OpenAirplane is shutting down. We’ll be suspending reservations via OpenAirplane.com and FlyOtto.com on Monday, December 23rd, 2019. Our team will continue to man our support channels through December 29th. Thank you for flying with us. It’s been a fantastic adventure.

OpenAirplane logo
OpenAirplane logo

From the beginning, we designed OpenAirplane to be failsafe. This timing will give us time to process payments, and provide for the orderly shutdown of the platform. We’ve always done our best to ensure vendors got paid before we did. We built that into our system from day one. We’re taking care to protect everyone’s data, just as we have…


Congress screwed up this simple bit of the law when it comes to keeping pilots and passengers safe. And I had it all wrong.

TLDR: Pilots think they are safe from drones when flying above 400 feet above the ground. They have been told that software and the regulations keep drones out of the airspace where we regularly fly. But ironically, those rules only apply to professional drone operators, not hobbyists. Congress needs to fix the rules. Pilots need to be aware of the threat.

A very familiar scene popped up on Twitter this week. It was a classic view of the Chicago skyline, from the unique perspective of flying along the shore.

Image for post
Image for post
Here’s what I saw, retweeted by a few of the local news outlets. Note the drone got the photo credit.

It’s familiar because I’ve snapped this picture myself dozens of times…


CAP has now apparently made it big in Japan.

The Civil Air Patrol has become a serious fashion statement overseas.

Wait. What?

Volunteering to serve in the Civil Air Patrol has been a lot of things, but stylish has never been one of them. Until now. Seriously. I’m gobsmacked.

Image for post
Image for post
Hot trends from the 2017 Spring Catalog

My squadron-mates Jason and Stefan both happen to be in Japan and met up in Tokyo to find, of all things… CAP has been been co-opted into fashion.


The Future of On-Demand Mobility Is Here. Now.

I want to let you in on a secret. What if you could have access to a whole new way get to where you want to go? What if we could offer you a better way to get around on trips too long for Uber, but too short for the airlines? And we’re working with NASA to make it happen.

Step out of your Uber, and into your plane.

What most folks don’t realize is that here in the U.S. scheduled airlines can only sell you tickets to about 300 airports. But we all have access to over 5,000 public…


Hello world…

FlyOtto matches travelers to pilots and planes, on-demand.

Welcome aboard.


Flight time is the secret sauce to success.
It’s like getting runs on base.

I wrote that headline because, “Sabermetrics for Flight Schools, Flying Clubs, and Anyone Who Wants to Make A Buck In Aviation,” just doesn't roll off the tongue.

I find the movie “Moneyball” inspiring. It’s a movie as much about business as it is about baseball. Anyone managing an aviation business can find inspiration here too. It definately influenced the business model of OpenAirplane.

“It’s about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we’ll find value in players that…


The best business advice I’ve ever been given, came from my flight instructor.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. …in that order.”

Success in the cockpit relies on managing bandwidth. It turns out, so does success in any business. As my friend Steve [@StephenForce] likes to say, flight training is all about bandwidth packing. Making a business work is no different.

Image for post
Image for post

I try to balance consuming ideas and immersion. Much of what I’ve consumed in the last couple of years has been business advice and counsel. Eighteen months ago I had no idea what a “cap table,” was or what the heck, “preferred…


Sometimes Regulations Are Written In Blood

In aviation, we say that “regulations are written in blood.”

Pilots often complain about regulations, but they generally recognize that those regulations are often based on experience and events that have cost others their property, their lives, or both. We know that the legal environment of aviation often lags behind reality. Technical innovations can make older regulations obsolete. But sometimes the innovation doesn’t change the relevance of the regulations or dilute the blood in which they are written.

Planesharing Explained

Laws should serve as a safety net, not a noose. Aircraft are expensive to own and operate. Now, more than…

Rod Rakic

Recovering entrepreneur. Professional pilot, flight instructor, husband, father, nerd. Inspired by jobs to be done.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store