Pilot FAQ

How does it work?

BlackBird is an online marketplace that connects small aircraft, commercially rated pilots, and people who are looking for an easy way to find them. Based on their desired route, people can rent aircraft and contract pilots to create their ideal itinerary. We provide the platform to make it happen.

BlackBird may also act as an agent when working with 14 C.F.R. Part 135 Operators.

Are flights Part 91 or 135?

The aircraft pilots are hired to fly are operated under 14 C.F. R. Part 91. The way it works is: the guest rents an aircraft from a provider, then separately hires a commercially rated pilot — the two don’t come together, making it a dry lease. The flight is initiated by the guest, who maintains operational control.

Some flights and aircraft arranged through the BlackBird marketplace are flown by Part 135 Operators and are listed as such. In these instances, pilots come with the aircraft and are not hired as independent contractors.

How much are pilots paid?

Pilots hired as independent contractors are paid beginning one hour before departure, and ending when the aircraft is returned to the home base and the engine is shut off. The hourly rate depends on the state the pilot is based in. For example, California pilots are paid $75/hour.

How do pilot payments work?

BlackBird processes all payments through Stripe, giving pilots the opportunity to deposit payments directly into their bank account. Invoices are submitted after the flight is completed and paid out within five business days.

Who owns the aircraft?

All of the aircraft listed for rent on the BlackBird marketplace are owned by flight schools, or by individuals who have listed their aircraft with one of BlackBird’s partner flight schools.

Are flights covered by insurance?

Yes! Every flight is covered by the flight school or Part 135 Operator that owns the aircraft’s insurance policy.

What standards do pilots need to meet to join BlackBird?

Every pilot in the BlackBird community must be commercially rated, with over 500 total hours logged, including over 200 hours as PIC. They also must have a current instrument rating and a valid first or second class medical certificate.

What if I have limited availability?

Not a problem! The beauty of partnering with BlackBird is that you get to fly when you’re available. After joining the community, you’ll have the chance to upload and continuously update your schedule.

What can I expect during the onboarding process?

We’ll ask you a range of questions about your experience flying and interacting with guests. You’ll also have a chance to walk us through your log book, explaining how many hours you’ve logged in specific situations. Finally, you’ll need to successfully complete a background check and meet the aircraft provider’s insurance policy requirements.

Can I fly my own plane?

In order to maintain the lease requirements, pilot and aircraft must be separate—You won’t be able to fly your own aircraft.

Is there a pilot referral program?

We’re always growing the community! If you have a top pilot in mind, email us at pilots@flyblackbird.com.

Where can I ask more questions?

Email our team at pilots@flyblackbird.com. We’re always happy to help.