Single Pilot 135 certificate?


Well-Known Member
Ok so I know the process involved in getting the cert, but I'd like to know if it's really worth it. Can one make a good living with a single engine airplane hauling cargo? Because that would be amazing.
There are a VERY few "one man show" 135 operators out there. You could do it, but you would be very lucky to break even much less turn a profit.
Single Pilot or Single Pilot In Command Operator? IFR or VFR? Hazmat (er..."Dangerous Goods") carrier or no? What kind of single? Any pax at all or just strictly 100% of the time cargo?

It's not absolutely out of the realm of possibility. There's a guy with a PC-12 somewhere in Ohio that was eating my lunch when I was doing on demand stuff in the MU-2. He would consistently come in a few hundred to a thousand dollars less, was about as fast, and had considerably longer legs. How he could do this so cheaply in a basically brand new airplane that just had to have a note on it, I have no idea. That said, it does seem to be pretty rare, and I don't think this is a very good time to be getting in to 135...companies are dropping off left and right.

As to what it takes to start up a 135, I have no personal experience, but I'm told that it's a nightmare. Better set aside at least a year just for all the paperwork/approval process, etc.
... Better set aside at least a year just for all the paperwork/approval process, etc.
And that's after your PASI gets accepted. In this part of the country, the FSDO is a year away from even looking at them they're so backed up.

Hmm...I wonder with everyone running out of money if the FSDOs will have fewer 135 certificates to finish up since no one will be able to afford the insurance. hmmm says I.

I have a friend in the Caribbean who has his own single pilot operation and uses an Aztec. When he's not picking up the the pax the other 135 carriers can't handle he's ferrying caskets around the islands. It took him over a year to get his cert but he's really busy. I think the two major factors that make him successful are

1)He has found a niche market (caskets) that nobody else does and is consistent (people keep dying)

2)He's been in the islands for a long time and knows all the right people, so when one of the local airlines gets either over or underbooked for a trip he picks up the passengers (i.e. 12 people in a 402 or 3 people in a Dash-8) or gets the first referals for charter flights.

If you can get these two factors in your favor you've got it made and everything else is just logistics.