Real flying

Jun. 27, 2015


When I promote our air taxi service to prospective clients, I usually explain the time savings and convenience you get from flying on a private charter plane. It's perfect for business or personal trips in Florida. This is, of course, true. For trips less than 500 miles there's no faster, more convenient way to travel.

Flying from say Miami to Tampa, or from Gainesville to Key West, or West Palm Beach to Sarasota, there are alternatives such as airlines or driving, but these options are never faster or more convenient.

By "convenient" I mean the ease of using private airplane passenger terminals (VIP lounges called FBO's) with free parking, free coffee, no lines, no crowds, and no waiting for your flight. Plus you have the option of using municipal airports close to your destination. There are 128 public/private Florida airports. Only 18 are served by airlines. 

But there are intangible benefits too. Many customers tell me how much they enjoy the whole private flying experience. It's easy to measure time saved, it's not so easy to measure your overall enjoyment of using our aircraft charter service. It's something you must experience. 

Few people today experience real flying. When flying commercially, it's common for Airlines to keep you in the dark about your trip. You rarely see the pilots, or ever speak with them directly about your flight. You can't sit in the cockpit and watch them work. The design of airliners (long tubes with rows of seats) offer no forward visibility; and small windows limit your view of the vast expanse of sky and earth that pilots enjoy. Although flight attendants inform you about the time remaining to your destination and cruising altitude, some airline passengers still suffer anxiety from not knowing why there’s turbulence or why the plane turned. Wouldn’t you like to watch your flight progress like you do while driving, watching the scenery go by on all sides?

Throughout my many years of flying, passengers have often told me they feel safer on a private plane than on an airliner. This is understandable when you consider your almost constant communication with the pilot or flight crew on a private (charter) flight. You see the full progress of your flight from the initial greeting by the pilot at the FBO (private terminal) until you arrive at your destination.

As a passenger on our Air Taxi service, for example, your pilot (likely me) will meet you, walk you to our Cirrus SR22 airplane, brief you about it's safety features, the weather along your route, amenities aboard, and any arrangements at your destination such as ground transportation. You'll see your flight unfold.

You'll enjoy a beautiful panorama of sky and earth float by in all directions. You will be impressed. The plane's windows are large and they surround you. You can see everything in front of you, on your left, and your right. It's bright, even though our windows are tinted. And you have the option of listening to all Air Traffic Control communications by the pilot. Your flight's progress will be obvious to you. Your pilot’s skill and knowledge are evident. And you will have no anxiety since you see everything thats going on performed professionally with the latest equipment. It's a routine trip, very interesting and enjoyable.

Planning a trip in the next few weeks? Spare yourself some anxiety and instead enjoy a "real" flying experience.

Head Aviator by William A. Ibarra