What does it take to be a pilot in command or co-pilot with RAI Jets? Safety, skills, and character top the list. Read all about it in our latest blog.
If you feel the need for speed and want to earn a living in aviation, your options today are numerous: the military, commercial airlines, flight instruction, cargo transportation, or working in business aviation as a jet charter pilot in command or first officer.
Becoming a pilot in command or first officer for a private jet charter company is not a destination; it’s actually a journey. That’s because pilots in command are required to recertify their skills every six months for the aircraft they fly for us. First officers must do so every 12 months. It’s just part of the way our whole team (from the maintenance to the scheduling staff) works together to ensure they are completely well-prepared for each mission.
At RAI Jets, we are proud of our pilot team and equally proud of their longevity with our company. We do our best to cultivate a family atmosphere and a supportive corporate culture. And a great part of the reason we are able to do this is because of how we hire the people for our flight team.
Safety and Skills
At RAI Jets, we look for three main things for our pilots: safety, skills and character.
Our pilots come from varied backgrounds, non-military and military alike. We only hire well qualified pilots with impeccable safety records. As an aviation company, we are safety-certified by Wyvern and Argus, two programs which certify Part 135 Air Carriers and the pilots they employ. To receive a high rating from them, as we do, we must require a minimum number of hours on different aircraft for anyone serving as pilot in command or a first officer on any of our charter flights. This is not only necessary for passenger safety, but also for the pilot to be insurable. In fact, the number of flight hours that a pilot has under his/her belt when he comes to work with us is one of the most important qualifications we look for.
Just as our pilots must train, so must our staff. We have to complete federally required trainings from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), plus RAI Jets’ company safety training portal specific to each position within the company designed by the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).
But we also look at the applying pilot’s important character traits. There are intangible qualities we also seek in our new private jet charter pilots such as:
- Expertise and Stability. We look at the pilot’s work history, how long they usually stay at a job, and why they are seeking work with us. We consider what kinds of airplanes they have flown before and if their experience will be helpful to our operation.
- Culture Fit. Every pilot we hire must not only be an exceptional pilot, but also a pilot that fits the needs of our industry. For example, military fighter pilots are extraordinary aviators, but they may be unaccustomed to flying an airplane full of passengers! Commercial airline pilots looking to work with us may not appreciate the on-call schedule that our pilots must endure due to the nature of jet charter operations.
- We look for pilots whose actions, in and out of the cockpit, reflect well upon RAI Jets. Our pilots must not only be comfortable operating the aircraft but also be able to communicate well and interact with customers. They need the emotional intelligence to understand when joking is appropriate and when it’s not.
- Connection to RAI Jets. We also like to hire people who know us and are familiar with our company and even our team. Word of mouth is the usual way new pilots find out about us. And of course, timing is important to find the pilot we need, when we need them.
Our best advice to aspiring pilots in command is to build their hours and certification so they come to RAI Jets with something ideal to offer. If you’re a pilot proud of your safety, skills and character, maybe you belong with us at RAI Jets! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about becoming a jet charter pilot in command or co-pilot for our jet charter operations.