Is "dry hiring" an aircraft a safe and sensible thing to do?

02 April 2018

Hiring an aircraft can be a costly business but one way to keep the costs down and provide you with more flexibility is to dry hire the aircraft.
The term dry hiring strictly means that the plane will be provided without any crew or fuel and the customer has to arrange all costs associated with operating the aircraft themselves during the hire period.
This means that the person hiring the aircraft has full operational control, unlike a “wet” hire where this control stays with the owner. This may not seem to be either relevant or important but it basically means that the hirer can exercise total authority over initiating, conducting or terminating a flight.
The owner of the aircraft does however ensure that the crew used are properly qualified and have sufficient flying time under their belt to operate the aircraft and therefore have the right to refuse any crew that does not meet the correct standard.
Is it safe?
This might seem a slightly risky way to hire an aircraft but this is not really the case. Even with a dry hire, the owner is still required to provide an air worthy aircraft that has been properly maintained and adequately insured.
Why is it cheaper?
Dry hiring encourages the person who is hiring and thus his pilot to manage their use of fuel more judiciously. This can include managing the mixture of the fuel (or leaning) which increases the revolutions per minute and as a result more mileage is gained.
This can also extend to using smaller regional airports to refuel where the cost may actually be lower. In contrast to this, the pilot of a wet hire aircraft will often make the refuelling decision based on the convenience of location rather than cost.
So if you are looking for cost effective executive air travel, perhaps you should take a look at dry hiring an aircraft.
To understand more about the terms of this arrangement, have a look at this specimen agreement.

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