LASTEST NEWS

04/22/2015

World-Way Aviation is the first Brazilian FBO to join Air Elite Network

We are proud to announce that World-Way Aviation has joined the Air Elite Network.

After affirming World-Way Aviation exceeded the highest demands and qualifications of the Air Elite Membership, World-Way Aviation has accepted the invitation from the Air Elite Board and become the 38th member of the network.

Air Elite is a global network of uniquely exceptional FBOs delivering “diamond level” customer service. This premier network earns brand recognition and customer trust by benchmarking on legendary customer service, and by ensuring that each location follows high quality standards.

When the FBO begins its operations in 2015, World-Way Aviation will ensure the best aviation safety practices and first class customer service and facilities to comply with Air Elite customer service philosophy.

World-Way Aviation customers will experience the Air Elite “diamond service” and World Fuel Services’ benefits and rewards, such as quadruple FlyBuys Reward when using your AVCARD on your linked purchases.

“It’s such an honor to represent our country, and at the same time be connected to the Air Elite Network of FBOs that was our source of inspiration and reference for the World-Way Aviation FBO project” said a World-Way Aviation Spokesperson.

“We are proud to add Brazil in this selective network of Diamond Service Locations throughout the world.”

Source: World-Way Aviation

04/06/2015

What Makes a CHIEF PILOT?

Defining the Chief Pilot

While each fight department is unique, the aviation department personnel portion of the NBAA Management Guide (Section 1.6) offers a detailed description of the responsibilities of the typical chief pilot.

Chief pilot duties include:

» Remaining informed of the latest developments within the business aviation community, including the FARs, and other federal, state, local and foreign regulations affecting operations

» Establishing and supervising the initial and recurrent training of aviation department personnel, both internally and externally with a professional training facility

» Instructing flight crews in the use of the standard operating procedures (SOP) manual

» Ensuring that revisions and amendments to the standard operating procedures are current

» Preparing and distributing periodic reports and statistics as required

» Assisting with the preparation of budgets and financial forecasts

» Reviewing the current budget implementation

» Evaluating department expenditures incurred by subordinates If the chief pilot also is the aviation department manager (and perhaps a line captain), his duties could appear overwhelming. In this instance, many of the listed duties should be delegated to other aviation department members. For example, administrative and personnel functions should be delegated to non-aviation department corporation members.

A chief pilot not only needs to be a superior aviator; he or she must also be a role model with excellent leadership and communication skills.

For pilots making a career out of business aviation, there’s a clear progression from first officer to captain. While each flight operation is different, aviators can expect to move up as they gain more experience and type ratings. What’s less clear is how to make the jump from captain to chief pilot.

“There’s not necessarily a certain number of hours you need to log. When I became the chief pilot, I was one of the junior people in the department,” said Candace Covington, who leads a team of 10 pilots for an NBAA Member Company based on the West Coast. “It’s about developing the knowledge and skills required and demonstrating discipline in your profession.”

While captains do take on managerial tasks, the chief pilot is responsible for the overall success of the flight operations team and – alongside the director and other managers – the entire flight department. Chief pilots set crew-duty schedules, ensure rest guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) are followed, manage day-to-day operations and coordinate crew training.

“You assume a lot more responsibilities when you go from captain to chief pilot,” said Larry Luciani, chief pilot for Amway Aviation. “Your roles increase.”

Along with the director of aviation, the chief pilot has a role in human resources, staffing decisions, administration, budgeting, fleet management and regulatory compliance.

“You’re also a leader,” said Covington. “You have to ensure each pilot has the resources and opportunities to grow professionally. That involves mentoring and encouraging individuals to become experts in various aspects of business aviation, such as international operations, contract fuel, IS-BAO (the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) and training.”

How to Distinguish Yourself

In fact, taking ownership of important flight department responsibilities is a path many chief pilots say led to their current job. Covington, who joined her department in 2008, assisted with implementing a fuel tankering and analysis program, revised the flight operations manual and updated the emergency response plan. She was made chief pilot in 2012.

“In today’s flight department, there are dozens of collateral duties that need to be covered by the flight operations team and supervised by the chief pilot,” said Covington. “The best way to understand a job is to do it. Anyone with aspirations of becoming a chief pilot should volunteer for a variety of collateral duties.”

Volunteering for a big project that touches many different parts of the flight department also demonstrates to the leadership that you’re ready for more responsibility.

“I was hired as a line pilot in 2005, but at the time, I had the opportunity to become the safety officer in our department,” said one chief pilot, who is 34 years old and works for an NBAA Member Company in the Midwest. “My director sent me to an aviation program at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School [of Engineering to learn about] safety management systems. When I returned, I led the department’s IS-BAO registration. That exposed me to every side of the operation from the point of view of safety, which is fundamental to everything we do here.”

When the Midwestern flight department acquired a new airplane in 2007, they oung pilot volunteered to lead the initial operating experience training. After flying with the aircraft manufacturer, he trained the seven other pilots in the department over six months.

“If you’re in a flight department, projects will pop up for you to be part of,” said Luciani. “Don’t wait to be assigned a project; go to your chief pilot or director and volunteer.”

Get Engaged in the Industry

Looking beyond the flight department, chief pilots recommend getting more involved in the parent company.

“Business aviation people tend to be isolated from the parent company, but it’s important to be familiar with the company you work for,” said Luciani. “Understand how the company works, why it’s profitable, what the senior leadership’s philosophy is.”

As flight department leaders, chief pilots need to understand the department is a cost center and be able to justify the department’s value to the parent company.

“You have to ensure the flight department goals are aligned with the corporate goals without losing sight of the aviation industry,” said Covington, “Business aviation is a dynamic, fast-paced industry. A flight department can ‘fall behind’ quickly.”

By volunteering to be the person who stays up to date on regulatory changes and the latest technologies, pilots can help their managers keep the flight department ahead of the curve, while expressing personal interest in doing more.

Continuing Education and Airmanship

“If you want to advance, being aware of what’s going on in the industry around you is very important,” said Luciani. “Read aviation trade publications, research the latest rulemakings and consider getting the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) credential. You’re tested on so many areas of business aviation and people management. Just putting in the effort shows you’re ready for more.”

Luciani and Covington also recommend taking continuing-education programs from aviation or business schools, as well as attending the annual NBAA Leadership Conference. “It’s a good place to learn about different leadership styles and the skills you’ll need as a manager,” said Luciani.

Part of what makes the chief pilot’s job so challenging, as well as exciting, is that it demands a very deep set of leadership skills, as well as excellent piloting skills. As the director of the Midwestern flight department said, “You don’t want a chief pilot who’s not excellent in the cockpit.”

The chief pilot should instill a commitment to precision flying in the entire team, and embody the department’s safety culture.

“We spend a lot of time talking about professionalism,” said Covington. “Being a chief pilot is much more than SOPs. You have to hold yourself to a high standard and be a [role] model for your team.”

A Different Kind of Job

Of course, “being great on the flight deck is a start, but it’s a small part of what you need,” said Luciani. While he, the department’s other chief pilot and their vice president are rated as captains, they only fly as first officers. “A captain should be able to focus on flight planning without distractions, and we’re caught up in running the department.”

There are several “soft skills” chief pilots list as important: a strong work ethic, time management, the ability to make decisions under pressure, being a team player and earning the respect of your peers. By far, the number one skill they list is communication.

“I spend a lot of my time listening; you need to be able to determine what the problem is before you act,” said Luciani. “You also need to be able to make yourself understood.”

Chief pilots also emphasize confidence in yourself and your team. “Micromanagers may get the job done, but they’re not good leaders,” said Covington. “Have the confidence to delegate. Be a people-focused manager.”

After all, management is what defines the chief pilot’s role.

“Understand that the job is very different,” said Luciani. “When a captain is done with a trip, they can file their trip report and be done. As a chief pilot, you have to come in the next day and lead the department.”

Before making the step up, chief pilots advise considering whether it’s really a job you want.

“Know what the job entails, and know yourself,” said the Midwestern chief pilot.

“It’s important to have a passion for the business side of the flight department.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To learn how the chief pilot fits into the typical flight department structure, consult the Administration section of the NBAA Management Guide at www.nbaa.org/management-guide

Source: NBAA Insider