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Thread: Questions to ask an Air Service

  1. #1
    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    Default Questions to ask an Air Service

    I am in the process of trying to pull together my either a drop camp or float type hunt for caribou for either 08 or 09. I have never used an air charter before. The trips I have done have been either guided or did not require the use of an air charter. When I call the air charter to, what types of questions should I ask. Having never used this type of service, I'm not sure what questions to ask. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Preliminary Info...

    Hey Frankie,
    That was a nice moose you got a couple of years ago! Before getting into specific questions, it would help to know more about your hunt plans…
    How many of you will be going, and for how long? That might help narrow down the type of trip and type of planes you might need or use.
    In general, you’ll need to ask about load capacities for the planes you charter, how they typically handle weather delays, their preferred method for keeping in touch with their clients, do they accept cash only or credit card as payment, can they handle large duffels or need things packed in smaller bags, how they might handle mid-hunt meat pickups, and how they require rifles to be transported (hard case or soft case).
    It might be easiest if you check out a couple of air taxi websites first, they usually have FAQ tabs that cover a lot of the typical questions they get.

  3. #3

    Default Air questions

    Frankie,
    I have used a master list before you call em. Every you thing you do is make sure you get it in writing! What type of plane, weight capacity,hourly charge,years in operation,client refrence list,will they be checking on you, is there a possibility for a move if no animals,good phone numbers while in the field via sat phone. I am sure there is more but its a good start. Good luck to ya.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Smile replied on Pristine Ventures

    I replied on Pristine Ventures to your question. http://www.pristineventures.com/cgi/...c,m=1200274232

  5. #5
    Member JamesMac's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Flight hours

    Ask how many logged flight hours your pilot has? I forget what the general rule of thumb is for fixed wing but I believe for choppers it's something like 1500 hours? I'm sure there are people on this forum who know?
    You want a pilot with a lot of experience!

  6. #6

    Default details

    #1 question will be weight limits, including people weights.

    #2 will be how to handle flammable liquids and compressed gas.

    #3 is how to handle guns.

    #4 is pickup schedule, comms and backups scheduling.

    #5 is game handling and transport strategy.

  7. #7
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Default

    Do you have refrigeration or freezer facilities for my game meat?

    Will you charge me extra to use it?

  8. #8
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    Default

    Since I hate flying, first thing I do is go on the FAA website and look at there background from that perspective.

  9. #9
    Member Frankie 2 Times's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the input. I've had some PC problems and haven't een able to log in for a while. Right now the plans are still in the planning phase. most likely there will be a minimum of 2 people and as many as 6. Most likely it will be 2-4.

    Does the air charter determine where they will drop you, or do I need to tell them were we want to go?

  10. #10
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    The conversation/email you have is important, but there are some other things to think about. For one, have you decided exactly where you will be hunting? If applicable, have you researched the pilots in the area. They are not all equal. If you can answer yes to that, then it is time to make some calls/email. But you also need to know how many people are going before any of this really matters. You can't get on the books with 2-6. For communications with the pilot leading up to the trip, I use email. It is convenient, but also, you can print it out and take it with you. Some good info posted here already. A few basic things I would want to know.

    What size planes do you use and what is the allowance of passenger/total weight

    What is the cost per flight

    How much would it be to have meat picked up during the hunt

    Do you have a refrigerated place to store it

    Do you have some suggestions for drop/float hunt locations

    If crowded, what are some back ups.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default

    Frank, here are a few things not to ask:
    1. How short can you land this thing
    2. how much do you charge for over wt. take offs
    3. do you really need all that gas or can I take this case of beer instead.
    4. lastly in no case ask can we go anyway?
    just kidding the advice above is right on the money, ask everything you can think of and don't be shy about getting it in writing.

  12. #12
    Member GreenTea's Avatar
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    Default

    Air charters are also known as air taxis, and they are just that. They pick you up and drop you off, just like a cab in the city, so it’s up to you to tell them where you want to go.
    I think it's best to start with a pretty firm idea of what you want from the hunt - how many people are going and for how long, which species will be hunted, the time of year you want to go and where, what kind of equipment you’ll be bringing, etc. It might help to write up a short email regarding your hunt intentions and send it off to a number of charter operators, just as an introduction. Give them a general idea of what you have in mind and ask about the cost and availability of their services. You should then get a general idea of what they have to offer and you can start shopping for your best options.
    These guys don’t typically have a fleet of assorted aircraft that they pick from, so they can tell you what they have to offer as far as cargo capacity, range, charter cost, fuel charges, etc. and you tell them what your needs are and you go from there. In my experience they’re pretty good about referring you to someone else who might be a better match if they aren’t.
    The questions that have been previously suggested are all excellent topics to bring up. I would add that you find out if the planes are wheeled or on floats, which might narrow your destination options.
    You can ask the charter operators/pilots about their ideas and suggestions as well, since they’ve got a good historical and detailed knowledge of their area of operations. Their input might help you in your planning.
    Best of luck on your hunt!

  13. #13
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default have to ask

    Quote Originally Posted by AFHunter View Post
    I replied on Pristine Ventures to your question. http://www.pristineventures.com/cgi/...c,m=1200274232
    The link you posted is showing a fail and not sure why.

  14. #14
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default questions

    1. cost is per flight or per hour. Most charge you while the plane is operating. IE you get dropped off they charge you for their return trip back to original takeoff point. So if you get dropped off and picked up you pay for 4 flights. hope that dosnt confuse anyone.2 what size plane and how many people can you haul. At some locations pilots all charge the same price per flight but pilot A has a 206 and pilot B has a cub. If you have say 4 hunters and plan on 4 caribou its going to cost allot more for the cub. Other tips are get everthing in writing. Have a back plan. Hillbilly

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