Astronaut vs. Bus Driver (Part 2)

Image credit to therogueaviator.com

For those of us that extract money from airplanes and aerospace related things, the evolution of the pilot archetype fascinates me.

Jeff Friedrich outlines the current trend of the marginalization of skilled labor in one of the best articles on the subject.  Labor, regulation, technology and business models conspire to forsake a key ingredient – people.

While many debate that automation will do us in anyway, why not have some competent people around just in case?

If Elon Musk has anything to say about it (prediction), it might not be a bad idea to keep them even better trained and fed too.  The car you can park.  For critical aircraft failures, why not have a pilot with a compass and watch? And throw in some half decent training and compensation for good measure.

Sanity Prevails

DHC 2 Beaver near San Francisco

Thank you to the many pilots and supporters that turned out yesterday at the Marin County Civic Center.  Common sense has prevailed and Richardson’s Bay will continue to have Seaplane Adventures operating as part of the fabric it has been there for 70 years.

This also means I can keeping adding seaplane ratings to private and commercial tickets.  Bravo Aaron and the rest of the gang.

Surfair Suffering from Convention

Pilatus_PC_12Revolution is tough without that disruptive nugget.  Not having that nugget has led Surfair to retreat into the conventional operation of what could have been a novel membership based system.  I’ve followed them since their birth since I’m no stranger to the concept of moving Pilatus PC-12s around with people in them whilst attempting to make money.  What was great about Surfair, is that they validated our own Grabajet aspirations that I had designed with my business partner.

Continue reading Surfair Suffering from Convention

Hawker Beechcraft Filing Rumors

Well, it happens to the best of us.  Planning and growth turn out to be two separate things.  In the case of Hawker Beechcraft you can likely point to the declining cachet of having your own jet.  Courting smaller stuff (King Air buyers) and military prospects is a good risk mitigation strategy, but it isn’t where the real money was.   Continue reading Hawker Beechcraft Filing Rumors

Buy it Right

According to many in the charter management racket, now is the time to buy.  Buying low makes the pain of selling MUCH lower less likely, or at least… less painful.  Buy it right, because you’ll never sell it right.  Legacy hardware that is no longer efficient (especially on a DOC vs. speed basis) is being put out to pasture in a big way. Continue reading Buy it Right

Charter Market Cut in Half

Since the 2008 collapse, the chartering of private aircraft is off by 50%.  This is good news for species that are big on mutations and adaptions.  Not so good for the clingers to broken models, pricing and attitudes.

So you own an airplane, or would like to and need some revenue to justify the entire charade?  Not a problem.  The concept isn’t new, but the landscape is littered with relationships that didn’t work due to poor foundations, analysis, or simply the experience to know where the problems lie.   Continue reading Charter Market Cut in Half