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Private Aircraft Ownership – Air Transportation Essay


Studies show that personal jets in the United States using gas turbine engines for propulsion make use of a connection of over five thousand airports. On the contrary, commercial planes only reach minimal destinations approximated to be slightly above five hundred airports in the US (Holloway, 2008). Also, in the global fraternity, eight thousand private aircraft are registered to operate.

In terms of global market share for the private jets, the United States leads followed by Europe with fifty and twenty percents respectively. Asian Pacific makes up twelve percent while Africa and the Middle East make up six percent. Moreover, Latin and South America composition of personal jets account for twelve percent of the world’s private jet market. In the US, the Super Bowl forms the largest occasion for personal aircraft travel. Airbus A380 is the world’s most expensive jet approximated to cost over $500 million.

Factors to consider when owning, operating and maintaining private aircraft

There are many factors to consider regarding private ownership of the aircraft. To begin with, in owning the aircraft, the owner should spend time in analyzing the personal needs before rushing in making decisions. In other words, flight loading, trip expanse, as well as conditions of air travel are important aspects that determine how best the jet suits the owner’s needs (Williams, 2011). Also, the owner should consider doing pricing with the aviation trade association and fixed base operators to find the latest prices and bluebook values for aircraft. Further, the owner should consider the engine hours, aircraft’s installed equipment such as avionics, air conditioning, deicing gear as well as inner designs. Damage history of the aircraft and the conditions of sale contract are also an important consideration in owning a jet.

In the operation of the aircraft, the operator must ensure the aircraft has airworthiness certificate that is a condition for safe operation and grants the authorization for the operation of an aircraft in flight. For instance, the primary category of special airworthiness certificate authorizes the operation of aircraft for pleasure and private use.

In the maintenance of a personal jet, the owner must ensure that the aircraft is in an airworthy condition. The owner has to ensure compliance with the concerns relating to airworthiness directives (ADs) are met (Williams, 2011). The ADs include the total time of engine and propeller service, the status of life-limited parts of the engines, rotor, and airframe as well as the present inspection condition. Modifications that have occurred in the aircraft should also be considered.

Types of aircraft ownership

Several options regarding the ownership of aircraft exist. First, through full ownership, an individual owns a hundred percent stake of a plane. In this type of ownership, the owner of the aircraft is liable for the security, safety as well as the comfort and cost aspects of the journey. Secondly, joint ownership option enables the prospect of individuals or entities the legality of sharing costs that validates the utilization of the jet at economical rates (Speciale, 2003). Another ownership option is the fractional ownership where an entity purchases stake in the possession of the aircraft; however, flight undertakings are the responsibilities of the fractional program executive.

Additionally, an individual can also own an aircraft through charter. In this option, an individual can decide on the jet, the airport as well as the time of departure and arrival. Moreover, aircraft ownership can be obtained through aircraft leasing. In this case, the leaser maintains the legal ownership of the plane but transfers the possession of the jet to the person to which the aircraft is leased.

Benefits and drawbacks of owning aircraft

Owning a jet comes with its benefits as well as negative aspects. To begin with, the advantages of full ownership of an aircraft present the owner with absolute elasticity concerning the scheduling usage on an ad hoc as well as short notice basis. Also, the owner benefits from taxes through depreciation. Further, professional piloting and maintenance supervision from the airline firm is also a great befit to the owner. Moreover, the owner is capable of generating proceeds from chartering the plane (Holloway, 2008).

Through fractional ownership, the owner’s share in the aircraft provides the opportunity of accessing the aircraft fleet, thereby improving the flexibility of flight schedules as well as the size and type of the jets. In essence, the achievement of the best-suited flight mission is made possible by the selection of aircraft on a flight-by-flight basis (Holloway, 2008). Additionally, sharing of the fixed expenses among the owners is a huge advantage to the owners of the jet.

The disadvantages associated with owning an airplane range from the large capital expenditures incurred by the owners to cost inefficiencies resulting from lack of full exploitation of the aircraft by the owners (Holloway, 2008). Further, private aircraft ownership normally suffers from the depreciation of the market value of the aircraft. Moreover, another setback resulting from aircraft ownership is the inadequate number of support jet personnel, thereby occasioning long hours of travel by the airplane operators such as the pilots.

Regulations governing flight operations

All the regulations governing all the flight operations in the United States are contained in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). The regulations in the FAR are under the rules of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is a wider governing body of the aviation operations in the United States (Matt, 2003). However, the regulations contained in FAR are part of Federal Regulation Codes (CFR) under the title 14. The rule asserts that the authority concerning the operation of the aircraft is partly vested in the pilot-in-command. Further, during emergencies, the pilots are allowed to digress from the normal regulations and avert the dangers that may arise from the situation (Speciale, 2003).

Further, the FAR’s temporary flight restriction guidelines include the movements of the president, air shows as well as space launches. Major sporting events and areas perceived to be of natural catastrophes also form part of the temporary flight restrictions (TFR). The TFRs confine the airspace around the president to about thirty nautical miles. Further, the TFRs offer a twenty-kilometer radius no-fly zone for non-scheduled flights around the president’s jet (Won, 2008).

Moreover, in the event of radio communication failure with the ground and the aircraft during visual flight rules (VFR) conditions, the pilot in command continues with the flight under VFR and land within the soonest possible time following the altitude as well as the route in the last contact with the air traffic control (ATC). Concerning the route, the pilot will maintain the assigned route during the last communication with the air traffic control. If there is no assigned rout by the ATC, the pilot utilizes the path in the flight map (Brown, 2003). On the same note, the pilot maintains the flight levels set by the instrument flight rules (IFR) of operations as well as the altitude suggested by the air traffic control. The pilot should also maintain the altitude during the preceding communication with the air traffic control.

Maintenance criteria found in FAR pert 43 appendixes D

The individual carrying out the yearly as well as the hundred-hour assessment of the aircraft remove the scrutiny plates, access doors fairing together with cowling and clean the aircraft and the engine in detail before the inspection. Performance of the inspection involves checking the components of fuselage and hull group comprising fabric and skin, systems, and components as well as envelope, gasbags, and ballast tanks (Matt, 2003). The inspection of such parts allows for the identification of defective attachment of fittings, improper installations, and poor conditions. Also, the elements of the cabin and cockpit are assessed to determine defects, poor conditions, and improper operations. Moreover, the inspection of the landing gear, propeller, empennage, and wing, as well as central constituents, enables effective operations.

Owner/operator maintenance, and mechanic certifications found in FAR Part 65

Part 65 of FAR includes the requirements and standards that are essential for certification of the airframe as well as power plant mechanics. Eligibility for mechanic certification call for the attainment of eighteen years of age as well as the possession of a certificate endorsed “valid only outside the US” as well as the knowledge of speaking, reading and speaking the English language. Any person holding the mechanic certification normally presents it for assessment upon the request of the transportation safety board and other law enforcement officers (Matt, 2003). Further, the mechanic must be capable of maintaining the components of the aircraft.


Brown, M. W. (2003). TFR: airspace obstacles and TFR trivia, a pilot’s guide to understanding restrictions in today’s national airspace system. Aviation Maintenance, 4(2), 99-104. Web.

Holloway, S. (2008). Straight and level: practical airline economics. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. Web.

Matt, T. (2003). Electronic code of federal regulations. Journal of Aeronautics and Space, 2(1), 11-13. Web.

Speciale, R. (2003). Aircraft ownership: a legal and tax guide. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Web.

Williams, J. (2011). We are on a mission: taking the mystery out of temporary flight restrictions. Journal of Aeronautics and Space, 42(16), 889-993. Web.

Won, H. T. (2008). A system-of-systems modeling methodology for strategic general aviation design decision-making. Michigan, MI: ProQuest. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Private Aircraft Ownership - Air Transportation." May 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/private-aircraft-ownership-air-transportation/.


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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Private Aircraft Ownership - Air Transportation'. 9 May.

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