Every time a private jet charter is booked, the pilot and crew have to plan their duty roster depending on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. These guidelines protect both crew and passengers by regulating how much time a crew member is on duty to ensure they are not putting their passengers and fellow crew members at risk due to exhaustion.
“Duty Time” refers to the amount of time a crew member is on duty in any capacity. This means that even if the crew member is not technically flying in the air but is grounded due to maintenance or safety inspections, they are still considered “on duty”.
There are several different rules and guidelines that you may find surprising. These regulations are put in place in order to keep everyone safe and able to fly again! Crew exhaustion is a major focus of the FAA and regulations for pilots, see all of their guidelines here.
Here are 3 things you need to know about crew duty time on a private jet charter:
#1: If a crew member is required to work more than 14 hours within a 24-hour period - they must have 12 consecutive hours of rest following.
This is one of the protections put in place to prevent crew members from being overworked, but there are exceptions to this regulation depending on the amount of time they’re on duty the previous shift. If their shift is under 14 hours, they are only required 9 hours between shifts.
Above 14 hours, they require 12 hours which may be lowered to 10 if their next shift doesn’t exceed 14 hours. This rule is applicable up to 18 hours duty shifts. Once a flight assignment is received, the time equal to duty period assignment plus the amount of elapsed scheduled reserve may extend to 20 hours.
#2: Pilots are only allowed to fly 10 consecutive hours at most.
When scheduling a flight crew, operators usually allocate about 12-hour per shift to allow the crew time for travel and meals before or after a flight. Pilots are subjected to “max crew duty” time which permits 14 hours on “duty” and 10 hours of flying per 24-hour day. If they do not adhere to this schedule either for themselves or their crew, they can be subject to infractions and fines placed on their pilot’s license. Ultimately leading to a suspension if it’s a repeated offense.
A pilot is allowed to fly up to 10 hours per 24 hours (also known as the 24/10 rule). This may be stretched to 11 hours if there is a third crew member on board. FAA regulations also restrict how many hours crew members may work within a certain number of consecutive days. For example, pilots can only work 34 hours within 7 consecutive days.
Before every flight, pilots must conduct a 2-hour pre-flight inspection and a 1-hour post flight inspection. Including 10-11 hours of flight time, that is cutting it close to reaching a 14-hour day (which is the maximum the pilot can work in a 24-hour period). If the client is running late and the crew is close to their maximum duty time, a new crew may be needed to replace the other crew. Hours are tracked very carefully for pilots and crew to adhere to FAA guidelines and regulations.
#3: Some flights are so long, they require two sets of crews.
If a flight exceeds 10 hours, an additional crew may be required to be on board to relieve the first working crew. However, it’s very unlikely that a charter charter will be able to make it past 10-12 hours of flying without requiring a re-fuel.
Most instances, if an additional (secondary) flight crew is needed, the new crew will board at the fuel stop and relieve the first crew of duty. Captains are allowed “Captain’s discretion” which allows them to extend the shift by up to 3 hours. So if the flight time is closer to 10-13 hours, the pilot may choose to only have one crew complete the entire flight.
Now that you know the ins and outs of crew duty rosters for a private jet charter, you’re all set to book your private jet charter! Our planes come fully equipped with an entire crew and all the luxuries for you to feel like home. Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Request an instant quote today to get an estimate of your next charter flights!
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