours wise and end up sitting in a hangar for quite a long period for maintenance. Between scheduled inspections (100 hour/annual/phases), ADs that are ineviatable, and all of the little pop up things that break a one airplane/owner operation is not going to be able to make any money, in my opinion. Let us not forget the fact that not many airplanes, especially a brand new airplane design, can fly 1000+ a year with a 98% disptach rate.
I'm just a stupid frac pilot, but I do get to see how important it is to have core airplanes to cover the maintenacne and high use periods that do come along with this business. I am all for hard work trying to get a business off of the ground, but lots of sweat equity will be put into this type of flying, for very little return.

I guess my statement could be summed up by asking: 'Where is the money for the second airplane?'
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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FN FAL said:
Do you really think some millionaire is going to take time out from being a millionaire to fly his own VLJ around on somebody else's 135 certificate? NO! It would cost him valuable time from making money when he get some schmuck to do it for 25,000 a year.
That is my point super chief..... a ton of schmucks flying single pilot VSJ for dirt wages.... the profession going D-O-W-N!!!!
 

PropsR4Boats

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Sorry change agent, it seems most have mis-understood your questions. Yes I would serve as a pilot, manager, etc. for a small salary…as an investment. In turn a piece of the profits and/or company would be a sweet deal as long as it was a successful startup. Do you have one you want to talk to me about? PM me if you do!
 

Bad Monkey!

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What a scam! this has been going on in the trucking industry for years! Owner operators, buy your job by buying the rig, Get a split of what is made- of course your cut pays taxes, maintenance, fees, expenses, etc. My cousin just parked his rig and went back to a regular Monday to Friday gig because he didn't have a life, or make any money after expenses.

For a side note- think taxi drivers, you know those smelly guys who are asleep at the wheel because they have to live in their cab in order to make money. The cars with no suspension and no brakes.

VLJ's-the future smoking holes in the ground.
 

Skyline

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Skytaxi

Skytaxi and Dayjet I think are planning to do that very thing. These companies are offering standardised training, maintenance, financing and dispatch. The owner positions his/her plane at their home airport and receives a schedule from HQ and fly's the line usually ending up back at home. Its a great idea. Everyone makes a little bit of money. It could bring the cost of charter way down to middle class level. In the end you would own your own jet. I think it will be huge.

SkyLine
 

surveypilot

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Skyline said:
Skytaxi and Dayjet I think are planning to do that very thing. These companies are offering standardised training, maintenance, financing and dispatch. The owner positions his/her plane at their home airport and receives a schedule from HQ and fly's the line usually ending up back at home. Its a great idea. Everyone makes a little bit of money. It could bring the cost of charter way down to middle class level. In the end you would own your own jet. I think it will be huge.

SkyLine
I am sorry, but I have yet to see anything that indicates that this is how DayJet intends to operate. DayJet will own and operate their own fleet. From what I have seen, DayJet has the only viable plan that I have seen for operating an Air Taxi company. They have recognized that the problem with profitability in the air taxi world is scheduling effeciency. They have spent millions of dollars building the scheduling system to make this work.

As for as SkyTaxi goes, this floundering operation has been trying to get off of the ground for years. The problem with their model and some of the others that I have seen, is that it is predicated on a franchise system. The FAA will never allow a Franchise system. There is no way that any type of Franchise system will offer the Operational Control necessary to gain FAA approval. If you try to put each airplane on a separate certificate, the overhead and startup costs will be astronomical.
 

SpatialD

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I agree with surveypilot. Besides, I have no desire to buy an airplane - shares in a sound, ethical company might interest me though. I'd give it a shot with DayJet for sure. However, I'd still want to see that they - or any other company - would be willing to make a respectable investment in my training and base compensation from the outset, and that they were prepared to sustain that investment for the duration while all the wheels are being set in motion. At the first sign of despair and compromising those fundamental notions, I'd lose interest and move on.

I had a class project in college where we 'built an airline', and the one thing I came away with was the understanding that if you have to do anything even slightly half-a$$ed, you might as well stay in bed. It takes a lot of money and other resources to play this game. And there aren't any shortcuts. On the other hand, if you're committed to doing everything right, even when it hurts, and you have the means, there's no reason why a good idea rooted in solid fundamental principles shouldn't work (still doesn't mean it will though).

I wonder if ChangeAgent is who I think he might be. I'll echo PropsR4Boats - you got something to talk about, send me a PM. I admit I don't really belong in this forum, but saw this thread and it piqued my interest.
 
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