Are Private Jets More Turbulent? Are private jets safe? How dangerous is turbulence? What is it that makes some flights as smooth as cream cheese while others seem to bounce around the sky like a demon carnival ride? The answer can usually be found on the weather map; but you don’t have to be an ace of the isobars to predict when the air is likely to be rough. And if you really don’t like the turbulence, there actually is something you can do about it.
Turbulence is simply moving masses of air that meet up with other moving masses of air. They could be traveling vertically in columns or horizontally in waves. It can happen close to the Earth’s surface or miles above, where different segments of the atmosphere meet. Taken to the extreme, vertically turbulent air can become a thunderstorm, or even a tornado.
are private jets safe
Are Private Jets More Turbulent
At higher altitudes, turbulence can result when two large air masses meet while moving in opposite directions. Where they converge, the air is sure to be churning. Depending on the relative size and speed of the two air masses, there could be significant disturbance. Pilots check winds aloft before every flight, and when there is a significant divergence in direction or velocity relatively close in altitude, they know that might be an area to avoid, or at least to pass through quickly.
Turbulence from storms is usually easier to predict, but not always. The air can be quite violent for 20 or even 30 miles in front of a line of thunderstorms, depending on how unstable atmospheric conditions are. Humidity, heat and movement of frontal systems each contribute to instability, and since those are all dynamic such turbulence can be difficult to predict exactly. If your crew decides to delay the takeoff until a storm passes, you should respect that decision.
As for en route turbulence, pilots usually share their experience over the radio so air traffic controllers can advise those coming later where the smooth air can be found. Sometimes, there just is no way out. During a trip in my own airplane last summer, I heard airline pilots contacting air traffic control as they approached the sector I was in and requesting clearance to a less bumpy flight level. They each got the same answer; aircraft at all levels were reporting moderate turbulence that would last for the next hundred miles or so. So the seat belt signs stayed on.
Just as choppy seas affect small craft more than ocean liners, passengers on a light business jet will feel the bumps more than those on an airliner. Anticipate this when you fly. If you have control over your travel schedule, you can minimize the possibility of turbulence by flying early in the day. Plan to take off before the sun has had the chance to warm the earth, heating surface air and causing it to rise. That upwardly mobile air becomes speed bumps as high as several thousand feet above the ground. Early morning air is almost always smoother than afternoon air.
And even when you’re cruising well above the clouds, keep your belt fastened whenever possible. It is rare, but FAA reports are sprinkled with cases of airplanes that encountered unexpected turbulence at high altitude, injuring a passenger or a flight attendant.
how dangerous is turbulence
Privacy, time savings and unparalleled comfort are just some of the perks of flying via a private jet.
Cozy sleeping areas, contemporary showers, lavishly appointed board rooms, and plush seats with an abundance of legroom – these are the additional features you can enjoy depending on the private aircraft you are using.
Whether you are planning to buy your own business jet, or you wish to charter one, it is best to know which type will suit your needs and preferences to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable travel, every time.
1. Very Light Jets
The smallest type of private jet, Very Light Jets (VLJs) are cost-effective to operate and maintain in contrast with standard light jets. These are ideal for short-haul distances or up to a maximum of three hours of flight time.
Also known as Compact Light Jets, these can use shorter runways and fly into areas that are often inaccessible to commercial airlines. These jets typically accommodate four to seven passengers and carry a reasonable amount of luggage, but they have no room for a cabin attendant.
Popular types of VLJs include Embraer Phenom 100, Eclipse 500 and HondaJet HA-420.
|Aircraft||Embraer Phenom 100||Eclipse 500||HondaJet HA-420|
|Passenger Capacity||4 to 7 people||4||5 to 6 people|
|Range||1,211 nautical miles||1,294 nautical miles||1,223 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||70 ft3||16 ft3||66 ft3|
|Facilities||Enclosed rear lavatory||Leather seating||Rear lavatory|
|Small forward galley||Work/dining table||Foldable table|
|Complimentary snacks and refreshments||LED upper lighting||Optional cabin management system|
2. Small Light Jets
Offering better passenger capacity, small light jets can comfortably seat up to eight people, making it widely popular among business travelers. These jets also have a higher average flight distance, ranging from 1,400 to 2,500 nautical miles with a maximum speed of 500 miles per hour. These capabilities make them ideal for two- to three-hour flights, even for intracontinental routes.
Like their smaller counterparts, small light jets can access small airports and runways, giving business travelers more flexibility and freedom to use less busier airports instead of crowded commercial airports.
Although most small light jets do not have room for a cabin attendant, they can be outfitted with a lavatory, unlike most VLJs. Hawker 400 XP, Cessna Citation CJ2 and Dassault Falcon 10 are some of the popular jets in this class.
|Aircraft||Hawker 400 XP||Cessna Citation CJ2||Dassault Falcon 10|
|Passenger Capacity||6 to 8 people||6 to 8 people||6 to 8 people|
|Range||1,400 nautical miles||1,530 nautical miles||1,520 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||53 ft3||74 ft3||41 ft3|
|Facilities||Enclosed lavatory||Leather interior||Executive seating with fold-down center|
|Galley and refreshment bar||Private lavatory||Rear bench seat|
|Rear luggage section||Galley and refreshment bar||Lavatory|
3. Super Light Jets
Super light jets offer enhanced size, range and comfort compared with the small light jet class. With a more spacious cabin and luggage compartment, super light jets can accommodate an average of eight passengers in guaranteed comfort.
Though larger in size, super light jets can easily navigate short runways at private airstrips and small airports, so travelers who want to avoid the crowds at major airports can have alternative options for departure and arrival.
Notable aircraft in the super light jet class include Gulfstream G100, which can up seat up to nine people, and Embraer Phenom 300, which can carry a maximum of 11 passengers.
|Aircraft||Gulfstream G100||Embraer Phenom 300||Citation XLS|
|Passenger Capacity||7 people||6 to 8 people||8 people|
|Range||2,550 nautical miles||1,692 nautical miles||1,687 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||64 ft3||74 ft3||80 ft3|
|Facilities||Full enclosed lavatory||Executive seating with fold-out table||Refreshment center|
|Mini galley||Refreshment center||Inflight conference room|
|Power outlets||Lavatory||Lavatory and sink|
4. Midsize Cabin Jets
Mid-size private jets are the optimum choice for travelers who require longer flight capacity. With an average range of 2,200 nautical miles – or around five hours of non-stop travel – mid-size jets can easily manage short-haul and long-haul flights, ensuring transcontinental capacity.
Because it comes with a bigger cabin, it is ideal for passengers who want more headroom, full standing capacity and additional space for luggage. Mid-size jets also offer more stylish interiors and can provide utmost comfort and convenience for five to 10 passengers.
Mid-size jets generally have enough room for two pilots, a flight attendant, a service galley and an on-board lavatory, while some can even be outfitted with an enclosed shower and fold-out divans. Equipped with Wi-Fi and phone capabilities, mid-size jets are perfect for those who prefer to stay connected and productive during flights.
Mid-size private jets can still use smaller airports and are more cost-efficient to operate in comparison with heavy jets. If you are eyeing a mid-size private jet for your next travel, take a look at Gulfstream 150, Cessna Citation Latitude and Learjet 60.
|Aircraft||Gulfstream G150||Cessna Citation Latitude||Learjet 60|
|Passenger Capacity||7 people||7 to 9 people||7 to 8 people|
|Range||2,760 nautical miles||2,700 nautical miles||2,250 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||80 ft3||127 ft3||55 ft3|
|Facilities||Fully enclosed lavatory||Spacious lavatory and baggage compartment||Business-class leather seating|
|Fully galley||Expanded refreshment center||Rear modern lavatory|
|Entertainment system||Stand-up flat-floor cabin||Executive fold out tables|
5. Super Midsize Cabin Jets
Larger cabin space and greater flying capacity are the upgrades that super mid-size cabin jets hold over standard mid-size private jets. The super mid-size cabin jet class can fly up to seven hours, covering an average of 3,500 miles.
Super mid-size jets feature spacious standing and walking room and have ample space for an enclosed lavatory and service galley. Featuring enhanced avionics that enable a quieter operation, super mid-size jets provide a higher level of comfort for travelers while delivering greater speed and range.
Gulfstream 200, Cessna Citation Sovereign and Bombardier Challenge 350 are premier choices in this class.
|Aircraft||Gulfstream G200||Cessna Citation Sovereign||Bombardier Challenger 350|
|Passenger Capacity||8 to 10 people||9 to 12 people||10 people|
|Range||3,130 nautical miles||2,620 nautical miles||3,200 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||150 ft3||135 ft3||106 ft3|
|Facilities||Forward full-service galley||Refreshment center||Fully enclosed rear lavatory|
|Read enclosed lavatory||Private lavatory with vanity||Refreshment center|
|Versatile cabin layouts||Centerline closet||Divan layout or double-club seating options|
6. Heavy Jets
First-class seats, more spacious legroom, and pull-out tabletops are just a few of the upgrades that heavy jets present to elite travelers. Boasting significantly larger cabin sizes, heavy jets envelop 10 passengers or more in a high level of aviation comfort and elegance, with all the privacy and exclusivity available in private travel.
Standard heavy jets can easily accommodate two flight attendants to manage full in-flight catering, while still having more than enough space for entertainment facilities, enclosed bathrooms and dedicated sleeping areas. In-flight productivity is guaranteed with convenient Wi-Fi and phone capabilities.
These king-size private jets pack in power too, with a superior flying capacity of up to nine hours non-stop and a range of 4,000 miles. Bombardier Challenger 605, Gulfstream 450 and Dassault Falcon 900 are a few top-of-the-line models in this class.
|Aircraft||Bombardier Challenger 605||Gulfstream 350||Dassault Falcon 900|
|Passenger Capacity||9 to 12 people||14 to 16 people||12 to 19 people|
|Range||3,834 nautical miles||3,680 nautical miles||3,590 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||115 ft3||169 ft3||127 ft3|
|Facilities||Executive layout with divan option available||Enclosed lavatory||Spacious customizable cabin|
|Full-service galley||Entertainment center||Full-sized galley|
|Rear enclosed lavatory||Full-sized galley||Full vanity rear lavatory|
7. Ultra-Long-Range Heavy Jets
If you are looking for something even better than heavy jets, then the ultra-long-range heavy jet class is probably the right choice for you. Renowned for offering the best in private travel, ultra-long-range jets provide generous cabin space with different areas dedicated to dining, work, entertainment and relaxation.
Complete with enclosed bathrooms, lie-flat beds, full-service galley and a roomy luggage area, this segment of private jets is designed to offer the highest levels of comfort and extravagance for the most discerning travelers.
With lavishly appointed interiors and ultramodern amenities, these jets ensure a relaxing and enjoyable trip, comfortably accommodating an average of 14 to 17 passengers. Capable of flying distances of 6,000 to 6,500 miles, ultra-long-range jets are the optimum choices for long-haul travels.
If you are looking to invest in an ultra-long-range jet, these are the top models you can explore: Gulfstream V, Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Global 6000.
|Aircraft||Gulfstream V||Dassault Falcon 7X||Bombardier Global 6000|
|Passenger Capacity||16 to 19 people||12 to 16 people||8 to 19 people|
|Range||6,250 nautical miles||5,950 nautical miles||5,890 nautical miles|
|Baggage Capacity||226 ft3||140 ft3||195 ft3|
|Facilities||Up to four living spaces||Three spacious lounge areas||Private stateroom|
|Full-sized galley||Forward/rear lavatories||Full-service galley|
|Separate lavatories for passenger and crew||Refreshment center||Separate crew area|
8. Executive Liners/Bizliners
The crème de le crème of private air travel, executive liners, or bizliners, are commercial aircraft modified for business travel or private use. Featuring a high level of customization, these are the most expensive private jets in the market.
From opulent and bespoke interiors, to spacious private suites, en-suite shower and on-board cocktail lounge, this aircraft class takes elite travel on a whole new level. Even with all these exclusive amenities, bizliners offer plenty of space for dining areas, conference rooms, overhead storage compartments, walk-in cupboards and full-service galleys manned by flight attendants.
As these private jets can navigate higher altitudes, they can operate in most weather conditions and cover great distances, making them the ideal choice for intercontinental flights or trips that last up to 10 hours or more without a stopover.
Depending on how the aircraft is customized, it can seat around 19 to 48 passengers in first-class comfort and pure elegance. Both Airbus and Boeing offer wide-body and narrow-body bizliners, such as Airbus ACJ380, Airbus ACJ319, Boeing B747-8 and Boeing BBJ.