Charter Management vs Private Management

B0001057_drueditCharter Management vs. Private Management

Keystone Aviation offers multiple ways to access our charter fleet, but we also offer multiple aircraft management options in the form of charter management and private management.

Charter Management

  • Personalized aircraft management, with the added benefit of charter revenue to reduce the cost of aircraft ownership
  • All charters are subject to the aircraft owner’s approval, ensuring the aircraft is available when the owner needs it
  • Customizable management services, including pilot services, regulatory compliance support, trip planning, and detailed expense reporting
  • Significant savings on aircraft services including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and training
  • We take meticulous care of the aircraft and its owner while putting the aircraft to work both in the air and on the books

Private Management

  • Aircraft management exclusively for the owner’s use, i.e. no charter utilization
  • Customizable management services, including pilot services, regulatory compliance support, trip planning, and detailed expense reporting
  • Significant savings on aircraft services including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and training
  • Safe and cost effective way to enjoy aircraft ownership without all of the day-to-day complications

Want to know more about aircraft management?  Give us a call at 801-933-7568 so we can discuss a management program that will fit your needs.

Charter vs. Block Charter

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Charter vs. Block Charter

At Keystone Aviation, we provide a variety of private aviation solutions.  While we often customize our services based on the needs of our customers, we do offer options when it comes to aircraft charter.

Charter

  • Rent the aircraft that best suits your trip, paid by the hour
  • No capital expenditure or long-term commitment required
  • Access to our diverse fleet of charter aircraft as well as vetted, charter partner aircraft
  • Hourly pricing varies based on the size of aircraft
  • The ultimate in flexibility with minimum commitment

 

Block Charter

  • Pre-paid deposit allows access to our entire charter fleet, at a discount
  • Trips are credited against the block charter deposit based on the discounted hourly pricing
  • Perfect for frequent charter customers who want to leverage their buying power with minimal capital expense

 

Now you just need to pick the solution that works for you and let’s get flying!

Why to Look for Wyvern, ARGUS and ACSF When Booking a Private Charter Flight

Clearly, nothing is more important than safety.   At Keystone Aviation, safety is the cornerstone of our organization and a core value we strive for in every aspect of our business.  But how do you know which aircraft charter companies go above and beyond with regards to safety?   One way to identify the most safety conscious organizations is through safety certifications from independent aviation auditing firms.

Independent aviation auditors develop audit standards that incorporate both required operational and safety procedures as well as the latest in best practices.  These firms then audit a charter company’s manuals, processes and operations against the audit standard and issue a certification.  You can look for these certifications from operators who provide aircraft charter services.  Here are some of the safety certifications to look for when booking a private charter flight:

Wyvern

WyvernWingmanWyvern Consulting was one of the first aviation safety auditing firms in the country.  Wyvern offers different levels of audits, so be sure to clarify which level your charter company has achieved.

  • Registered Operator – The Wyvern Registered Operator program is an entry-level program in which operators provide their records for Wyvern to have on file. These records are available for Wyvern’s clients to review under its PASS program which allows third parties to check that an aircraft, crew and trip plan meet certain standards.  Registered Operators have not been audited by Wyvern.
  • Wingman * – The Wyvern Wingman is the certification issued to aircraft operators who have been audited against Wyvern’s audit standard. Operators at this level have successfully demonstrated that their processes reflect the latest safety best practices.   As of May 2015, only about 100 operators worldwide were members of the Wingman program.

ARG/US

Argus_PlatinumThe Aviation Research Group/US (ARG/US) audits an operator’s flights, insurance, maintenance records and processes to ensure they meet or exceed FAA standards.  There are four ARG/US certification levels:

  • DNQ – Does Not Qualify
  • Gold Rating –Historical information on the operator’s commercial certificate, pilots and aircraft are compiled and scored by ARG/US. This information is compared against an aggregate group with similar exposures to determine if the applicant is eligible for the Gold Rating.   Those operators with a Gold Rating have not been audited by ARG/US.
  • Gold Plus Rating – The Gold Plus Rating is awarded to operators who meet all of the criteria for a Gold Rating and have completed an on-site safety audit or maintain an IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) registration.
  • Platinum Rating * – The Platinum Rating is the highest level that can be achieved in the ARG/US rating system. Platinum is only awarded to experienced operators who meet the criteria for Gold, and pass the ARG/US Platinum on-site safety audit.   A Platinum Rating requires a well-developed Safety Management System and an Emergency Response Plan, in addition to effective processes and documented records for all major aspects of aircraft operations and maintenance.

Air Charter Safety Foundation Registration

acsf_logoThe Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard (IAS) has been developed with the input and guidance of leading safety auditors, charter operators, shared aircraft ownership companies and charter consumers.  The Industry Audit Standard is a revolutionary program built from the ground up by ACSF to set the standard for the independent evaluation of an air charter operator’s and/or shared ownership company’s safety and regulatory compliance.  The ACSF audit is one of the most comprehensive audits in the aviation industry.

  • ACSF IAS Registered Operator * – After completing an on-site audit against the ACSF Industry Audit Standard, the auditors’ recommendations are reviewed and approved by an independent review board which decides whether the charter company will be admitted as an ACSF IAS Registered Operator.

 

The asterisks (*) above indicate the certifications that have been achieved by Keystone Aviation.

Now that you understand some of the aviation industry safety certifications, you can make more informed decisions when choosing not only a charter company, but an aircraft management company as well.   Here’s to safe flying!

Traveling to Europe? Here’s what you should pack

 

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Traveling to Europe is a wonderful opportunity not everyone gets to experience.  If you are one of the lucky ones and are looking forward to your first trip to Europe, there are a few questions that can sneak up on you last minute. One main question, and perhaps the one that generates the most panic, is “what do I pack?”  Here we have listed a few essential items (and non-essential) to make sure you don’t over or under pack, ensuring your Europe vacation is an easy and exciting adventure.

  1. DO pack a plug adapter. When traveling to another country it’s easy to forget their infrastructure is completely different from the United States.  The United States runs their wall plugs at 120V (120 volts).  Europe’s wall plugs, which I should mention are a completely different shape than the United States plugs, average 230V.   This is a substantial difference.   If you bring the adapter, be wary of what you plug in from the United States because the voltage could burn it up. You will need the adapter however, if you plan to charge your phone with a charger from the United States.
  2. DON’T pack any electrical grooming tools, i.e. hair dryer/shaver/curling irons. This coincides with tip #1. All of these items are made for the United States, and therefore run with 120V. If you use them with your adapter, they may burn up and/or overheat and turn off. Most hotels carry blow dryers, and if you are desperate for a shaver, go for store bought. Girls, use curlers.
  3. DO pack a power bank. When you go to Europe, it’s inevitable that you will be walking around exploring all the sites.  More than likely, you will also have a nice camera plus your phone to take pictures.  It’s easier to use your phone to snap a quick picture than it is a full size camera, and for this reason you will want to keep it charged.  No matter what phone you have, its battery will not be enough.  Buy a power bank that will fully charge your phone up to 4 times and you will be happy you didn’t risk missing those once in a lifetime moments!
  4. DON’T over pack. Sure, this is a general statement and everyone says, “I’m only going to pack the essentials.”   In this case, it’s important to really narrow down what you need for your trip so you can travel efficiently (there’s a lot to see in Europe!).  Plan an outfit for every day, even better, plan your outfits using some of the same items repeatedly.  No, I’m not saying you should wear dirty clothes. There are lots of laundromats in Europe and it’s easy to stop in to do a few loads, especially if you are going to be there for over 10 days.  Plus, let’s all just admit once and for all, when we travel, we really only end up wearing about two outfits anyway.
  5. DO use compression bags for your clothes. I was very skeptical of this item when I first thought to buy it for Europe.  I kept asking myself, “Does it really save space? Or is it just a waste of money.”  The truth is, the bags save just enough space that you will be happy you bought them.  If you plan to bring a larger bag, then get a few large compression bags.  These bags will help you keep your clean and dirty clothes sorted as well as make that extra space you need for those last few items you plan to squeeze in your bag.

On a side note, here’s an extra tip that I really wish someone would have told me before I went to Europe:

If you plan to rent a car, make sure you call your credit card company before hand and ask if they provide full insurance coverage for rental cars in Europe.  It’s unlikely that your automotive insurance will cover rental cars from different countries and it’s very expensive to insure a car through the rental agency in Europe. Booking it on a credit card that provides full coverage will save you a ton of money!

 

Now that you know how to pack (and how to rent a car), get out there and see this amazing world of ours!

5 Things You May Not Know About Keystone Aviation

  1. G550 cabin mid section club seatingIn 2015, we flew more than 4,000 flight hours with the destinations ranging from Page, Arizona to New Delhi, India and everywhere in between.
  2. In the last 20 years, Keystone Aviation has grown from 33 employees to almost 300.
  3. We are one of the few aviation service companies that can provide “The Complete Solution” for your aviation needs through our aircraft charter, management, maintenance and aircraft sales operations. We’re even a subsidiary of thee TAC Air FBO chain, so we’ve got fuel covered too!
  4. Our pilots average over 9,400 flight hours and 27 years of pilot experience.
  5. Keystone Aviation’s maintenance technicians are factory trained for Gulfstream, Hawker, Falcon, Cirrus, Cessna, HondaJet, TBM, and Piper.

Wi-Fi now available in flight on select Keystone Aviation Charter Aircraft

Gulfstream G200 Charter

Gulftstream G200. One Keystone Aviation’s aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi

Did you know? Keystone Aviation now offers free domestic Wi-Fi onboard its Gulfstream G200 Charter Aircraft.  Whether traveling for business or leisure, this new modification allows Keystone Aviation’s charter clients to stay connected.

“We are working hard towards getting free Wi-Fi in all 12 of our charter aircraft by next year,” says Charlie Chamberlain, Flight Ops Sales and Business Development for Keystone Aviation.

With the ever increasing need for internet accessibility individuals and businesses need to stay connected at all times. Keystone Aviation recognizes the value of having Wi-Fi as an option, “Many of our charter clients view corporate aircraft as a business tool.  The addition of Wi-Fi makes that tool even more effective,” says Mike Parker, VP of Aircraft Sales for Keystone Aviation.

The Gulfstream G200 is in the top of its class in the Super mid-size jet category. With a range of 3,800 nautical miles, and a cruise speed of 530 mph, the Gulfstream G200 has the ability to fly up to 10 passengers comfortably anywhere in the world.  With the addition of Wifi in Keystone Aviation’s Gulfstream G200, flight time becomes productive time.

For additional information on chartering the G200 or information on the complete Keystone Aviation charter fleet, visit keystoneaviation.com or call 888.600.1070

Top Destinations for Charter Flights

Top Destinations for Charter Flights

Private aviation enhances your business and elevates your personal life.  Private jet charter is a safe, convenient and productive way to travel.  But where do people go who book charter flights? Below we’ve listed some of the top places Keystone Aviation takes its customers.

Meetings in New York, Los Angeles, and other Major Cities

Top executives travel constantly and, often, time is of the essence. This is why one of the top destinations of charter flights is to major cities such as New York and Los Angeles where boards of directors, stockholders, and executives meet regularly. These people take private jet charters to be able to get to their destination quickly, on time and as relaxed and comfortable as possible before taking on a high-pressure meeting or presentation.  They also use that travel time to conduct productive meetings with their team, so there’s very little time lost to travel.

Remote Destinations

Just as business people frequently travel to major cities, they also need to go to remote locations, such as rural job sites and hard-to-reach satellite offices.   In order to reach these remote locations, business people are often required to catch commercial airline connections followed by a long, rental car drive.  A private jet charter can land at airports close to these remote destinations, saving time and money.  By getting their people back home more quickly, businesses are enhanced and the personal life of their employees is elevated.

International Business Hubs

International travel is time consuming and logistically difficult.  Booking a private jet charter adds ease and comfort to international travel and allows business people to have an enormous amount of quality time with their colleagues.  This ability to conduct productive, confidential meetings during long international flights as well as being able to work comfortably and privately are all reasons why we frequently take customers to international business destinations, such as Tokyo, Beijing, London and Paris.

Beach and Tropical Destinations

One of the most popular destinations for private charter flights is to beach and tropical destinations. With a private charter, you won’t be starting your trip with the stress and inconvenience of long lines or waiting several hours for delayed flights. By booking private jet charters, you will be able to arrive at summer hotspots such as Hawaii, Florida and the Caribbean without any hassles and in style.

Major Events Around the Country

Who wouldn’t love watching the Superbowl, the NBA Finals, the US Open Golf Tournament or the next big boxing match live and in the stadium?  Unfortunately, traveling to these events via commercial flights can be exhausting.  This is one reason why major events such as those listed above are some of the top destinations for private jet charters.

Are you going to any of these destinations? If so, book a private jet charter and experience the benefits first hand.

The World’s Top Fishing Destinations Accessible Best by Plane

Fishing is a fantastic hobby. The thrill of having a big catch on your line and the excitement of trying to reel it in is surely a great experience. One challenge of fishing is that you can’t always do it on a whim – sometimes you need to make the necessary preparations in order to get to your fishing destinations, especially considering that many fishing destinations are only accessible by plane.

Some of the world’s best fishing spots are unfortunately also some of the toughest places to get to. Thankfully, planning a fishing trip to these destinations is possible by way of private flight. Enjoying a safe, convenient and often direct charter flight in anticipation of experiencing some of the best fishing spots will surely excite any fishing enthusiast.

Here are some of the top fishing destinations that you can get to almost exclusively by plane.

The World's Top Fishing Destinations Accessible Best by Plane

  • Iliamna Lake and Rainbow Bay Resort, Alaska – Alaska is well known for its great fishing spots, but it does come with some challenges in getting there. Rainbow Bay Resort, which is located in Iliamna Lake, has become increasingly popular as a rich and diverse fishing spot where you can find all five species of pacific salmon, arctic char and northern pike, among others. You can only get to Lake Iliamna by plane because the one-lane road in that does exist is not for general purpose use.
  • Silsby Lake Lodge, Canada – Located 450 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Silsby Lake Lodge is another world-class fishing destination that you can only get to by plane. It is well known for its trophy pike and walleye fishing. The lodge is filled with fishermen who want to experience hooking these huge fish, and chances are they won’t have to wait very long until they have a chance to do so. The lodge offers great amenities and accommodations which will surely make your stay a memorable one.
  • North Spirit Lake, Canada – Another Canadian fishing destination that you can only get to by plane is North Spirit Lake. Made popular because of the large population of huge walleye, North Spirit Lake will certainly give you an experience that you will never forget. You can fish for some of the biggest walleye you’ve ever seen, some of which grow to trophy size. North Spirit Lake definitely is a top fishing spot that you can only get to by plane.
  • El Salto Lake, Mexico – If you are searching for an exotic fishing trip, then taking a private jet charter to Mexico to go to El Salto Lake is something that you should definitely try. With the backdrop of the scenic Sierra Madre, fishermen are treated to some of the best trophy bass fishing in Mexico.
  • San Cristobal Island, Galapagos – Galapagos was made popular by Charles Darwin, but it has also become a hotspot for fishermen looking for a big catch. Darwin was indeed right in choosing the Galapagos Islands for his studies as it is very rich in wildlife and the fish you can find there help make it a great fishing spot too. You would need to book a private jet charter to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos to experience some of the best black and blue marlin fishing in the world. It may be a long way from home, but it certainly is worth it once you have a huge marlin on your line.

The World's Top Fishing Destinations Accessible Best by Plane

  • Grand Bahama, Bahamas – Though a little closer to the United States than some of the international fishing destinations on this list, you would still need to take a plane in order to reach Grand Bahama, which is the northernmost island of the Bahamas. Here you can find Pelican Bay which is a great spot for bonefishing. A seasonal population of permit and tarpon can also be found around this beautiful fishing island making it a great place to go to for some serious fishing.
  • Punta Burica, Panama – Yet another international destination that you can only get to by way of a plane is Punta Burica, Panama. Here you can find a very rich variety of fish for you to take on, such as black marlin, blue marlin, amberjack, sailfish, yellow fin tuna, cubera snapper and many more. You just have to choose the right season for your fish of choice and you’ll surely have a great time on your great fishing vacation in Punta Burica.

So there you have it, a list of some top fishing destinations best accessible by plane.  Of course, when you consider the remote nature of these destinations along with all of the gear you’ll need, we think a private jet charter is the best way to go, but regardless of how you fly there, you should go!

 

Tips for Booking a Private Jet Charter

Booking a Private Jet Charter

There are countless people every day flying for both business and pleasure. While many opt to travel via commercial flights, there are those who prefer the ease, comfort, and convenience of booking a private jet charter. Taking a private charter to any of your chosen destinations is surely one of the best ways to fly.

Whether you’re booking your very first private jet charter or you’re hoping to fly privately again soon, here is a list of friendly tips that you should try to remember when booking a private jet charter:

  • Book Your Flight Early – A lot of people are looking to book private charter flights, so it is always recommended that you book your flight at the earliest possible time. Booking early will help you avoid problems with scheduling or the availability of the aircraft that best suits your flight needs.
  • Know the Number of Passengers for Your Flight – Knowing the number of passengers is important to a smooth, safe, and comfortable flight. The number of people who are going to travel with you is important because it will be a factor in selecting the aircraft which will best meet your needs. Always have this information ready before booking your flight.
  • Choose a Reputable Charter Company – This is probably the best advice you can get when booking a private jet charter. One of the ways to identify a reputable charter company is to ask to see their Air Carrier Certificate.  Making sure your aircraft operator is a legal, FAA certificated operator is an important regulatory, safety and insurance consideration, so be sure your operator has an Air Carrier Certificate.  Also, verify that the aircraft you will be flying on is listed on that certificate
  • Find Out the Details– Ask the charter company about insurance limits, crew member experience and whether or not the operator is independently audited – then evaluate the results with your risk managers.  There are many other factors you may want to consider when booking a charter flight. Other resources include:
  • Get Help – Brokers and operators will often vet charter companies for you (for a fee of course).  But with many details to be gathered, using a third party may be helpful to you.

Private jet charter is a fantastic way to travel and, hopefully, now you know a little more about booking a jet charter trip.

How to Become a Charter Pilot

If you dream of flying a G550, but don’t exactly know how to get your foot in the door, below are a few tips to help your charter pilot career take flight:

Charter Pilot 1. Build Flight Hours: It is important to log as many flight hours as possible.  But how many flight hours do you need?  Commercial airlines prefer a minimum of 1,500 hours of flight time.  However, most charter companies prefer about 3,000 flight hours.

2. Become a Flight Instructor: Flight instructors get paid to fly!  In addition, they get to log their flight time as PIC (Pilot-In-Command).  Since flying can be expensive, this is one of the most economical ways to accumulate flight time.  Furthermore, being an instructor is an excellent way to increase your knowledge and flight skills.

 

3. Choose a Flight Path: Commercial airlines generally do not require new pilots to have as many hours as charter companies.  Also, most charter companies prefer that new hires already have their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate – since this is not a requirement for commercial airlines, you might want to start with a commercial airline to increase your flight time and get your ATP.

Charter Pilot4. Know What Flight Departments are Looking For: In addition to building your flight hours, customer service experience is also extremely important.  Unlike commercial airline pilots, charter pilots work closely with their customers.  They are responsible for coordinating ground transportation, catering and other special requests their customers might have. Charter companies realize this and look for potential pilots who have a strong customer service background. Excellent customer service can turn a one-time customer into a customer for life.

Once you obtain your commercial pilot license with 250 hours of flight time, there are a few other paths to consider for building your flight hours:

  • Traffic Watch – You can gain 2-3 flight hours per day flying traffic watch.
  • Sky Diving Flights – Pilots can quickly earn hours flying a variety of aircraft for sky divers.  The more experience you have, the better chance of flying a turbine powered aircraft, such as a King Air, Beech 99, or a Cessna Caravan.
  • Towing – You can learn to become a tow pilot for sailplanes.
  • Scenic Flights – There are many scenic tour operators in the Western United States which provide opportunities for you to get paid to build your time.

Several of our pilots at Keystone Aviation have pursued their career opportunities through the above avenues.

So now that you know the steps to start building your pilot resume, get out there and fly!

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.