OpenAirplane is open for business!
Ever since I found out about the OpenAirplane project, I’ve been hugely enthusiastic for it. For those of you not familiar with the concept, OpenAirplane aims to make your pilot’s license better by making it easier to rent an airplane off your home airport.
How does it work? Let’s use an example. I live and fly in Chicago. Say I go to Florida on vacation, and I want to go flying while I’m on vacation. How do I arrange that?
I go to an airport in Florida, talk to the FBO, and arrange a rental checkout. The instructor will have to go over local procedures, ground school for the airplane, and take me on a flight to check me out in the aircraft. Before I even get to go for fun, I’m out several hours and several hundred bucks. And then I’m only checked out at that particular FBO. If I go to Maine later in the year, I have to repeat the process again.
Before I go on vacation, I check OpenAirplane for my nearest operator. I book a checkout flight with them in one of their airplanes: perhaps the C-172 at KPWK. After my checkout flight, I am cleared to operate C-172’s within the OpenAirplane network for a year. When I go to Florida, I simply find the nearest OpenAirplane operator, book my flight, and grab the keys. If I then go to California on vacation, my OpenAirplane checkout in the 172 is still valid, and I can avoid having to take another checkout. WAY easier, WAY more convenient, and WAY cheaper.
OpenAirplane isn’t just good for pilots; it’s good for FBOs. The 172 that I fly for an hour in Kissimmee would have spent that hour on the ramp, and the FBO would not get the money I give them to fly it. OpenAirplane FBOs will see more traffic, which means more money, and pilots will get to fly more. It’s win-win!
I’m registered on OpenAirplane, and once Airplanology HQ has a flying budget again I’ll be doing my checkout at the local operator. Right now there are six operators in the network, but rumor has it that more are coming in soon. I encourage any pilots who travel and like to fly to go ahead and register for OpenAirplane. It’s free, it’s convenient, and it is going to change the face of aircraft rental as we know it into something better.
The author of this post is an OpenAirplane enthusiast, however I do not represent OpenAirplane. I am in no way related to or employed by OpenAirplane and I am not being compensated for this post.