AOPA Wrap-Up and Stratus Winner!

Our high hopes were realized at the AOPA Summit 2012 in Palm Springs.  With attendance up a substantial amount over the 2011 event in Hartford, we spoke to almost triple the people this year.  It was a breath of fresh air as we are in full 4th quarter swing and the majority of the customers were ready to move before the year-end deadline.  Palm Springs was a great venue last time and did not disappoint this year.  With the Parade of Planes from KPSP to the Convention Center, having the static display and exhibit hall in one location is perfect for attendees… and of course, the weather doesn’t hurt!

We would also like to announce the winner of our show giveaway – Congratulations to James McLaughlin of Brookfield, CT on winning the Stratus: Portable In-Flight Weather for ForeFlight!  Thank you for coming by our booth and we hope you can put this to good use in your new airplane!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, it was great to meet you all (and see old friends too!).  We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the new location in Ft. Worth, TX for the 2013 Summit.  Since the show historically alternates coast to coast, this will provide easier access for pilots in the middle of the country.

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Gearing up for AOPA Summit 2012

AOPA Summit 2012 starts tomorrow in Palm Springs, CA and we are excited!  With an uptick in activity the past month and the show returning to one of its prime locations, we are optimistic that it will be one of the best shows of the year.  As with each year, the show will host hundreds of exhibitors, educational seminars, display aircraft of all types and the latest and greatest in aviation.  Something unique about Palm Springs is that the exhibit hall and aircraft are all together in one location – the “Parade of Planes” today taxis dozens of aircraft the mile from KPSP down the city streets to the Convention Center! 

Take a break from the desert sun and see AirFleet Capital in Booth 416 to discuss any financing questions you may have.  With the ability to fix historically low rates for up to 20 years, it is a great time to think about upgrading to a new aircraft.  If you don’t have any financing needs at this time, you can still swing over and enter for a chance to win the Stratus: 
Portable In-Flight Weather for
ForeFlight!

The show starts 10AM Thursday (10/11) through 4PM Saturday (10/13).  We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Oshkosh 2012 Wrap-up!

We are all back in action at the office from our 10 day “AirVenture” to Oshkosh, Wisconsin!  As our favorite show of the year because of the excitement, grandeur and passion of the show, it’s always something we are very much looking forward to; and as our typically hottest and longest show of the year, we also very much look forward to getting back to our normal routines once the work (ok, and fun too!) there is finished.

This year was no exception to either!  Though some extreme heat and a couple storms in the area kept a few away, it was another great year.  From the sea of Piper Cubs gathered at the show for their 75th Anniversary to the announcements by new manufacturers including a new diesel powered Cessna 182;  from the gaggle of warbirds in Fightertown during this year’s celebration of “The greatest Generation in the Air”, to the palpable commitment by EAA and many other partners to the increased focus on getting kids and young adults into flying, it was a great reminder of where we’ve come from and all of the exciting things on the horizon.  This year more than others, it was a real focus on the ties that bind all of us, young and old, who are passionate about aviation… after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

At our booth, we spoke with many customers interested in purchasing new, or refinancing an aircraft.  We were encouraged by the number or serious prospects at this year’s event.  A special thanks to all of our current clients who stopped by the booth to see us – it’s always fun to be able to connect face to face after the phone calls, emails and faxes we got to know each other over during your financing!

We are already looking forward to heading back to Oshkosh next year (Ok, maybe once we are caught up on our rest, I think somewhere around September?) for the Greatest Aviation Celebration on earth.  Hope to see you next year!!

Two weeks to Oshkosh!

Two weeks from now, we’ll be done setting up and AirVenture 2012 will be under way!  In honor of our countdown, we wanted to share some more fun facts about AirVenture as we all prepare to head north with the masses.  Did you know:

  • In 1953, the first EAA fly-in was held in Hales Corners (Curtiss Wright Airport), WI
  • In 1959, the Fly-in outgrew Curtiss-Wright Airport and moved to Rockford, IL
  • In 1970, the Fly-in outgrew Rockford Airport and moved to Oshkosh, WI
  • In 2002, Iceland flew a Boeing 747 full of Icelanders to the show.  After they unloaded from the 747, they noted that the contingent at AirVenture represented .2% of the population of Iceland.
  • Approximately 1,100 protable toilets are supplied for the event (onsite)
  • FAA controllers from throughout a 17-state central region (FAA Central Terminal Service Aera) compete for the right to work during the event.  In 2007, AirVenture utilized 64 controllers and 11 supervisors.
  • Oshkosh is not new to hosting big parties.  In addition to AirVenture, Oshkosh is the proud host of Country USA (one of the largest annual country music festivals in the US with over 150,000 attendees), and LifeFest (a Christian Music Festival with over 30,000 attendees).  Oshkosh has also hosted the Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoors Festival, attended by over 70,000 outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

Look forward to seeing you all in 14 days!  Stop by and visit us in Hangar A #1143.

Countdown to Oshkosh 2012

With less than a month until the start of the world’s largest General Aviation Celebration, we’re pleased to be making our own final preparations for attending AirVenture 2012.  Oshkosh is the largest aviation event in the United States, so it seems fitting to consider some of the fun facts about the show.  Keep in mind that this is an event catering to US-based pilots (representing less than 0.2% of the US population), a plethora of international pilots, and of course, plenty of aviation enthusiasts.

–  AirVenture is a week-long event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – a city with a population of roughly 66,000 people (and 160,000 in the greater Oshkosh metro area according to the city website).  AirVenture attracts 500,000 people from around the globe, increasing the size of the city by over 300% during the week.  This represents nearly 9% of the total population of Wisconsin.

– Over 10,000 aircraft fly-in (or in some cases are driven or carted in) to Oshkosh- Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) during the week.  According to the FAA’s 2010 Statistical Databook, there are roughly 223,000 FAA-registered aircraft flying today.  That means, roughly 5% of this active fleet is represented at AirVenture each year.

– Oshkosh-Wittman Regional Airport records over 25,000 traffic movements (operations) the week of AirVenture.  By comparison, Chicago O’Hare Airport has approximately 16,900 operations a week [http://www.ohare.com].  During the week of the show, OSH takes claim as the most active airport in the world (note: and it’s not even open at night!).

– Wittman Regional Airport is named after Steve Wittman, an air-racer, test pilot, aircraft designer and builder who grew up in the Oshkosh area.  Wittman owned his own aviation businesses from 1925 through WWII, and was a decorated aircraft designer.  He was the manager of the airport in Oshkosh for over 37 years from 1931 to 1969, and was instrumental in relocating the AirVenture EAA fly-in there in 1970.  He died pursuing his life’s passion, still flying at an age of 91.

– The town of Oshkosh is named after Chief Oshkosh, a Menominee Chief who’s name means “claw”.  According to Wikipedia, he died in a drunken brawl in 1858.  Somewhat unfittingly, in 1900, Oshkosh Brewing Company started distributing a beer nationally in his name, “Chief Oshkosh”.  While Chief Oshkosh beer is no longer available (the brewer went out of business in the 1970s), we’re pleased to see that many pilots support the tradition of the city’s namesake after-hours during AirVenture.  😉

We look forward to seeing you at AirVenture in less than a month – July 23rd-29th!  We’ll be onsite with some new aircraft loan programs and expanding capabilities.  Stop by and see us in Hangar A, Booth 1143.

International Registry and General Aviation Aircraft Purchases

With larger aircraft transactions, there is a higher level of complexity with respect to title preparation and recording a lienholder’s security interest on an additional aircraft registration called the International Registry.  The International Registry (IR) is a  global registration that the United States has adopted, and it is important that you understand if, how, and why you need to register your aircraft before closing. 

In 2006, the Cape Town Treaty went into effect, attempting to standardize transactions involving movable property (aircraft, railway and space equipment); in doing so, the Treaty created laws governing the global registration of Aircraft.  The Treaty, in effect, created a new global registry for larger aircraft (similar to the FAA registry).  In the US, we recognize the IR as an additional place for filing interests on particular airframes and engines.  Interests filed with the IR take priority over any unregistered interests and also takes precedence over any other governing registration (including the FAA).  Please note, in the United States, documents must still be filed with the FAA. 

What type of aircraft equipment must be registered? If an aircraft buyer is located in one of the contracting countries (Over 50 worldwide including the US), and the aircraft fits certain parameters designated by the Treaty, it must register on the IR under Cape Town Treaty.  Aircraft falling within the requirements of the IR are defined below: 

  1. Airplanes certified to transport 8+ people, or goods in excess of 6050 pounds
  2. Helicopters certified to transport 5+ people, or goods in excess of 990 pounds 
  3. Jet aircraft engines with at least 1750 pounds of thrust
  4. Turbine or Piston aircraft engines with at least 550 take-off horsepower.

How do I Register?  If your aircraft or engine fits one of the requirements above, you should contract with a firm that specializes in aircraft registration.  After you file your documents with the FAA, this firm will contact the registry and act on behalf of all parties involved (buyer, seller, lender, etc) to file everyone’s interests appropriately.  Once this is complete, a search will be performed to confirm accurate registration.

How does this pertain to Aircraft Financing?  If an aircraft is financed, the lender has an interest in the equipment (just like a lien with the FAA).  The lender’s interest must be registered with the IR so that in case of default or other unforeseen issue, they are protected not just in the eyes of the FAA, but also in the global governance community.

Additional information on the International Registry, including “Eligible Aircraft” and engines, as well as the countries who have “contracted” the Capetown Treaty may be found through following websites: 

http://www.aerospacereports.com/services/registry

https://www.internationalregistry.aero/irWeb/

Activity picks up!

As we gear up full swing for flying season all over the country now (reality check for our AZ offiice, “wait, it’s not beautiful flying weather all year everywhere?”) we are encouraged by the number of inquiries we have received the past few months regarding aircraft purchases.  Over last year, our leads are up 11% in 2012.  Many of those that we are talking with are getting back into the game after feeling like they’ve been “sitting on the sidelines for too long”.  As things stabilize, those that have weathered the storm are showing signs of increased consumer confidence.  It is certainly still a wait-and-see type mentality for many, but just the noticeable increase in interest has given us cause for anticipation. 

Last week, we attended regional Aircraft Expo shows in both Texas and Arizona.  As opposed to the preceding few years where the crowds had thinned at these events, attendance seemed to be up significantly this year!  We spoke to many more potential buyers and all the other exhibitors seemed to share our sentiment.  If you are one of those buyers who is ready to dive back into aircraft ownership, or looking to refinance at our historically low rates, please give us a call to discuss Aircraft Financing programs to fit your needs!

Tax Incentives for Aircraft Buyers in 2012

May has arrived, and just when you thought you wouldn’t have to talk about taxes for another 10 months, we bring it up again!  But this time, it’s all about keeping your money! 

In order to help stimulate economic activity, Congress passed tax law for 2012 that makes buying an aircraft very attractive this year.  If you are a business owner with a tax appetite and a need (OK, you really like to get behind the yokes for fun too!) to fly for business purpose, now is a great time to cash in on tax incentives being offered for equipment purchases.

New aircraft purchases (and in some cases, new equipment purchased for used aircraft) in 2012 are included in this category and allowed 50% bonus depreciation.  To take advantage of this allowance, the aircraft must be new, and used mostly for business purpose travel.  Contracts for the purchase of a new aircraft signed during 2012, and delivered during 2013, may also qualify under specific rules for the 50% bonus depreciation. 

Not to worry used aircraft buyers – though you cannot partake in the 50% bonus depreciation, used aircraft (along with new purchases) do qualify for the Section 179 Expensing.  This allows the buyer to write-off up to $139,000 in equipment for the year.  This Section is more specifically targeted for small businesses as it applies only to those that have an annual capital investment cost of less than $699,000. 
*Please contact an Aviation Tax Specialist for more details and to see if you qualify for these Tax Incentives.

Though this has seemed like normal practice in the last few years during the downturn, the tax environment is not always this friendly for aircraft buyers.  Take advantage of these great incentives (along with historically low prices on aircraft and even lower financing rates!) with an aircraft purchase before year-end.

AirFleet Capital is Moving!

Over the past four years, AirFleet Capital has expanded it’s presence from its singular location in Leesburg, Virginia to other offices in the Atlanta and Phoenix areas.  These represented strategic moves in order to better serve the markets we support from coast to coast. 

Now that the expansion offices are setup and underway, the Virginia office is upgrading.  We are excited to announce that we will be relocating this office 35 miles west to downtown Winchester, VA.  As the base for our operations team, please note the new address below for any items being sent via mail, FedEx, UPS, etc. in relation to loan application packages and closings:

AirFleet Capital
158 Front Royal Pike
Suite #107
Winchester, VA 22602

This office will be open starting Monday, April 30th, 2012.  Please feel free to stop by our new location (or any of our offices) anytime!

Sun N Fun 2012 De-brief

 Another Sun ‘N Fun under our belt and we are getting back into the swing of things at the office.  With high hopes for better weather this year, we certainly weren’t disappointed –  80s and sunny everyday with just a minor storm on Saturday, it was great flying weather!  And with the return of the Thunderbirds, there were some preliminary reports of record crowds one day arriving to enjoy the Aviation spectacle.  With a few reported sales by different manufacturers, it was encouraging to hear that people are jumping back into aircraft ownership this spring.

Among the many announcements to kick-off the buying season, we found the following highlights:

  • Cessna announced it is starting production of the Corvalis TTX, a twin-turbocharged high-performance piston with the new Garmin G2000 touch-screen glass panel (an upgraded Corvalis TT for sure).
  • Daher-Socata announced a new TBM 850 “Elite” configuration, with expanded cargo-carrying capability.
  • American Legend is preparing to introduce a new Lycoming-powered Cub, the “Super Legend”
  • Maule Aircraft is nearing certification of it’s new M-9, a 235 horsepower, 4-passenger back-country utility aircraft.
  • Redbird Simulation took delivery of a new Piper Seminole that will be used in their efforts to help reinvent flight training. 

It’s great to see General Aviation returning to a focus on research and development, and production of popular aircraft.  At the AirFleet Capital booth, we kept busy visiting with current customers, friends of the industry and new faces interested in aircraft financing.  We found few significant changes this year representative of the new management team at Sun & Fun, but we understand it was a transitional year before likely significant changes next year.   Along with other reports (see AvWeb’s Wrap), it looks like we were among the majority that hopefully traded quantity for quality this year. 

With the serious buyers we spoke with last week in Lakeland, and good hopes for an uptick in overall activity for 2012, we now look ahead to a busy few months as we ramp-up for Oshkosh (our next big adventure).  Hope to see you there!!