Welcome to the Keystone Aviation Blog

Keystone Aviation is a premier provider of executive aircraft charter, aircraft sales and management and aircraft maintenance. The Keystone Aviation Blog is where we talk about all things general aviation. Keystone Aviation is a TAC Air company.

Aircraft Charter

At Keystone Aviation, we are committed to safety, service and reliability. We participate in numerous safety programs, pilot and crew training programs, customer service training, and third-party audits to ensure that every flight meets the highest industry safety standards.

Aircraft Maintenance

The Keystone Aviation maintenance department was established in 1997 to provide first-class maintenance services for the company’s growing charter fleet. Over the years the department has grown to a Class IV Repair Station with 23 factory trained A&P technicians servicing everything from small, single-engine piston to large, Boeing/Airbus class aircraft.

Aircraft Sales & Brokerage

Over the past 20 years, Keystone Aviation has sold or brokered over a half a billion dollars worth of aircraft, including everything from small single-engine piston to large corporate jets. Let us help you avoid the pitfalls associated with your next aircraft transaction.

Aircraft Management

Over our 20 year history, Keystone Aviation has successfully managed over 35 private jet aircraft for owners ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. Let us show you how aircraft ownership should be.


When Is It Best to Charter a Private Jet?

2013-05-21-18-07-43-2-300x300Private jet charter is a fantastic way to travel – it can enhance your business and elevate your personal life. So when is it best to charter a private jet or other type of aircraft, instead of a commercial flight?

You’re Planning a Short Trip to a Destination and Back – Private jet charter works really well for short (1-3 day) trips to a destination and then back.  These quick trips allow the charter company to get the most out of its fleet and allow you to get the most value for your charter dollar.

You Need to Go to a Remote Destination – For many businesses, getting to remote locations is a real challenge.  Frequently, business people who need to go to a meeting at a remote destination will spend the day before the meeting and the day after the meeting just on travel.    A charter flight can often land at smaller airports situated closer to these far-away places saving time and, thereby, money.  A business that can cut days of travel out of a work week, will gain not only more productive employees, but also more loyal employees.

You Need to Meet with Your Team – Have you ever tried to have a private conversation on a commercial flight?  It’s basically impossible.  On a charter flight, you can meet with your colleagues en-route to your destination and then de-brief on the way home, all without the fear of being overheard by the people in the next aisle.  Not only does this privacy protect a company’s valuable information, but it also allows for more productive travel time.

You’re Traveling with Multiple Team or Family Members – If you need to take multiple people to a destination, a private jet charter becomes a more economic choice.  The price of the charter flight generally doesn’t change with the number of passengers, so if you put more passengers on the plane, the cost per passenger goes down.  Arriving for a presentation with multiple people representing each of their respective disciplines can be very impactful.  By the same token, having quality time with your entire family, as opposed to just the family member sitting next to you is an advantage as well.

You’d Like to Stop at Multiple Destinations in a Short Amount of Time – Private jet charters can get you to two and three cities in a day, something you could never do on a commercial flight.  Again, saving a business time, saves money and improves the personal lives of employees who are able to spend less time on the road.

Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought and the next time you plan a trip using commercial flights, you’ll give private jet charter a try.  It can literally change your life and business for the better.


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.


Aircraft Maintenance Q & A with Maintenance Director Bill Hoddenbach

Aircraft Maintenance Q & A

Q:  Why did you decide to become an aircraft mechanic?

A:  As a young boy, I had a fascination with airplanes.  My first small airplane ride was in a Cessna and we flew over the Hoover Dam at night.  It was amazing.  Later, I was working as a VW mechanic at a small auto shop and one of my roommates was working at the airport.  He invited me to see where he was working.  That day I saw my first aircraft engine and realized it was very similar to the VW engines I was working on and that moment planted the seed that would eventually grow into reality for me.

Q:  Is a career as an aircraft mechanic something you would recommend for others?  Why?

A:  Yes, Aviation Maintenance is a challenging career; it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.  If you have a desire to do things correctly, are willing to put in the time it takes to become good at it, you enjoy working with your hands, and you like solving technical problems, to then see your hard work fly away, it might be for you.

Q:  How does someone become an aircraft mechanic?

A:  There are different paths you can take to become an aviation mechanic.  One is to attend a formal Aviation Maintenance program at a local community college or private school.  There are several around the country that provide the curriculum needed to obtain your license.  Another way is to apprentice with a licensed mechanic for approximately 3 years and then get signed off to take your A&P license exam.  Yet another option is to go into the military and get your training there.

Q:  How long have you been the Director of Maintenance (DOM) for Keystone Aviation?

A:  I have been the Director of Maintenance here at Keystone for almost 16 years now.

Q:  What other experience did you have before becoming Keystone Aviation’s DOM?

A:  I had been a Director of Maintenance for several other firms prior to my coming to Keystone.  I had been involved in the helicopter industry as well as air freight and general aviation business, all as a DOM.

Aircraft Maintenance Q & A

Q:  What do you like about being a Director of Maintenance?

A:  I like being involved in the planning and execution of logistical challenges.  It is always rewarding to put something together and have it work well and know that you had a part in the success.

Q:  What are some of the challenges of being a Director of Maintenance?

A:  The dynamic nature of the industry can be challenging.  Learning how to adapt the business to new equipment, new regulations, new people.  Also, the pressures that some aircraft owners and operators put on maintenance can become a difficult challenge if not dealt with in the proper way.  Typically, people do not like maintenance, as it is a cost and takes up time.  They would rather be out flying their aircraft as opposed to than having maintenance done to it.

Q:  How has aircraft maintenance changed during your career?

A:  More complex equipment, less latitude to accomplish the job and, of course, more rules.

The maintenance industry has had to become more technical.  With the advent of “digital aircraft,” we have had to adapt to new technical procedures involving more electronics and a better understanding of computers and how to use them.  The internet has also required technicians to sharpen their knowledge base of the aircraft they maintain.  The owners can go on-line and talk to others in the industry and get 2nd and 3rd opinions much more easily now.  Sometimes these “internet mechanics” are not always accurate and we have had to learn how to help the customers navigate through those situations.

Q:  What is it like working with the FAA?

A:  Working with the FAA can be challenging, especially if you don’t try to understand their point of view and have a cooperative attitude.  We all have a part in the aviation industry and we need to be able to work with everyone to help the aircraft owners have a good experience and want to keep their aircraft and use them.  The FAA is part of that equation.  They have mandates that they have to accomplish and we as an industry need to be aware of those.  On the other hand, that does not mean that we should just roll over and accept everything that they give us.  We need to take an active role in the process by participating in the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process and have dialogue on these issues.  We should know the rules that govern our industry as well as or better than the regulators.

Overall my experience with the FAA has been good.  I have learned a lot from the various inspectors and managers that I have worked with.

Q:  What is the next “big” development for aircraft maintenance?

A:  I see the industry adding more capabilities as a business model, like the larger Maintenance Repair and Overhaul shops (MROs).  This is a shift from the past when there have been more “Mom and Pop” shops specializing in a small segment of the industry.

Q:  What are some of the issues you’ve worked on as Chairman of the National Air Transportation Association Maintenance Committee?

A:  The navigation database update rule and the new NPRMs on repair station rules, among other things.

Q:  Is it true you have traveled to all 50 States?

A:  I had a goal to see all 50 states prior to turning 50.  I accomplished this goal by seeing North and South Dakota 1 month prior to my 50th birthday.  In addition, I have traveled to approximately 30 different countries around the world.


8 Reasons to Choose Aircraft Management

Let’s face it, airplanes are complex machines, but we believe a Keystone Aviation managed aircraft can be a valuable tool to enhance your business and elevate your personal life. When you consider regulations, safety, training and insurance, among other things, the complexity associated with operating an aircraft can be rather daunting.  Management companies provide expertise and experience to navigate these complexities and to make aircraft ownership as simple as possible.

So here are 8 reasons to use an aircraft management company.

8 Reasons to Choose Aircraft Management

Convenience – One of the major benefits of aircraft management is the convenience.  With one phone call, an aircraft owner can schedule a flight.  The management company takes care of all of the details, including:  checking the crew’s certifications and rest requirements, ensuring aircraft maintenance compliance, assigning the crew, fueling, hangar needs, ground handling, crew accommodations and transportation, de-icing, catering, etc.  The management company will often arrange passenger accommodations and transportation as well.  However, the convenience of aircraft management reaches beyond coordinating flights; in fact, all of the benefits listed in this article play a part in the convenience provided by aircraft management.

Safety – Clearly, safety is always the primary concern when it comes to operating an airplane.  Management companies offer safety programs and processes aimed at enhancing the safety of your aircraft’s operations.  From independent audits to Safety Management Systems, management companies have the resources and the expertise to focus on safety.

Asset Protection – Did you know that approximately 20% of an aircraft’s value is in its logbooks?  Without proper maintenance, documentation and record keeping, the value of your aircraft can be significantly diminished.   Management companies provide the services needed to protect the value of your asset, such as maintenance tracking programs, outsourced maintenance oversight and even fireproofed storage for your aircraft logbooks.

Compliance – Complying with FAA regulations is not an easy task, but being out of compliance can be costly.  Aircraft management companies employ professionals in various disciplines from flight operations to maintenance to taxes who are there to help navigate the complexities of aircraft laws and regulations.

Cost Savings – Management companies can often achieve economies of scale which generate cost savings for the aircraft owner.  For example, management companies that operate multiple aircraft purchase more fuel for their combined fleet than a single aircraft owner.  Thus, the management company can often negotiate lower fuel prices than an aircraft owner can on their own.  These economies of scale can translate to savings in training costs, hangar rates, insurance premiums and many other areas.

8 Reasons to Choose Aircraft Management

Charter Revenue – Management companies which also operate charter aircraft can provide yet another advantage.  Specifically, the management company can often charter an aircraft when it is not in use by the owner (with the owner’s approval of course).  This charter revenue can then be used by the owner to reduce his/her operating costs, making aircraft ownership more economical.

Staff Management – While aircraft management agreements differ, often the management company employs the pilots, mechanics, bookkeepers, record keepers and flight attendants needed to operate an aircraft.  This arrangement allows the management company to alleviate the aircraft owner from the burden of payroll and benefits administration, HR compliance, employee training, etc.  This arrangement also generates cost savings in that the aircraft owner isn’t required to pay wages for people her/she only needs occasionally.

Reporting – A management company will often provide detailed reporting of aircraft expenses to the owner.  Keystone Aviation sends out reports monthly to aircraft owners which detail expenses by cost categories such as fuel, catering, maintenance, etc.  Management companies can also track expense trends over time and help to identify cost saving opportunities. Let us know if you need a specific set of metrics for reporting and we can customize a report on any interval needed. We just started utilizing new fuel purchasing software; look for new fuel reports coming soon!

So now you know more about the many benefits of aircraft management and why it is a great choice for so many aircraft owners.


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.


Seven Notable Experimental Aircraft in History

There are a myriad of aircraft designs available today—more than enough to accommodate all of the modern man’s needs. Of course, almost all of today’s planes are an improvement on the experimental designs people dreamed up in the past. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at seven of the most notable experimental aircraft in history.

Bell X-1

Let’s start with what’s considered to be the first ever manned, rocket-powered aircraft to break the sound barrier: the Bell X1.

Originally called the XS-1, the Bell X-1 was a joint, supersonic research project between the NACA-US Army and the US Air Force. It was built by Bell Aircraft in 1945, but the initial designs were conceived about a year earlier. It was first flown in 1946.

The Bell X-1 was the first of what would be a series of secret, experimental aircraft called X-planes. These planes were used by the US to test new technologies.

Boeing Bird of Prey

Developed in the 1990s by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, the Bird of Prey was a relatively low cost project—with a total funding of just $67 million—meant to develop and test stealth materials and technologies.

The Bird of Prey was actually a “black project” aircraft, which means that it was a classified as a defense/military project and was not publicly acknowledged by the government, defense contractors or even military personnel.

The Bird of Prey was primarily intended to be a technology demonstrator, so there are no known plans for its mass production.

Goodyear Inflatoplane

The Goodyear Aircraft Company came up with what was planned to be an ingenious rescue aircraft in 1956: the Inflatoplane. The project was sponsored by the US Army.

The Inflatoplane can easily be packed into some form of hardened container, dropped behind enemy lines and inflated at the right time. Unfortunately, the US Army eventually decided to terminate the project because while the plane could be easily sneaked in and taken out of enemy territory, it was really just a balloon and, as such, was very easy to take down.

Lockheed Have Blue

First flown in 1977, the Have Blue was designed and built by Lockheed’s Skunk Works division as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate where aircraft stealth technology stood at the time.

The Have Blue was the earliest, fixed-wing aircraft conceived primarily from an electrical engineering viewpoint, instead of the usual aerospace engineering perspective. It was shaped in such a way that it effectively deflected electromagnetic waves, ultimately decreasing its radar signature by a very large margin.

There were only two Have Blue units ever produced and both crashed. However, the project successfully paved the way for the production of the F-11 Nighthawk stealth aircraft.

Northrop Tacit Blue

Here’s another stealth technology demonstrator: the Tacit Blue. This aircraft was developed by Northrop to prove that a stealth aircraft can effectively operate near the front lines of a battle and forward real-time targeting information to a chosen ground command center—and survive.

Although some say that the Tacit Blue is one of the most unstable aircraft ever made, it can still be considered a success with over 130 flights under its belt. In fact, it’s known to have made at least three flights a week in its time—even more than once a day on several occasions.

Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow

The CF-105 Arrow was the culmination of a five-year design study by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada). It was regarded as one of the most notable technological and design advancements in Canadian aviation history.

The CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged fighter aircraft that was originally intended to be used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as its primary interceptor from the 1960s onward. Unfortunately, the project was controversially terminated in 1959, which not only forced Avro to fold, but also prevented the CF-105 Arrow from ever seeing action.

Gloster E.28/39

Also known as the Gloster Pioneer, Gloster Whittle or Gloster G.40, the E.28/39 was the earliest British, jet-engine plane to ever fly. It first took to the skies in 1941.


The aircraft was designed primarily as a test aircraft for one of the turbojet designs of Frank Whittle and ultimately led to the creation of the fully operational Gloster Meteor fighter. There were only two prototypes ever made.

There you have it – seven of the planes that paved the way for modern aircraft production.


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_experimental_aircraft
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_X-1
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Bird_of_Prey
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_project
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyear_Inflatoplane
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Have_Blue
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Tacit_Blue
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CF-105
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interceptor_aircraft
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloster_E.28/39

An Interview with An Air Charter Pilot – Part 1

Air Charter Pilot

Photo by Prayitno

Ever wonder what it’s like being a charter pilot?  We’ve got some answers.  We interviewed one of our pilots and here’s what we found:

Q:  What do you like best about being an air charter pilot?

A:  The variety is great.  Every day is a different destination, a different customer, a different challenge.  I’ve also really enjoyed the relationships I’ve built with not only my co-workers, but with customers too.  After years of flying certain customers, I’ve really appreciated the chance to get to know them, their companies and their families.  And, of course, I love to fly.

Q:  Who are private jet charter customers?

A:  Everyone.  I’ve flown business people, charitable organizations, families, vacationers, celebrities, you name it.

Q:  Are celebrities more difficult to fly than other customers?

A:  Not really.  We try to take care of every customer’s needs and we certainly try to protect every customer’s privacy.  Celebrities sometimes have slightly different needs, like needing space to work with publicists and to hang out with the kids, but there isn’t anything particularly difficult.

Q:  What are the greatest challenges of being a charter pilot?

A:  One of the things I love about being a pilot is there are constant challenges, from weather, to customers, to aircraft performance, no two flights are alike.  Flight planning for international trips is particularly challenging with visa requirements, customs, security, regulations, handling, etc. there are a ton of things to consider.

Q:  International flying must be exciting, what’s it like?

A:  I love exploring different countries and cultures, so I really enjoy the international trips.  Like I said, the planning is a challenge especially since all of the plans don’t always come to fruition because international trips tend to change as we go along.  But the best part is the journey itself, not the destination.

Q:  Where have you flown internationally as a pilot with Keystone Aviation?

A:  Europe and Asia mostly.   I’ve flown a lot of business people to Japan and China as well as to cities throughout Europe.

Q:  Would you encourage other pilots to explore a career as a private jet charter pilot?

A:  Yes.  I’ve enjoyed how my career has progressed as a charter pilot and I think it’s a great path for pilots to consider.  Ultimately, I would encourage anyone who wants to fly to go out and do it; doing what you love is the best part of being a pilot!

Well, now you know a little more about life as a charter pilot.  If you have other questions for our pilots, let us know!


Infographic: Evolution of the Airplane

We admit we’re a little partial to the open skies, and we have a fondness for the rich history and technological innovation that surrounds the history of airplanes, so we’ve created a evolution of the airplane infographic to show the history of air travel. For example, did you know:

  • The first metal aircraft was a “junker,” so-named after inventor Hugo Junkers.
  • The 787 Dreamliner is longer than the Wright Brothers first flight?
  • The X-15 flew faster than 4500 mph? (It’s only 2790 miles from NYC to L.A.)

Click on the graphic below to see the enlarged graphic.

Evolution of the Airplane Infographic

Would you like to use this infographic on your website or blog? Please feel free to do so as long as you provide attribution by including a text link to http://keystoneaviation.com/infographic-evolution-of-the-airplane/ and citing Keystone Aviation as the copyright owner of this infographic.


9 Things to Know Before Purchasing Your Own Airplane

It would be safe to say that each of us have dreamed of owning an aircraft. Whether you are thinking big or small, if you plan on purchasing your own airplane, don’t end up regretting on your choice. Let these tips help you plan ahead and get the perfect aircraft that fits you.

Buy or Charter?

First, let’s take a look at the buy or rent dilemma. Though owning your own aircraft gives you flexibility and an unmatched experience over chartering one, there are instances where your best choice is to charter. Decide which is better considering factors such as expected usage and the financial impact.

New or Used?

A brand new airplane almost always means better performance and warranty coverage. Of course, new also means a higher price. There are a lot of used aircraft on the market that can meet a variety of needs, with a smaller price tag.  Considering all factors in a well thought out mission comparison along with a price and cash flow analysis will help determine the correct path.


Will the plane be used for business or for leisure? How often will you fly and for how long on each trip? How you plan to use the aircraft will answer a lot of questions, including the two questions above, as well as the aircraft type and model that you should consider.

Setting a Budget

Setting a budget and sticking to the budget is an effective way to ease the process. From there, search for the best aircraft you can find that’s within your price range. Having a budget set for your aircraft purchase, as well as its operation will help narrow the list of aircraft options and help ensure the aircraft will be successfully integrated into your financial picture.

Aircraft Speed

Does it matter how fast you will get to your destinations? For aircraft, better speed comes with a greater price.   If it is a necessity, then consider it as factor.


Check your aircraft choices thoroughly. Once you have narrowed the choices down to a handful, it’s time to look at the aircraft.   There are many items to inspect on an aircraft, including paint, maintenance records, aircraft logbooks, avionics, entertainment systems, interiors, and the list goes on.

Don’t fall for love at first sight. Getting fixated on a certain aircraft will may keep you from finding the best one to suit your needs. Search, collect, compare, and select.


Obviously, there is a lot to consider when choosing a private aviation option, including purchasing an aircraft.  Seeking the advice of an experienced aviation advisor, like Keystone Aviation, will help you sort through many of the details, including budgets for various aircraft, the attributes of the aircraft on the market, inspections, etc…

Early Financing Approval

Getting the financing aspect ready early in the process will help determine what price range you are going to target. Having the financing done early will also allow you to concentrate on choosing the right aircraft and to make an offer immediately once you find the one.


Aircraft insurance can be costly, but can save you lot of headaches down the road. There are a lot of resources over the web to learn more about aircraft insurance. Check with brokers for quotes that you think will work best for you.


Since all of these issues are important, we highly recommend your first call is to an established and reputable aircraft broker.  Find one that is willing to talk to you at some length and without any fees up front.  Then, if you feel comfortable, enter into an agreement to have the broker represent you.  The contract is negotiable, but having sound, experienced advice should ultimately result in saving more than the broker is paid.