Questions to Ask Before You Charter
Does your company have any incidents or accidents in its history?
For an in-depth historical safety analysis on the company you plan to charter with, obtain a "CHEQ" (Charter Evaluation and Qualification) report through ARGUS International, Inc. ARGUS is the worldwide leader in on-site safety audits for charter operators, corporate flight departments and commercial airlines. Obtain your CHEQ report by visiting www.aviationresearch.com under "Products and Services" and learn more about the charter company, the crews and the planes before you travel.
Valley Air Service, Inc. is has an unblemished safety record since we began in 1994. We’re happy to provide you with our TripCHEQ report upon request.
How often and at what training center do your pilots train?
All pilots should attend formal simulator training at least annually. Since formal training is costly, some companies opt to train "in-house" using a "Check Airman" to abide by the FAA mandate for training. While this is approved by the FAA, a "Check Airman" may be an employee of that charter company and is responsible for giving his co-workers both a verbal exam and a short flight exam. Be sure to ask for a copy of the simulator training records for the crew that will be flying you.
Valley Air Service, Inc. pilots receive bi-annual (Captains) and annual (First Officers) full-motion simulator training at FlightSafety International. We firmly believe the best safety equipment in any plane is a well-trained pilot. Simulator training allows pilots to practice and perfect routine and emergency procedures that cannot be practiced in a classroom or in an actual aircraft the way they can be practiced in a simulator.
May I see a copy of your D085?
The D085 lists the tail numbers of the aircraft that are approved by the FAA to fly under a particular Air Carrier Certificate. The tail number of the aircraft you are using should appear on the D085. Additionally, the name on the Air Carrier Certificate should match the name on the D085. If the aircraft tail number does not appear on the charter company's D085, the plane has not been approved by the FAA to operate under that company's certificate.
Valley Air Service, Inc. is happy to provide copies of both our Air Carrier Certificate and D085.
Is your company ARGUS (Aviation Research Group U.S.) rated?
A company that is ARGUS rated meets or exceeds the established standards of this independent safety audit firm. A rating is awarded based on an evaluation of the following: Background checks on the crew and aircraft, as well as an analysis of all the historical safety data ARGUS has collected on the operator's FAA Certificate, aircraft and pilots. Ask for proof of the ARGUS rating by requesting a TripCHEQ report for the trip you are booking. The ARGUS TripCHEQ offers up to date background information on the crew members, as well as the safety status of both the aircraft and the company that is operating it.
Valley Air Service, Inc. holds an ARGUS Gold Rating.
How much insurance does your company carry?
When booking a charter, ask to see the insurance certificate and confirm the tail number of the aircraft appears on that certificate. Not all charter operators carry the same limits of liability insurance, so be sure to ask about liability limits.
Valley Air Service, Inc. carries $100 million in liability insurance.