Difference between Charter & Corporate Aircraft, Safety!
Although the aircraft and the operations of the aircraft look the same, the level of safety is quite different.
FAA regulations require that every component on an air charter aircraft have a time limit on it being an hourly or calendar limit. The FAA determines when a component will fail, and has the air charter operator replace or refurbish the component usually within its half life. This insures that every component on the aircraft is replaced prior to it’s completion of its useful life.
The FAA requires 5 to 10 hours of recurrent training every six months for air charter pilots. After receiving the training, the air charter pilots must demonstrate their abilities to handle any and all emergencies in a written, oral and actual flight check. If the pilot does not stay within the prescribed guide lines, he or she can fail, and will not be allowed to fly charter until they receive additional training and pass a new check ride.
Also, air charter operators are subject to the FAA spot checks at any time. On these inspections, the FAA reviews the air charter operator’s paper work and facilities. If anything is not up to their standards, the air charter operator can be fined or have their operations suspended or even revoked, until the item(s) have been corrected.
The rules and regulations for Corporate Aircraft Operators are much more lax. Just as in owning your own car, corporate aircraft operators only have to replace an item once it breaks. Also, once a corporate pilot receives their license, they never have to be tested again. The license is good for life. Corporate pilots do have to take a bi-annual (every 24 months) check ride. This is where the pilot visits with a flight instructor and they go over changes in air traffic control system and a take a short flight to see if there are any deficiencies. However, a bi-annual can not be failed.
Many corporate aircraft operators maintain their aircraft and pilots to the air charter rules. However, they do not have to worry about the FAA over seeing or checking on their operations. This is also true for fractional ownership.