OpenAirplane’s Universal Pilot Checkout service promises to make renting a plane as easy as renting a car. Today, OpenAirplane officially launches in six cities, offering access to rental aircraft around the country.
Today, renting an airplane can be an inconvenient process. Qualified pilots typically have to schedule an hour long checkout flight with an instructor before being able to rent a plane for personal use. OpenAirplane wants to change all that.
The basic idea is that pilots complete one Universal Pilot Checkout which qualifies them to rent the same model of aircraft at any OpenAirplane flight school. As an added bonus, the checkout resets the clock on biennial flight reviews and allows pilots to earn a discount on renter’s insurance.
OpenAirplane also makes it easy to find, reserve and pay for a rental. Pilots and operators also contribute to a reputation system – sort of like ZocDocs for pilots.
Right now, OpenAirplane is available in six cities with more on the way:
- New York – Academy of Aviation at Republic Airpot (FRG)
- Los Angeles – California Flight Center at Long Beach Airport (LGB)
- Chicago – Executive Flight School at Chicago Executive Airport (PWK)
- San Jose – Trade Winds Aviation at Reid-Hillview Airport (RHV)
- Kissimmee – SunState Aviation at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM)
- Detroit – Aviation Experience at Oakland/Troy Airport (VLL)
OpenAirplane is free for flight schools to list and free for pilots to join and is available to any licensed pilot who holds at least an FAA sport pilot certificate.