While the term “gig economy” is currently popularized by companies such as UBER or LYFT, contract flying has been a small, but thriving segment of the aviation world for many years. For pilots who are looking for on demand work, flexibility in their schedules and the opportunity to fly a variety of aircraft and aviation technologies, contract flying can be very attractive.

Generally, Contract Pilot Jobs are employed by crew leasing companies who then lease them to airlines. This means that it’s very important to research each airline you are considering before committing to work for them, including their safety history. This can be done by researching ICAO information, blogs, people who currently or have previously worked at the airline and the crew leasing company itself.

Flying Freelance: Contract Pilot Job Opportunities

Contract jobs can also include aerial surveying for everything from construction to geological research. This type of work often involves a single aircraft, multi week trips and requires the use of specialized sensors to gather data for analysis. These types of contracts tend to attract ex-military pilots and require a certain type of personality to be successful in them.

Contracting can be a great option for those with an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to handle wide swings in income and expense, particularly when working abroad. It’s not for everyone though and should only be considered after careful evaluation of the lifestyle it provides, the type of work available and the financial security it can provide.

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