2014 Year-end Aircraft Financing

December is here and the countdown to year-end is upon us. With the year-end push, it’s important to remember the FAA and banking holidays and schedules if you’re planning to purchase, finance and close before year-end.  Couple this with planning for extraneous events (i.e. an ice storm in Oklahoma City that may shut down the FAA title office as happened last year), and we recommend considering the following timetables to meet a year-end closing target.December Note that Applications can still be submitted after these dates, but meeting year-end closings may be compromised.

  • For loans over $2 Million, we recommend submitting completed credit applications no later than December 9th.
  •  For loans between $750,000 and $1.99 Million, we recommend submitting completed credit applications by December 15th.
  • For loans below $750,000, we suggest a target of no later than December 17th for submitting a completed credit application.

Note also please the following this year:

  • December 24th – FAA typically closes early (Wednesday)
  • December 25th – FAA and banks are closed
  • December 26th – FAA projecting limited staffing (Friday)
  • December 31st – FAA typically closes early (Wednesday)

Summer at Oshkosh 2014



Oshkosh 2014 will go down in history due to the half-million attendees walking the AirVenture grounds this year. The general aviation parking areas were full to capacity, while Whittman Regional Airport controllers had to turn away aircraft to land at other airports. People of all ages crowded the hangars to see the newly featured aircraft and lined up for the first-ever appearance of the Air Force Thunderbirds. Whether you were meeting up with old time pals, stopping by your favorite booths, or this was you first ever Air Venture experience, you were sure to have an unforgettable time.

The amount of aircraft that came to Oshkosh this year was unbelievable. We were able to witness over 2,649 aircraft- including Ultralights, Seaplanes, Light-sport aircraft, Warbirds, Rotorcraft, Aerobatic aircraft, Homebuilt, Vintage airplanes, and Hot-air balloons. The One Week Wonder was also being assembled at Oshkosh by EAA members’ and any Oshkosh attendee wanting to help with the 25,000 rivets needed to complete the airplane. The aircraft was then cleared for take-off on August 5th, for its first flight.

The airshows were incredible this year. If you stayed around after the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday shows, you were able to see Air Ventures first Valdez STOL demonstration competition flights.  Although everyone cheered each other on, a competition is still a competition! Frank Knapp took first place with a winning distance of 134 feet. Knapp stated, “The people here really care about general aviation, and I think the normal guy can really relate to this and our lifestyle.”

There has been a lot of talk about the new aircraft coming out and we have answers. At a press briefing on July 28th, Dale Klapmeier, CEO and founder of Cirrus Aircraft, said the company is on track to deliver the first production examples of the SF50 Vision personal jet to customers before the end of 2015. The seven seat, single-engine jet has been under development for a number of years, and currently has 550 orders waiting for production. EAA’s French diesel-engine manufacturer SMA updated the attendees on its new 4 cylinder engine offerings. The company is working with Cessna and Lycoming to prepare for deliveries of Cessna’s Turbo Skylane 182 JT-A certification. Last year, SMA presented SR460, a six cylinder concept diesel, which was designed to offer 350-400 hp. The world’s fastest certified single-engine piston aircraft is the Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S with a cruise speed of 242 knots. The first new Mooney aircraft was on display throughout the fly-in and was sold through an online auction for $646,000. The entire amount will be donated toward the Mooney History Museum at the company’s Kerrville, Texas, campus.

Air Venture at Oshkosh was definitely one to remember. We want to thank the 5,400 volunteers and all of the passionate aviators who made this all possible. All of us at AirFleet Capital enjoyed meeting with you and thank you for stopping by our Airplane Financing booth- we value our passionate aviation enthusiasts who enjoy general aviation and the community as much as we do.  See you all next year and safe travels!

Oshkosh 2014 picture
Fly-In Convention at Oshkosh 2014


AirFleet Capital Celebrates 5,000th Aircraft Financed!

5000thaircraftsocialmedia pic

AirFleet Capital celebrated our 5,000th Aircraft Financed on June 9th, 2014, averaging 250 loans per year since our inception in 1994!  This is a big milestone for us and provided time to reflect on all of the relationships we have built during our tenure as an aircraft financing company.  It has been an honor and pleasure to be a part of aviation’s perseverance during the ups and down our industry has seen.   AirFleet’s CEO, Steve Smestad stated, “This milestone is significant and important to us because each one of these 5,000 loans represents a specific customer with whom we’ve forged an important relationship.  Each closing represents the realization of the dream of an aircraft owner, flight student, entrepreneur and business of all sizes.  We are very proud to play a small part in each customer’s realization of this dream.  We share our customer’s passion for aviation, and we spend 100% of our daily focus on the General Aviation marketplace.  Our primary goal is on doing the right things for our customers and our business partners.”  For those of us passionate about flying, we understand there’s no better place than in the sky, and no better people than those we have met through our shared love of taking flight.  We feel so grateful to be a small part of our shared, rich history.

The real recognition belongs to our customers and Aviation Industry partners that put their trust in us to get the job done, allowing us to continue our work in an industry we are excited about each day.  You are what keeps our dedicated team going.  As we look back, we are proud of what we have accomplished, but more importantly, the relationships we have built all over the country (and beyond!).  We value these connections above everything else and never lose sight of the opportunities they continue to afford us.  THANK YOU for believing in, and sharing this piece of your lives with us!

Please contact AirFleet Capital with questions or to receive aircraft financing information from our experienced staff at 800.390.4324.

Spring Fever – purchase and finance a new airplane!

It’s Flying Season!

Spring has arrived and across the country, people are gearing up (or at least daydreaming about it while they’re digging ou134399-stock-photo-green-dark-freedom-spring-flying-umbrellat!) to jump back into their airplanes.  Whether to  get out and see those clients you haven’t met with all winter, take the family to your favorite spring break destination, or just enjoy seeing the earth come alive from above, each of us start getting the itch after a long, cold season, to take flight.

AirFleet has seen some positive signs of the economy warming despite record low temps across the country this year.  With tax incentives extended to 2013 and the ability to still buy an airplane at a great price coupled with our low, fixed financing rates – this first quarter has been the busiest we’ve seen since 2008!  We have high hopes that the momentum will continue and increase as buyers with Spring Fever begin making purchase decisions.

Please contact AirFleet Capital to get an aircraft loan quote on that airplane you’ve been eyeing.  With flying weather and all the holiday bills paid off, it’s a great time!  You can call to discuss options with a financing specialist at 800.390.4324 or you may request a quote online.  If you are considering a purchase anytime this year, it is always good to get pre-approved for a dollar amount while you shop.  Approval is free and it allows us to be ready to close quickly once you find “the one.”

Get out there and enjoy – safe travels!!

2012 Year-end Aircraft Financing

25 Days left in 2012 for customers to buy an aircraft and cash in on the great tax incentives and historically low interest rates this year!  Financing is still readily available for you December buyers out there!2012

As we gear up for a big year-end rush, we know many of you are purchasing before the clock strikes midnight on 2012.  If you are interested in financing that purchase, please see the important dates and recommended deadlines below to ensure a smooth closing before December 31st:

December 14:
Last day for complete credit application submissions for loans above $1 Million to arrange financing before year-end
December 21: Last day for complete credit application submissions for loans below $1 Million to arrange financing before year-end
*Please note: applications can still be submitted/closed after these dates, but meeting year-end goals may be in jeopardy.

December 25: Christmas Day (Closed)
December 31:  New Year’s Eve
(please note many employees at the FAA and Banks leave early both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, making it more difficult to handle a high volume of late closings these days)

Plan ahead as weather can impact the best-laid plans.  Oklahoma City has been known to get weather this time of year, shutting down the FAA and Title Companies.

Since December is the busiest time of year for many of us (including dealers, banks, title companies and the FAA), response and action can become more sluggish the closer it gets to 12/31.  Getting approved asap and working out the details in advance ensures a smoother transaction.  If you are still deciding between a few different options, get pre-approved for a finance amount today, then finalize your plans with the funds in your back pocket.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and get started today at 800.390.4324 as we quickly approach our suggested application deadlines above.  We look forward to hearing from you and helping you ring in 2013 with your new bird!

The 4th Quarter Countdown

We can’t believe it is already that time of year, the 4th quarter is upon us.  With optimism that this past year seems to have stabilized, we are looking forward to an uptick the last months of the year as business buyers who have turned the corner satisfy a tax appetite (see BLOG: Tax Incentives), and those of us who feel more personally comfortable decide to get back into purchasing for fun!

For those interested in financing their year-end purchase, it’s best to get the process started early.  With approval expiration at90 days, we are inside the window for all purchases in 2012.  Even if you have not picked out an exact aircraft, there is no application fee so now is a great time to get approved for a loan amount – shop with the funds in your back pocket, and feel confident to close on a hot aircraft deal you come across quickly.

It is also the busiest time of year for dealers, escrow companies, the FAA, banks and finance companies.  Due to the volume of transactions, sometimes response and action is slightly delayed the closer you get to December 31st.  That being said, we are happy to work with someone who decides to purchase a plane starting mid-December, but to avoid stress and the risk that the purchase could get pushed into the new year, it’s always best to have the details worked out before then.

For a quote, or to get started on the application process, please contact us at (800) 390-4324.  We look forward to hearing from all you early birds soon!

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.

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

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

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!

Aircraft Financing – Interest Rate Update

Interest rates remain very attractive for aircraft buyers.  That, coupled with great values, makes for a uniquely buyer-friendly market that hasn’t been seen in recent history and may not be duplicated for years to come.  It’s a wonderful time to purchase!

In the past 90 days, we have seen relatively level underlying rates; a slow, softening in rates through December and January was met with a slight uptick in February.  However, rates remain lower today than they were in early 2011, and have been hovering at this low-point for about 7 months, as illustrated with the chart below (Source:  Treasury.gov – using the 3-year Treasury rate in this example from January 2011 through February 2012).

While the FED has committed to keeping rates low through the next 12-18 months, we are likely to see increased pressures on the underlying rate market if fuel prices or inflation tick-up more aggressively.  The general sense is that we might start to see some increases as we move further into 2012, but the increases are expected to be minimal at most, likely keeping rates at or below averages seen over the past 24 months.

AirFleet offers a selection of fixed and variable rates to match a client’s particular rate-risk desire.  Please call us at (800) 390-4324 to get a specific quote for a fixed-or variable-rate product.