How to buy a Skywagon

Congratulations.

You’ve decided to buy a Skywagon.

You imagine, very soon, how you will look next to your outback magic carpet ride: Camping, float flying, ski fly-ins, and fishing at a lake that few can ever get to.

You can even see it parked in your driveway.

And then there’s the mobility: Alaska, finally… wait… maybe Maine? Geez, or Quebec… but then why not Labrador? Why limit your potential. With this rig – you can go anywhere.

Your fantasy was cemented on that last fishing trip out of Juneau.
Just look at that ramp presence!

But never mind the day dreaming … those big tires will make you so cool on the FBO ramp. So hip, that the Gulfstream 550 captain stares at your bad ass rig with envy. That Gulfstream, incidentally, is going to the Cannes Film Festival with some *pretty* sophisticated catering to boot.

Ha! “Not moi monsieur”, you think. You have free will – and you don’t fawn over the Hollywood A-list…. because you’re going to Greenville, Maine … for the fly in. You, my friend… are crushing it.

Continue reading How to buy a Skywagon

Aircraft Valuation Part 1

One of the challenges of representing buyers, whether it is a Super Cub, King Air or Phenom is knowing where to start the opening shot: The offer.

How do you proffer a number to an aircraft seller that shows the seller multiple  things?  For example, your contact and methods demonstrate:

  • Your math accounts for outliers such as super low or high airframe total time, damage history, missing logs or a run out engine.  (And when these are great.)
  • An offer that is serious (i.e. committed / real buyer) and likely to close.
  • A number that is fair and close to what other transactions are valued at for the same make, model and age aircraft.  (And how to find hidden gems here.)
  • Adequate respect and mindfulness on how you handle the seller’s conditions or needs. (A smooth sale has as much to do with emotional self awareness, as it does the spreadsheet of how you structured the offer.)

Continue reading Aircraft Valuation Part 1

How To Buy An Airplane Like a Pro

My old flame – 07P in Greenville, ME.

One of the pleasures of being a flight instructor, consultant and occasional contract pilot is that I get to spend a lot of time around pilots keen to buy a taildragger, turboprop and occasionally a jet.  Even existing aircraft owners express a desire to upgrade, re-evaluate, or simply sell their existing aircraft for something else.

Yet, in the general aviation world, there’s a frequent recurrence of casualness around aircraft acquisition that can lead to wasted time, effort, and money etc. never mind the frayed emotions and harumphing.  In the turbine world, it leads to lawsuits and varsity level harumphing.

Three questions to help think about avoiding such pain:

  1. How do I make an offer on an airplane that I can’t even see in person?
  2. What is a reasonable sequence of events from first contact to closing?
  3. How do I make an offer that is fair, but not insult the Seller if the asking price appears way over market?

Continue reading How To Buy An Airplane Like a Pro

Marketing Your Aircraft for Export

One of the biggest perceived barriers to aircraft sales is the export or import question. Even we get a bit jumpy when fetching a US registered aircraft to import to Canada, Europe, or better yet, The Republic of Botswana.  But here’s the thing – if you want to sell your aircraft in a timely fashion for the right price, it is best to think beyond your borders. It’s a global market and the current trend and demand is to buy in the US and sell abroad for a host of reasons. Continue reading Marketing Your Aircraft for Export