When I answer the question, "what do you do?," I am often surprised by the reaction and interest. Many folks have immediate questions, so I though it could be an interesting AMA.

I have flown a variety of business jets for many years, transporting many high net worth and celebrity clients, CEOs, and families. While I will not disclose any personal information about certain individuals, I will speak to the training, lifestyle, and interactions of private jet pilots and their clients. So, AMAA...

UPDATE: Trying to answer more this morning Thanks, everyone!

Comments: 274 • Responses: 86  • Date: 

CarlaWasThePromQueen38 karma

If you could invent the Ford Escort, how would you invent it?

ColonelChemtrail21 karma

I would use an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, of course.

halcyont23 karma


ColonelChemtrail72 karma

Security procedures mostly. That and client personal information. For example, it would be bad to greet a client and say, "Nice to see you again, sir. Is your daughter going to be joining us again for the return trip?" All the while, his wife is standing there, he does not have a daughter, and now he has to explain who the young lady was on his last flight! Oops.

halcyont11 karma


devilbunny18 karma

Most rich people aren't celebrities and really prefer a low profile. I know a handful of very wealthy people, and you wouldn't realize it about most of them at first glance, especially if you don't know what expensive-but-not-flashy stuff looks like up close.

Edit: And I don't just mean their personal appearance; they tend to drive "normal" luxury cars/trucks, not Maybachs and Bugattis, although they could easily afford them if they wanted one.

ColonelChemtrail12 karma

I agree! Lots of nice cars, but not a lot of crazy extravagant ones. I can definitely pick them out in large crowds though, unless they are really good at incognito!

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

True. Some are pretty brazen, however. Then again, maybe their relationships are much different than my marriage!

LynxaBane18 karma

Is there any aspect of your job you just can't stand?
How much training did you have to go through to become a Private pilot? Is it different than becoming a commercial pilot?
Do the people you fly around ever try to bribe you to let them fly?

ColonelChemtrail27 karma

I can't stand the inconsiderate mess some people leave behind. What they may not realize (or don't care about) is that we two pilots are stuck cleaning up their papers strewn about and kids' cookie crumbs ground into the carpet. Doggie diarrhea is especially heinous, although we get professional help. I have had to carry a "honey bucket" of "waste" out of the aircraft many times to be emptied.

Training is extensive and expensive. I have been flying for over 25 years and am actually certified as an Airline Transport Pilot (highest FAA certificate). I have also flown for the airlines. We typically spend years training and building experience to fly jets and then train for ~3 weeks for the specifics of a particular model. Refresher training is usually at least annually, though I go to the simulator twice a year to be tested.

I have never had anyone ask to fly the jet. They are unlikely to have enough cash on them to bribe me, as it would be my last day of employment if I agreed. :-)

LynxaBane3 karma

Do you feel that the more "privileged" people are the less common courtesy/manners they have? I can't imagine leaving a huge mess for someone else to clean. :(

Oh wow, I had no idea you had to re test so frequently. Is that for every pilot?

Haha Good point. :P

thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it!

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

I don't believe they are more/less than the general public. I have seen more slobs on commercial flights than there should be.

Most professional pilots retest twice a year. It is the highest industry standard.

MattBaster17 karma


ColonelChemtrail42 karma

Many times, I don't know why the client is taking the trip. I did once fly an NBA player about 1500 miles for a party. Another couple went from Chicago to the coastal Mississippi to go yacht shopping. The pamphlets they left behind showed some of the selections. Unreal!

[deleted]10 karma


ColonelChemtrail16 karma

Frankly, I am happy for them (and you)! I wish there were more of you! I certainly do not need anything more than what I have and personally believe that all my needs will be provided for regardless. If I had that kind of wealth, I would have to work at figuring out the best ways to help the most people with it. The wealthy folks doing that are wonderful people, and I think they have that wealth for a reason!

DaggerStJames16 karma

How common is drug use among your passengers while you're flying?

ColonelChemtrail25 karma

Not common at all. Most who would use it would keep it discreet. I have not had to intervene, but I know those who have, even to the point of landing and asking clients to leave. Drugs can be dangerous because they may cause erratic passenger behavior. We have no cockpit bulletproof door to separate us. We all need to be civil up there.

DaggerStJames18 karma

Sort of related, how common is it for passengers to engage in sexual activity mid-flight?

ColonelChemtrail16 karma

Very rare, but hey, just clean up back there please.

asharpsilence5 karma

Yeah, but would pot really be that bad?

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

It could be. I'd rather not find out in the air.

pooroldedgar4 karma

What would it take for you to intervene? What would intervening look like?

ColonelChemtrail11 karma

If I noticed illegal drug use and was convinced I was not mistaken, I would ask the client to immediately stop and put it away. If they did not, I would land at a suitable airport consistent with safety and have the aircraft met by law enforcement. All our passengers are notified to refrain from drug use on board.

jacketminer3 karma

Considering that you likely have no legal obligation to do so, why notify police and not just drop them off claiming an invalidated contract? Does one of the insurance companies you use require notifying law enforcement? Or is there some other reason? Or is there some legal obligation?

ColonelChemtrail12 karma

There is quite likely residue, paraphernalia, etc. in the aircraft. I want to be sure I am not accused of a crime myself!

Underwater_Grilling14 karma

Ever rubbed one out midflight?

ColonelChemtrail80 karma

Yes. I dribbled some mustard on my tie and had to rub it out with a wet nap. How did you know?

jacketminer11 karma

What's the fastest plane you've flown?

What's your visual acuity?

ColonelChemtrail18 karma

A "Citation X" that flies as fast at Mach .92, or 92% the speed of sound.

My vision is great, but you do not need perfect vision, only correctable.

jacketminer5 karma

Thanks for responding!

Bonus question: have you ever been involved in any funny conversations with ground control? Or do you know funny stories of pilots who have? I read a "forward from grandma" about these the other day and I'm not sure if they were true, so I'm looking for first or second hand examples.

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

The funniest usually come from New York or a southern controller. I cannot think of any examples right now, but it is nice to get a little comic relief now and then. Google "funny air traffic control" maybe?

tinkletwit2 karma

Can you explain why maximum speeds for aircraft are usually stated as a mach number? To me it would make much more sense to report a air speed. I mean, if the speed of sound varies by altitude then wouldn't it be possible for an aircraft to have a maximum air speed at an altitude at which it could not achieve its maximum mach number? For example, above a certain altitude the maximum air speed might decrease because of thinner oxygen (less power for engines), yet the thinner air also means that the speed of sound decreases as well and you could achieve a greater mach number even at the same air speed.

ColonelChemtrail4 karma

Decent little white paper on the topic here: http://www.tscm.com/mach-as.pdf

linchboy11 karma

I have seen in some movies and shows where the rich guy asks the pilot to go faster for an extra tip. Is that possible? (safely) and how often does it happen to you?

ColonelChemtrail12 karma

It is possible in some cases, but not usually helpful. Generally, we are travelling at max cruise speed. Any increase in thrust and fuel burn could cause an unplanned stop for fuel and take more time. We are only talking a couple of minutes anyway, usually.

BurgNast10 karma

Have you ever been in a bad storm or something and you really didnt know whether you would make it through?

ColonelChemtrail18 karma

Yes, I ave been in a microburst and thought we would end up hitting the ground. The downdrafts were unbelievably high speed. Fortunately, we flew out of it and climbed again, but I sucked up a bit of seat cushion that day!

MeetLawrence10 karma

How much money do you make?

ColonelChemtrail25 karma

Low six figures. Salaries vary widely.

pennysilver10 karma

What percentage of the time are you actually manually flying the plane?

ColonelChemtrail16 karma

Maybe 5%. Autopilot is a great tool. You can concentrate on so much more if the autopilot is taking care of the finer details of maintaining altitude and course.

AxholeRose10 karma

Do you have any rules (of your own)?

ColonelChemtrail8 karma

For the passengers?

AxholeRose6 karma

Yep! To keep them from partying too far, etc

ColonelChemtrail10 karma

None, really. I don't brief them on that sort of thing. If they are drunk, I would not let them on the airplane to begin with. Buzzed would be alright, but they need to be in control and behaving or they could be a danger to the flight.

Cosmobrain9 karma

Basic question... What famous people have you flown?

ColonelChemtrail23 karma

I have flown NBA/NFL/PGA/etc. athletes, news anchors, government officials, and the like. Many folks you have seen on TV, but they are, for the most part, people like everyone else. I cannot reveal identities, unfortunately, nor would I answer specifics about them. I respect their right to privacy, and that is a big part of why they travel this way.

Spacetoast428 karma

Do you ever create turbulence just to mess with your clients?

ColonelChemtrail19 karma

I despise turbulence. Many fliers are nervous, so we try to find the smoothest ride possible. Sometimes, it cannot be avoided, though. We always try to stay out of the worst of it; I try to keep hot coffee off my lap!

LeonJones4 karma

Can you still talk over the speakers to the cabin like a regular commercial aircraft?

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

Yes, or I can just turn around or have the flight attendant make an announcement (if there is one). Did you see the Ron White routine? Pretty much like that.

lockwasher8 karma

Favorite airport? Least favorite airport?

ColonelChemtrail8 karma


jarrettbrown2 karma

Doesn't surprise me that Teterboro isn't your favorite. From what I've heard, it's not a fun airport to land at.

ColonelChemtrail8 karma

It's just so congested and kinda depressing. I like to go to cool places, and "Teterhole" certainly does not qualify!

TahoeTweezer7 karma

How accurate are flight simulator apps on an iPad?

What type of plane do you fly the most?

What are your favorite and least favorite planes you fly somewhat regularly?

ColonelChemtrail10 karma

Not accurate at all. Computer sims are surprisingly accurate, though. At least compared to the one I had on the Commodore many years ago!

The most would be the Citation X.

TahoeTweezer7 karma

Damn... I took off and landed an Airbus A330 at SFO the other day and figured I was good to go in an emergency situation.

What would you do if a couple started having sex midflight? Has it ever happened to you?

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

I would try not to let them notice that I noticed. They can do it if they want, just buckle up when the sign is on!

gypsybear7 karma

How did you become interested in aviation? And once interested, what steps did you take to make it your career?

ColonelChemtrail13 karma

I loved aviation as a kid. Who wouldn't? To look at the earth from above gives one an entirely new perspective on life. I took lessons in high school, working jobs to support my dream. Eventually, I got certified as an FAA instructor to build experience teaching others the basics and build time to get more skilled positions.

scolomon7 karma

Has anyone acted so outrageously on your plane that you didn't allow them to ride with you again?

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

Thankfully no, but I know of colleagues who have been in that position. In fact, if the behavior is too outrageous, they may have to go elsewhere for service.

pennysilver6 karma

How do you get hired for a job?

ColonelChemtrail9 karma

I spent years teaching others to fly and built flight time. Then, I applied to an airline, and was successful at the interview. After that, I applied to a company that has private jets and switched pilot career paths.

king_olaf_the_hairy6 karma

(i) What's your favourite private jet to fly?

(ii) Do you fly when you're not working, and if so, what? (I read somewhere that jet fighter pilots like old-fashioned, simple planes because they're the antithesis of their work transport).

ColonelChemtrail9 karma

(i) A Bombardier Challenger

(ii) I don't fly small planes often, but when I do, I prefer them simple. Takes me back to memories of the wonder of first learning. The first solo flight I made in a Cessna 152 is still may favorite flight of all time (and I was a teenager).

denalismelll5 karma

What is the craziest thing that had happened during a flight?

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

Emergencies, such as the gear not coming down. We are trained for this, though. We just use the checklists and stay calm and work the problem. Most pilots are very cool under pressure.

Bowbreaker5 karma

Of the rich the rich customers you have, what would you say is the proportion between known public figures and people who are plain rich but unknown outside their business circles? Excluding family, assistants, friends and other entourage.

Or, to simplify, how many passengers did you recognize the first time they flew with you, in rough percentages?

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

Probably only 2% did I recognize. Most of the time, I would have to Google them to find out how they made money. Lots and Lots of wealthy people that are relatively unknown on TV.

Xeans5 karma

What's your favorite part of the job?

ColonelChemtrail8 karma

Being able to leave it behind and not think about "getting ahead" or politicking to climb the corporate ladder. There is some of that if you want to engage, but I just want to do my job and do it well.

While flying, my favorite is seeing the Northern Lights in the far northern latitudes and skimming just above a cloud deck at Vmo/Mmo (max speed).

alent12345 karma

did you have to go through some crazy background check where they verified your entire life since birth?

ColonelChemtrail11 karma

No, they just do a 10 yr check for my employer. Essentially, it is a security clearance check (light), which I also had in the service.

RacksDiciprine4 karma

Ever let a famous person take the stick during flight? Pull back and forward with autopilot on?

ColonelChemtrail9 karma

Absolutely not! Some of them are pilots, though, and do pilot their own airplane with another pilot (copilot).

spotapp5 karma

So we know you've flown John Travolta now.

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

Actually no, but I would. There are several others that fly their own jets like JT.

jcliffy4 karma

Have you ever had any close calls while transporting a client?

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

I have had to evade another aircraft using an automated collision warning system. The issue was due to another pilot not under air traffic control flying too close to our flight path. Sometimes airspace congestion around large, busy airports creates a bottleneck effect, and there are lots of us there at once.

70ga4 karma

How many hours do you fly a year, on average?

ColonelChemtrail12 karma


[deleted]5 karma


ColonelChemtrail14 karma

That is flight time. I have to spend over 3,000 hours away from home in the course of that work.

Ramrod3123 karma

Craziest thing that happened while flying?

ColonelChemtrail10 karma

I was inverted.

nosaJ42975 karma

Care to give the full story?

ColonelChemtrail11 karma

Sorry, lame Top Gun joke.

gizzardgullet3 karma

Do some corporations keep pilots on staff whose job it is to fly exclusively for that company? Or is it more freelance-like?

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

Yes, that is the most common arrangement. Some keep 2 pilots for a jet (required to fly it), and some keep more to cover for vacations, sick, etc. Occasionally, there may only be one pilot as full time and the 2nd pilot is a regular freelancer. I've done that as well.

gizzardgullet2 karma

Follow up - how many hours do you typically spend in the air per week (or month, year, whatever) compared to commercial airline / cargo pilots?

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

Maybe about 15-20 hrs in a work week airborne. Sometimes more. Commercial airline pilots are limited to 30 hrs in 7 days, if I remember correctly.

MoonMan2253 karma

What is the most realistic flight simulator you've used that is accesible to the public? What about the funnest?

ColonelChemtrail4 karma

X-Plane. MSFS paired with live ATC.

philippe91219893 karma

How many miles and hours have you flown in your life?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I've never counted the miles, but it would be in the millions. As a pilot, I have flown under 10,000, but I have several years until retirement. In the military, you do not fly as much hours as in civilian business jet flying. The airline pilots fly the most hours, around 800-1000 per year.

TheMy5teryMan3 karma

How is it being able to be flying around people who are very famous, knowing that if you are late or something goes wrong, you could disappoint many people?

ColonelChemtrail18 karma

It is an unfortunate reality that there are many things that can delay air travel. We are not immune to the pressures of that reality, but we practice dealing with it regularly. We are paid to be safety-conscious professionals that cannot make critical mistakes. At times, the two pilots will have a chat about intentionally slowing down and not getting caught in a "hurry-up" mode where we are more likely to make a mistake. The most important service we offer is making safe decisions, even if it means we cannot go.

Aesop_Rocks3 karma

Great answer

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

Thank you!

TheEarthquakeGuy3 karma

Hi! Thank you for doing this AMA!

  1. Has your line of work taken you to international destinations?

  2. Is the industry filled with more independent contractors or agencies?

  3. What do you do in your free time?

Thanks again for the great AMA so far!

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

  1. Yes, I go international semi-regularly. Mostly the Caribbean islands, South and Central America, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

  2. It is filled mostly by employees of individual companies/individuals, charter operators, and fractional operators.

  3. I like to hang with my wife and kids mostly. Kinda boring, I know, but I also used to jump out or airplanes and blow stuff up :-)

snozzcumba1 karma

I also used to jump out or airplanes and blow stuff up

Did i read that wrong or did a pilot just say he likes to jump out of planes and blow things up

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

I could tell you, but...

Senor_Tucan3 karma

Why did you decide on flying Corporate vs. Commercial?

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

Corporate provides opportunity to shop your experience around for increasing wages and responsibility. At an airline, unless you are very fortunate, you will be subject to seniority based furlough. When you lose a job like that and have to start over, you can go from making 150k to 30k in a week. It is a ridiculous system. That said, if you get in at a fast growing airline with good long-term career prospects, it is still worth it at a place like Delta/United/American/SWA/UPS/FedEx, etc.

spartangrad0073 karma

Have you ever flown Veronica Corningstone? Does her hair truly smell like cinnamon?

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

No, but I do use CorningWare.

polekitty3 karma

What has the craziest request been about?

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

Flying execs from a certain company and having them ask for all competitors products to be removed from the aircraft (snacks, etc.). Really? That is just beyond weird. Do you ignore your competition in the marketplace too?

devilbunny9 karma

Because they don't want any paparazzi types taking pictures of them holding the competitors' products by accident when they get off the plane (or later).

I'm an anesthesiologist. I've put people to sleep from the family that owns the local Pepsi distributor, but the hospital I was at only had Coke products in the recovery room. They asked us to notify their family when they got out of surgery so they could provide Pepsi products to the recovery nurse for that reason.

Edit: also, in case anyone was wondering what the people who own a Pepsi distributor drink, the answer is Diet Mountain Dew.

ColonelChemtrail7 karma

I suppose it would look bad if you were holding a pepsi, but all over TV hawking coke.

RITO_I_AM3 karma

Other than taking off and landing, how much work does the pilot auctally do?

ColonelChemtrail13 karma

Those are the easiest parts. Well, autopilot in cruise is easier, I guess.

We plan the flight, to include fuel required. Services at the destination, car rentals, hotels, oil and oxygen service, stock and clean the airplane, obtain and verify the catering, check and verify visas, check weather, check FAA notices to airmen, plan alternate airports, analyze the jetstream, find altitudes and routes that reduce turbulence, sometimes serve drinks and catering, clean lavatories, load baggage, brief the passengers, assist in loading and unloading passengers, arrange hangar for bad weather, check on insurance requirements, etc.

We also have to train in the simulator for most emergencies conceived by the FAA. We have to take a FAA "driving" test twice a year and a medical exam at least once a year, any of which can end your career on the spot.

In the air, we navigate, plan, reroute, avoid weather, calculate fuel burn, provide meteorology report, comply with thousands of pages of FAA regulations and, ultimately, ensure the safety of flight.

If your pilot is good, he has A LOT on his plate. If not, he just "wings it," and hopes for the best with most of these items. Most of the time, it works out okay.

poisonivy183 karma

Have any of your passengers done anything inappropriate (if you know what I mean..) during a flight?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I have been very fortunate to only have a few who were "rough around the edges." Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll happen up there, but not as often as you might think. Most people use it as a business tool to get to many out-of-the-way places or to several places in a short time.

shavinghobbit3 karma

Ever fly into Horse Shoe Bay TX? I have the private airport right near my house here and I know it has jets coming and going a few times a week, but I cant for the life of me figure out who would use it.

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I have not personally, but I have flown into private strips before. Some people even have their own airport at their house!

DeeDee_Z3 karma

You said earlier you fly commercial to "get to work", which raises some other questions.

So, you're not based at the same airport all the time?
And thus, you don't fly the same aircraft all the time either?
Do you fly only executive jets, or also private versions of commercial planes, i.e. B737s and the like?
If I were using your service, and wanted to go someplace remote for a weekend, would you likely stay there for the duration, or return home and come back 48 hours later?

Fascinating stuff -- thanks for doing this. Sorry I'm late to the party!

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I am based at home because we have a pilot base at my home airport. I generally fly the same aircraft, but it may be on the other side of the country when I need to go get it.

I only fly executive jets. I have never flown a BBJ.

I would likely stay at the remote location unless there is work to be done while we wait to take you home.

sock20142 karma

So how true to life is http://www.klydemorris.com ?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

First I've hear of it; I will check it out.

thanksalmighty2 karma


lilkhobs2 karma

Who is the most interesting person you have flown? How did you get this job?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I flew the Secretary of the Treasury once. Some of my friends have flown presidential candidates. I find those folks more interesting than celebs.

SRD_Grafter2 karma

You mention lifestyle. Can you go into a bit more detail about this?

Do you work standard hours week to week, are on call for blocks of time, or some other way of working?

Are these flights planned out well in advance? Or is there a lot of last minute trips?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I have "work days." During my time at work, I am pretty much on call. Sometimes my schedule is determined, sometimes it is fluid and I have to wait at the airport and be available when the passengers want to show up.

The only flights planned well in advance are international flights requiring VISAs. We have to have TWO passports to allow for one to be at an embassy getting a VISA while we carry the other. There are a few last minute trips, but a work day is a work day.

BILLY20142 karma

Do you fly for NetJets? I know a lot of people who fly there. We may have met each other.

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

I'd rather not reveal my employer. Do you work at NetJets? I heard you're hiring soon!

BILLY20143 karma

No, haha one day though. I'm Air Force, but like I said I know a bunch of people there. You have a great gig though!

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

I'm sure I will run into you sooner or later then. It is a rather small community. When do you retire? What are you flying now?

BILLY20145 karma

Quite sometime from now, I'm in T-6's for a bit then hopefully to T-38's and then fighters.

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

Just starting then. Best of luck to you and thanks for volunteering!

mortavius25252 karma

Do you have any good/funny stories about passengers you can share that don't involve specifically identifying them?

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

I had a famous actor ask me to push a turd down into the toilet because he could not get it to flush. Seriously.

mortavius25252 karma

Wow...pretty sure that isn't part of your job description! :D

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

My job description should probably read: "pretty much everything."

window52 karma

Can the plane fly itself if it has to?

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

Only when on autopilot. Autopilot really is more like cruise control. The pilots need to be constantly interacting with it and providing inputs.

Lysergic_Delights2 karma

How long did it take you to become a Colonel? Do you have any aspirations to one day become Brigadier General?

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

I'm out of the military now. I never wanted to be a flag officer.

krinklekut2 karma

What is the worst behavior you've encountered by a client? (obviously no need to name names.)

ColonelChemtrail4 karma

Just general shouting, swearing, and being an ass. You've probably seen similar on reality TV shows. Thankfully, it is not that common.

twat692 karma

What's the lifestyle like, do you have to be ready at a moment's notice or do you have a pretty set schedule?

How's the pay?

What kind of training, experience and connections would a student pilot need to get into this kind of gig?

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

The schedule is fluid at my job. I may not even know if I have to work tomorrow. They don't work me every day, and I do get a good amount of days off, but when I am at work, I am gone 24hrs/day. Wife becomes single parent (almost) until I get back. The days can be long and tiresome, or they can be short and at the hotel pool by lunch. It varies wildly.

Student pilots would need to pursue a commercial pilot certificate, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. Like most careers, network, network, network. The business jet pilot who asks the student pilot ramp attendant to fuel his jet may be in a position to give him an internship or entry job someday. Be nice to everyone!

Jabberwocky9182 karma

How much do you enjoy your job? For example, if a passenger offered a job in a completely different career path, not considering money, would you switch? Or is the experience too much to pass up?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

I would do whatever I could reasonably tolerate that would allow the most time with family, assuming I could maintain the ability to support them and save for retirement, etc.

gregd2 karma

Hey if you're still answering questions. There's a distinct possibility that I may have met you on more than one occasion. Any chance that you flew any airplanes that needed customization in/out of Lincoln, NE?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

Hasn't everyone? :-)

scrotesmcgaha2 karma

Is your name JC?

ColonelChemtrail3 karma

No, but I'd like to meet him./


Whats a good place to start if someone wants to be a commercial or private jet pilot?

Should they enter the Airforce? Or is there an non-outrageously expensive method of getting the training you would need?

ColonelChemtrail5 karma

I think the military is the best and most cost-effective route. That said, civilian training is achievable and can be done without resorting to exorbitant costs at 4 yr universities. Even so, it is quite expensive, and most new pilots end up with 50k+ in debt in order to get a 20k/yr job at a regional airline. Being young and willing to adapt helps a bunch. For career-switchers, it is a much tougher sell.

RHJ442 karma

Who have you flown for that has caused the most problems/treated you the worst?

ColonelChemtrail4 karma

I don't remember his name, and I don't want to. :-)

hangout_wangout2 karma


ColonelChemtrail5 karma

One thing most don't realize is that we often travel to our work location on commercial airlines. When we wear a uniform, we look like an airline pilot, but are not. I sat next to a lady once who decided she'd like to accost a pilot that day. Honestly, she was scary!

taylrbrwr12 karma

I find it interesting that you are a pilot. I'm in high school and have gone back and forth between wanting to be a one or not.. Is it true you're most likely not to get a job working commercially after proper training and after getting enough flight hours? If that's true, then how long does it take to actually begin your career in being a pilot? It's just those things that hold me back. I don't wanna train and spend so much money on everything but not even get a job. It seems like I'm just going to be relying on luck.

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

You can definitely get a job doing something as a pilot. The small regional airlines are clamoring for pilots right now. You will probably never make over 75k at those companies, and the lifestyle is not that great, but pretty much anyone who had 1,500 hrs and a restricted ATP can get a job right now.

214b2 karma

What's the best way to fly private, from a customer's perspective? There's fractional ownership, jet cards, and straight up air charter? I don't have the money to fly this way now but hope to some day. I have read that a family of four can fly private for more or less the same cost as commercial first-class tickets, but would receive much better service, and go on the schedule of their choosing.

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

Charter for very occasional flights, fractional for flying in the (annual) 25-300ish hour range and whole ownership above that. It all depends though. Type of aircraft, crew costs, maintenance, etc. all play a role. Nice thing about fractional and charter is there is usually another aircraft available if one is in maintenance. Not necessarily so with your own.

Cost varied wildly on the type of aircraft. A family of 4 can pay as little as 4 first class seats, but probably on a smaller, older charter aircraft. Perhaps a short flight on a King Air.

marthastuart2 karma

Has there ever been a Wolf of Wall Streetesq orgy on your flights?

ColonelChemtrail6 karma

Not on mine (thankfully), but a buddy of mine had a certain national champion athlete in the back having "relations" with his girl on the way to holiday. Eyes front, mister!

TheStig12142 karma

Hello, I myself am a student pilot. Just got done with instrument, working on commercial. Working corporate/private jet flying is basically my dream. What sorts of advice would you give for getting into the field?

ColonelChemtrail2 karma

Be eager to learn and humble in your approach. Be nice to everyone and seek out the knowledge of those with lots of experience in the field. Work and study hard. Basically, the same traits that make you succcessfull in any field of work.

fazshara2 karma

did you ever manage to fly any of your favorite celebrity? or most of the celeb clients were people you dont really care?

ColonelChemtrail4 karma

I don't care about celebrities more than any other passenger. It really doesn't phase me. Most are super nice people. Some are, well, the opposite.