Part 135 contract pilots and hiring personnel get help filing positions
I was thrilled last summer when I got a new corporate job. The pay was good, the airplane was great, the boss seemed like a nice guy, and the best news was that we would be flying under Part 91 rules, NEVER Part 135! What else could I ask for?
Well, it turns out there was a slight catch. I would be the only pilot on the payroll, and I would be solely responsible for staffing the other seat. When I say solely responsible, I mean the boss wanted NOTHING to do with finding me a co-pilot. Instead, his vision was to announce a trip, show up for the trip, and blast off into the wild blue with two qualified jet pilots.
It sounds simple, except that the list of qualified jet pilots is not exactly long, especially where I live. Granted, staffing a Part 135 flight would be next to impossible with the pool I have available, but finding qualified pilots for any jet co-pilot was more difficult than I thought.
Fortunately, there’s an app for that! A technology-based company called CrewBlast created an app to make crew staffing easier for companies like mine that rely on contract pilots. Whether they need staffing regularly like I do or need to fill a spot because of illness, training, or vacation, CrewBlast can help.
Here’s how it works: pilots and flight attendants register on the app to be considered for contract work. Then, when an operator needs staffing, a blast notification is sent out to all the registered crewmembers, and anyone qualified and interested in the trip can respond immediately.
It’s no secret that an aviation labor shortage exists. We were heading that way before the pandemic, but finding qualified crews is more challenging than ever. Add the FAA requirements for crew rest and training, and it’s easy to see why a little help from technology will benefit everyone trying to staff their aviation department.
The app works whether you need help with Part 135 or Part 91 operations, and it is also available globally. So it makes sense to have your entire database on your phone, available with the touch of a button. A company recently staffed a flight in under 10 minutes, and as we all know in the aviation business, time is money, so I think this app will be a huge hit with large and small corporations. I’m sure going to give it a try!