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A corporate pilot flies company executives and other key employees to business meetings in other cities in an aircraft owned by the corporation. He plans every detail of the flight, including baggage handling, arranging ground transportation, scheduling aircraft maintenance, coordinating passenger meals and creating flight plans. Asking the right questions during the job interview helps ensure the candidate fully understands all aspects of the position.
Is the Flight Schedule Set or Unpredictable?
Most corporate pilots have irregular work schedules, because employees don't always need to go to the same locations at the same times each week. Flight schedules can change at any time, even while in flight. Some larger companies own several planes and employ multiple pilots, however, which can allow for a more routine work schedule. A pilot should have a full understanding of the expected work schedule before accepting a position.
What Types of Planes Does the Company Own?
A company might own many different types of planes. Varieties include a twin-engine plane, a helicopter, an executive jet or an aircraft the size of a commercial plane. While many pilots are comfortable flying any type of plane, others may have a strong preference for one variety. Most aircraft must have two pilots, but some only require one.This could influence a pilot’s decision on whether or not to take a job.
Does the Pilot Have On-Call Hours?
A corporate pilot often may be on call many days a week in case the company needs him to fly passengers to a destination. Even after arriving, he may be on call if the passengers are unsure of their desired departure date. While some pilots don't mind this, others may not enjoy a job with so much uncertainty.
Is the Pilot Given Safety Final Authority on Flying Decisions?
Pilots are often privy to valuable safety information that passengers don't know or understand. A corporate pilot keeps tabs on the aircraft's condition and charts weather along the flight path. If he feels uncomfortable flying, he shouldn’t have to jeopardize the safety of the passengers and himself. He should know in advance if he has final authority to cancel flights if he doesn’t think flying's safe.
Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.