Jet It, JetClub Offer Program Where Passengers Are The Pilots

Credit: JetClub

Fractional ownership is not a new phenomenon in business aviation, however, acting as a crewmember under your own jet share is.

Sister companies and HondaJet operators Jet It and JetClub, based in the U.S. and Europe, respectively, offer its owners the ability to do just that. 

The program is called Red Jet Squadron, allowing owners to fly as second in command (SIC), or pilot-in-command (PIC) for the ambitious participants, on a Jet It or JetClub-operated HondaJet. Popularity of the program is growing, with 17 pilots currently active in Jet It’s U.S.-based program. 

To be compatible for the program, participants should, at a minimum, have at least a multi-engine and instrument rating, along with 500 hours total time, says Vishal Hiremath, founder and CEO of JetClub and a shareholder of Jet It. Turbine time is not required (either jet or turboprop), however, many participants have previous experience logged in their own Piper Meridians, Beechcraft Barons, Cirrus SR22s, or in one case, in a Cessna Citation M2. 

The training timeline can be completed in as little as one week. For U.S.-based participants, it is the same program undergone by Jet It’s “in-house trained SICs” using the company’s FAA-approved Professional Development Program (PDP) in Greensboro, North Carolina, where HondaJet is headquartered. Participants also have the option of training elsewhere through FlightSafety International, pending available slots.

The intensive training consists of a ground school, GFS Garmin 3000 training, three practice flights using the HondaJet aircraft and finally a check ride in the jet. After one year, if the participant’s performance is particularly high, he or she can opt to train through FlightSafety for a PIC type rating, but initially all time is logged SIC time.

Most of the cost of training is covered when someone buys a share of the aircraft. The smallest share one can buy is a one-tenth, equal to about $630,000 and 25 flying days per year for as many hours as an owner wants, as long as crew duty limitations are not exceeded. The only out-of-pocket expense is the type rating, which is about $25,000-to-$30,000.

According to Hiremath, most HondaJet flights that the company operates are around 1.5-to-2 hours in length. Although the flights can be legally flown single pilot, all operations under Jet It and JetClub must use two pilots, even if a program participant attains his or her PIC type rating.

Though customers of Jet It or JetClub can utilize the services of either company interchangeably depending on what part of the world they happen to be in, this does not apply to the Red Jet Squadron owner pilot program, Hiremath says. Because of the additional regulatory roadblocks in Europe, program participants should expect a training timeline of about 5-to-6 weeks, as opposed to 1-to-2 weeks in the U.S. Participants in Europe attend FlightSafety’s Farnborough, England location to complete training.

Considering Jet It and JetClub started in 2018 and 2020, respectively, the Red Jet Squadron program brings a unique and relatively new experience to traditional fractional aircraft ownership. In many ways, the program parallels the same novelty of operating a HondaJet, however as the popularity of the jet grows, perhaps this method of owner involvement will as well.

Matthew Orloff

Based in Los Angeles, Matthew Orloff covers business aviation for Aviation Week Network.