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How Safe Are Chartered Flights? All Are Not Created Equal

How Safe Are Chartered Flights?


July 4, 2022

Jordan Brown

One of the most common questions potential private jet charter clients ask is, “how safe are chartered flights?” Charter jets are a wonderfully convenient way for private leisure travelers, executives, VIPs, sports teams and others to travel, but what safety features should you look for when you charter a private jet? When you fly private, you should always look for a jet charter company that follows the highest industry safety standards. Fortunately, you do not have to look far. 

Are Charter Flights Safe?

Overall, the industry is exceptionally safe. A 10-year review of private aviation accidents found that U.S.-registered business jets experienced significantly fewer total accidents and fatalities than private, non-chartered aircraft. Between 2010 and 2020, U.S.-registered corporate jets were involved in 3 accidents with 18 total fatalities, compared to 8 accidents and 85 fatalities in non-registered, independently flown aircraft. Only three incidents over the entire decade were Part-135 chartered flights, while the others occurred under Part 91 private “owner flights” (in small non-commercial aircraft). Many of these incidents were the result of unqualified pilots, highlighting the importance of adequate qualifications and training. In comparison, an average of 93 people are killed every year in car accidents on U.S. roads.

In fact, safety is one of the primary reasons that clients choose chartered flights for personal and business travel. Not only can you fly on your own schedule from over 5,000 convenient airports in the U.S. alone, but you can also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that charter airline pilots are regulated by the FAA and have qualifications that are very similar to commercial airline pilots.

Private Jet Safety Regulations

The FAA regulates and controls the operation of all aviation in the United States – commercial, private and chartered – and they have a lengthy investigation and certification process. In the case of private charter aircraft, the regulations are found in FAR Part 135, which is often more stringent than Part 119, the section that governs large commercial aircraft. 

The FAA also imposes strict requirements for pilots of private charter aircraft. They have to be U.S. citizens, have a spotless background check, be medically certified by an FAA examiner, and meet minimum training and flight-hour requirements. Pilots of chartered flights must meet many of the same requirements as pilots of commercial airlines. They even need an Airport Transport License, which requires more hours of flying time than a commercial certificate/ pilot’s license (at least 1,500 hours).  It takes a non-military pilot an average of four to six years of regular flying and testing before they are qualified to carry passengers.

Private Jet Companies Exceed Minimum Safety Requirements

Meeting safety standards is one thing, but it is another to go above and beyond. When you fly private, you should be able to trust in a company that exceeds safety standards and puts your peace of mind before all else. Private jet charter companies, like Charter Flight Group, maintain strict policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their passengers.

For example, at Charter Flight Group, pilots are not only licensed by the FAA, but they must also have WYVERN approval and demonstrate ARGUS approval, some of the strictest safety standards. We even go above and beyond to create a safe experience, ensuring that our pilots fly the same jets daily so that they have complete familiarity and expertise with their aircraft.

Private jet companies also strive to go beyond the basic FAA aircraft standards. When you book a private flight, you can rest assured that you will be traveling on the safest private jet to fly. Every private aircraft is constantly inspected, from a visual inspection to an assessment of its maintenance and insurance records, before every flight. No flight leaves the ground without demonstrating total safety.

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Other Factors That Affect the Safety of Chartered Flights

The safety of chartered flights is also affected by the type and age of the charter aircraft, weather conditions, air traffic control experience, maintenance of the charter plane and equipment, and the internal policies of the private jet charter operator or agent. Ultimately the safety of chartered flights relies on the jet charter operator and their dedication to following and maintaining industry standards. When considering the safety of your next private flight, you should look for an operator that uses the following.

FAA-Required Flight Manuals

Every charter company must have an FAA-approved flight manual to outline flight procedures. Checklists must be completed before and after every flight to make sure the aircraft is mechanically sound and ready to fly. And they have to be ready at all times for surprise inspections by the FAA.

Industry Safety Audits

Many charter operators and brokers hire outside experts to oversee, rate and provide critical safety information for chartered flights. Two of the most renowned experts in private aviation are WYVERN and ARG/US, holding airlines to the highest industry safety standards.

  • WYVERN – The WYVERN Standard is the most restrictive aviation safety standard in the industry and is stricter than the FAA Part 135 minimums.  A Wyvern Pilot & Aircraft Safety Survey (PASS) report is evidence that crucial safety information about the private aircraft charter operator, the aircraft and the flight crew has been checked and verified.  If your charter company is not WYVERN Authorized and does not display the WYVERN seal, they may not be able to accurately verify the safety of your business jet charter.
  • ARG/US – Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US) performs safety audits and ratings on 1.5 million charter operators, pilots, aircraft and safety records around the world through the TripCHEQ program. This is the most accurate and detailed third-party due diligence system for charter operators, buyers and passengers around the world.

Consistent Safety Monitoring

The best private jet charter companies use a strict vetting process to assess and maintain the safety of every aircraft. Safety is not a one-time concern; it should be a consistent consideration with systems in place to monitor and maintain. 

At Charter Flight Group, we inspect every aircraft before every flight to ensure that it meets all safety requirements and verify that maintenance and insurance records are always up to date. We also work closely with all our private charters to ensure that jet maintenance and upkeep are as much of a priority as any other part of your flight.

Experience the Safety of Private Flights

Flying private allows you complete peace of mind when it comes to your safety. Charter Flight Group analyzes every important detail to ensure the safety of your chartered flights– including the airports you select, the weather during your trip, and the ARG/US and WYVERN-verified safety reports about your aircraft and crew. Avoid questioning, “Are charter planes safe?” by choosing the right operator. To learn more about our safety standards, contact Charter Flight Group.

Build a relationship with a safe and reputable company you can trust—one that will provide the aircraft and level of service you deserve. Charter Flight Group is dedicated to supplying clients with professionally maintained private charter aircraft and the finest, most highly trained flight crews. Book with Charter Flight Group today.

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