Business Ideas For Commercial Pilots

business ideas for commercial pilots - Cessna Caravan

The Cessna Grand Caravan is popular with aerial tour operators

Good pilot jobs in today’s economy have become harder and harder to find. Landing a major airline job is difficult and applicants face lots of competitors who have been waiting in line a long time for each opening. Many new pilots have to settle for low paying entry level jobs and sometimes even need to find additional non-aviation jobs to pay the bills. Some wonder if there is anything they can do to build a profitable business in the aviation industry. There are many options available to the commercial pilot who is willing to put in some capital and a little risk. Here’s a few¬†business ideas for commercial pilots.

Charters, Tour Operators, and More

One option in pursuing a business is to purchase your own planes and provide chartered flights for business, individuals, or celebrities. There are some businesses or executives that will hire one charter business to be their permanent carrier. With time and marketing, the number of clients looking to hire you could grow. Other pilots might start a tour business flying over scenic locations. With an aircraft, or a fleet of aircraft, there are many other options that can be pursued which include air taxi, agricultural spraying, flight instruction, emergency search and rescue, etc.

Banner Towing

Marketers out there still love to hire pilots to tow banners in front of large crowds of people or during events. Typically these pilots fly low and slow in a single engine airplane. Banner towing is a great way to build up hours to transition into agricultural flying as well. Towing a banner does require some extra skill especially when taking off and landing the aircraft.

Aerial Photography

The advancement of cameras combined with social media on the Internet has created the opportunity for many amateur and professional photographers to make a living in aviation. Pilots can either work for hire or can do their own photography/videography from the air.

Even though times are tough as a pilot there are options for the spirited entrepreneur. Whether you invest funds and time into a charter business, banner towing, aerial photography, or many other options, there are those waiting for your services and expertise.

As an author, Jordan McPelt writes about various subject matter including aircraft, pilots, business, airport safety, and low profile airport barricades. Learn more about airport safety and airport barricades at


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