Corporate pilots fly aircraft owned by business and industrial firms, transporting company executives on cross-country flights to branch plants and business conferences. They arrange for in-flight passenger meals and ground transportation at destinations, and are responsible for supervising the servicing and maintenance of the aircraft and keeping aircraft records. Working Conditions.  The job is often demanding, but challenging, as the pilot is expected to fly in all kinds of flyable weather into many unfamiliar airports. The aircraft may be a light twin-engine plane, a small executive jet, or even an airline type. The pilot is at the call of company executives so he or she is subject to irregular hours. Often the pilot may be away from home overnight.

Studies show that a significant percentage of round trips are over 1,000 miles. If the company owns a fleet of planes, pilots may fly a regular schedule. Compared with the airline pilot, corporate pilot flying assignments are far from routine. A corporate pilot can acquire enough flight experience and skill on the job to qualify as an airline co-pilot. If the pilot prefers to remain in general aviation and the firm has a fleet of aircraft, she or he may eventually move up to the position of Chief pilot, directing all the aircraft operations of the firm. Studies of the growth of the business aircraft fleet indicate an accelerating interest in corporations owning aircraft in the years ahead. Over 500 of the top 1,000 companies in the USA have active flight departments.

 The advantages offered to business executives in time saving, privacy, and flexibility of schedules, plus improved aircraft especially designed for business use, are two important factors in the utilization of 50,000 plus company-owned planes in 1983. In 1983, business aircraft represented about 23 percent of all general aviation; however, they did approximately 75 percent of the general flying. General aviation activity amounted to 76 percent of the total aircraft operations at airports with FAA airport traffic control towers. To operate this expanding fleet will require about 1,500 new pilots each year, not including additional pilots to replace those who retire, transfer, or who are removed for other reasons. Companies are expected to be in competition with the airlines in the hiring of qualified pilots, most of whom will be instrument rated.
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