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.
Our friends at PilotEdge have put together a more efficient payment option for pilots and flight sim enthusiasts who only occasionally fly the virtual skies. The hourly option starts at a base rate of $4.95/month plus a flat $2.00/hour. Of course, the old unlimited monthly and annual memberships are still available for heavy flyers.
But the question remains, is this a good deal? Let’s do some math. PilotEdge’s unlimited plan calls for $19.95/month. That’s equal to 7.5 hours under the hourly rate. So if you expect to spend more than 7.5 hours on the network every month, it’s better to go monthly. Personally, except for heavy instrument training, I have very rarely flown so many hours on a home simulator. To me, the PilotEdge hourly plan is priced just right.
If you haven’t heard of PilotEdge, you should read my review of the virtual ATC house, or just check them out at PilotEdge.net. In fact, they even have 14-day free trials if you want to test the waters.
Space Shuttle Enterprise made her final voyage to the Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum by barge this morning. I grabbed my camera and spent the morning Space Shuttle spotting on the Esplanade in Battery Park City, right next to the yacht club where the Clipper Round the World race teams are docked.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise will make it’s final voyage to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City tomorrow morning (June 6) by barge.
It’s not everyday that New Yorkers can see one of NASA’s Space Shuttle’s floating down the Hudson River. Enterprise is scheduled to depart Port Elizabeth in New Jersey at 10:15AM, passing by New York City landmarks on it’s voyage.