We are considering buying our own plane to charter out of Modesto, CA. Where is the best place to find what the demand is for that service? My husband will only have his commercial license. Thank you in advance, any information is greatly appreciated.
Chartering your own plane is certainly possible from a range of operators. My best tip would be to either find an operator really close or really big.
A lot of the time the price for a charter includes positioning the aeroplane to your location. The operators call it a “dead leg”, “empty leg” or a “ferry flight”. If you decide to go for a local operator you will not be paying for the empty leg or if you go for a really big operator then there is a fair chance that someone else will be buying the empty leg and take that cost of you.
If your travel plans are non flexible I would say go for a local operator as betting on someone else wants to pay for the empty leg usually require you to be a little flexible with date and time.
If you husband has a commercial licence that is valid you may want to consider renting a plane that he is allowed to fly. That of course could limit the range of your intended travel. A small but great aeroplane to cover smaller distances in could be a BE36 (Bonanza) or a Mooney. If travel speed doesn’t matter a C172 or a PA28 could be an economic alternative. Depending on the time of year and your husbands ratings, I would consider going for an IFR equipped aeroplane.
In general prices for chartering your own planes are based on the plane and not the number of passengers. So keep that in mind that inviting your good friends along is not likely to impact the price a lot, unless of course you need to go for a bigger size of the plane.
I would suggest you to get a couple of quotes for your intended date and type of travel.
Here are some you could try contacting. I don’t have any experience with any of them but hopefully these contacts will give your some idea of prices and availability.