Friday, April 06, 2007

In 5 days we expect to do 28 hours flight time. That's time spent sitting in the jet with the engines running. Not bad for corporate / charter.

I have to be in bed in 15 minutes, so I'll make this quick.
Kitsch and I have been flying a lot lately, doing multiple runs to a popular event. It takes us about 3 hours to get there, but only 2 to get home as we can do a direct flight home rather than stopping for customs like we have to do on the way to the event.

Here's what we do for a single trip:

1. Get passenger names, details. enter them into our flight planning system.
2. Call US Customs at our destination to make sure they will be able to attend our arrival.
3. Print out various Customs forms, fax them to US Customs.
4. Enter the same information into the eAPIS internet reporting system.
5. Call US Customs again to make sure they have received the forms, and the eAPIS electronic transmission.

A quick aside :

This popular event means that the normally sleepy local airport is very busy for a few days each year, and an internet arrival slot reservation system is in effect. You aren't allowed to fly IFR into this airport without one, and they are only good for 15 minutes. There are also only 20 slots per hour into this airport, which means that competition is fierce for good arrival slot times - they are snapped up within seconds of being made available on the internet. Anyway, we need an arrival slot for each and every arrival, and we can only reserve it 72 hours in advance, and have to confirm it 12 hours in advance or it gets released again to whomever else wants it.

7. Get an arrival slot reservation for each and every time we arrive at the normally sleepy airport.
8. Get an arrival slot reservation for Toronto Pearson on our return, which is busy enough that this is frequently required.
9. Decide where to get fuel and how much fuel to take based on cost of refueling at different airports and FBO's, passenger load, aircraft performance and finally, landing weight. And 20 other things I forget right now.
10. Arrange catering and make sure our on-board drinks / snacks are also fresh and fully-stocked, and the plane's interior is clean.
11. Call our FBO to make sure our plane is pulled out an hour before we are scheduled to depart so we can prepare it for the flight.
12. Create and print out flight plans for each leg we fly and make sure the math makes sense.
13. File the flight plans for the flight and get a weather briefing to make sure we are aware of any bad weather enroute or at our destination.
14. Create and send an invoice to the customer for our trip, and make sure our costs (fuel, hotels, maintenance, etc) are fully documented by our computerized flight planning system.
15. Call one of our employees who is not flying that day and formally make them responsible for flight watching us for each particular flight - a provision of our flight operation is that we have to have a person keeping track of our airplanes at all times, so that if we are flying and fail to arrive at our destination, someone will notice.

Keep in mind that this is all stuff that we do before even setting foot in the airplane, and we have been spending 6 hours a day in the airplane as well.

I am having a good time and enjoying it while it lasts, but I really have to get to bed so I can make my 8 hours prone.

Kitsch has been taking pics of our flying and I'll have to steal some soon and post 'em.


Frank Ch. Eigler said...

> 14. Create and send an invoice to the customer for our trip, and make sure our costs (fuel, hotels, maintenance, etc) are fully documented by our computerized flight planning system.

You share detailed expense information with your customers?

Anonymous said...

US customs crazy? eh?

check this out
see how much you're worth :)

Simon said...

Ha! You're in my neck of the woods...

Were you flying into KDNL or KAGS?