Flight simulators, ground school and ‘Ph.D. for pilots’ elevate charter aircraft company
Given the stakes, pilot safety training is of the utmost importance for aviators, and even more so for professional pilots. A single aircraft accident with injuries, or a near-miss safety incident with no physical harm, is one too many.
Fortunately, nearly all air passengers will fly the azure skies throughout their lifetimes without a single disruption to safety. That holds true whether they are on board private jets, commercial flights or chartered aircraft. According to the National Transportation Safety Board ,on-demand aircraft (the category Elite Jets falls into) had an accident rate of just 1.3 incidents per 100,000 flight hours.
Elite Jets pilots, though, are routinely challenged by electrical system failures, severe weather, excessive wind shear and other hazards that, in the wrong hands, could lead to tragedy. Not while transporting passengers, fortunately, but instead via company-mandated, annual flight simulator training at one of the country’s top, FAA-approved flight schools.
READ MORE: Safety always a priority at Elite Jets
Such extensive pilot safety training is at the heart of everything Elite Jets does. Day in and day out, our commitment to safety informs every decision at Elite Jets. This commitment has garnered favorable attention across our industry.
Training, training and more training
By definition, charter/on-demand aircraft are subject to more stringent Federal Aviation Administration oversight (via a Part 135 certificate of operations) than privately-owned, non-commercial aircraft that are regulated under FAA’s Part 91 regulations.
Across the board, that means more hours of flight training for pilots, and an overall more rigorous set of safety standards. Elite Jets does not allow the use of contract pilots. However, contract pilots can and are used regularly in Part 91 operations: since they do not work for a single employer, they instead can hang a shingle for their services from the highest (or cheapest) bidder, with far less employer oversight.
Elite Jets requires all newly hired pilots to spend their first two months on the job as trainees. This allows them to acquire (or hone) the necessary skills while learning about our corporate culture, values and operational procedures. That includes a minimum of 90 hours of online education of processes, systems, safety indoctrination, ground school, and flight training, supervised by our in-house training director and assistant director.
READ MORE: A safe investment amid clouds of uncertainty
Of our 20 pilots on the team, fully 100 percent have earned their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, the industry’s highest such rank. Think of it as a “Ph.D. for pilots” – and rest assured that Elite Jets adheres to the highest available safety standards.
Once they demonstrate the required knowledge and proficiency of our organization, safety culture, processes, critical thinking skills and customer service skills they are upgraded to Elite Jets’ captains, which is approximately 80% of our pilot corps.
Commitment to safety is in our organizational DNA.
Flight safety training: Texas bound
In September 2023, Elite Jets Executive Vice President Stephen Myers, CAM, traveled to Dallas for his annual flight simulator training at Flight Safety International. The company is an industry leader with some of the most advanced (and realistic) simulations around.
The high-stakes challenges come fast and furious in the flight simulator: engine fires, faulty landing gear, icing conditions, high-altitude depressurizations and more. Beyond the technical challenges, these controlled scenarios also enable us to gauge our pilots’ leadership and critical thinking skills, reactions to stress and emotional intelligence.
The extensive simulations cover the gamut of in-air operations, from preflight inspections, takeoffs and landings to instrument procedures and a host of in-flight maneuvers: steep turns, high-altitude emergency descents, aerodynamic stalls, electrical and engine failures and other unanticipated mechanical and avionics failures.
In April 2023, Elite Jets earned the coveted “Wingman status” from global air safety auditor WYVERN. The Wingman standard is the first air charter audit standard in the aviation industry. To earn the designation, charter companies must undergo a comprehensive audit that includes a full review of the company’s operational history, safety records and more.
In addition, Elite Jets also is a platinum-rated charter through ARGUS and maintains a Stage 2 Seal through International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (ISBAO). Both designations rank Elite Jets among the top 5% of charter services in the country.
These external seals of approval recognize Elite Jets’ commitment to safety as a core company value, not just a training and testing requirement. It is a commitment shared by our entire team, from captains and first officers to mechanics, cleaning crews, and our office and administrative team members.
Book your next Elite Jets getaway
Elite Jets transports passengers to destinations across North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, on its Embraer Legacy 500 and Phenom 300 jets. The company also has a Bell 407 helicopter that provides sightseeing and travel services across southern Florida.
Ready to book your next business or leisure trip? There are three ways to get in touch with Elite Jets: