Do you or your business need or want and airplane? Did you know that Plane Connection can help you with Aircraft Procurement? Aircraft Procurement services are designed to help customers get the right aircraft for them and weed out the lemons. We at Plane Connection recognize that there are a lot of aircraft on the market, some are good and lots are not. Getting a poorly maintained or problem prone aircraft will cause headache after headache and lots of lots money! Aircraft Procurement includes the following services:
We would love to help you find the aircraft that best suites your needs and budget. Get started by contacting us to talk about your situation, we can help!
Ever want some an expert opinion on an aviation choice that comes from years of experience in the general aviation industry? Well now you can!
We at Plane Connection have years of experience in general aviation and have seen people who think they know what they want wander off into a money suching situation because they didnt seek or follow wise counsel. We at Plane Connection want to help you avoid the money pits of aviation and there are many, Aviation Consulting services include the following:
We would love to help you find the aircraft that best suites your needs and budget. Start by downloading Plane Connection LLC’s Aircraft Cost Calculator. Then contact us to talk about your situation, we can help.
What value is your aircraft?
I’m not talking about what your aircraft is worth! That is a whole different subject. What I am asking is what value does your aircraft provide? Does is bring value to your life, family and business? How?
We at Plane Connection firmly believe that an aircraft is a tool intended to do a job and add value to your life. If that value is purely for the fun of it and you have enough money to play……. AWESOME! But I want to talk with the rest of you. You love aviation, love airplanes and/or want one! But is the value that it gives worth the financial expenditure of ownership? In past blog posts we have provided a free aircraft cost calculator, so if you haven’t figured that out go get it.
We all agree that what an aircraft gives is time, ie less time spent traveling and more time doing whatever you do. What is your time worth?
“Worth” is a subjective term, the definition often is up to you. But dollars and cents are not subjective, so let’s talk about them. By the numbers I have seen a middle level employees time is worth 8x their hourly wage to their employer. So if you make $150,000 per year and work 2,000 hours per year, your hourly wage aprox. is $75/hr. Your value to the company is approximately $600/hr!
Let’s break this down on an average work trip of a team of 2 people working at that $600 level.
New Bern, NC - Savannah, GASingle Day Round Trip
12hr Time Wasted, Cost $406.08*
15hr Time Wasted, Airline Tickets $1,007
So what is your time worth? If your time is worth $600, driving your team of 2 is like wasting $14,400. WOW! How can afford not to fly? But, the airline’s wasted time still equates to $18,000. You can fly a C172 on that route of flight and still save time and money.
Now we getting down to the value your aircraft can give you!!!
Now, I know that I’m speaking about a business trip and you may not be that business person. How does this discussion equate to you? You can still use this type of valuation on your time and what you do.
I challenge you to do the math!
The next question is how do you extend this type of value to the community around you? Yes, I’m getting at a 135 charter certificate. And Plane Connection is working on ways for your aircraft to give value to your community! If this idea intrigues you contact us to learn more.
For all of those who have traveled and many who have not owning an airplane seems to like a movie, or at least the status of stardom. Many people and companies (primarily business owners) have had the dream or someone initiate the reality of aircraft ownership at some point in their life. Although, many of these clients are not truly expecting the pains of aircraft ownership as may be pilots to a certain degree. This group of people are in some ways lucky not to have the biases that pilots do, and are more willing to look at what it is they may need out of an aircraft and not so much of what they think that they may look like. The downfall to this is everyone knows someone who is a pilot, or thinks they are and expert in aviation. The truth is that unless this is something you do for a living you cannot call yourself an expert in these matters. I mean I know how to play baseball but I never played pro.
So, during the last few years I have been getting more involved with the management of aircraft as well as the education of such a great time. The first time I bought and airplane I was told the best day of owning an airplane was the day I bought it and the day I would sell it. I never could understand that, until I had my first annual. It was 4000.00 USD. For a AA-1B Grumman. This was 100hp, 2 seat beast of an airplane that in a dive with a tail wind fully loaded may break 115knots. Not what I would call a babe magnet. Yet what I learned from that was many of the things I have shared with others. See the problem with owning an airplane is it is not like anything else. Not a boat, a house, a car, a horse, nothing. It is a highly regulated and supervised asset that is respected by all and only when some one who is carless, and selfish takes hold of one do they become not what they are meant to be. Unlike Cars and Boats that all you may need to do is pass a yearly inspection and make sure your tags are current, airplanes come with so much more regulations set by congress the FAA, Aircraft manufactures and pilot organizations for the safe handling and utilization. This is where things become tricky.
Cost is always a question when it comes to aircraft. Many people ask me how much a the standard aircraft cost to which I reply what’s standard? It ranges Cessna 150 14,000.00USD to 55,000.00USD. By the way if your willing to buy a 150 for 55k call me I will sell you mine. But a Gulfstream 650: 65 million to 100 million. The cost is relative to the nature of the aircraft. The thing that will really drive home the pain is the cost maintenance. This is not because people do stupid things in aircraft, it’s because they see the asset as a Toy. Many people equate the ownership to a car or boat. And understandably this is all they know. See when you by a car you have a warrantee and out side of tires or a oil change limited things have to be done to a car. The DOT doesn’t require at 100 miles and inspection or a mechanics sign off. Nor dose the Cost guard or Deer and Wildlife office for a boat. But the FAA on the other does at a 100 hrs. See the problem is not in the ownership of the aircraft it is in the understanding of what it take to own it.
Like I stated earlier, many of us pilots and non-pilots alike when dreaming of owning and airplane start to look at the initial cost of the aircraft we think we want. So we go on the Internet, or out to the local airfield and start window-shopping. By the way I am way good at this. Then we find the aircraft that we think we want based off of looks and start to narrow down color, or avionics, of interior, or what ever else you have in your mind. This is the first thing that will start a bad day coming. We then go home and try to convince our family members of the great abilities and utilization of ownership until we get enough support to really adventure off to look for an airplane. Once we have found the aircraft we may look at what needs to be done before you buy and airplane or maybe not. If you get a per-buy done what dose it tell you? Unlike a car an airplane can look fine but that just cause the last owner did enough to give a showroom feel. Following this you buy the aircraft, park it at the local FBO or hanger that you bought, and then the fun begins. The first year you fly it every possible chance you can paying for gas and oil when needed, maybe an oil change at 100hr, and a year goes by then it comes time for annual. Now a normal annual on a single engine GA aircraft probably runs between 700-1500.00 USD. But since the average GA pilot that is considered experienced is one who fly’s only 50hr a year, you ended up flying 300+ hours now your annual cost 4000.00-5000.00. Bad day right?
Lets say you are non-pilot and you own your own company. Having an aircraft would a great tax write off and increase your ability to provide your goods or service to your customers as well as increase your flexibility. So you go out and look at an airplane think about how fast it goes calculate the time to get to your average distance and then find an aircraft that meets those needs. Or worst yet, see an airplane that you remember your family member who use to fly tell you stories about now you only want that one aircraft. You buy it, hire a local pilot who only cares about getting flight time, and works for substandard pay, doesn’t properly fly the engines and a year passes. Annual comes up and you now have a cost of between 5,000.00 and 8,000.00 USD for just the things that have to be addressed. Bad day right?
See the problem is not owning an airplane, it is the ownership of the wrong aircraft and lack of understanding that it is not another toy you have to go out and play with. And airplane is only a Toy when you can self insure it and modifications, for safety and reliability are no worry to you. Other wise the best solution is the knowledge of proper asset needs evaluation, and utilization budgeting management. These seem like big terms but they are just what they state. Lets break down what I mean.
Owning something that if you broke it tomorrow would not completely lose all of its value or potential value based on your negligence or mishandling, would be a toy. A asset you can utilize that fulfills your desires to what I like to call the 75% solution, while reducing the or minimizing the overhead and or hourly cost is what I would call a tool.
Owning and Airplane starts with a few factors: Regardless of you being a pilot or not, like I stated earlier if you don’t do this for a living find someone who dose. When your interested in owning and airplane you need to look at the 75% mission you think the aircraft has going for it and realize that only 25% of the time will that asset be really doing that. Second is looking at the scope of the operations that you want to accomplish and evaluate the need economy or efficiency. Third, before you do anything call a professional and pay for and hour of their time. Many of us who do this wont even charge you until there are a physical aircraft to go and look at. If you need help understanding how or better yet what may be the right aircraft for you this is the time to call.
See the most frustrating thing for me is to watch as people abuse the aircraft, blame the pilot, and leave aviation due to their personal misuse and understanding of what they are getting into. Aircraft, a tool designed to increase range and comfort, while reducing time spent away, or money lost on expensive trips. It is when you understand this that an aircraft is able to utilized for its full ability. Remember, unless you could lose the asset tomorrow and walk away with blinking an eye, this is a tool not a toy.
If you find yourself in one of these ways please call us, or email. We can help get your asset back to proper working without risking your long term happiness.
Tool not a toy has been written for all who are interested in the acquisition and or partnership in aircraft ownership. I am writing this passage as a request from my good friend and Business partner who both he and I have had more than one encounter with this very statement or thought process.
The hardest thing about being a pilot much like anything else is selling other pilots on your ideas, stories, wishes, and knowledge. Throughout flight training we are taught that to be a good pilot you must understand and study the things you do not know. Yet, when it comes time to look at the dream of owning an airplane it's funny to see how many people are not willing to look at all the factors. Pilots are not the only ones I have had this very conversation with but really anyone who is interested in the lifestyle of owning an aircraft.
Pilots, are well the best place to start because for people with a great and very in-demand skill set we, the collective we, have a hard time getting away from many of the biases that we have. Like if you are Piper guy/gal you will always be a piper guy/gal, and if you’re a Cessna guy/gal you will always be a Cessna guy/gal, but I think everyone is a Beech guy or gal. I personally would like a Cessna before a piper although my second daughter is named Piper, so I think that shows my ability to get over brands. The reason I bring this up is cause many of us have a close-minded attraction for the aircraft that we started in or at least we think we do. Malcolm Gladwell writes a few books on the cognitive subconscious that we have and our base line of thinking as to the prime fundamentals of our ideas for how we image ourselves. Hints why Top Gun was such a recruiting magnet for the Navy. Every pilot even the Piper ones think the day they took their private pilot checkride that even Tom Cruise and his F-14 could never touch them. This is where the problem starts, many years before the conversation ever begins with regards to aircraft ownership.
What we need to do is remove the dream from the ownership of an aircraft and look at the facts about ownership. What is the real cost, how much will we actually fly it etc. That should be the baseline on the discussion of aircraft ownership v.s. other options of aircraft use agreements.
For an idea of the actual base line download the Plane Connection Aircraft Cost Calculator!
Over the last ten years I have been flying professionally from Flight Instruction to Oversea ISR. I have started over three different Aviation companies, and work with and employed almost every kind of pilot known to man. A few years ago, a friend of mine and I set out on an adventure to start our own air-service that would be a place of knowledge and experience for anyone who is interested in aviation. This list was not just for newcomers to the industry but people of all experience levels. Sounds great right? We thought so.
A little about me I am a fortunate person as to the fact that I have a wife who loves me and allows me to be a little boy and fly airplanes. I have a family that has gone above and beyond to provide me a life with no limits (or at least what they could), I have flown anything and everything that others have allowed me too. I have be in and out of all types of aviation adventures to include skydiving, LSA , instruction, military, overseas contracting, aviation business start ups, aero clubs, partnerships, and even selling my wife on the great wonders of a Cessna 150. This being as it is my life has been interesting and my love although sometimes difficult for aviation has always been to show the world the greatest thing Man has ever invented. Flying!
When I was nine years old my father, a 35 year Marine Lt. Col, was station at 29 Palms, where as a young boy I was able to see all the amazing toys the Marine Corps had to offer. I watched as the F-18, and cobras did practice Close air support, and how the tanks and LAV played leap frog on firing missions.
All this led to the first time I was taken in a small aircraft a Piper 140 with a Captain Alablo. He was one of my father's Captains and he invited me to go on a flight. He himself only being a private pilot (which in my opinion is still and amazing feet) when had gone up on new year's day and during our flight he asked me a question of whether we were descending or gaining altitude? I being the impressionable young man who wanted to look go in his eyes answered with going up. We were falling at 7oo feet per min. So it wasn’t a great start but I did learn something that day, this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Ok not just fly a Piper 140, but be a pilot, and do everything in aviation.
My mother likes to tell a story that when I was younger I told her “when I grow up I am going to get married and live alone!!!” Well now as a professional pilot I have held that to be true. My wife a wonderful woman who has resolved her desire to understand why I love it so much to just “that’s Steven” and I guess that’s a good thing for me at least. I have a Two-year-old daughter that loves flying and so I think mom is out numbered.
A little over 12 years ago I graduated high school and was asked where and what I was going to school for. I responded with “a job that is 90% hands on 10% books.” Well I can tell you that any pilot and especially the ones who get their ATP’s (Airline Transport Pilot) rating have done 90% reading 5% flying, 5% dreaming.
When I was in college I was fortunate to study at the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale, the Harvard of flight schools, or at least the best aviation colleges I know. I graduated in 2009 after successfully trying and falling short of fully getting a Part 135 air charter operation going at the age of 21. Following college I flew for food and sometimes for just the drug of flying. I had joined the Marine Corps where I became an Intelligence Specialist, and deployed to Afghanistan (thanks to government sequestration).
During my time in the Marine Corps, I co-founded an Aero Club for Marines and DOD personnel where myself and a great V-22 instructor Maj. Gabe Glinsky donated our CFI abilities to provide cost effective flight training, and aircraft rentals to Marines throughout North Carolina. Unfortunately, a friend had rented the aircraft and passed away, affectivity closing our operation down. I then Met my friend Darrel who both he and I were not willing to settle for the normal Aviation path of piloting, and we started a Company to fly seaplanes up and down the Carolinas.
During our time the adventure has taken us through many different opportunities, trials, relationships, leases, aircraft management agreements, government contracts, flight instruction, aircraft ownership and probably 12 other things that has driven both of our wives crazy with 9pm phone calls or texts of good ideas or how about this type questions. Over all one them has happen to us more than any other one.
The dream of owning your own aircraft. Now, for many this may seem far fetched but for every pilot this is a dream close to home. Tool not a toy is based off of my experience and interactions with pilots and people of all backgrounds.
Darrel Gilbertson, on why he works.
Let me ask you a question…….. Why do you work?
To make money?
To have a good reputation in the community?
Because you “have to”?
A lot of us fall into a rut of working for money. What happens when you work for money? When we work for money, our attitude shows through our best attempts to “take care of the customer” and those around will soon be repelled from us. Think about it, we all know that person who is just working themselves to the bone for the money.
I believe that money is a byproduct of our labors. Here are just a few references in Proverbs about diligence in work and the reward of work:
Proverbs 11:18 - “Bad work gets paid with a bad check; good work gets solid pay.”
Proverbs 12:14 -Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well-done work has its own
Proverbs 12:24 -The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work.
Proverbs 14:23 -Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.
Proverbs 16:3 -Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.
Proverbs 16:11 -God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business.
However Proverbs also warns not to chase riches:
Proverbs 23:4-5 -Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder.
What’s my point? It is futile to be motivated in our work by the love of money. What is at the bottom of working for money? A lack of trust in God’s provision.
Mathhew 6: 24-33 24 “You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both. If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
God has made a promise to provide all of our needs and he will never let you down.
So we aren’t supposed to work hard?….No… God loves hard work but for the right reason.
In Genesis 2:2-4 is says “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. On the seventh day he stopped the work he had been doing. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and set it apart as holy, because on that day he stopped all his work of creation.” Why was God working?
I believe that it is part God's nature to create, that is one facet of who He is: The Creator. I believe He created you with and for a purpose here on the Earth. He created you with a creative streak just like Him.
When you are doing what you were created for you are no longer doing that thing/activity motivated by fear of lack, or to be well liked. But because there is something in you that drives you to get up at 5:50am on a Saterday morning to do that thing. See, creating and doing good work motivated by the design God placed on your life suddenly creates value for other people's lives. It lifts you and others at the same time.
Bill Johnson says that when you discover who God created you to be you will never want to be anyone else.
God has designed you as a uniquely designed person, so to dedicate you life to anything other than that is not trusting God and telling God, He made a mistake.
For me, personally, developing Aviation Services is what I was designed for! I can’t help it. Helping people Be Free, Be Flexible, Be There and Get Home is such a part of who I am that to not do this would drive me crazy, probably to depression. Because this is what God designed me for.
So what are you designed for? What is God's purpose for you? Ask Him, He will show you.
If you want to learn more about God and his design for you, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-288-3700 ext 700.
The question come up from time to time: "Why Plane Connection?"
The answer is actually really simple - we love aviation. And it's not just one facet of aviation that we love. We love fighter jets just as much as we love Cessna 150's. So why are we doing what we do?
Well here is how it started. Steven and I met when he was looking for ATP study material during the ATP Written crunch of 2014. I was working at the local flight school in New Bern, NC and so we got to talking and quickly connected in the disparity of aviation and how disconnected most people are with the benefits of airplanes. We started talking about the possibilities of connecting people in Eastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks though small aircraft on floats. Well it didn't take long to light a fire under Steven, or me for that matter.
Plane Connection LLC was started in Sept of 2014 to connect people with everything aviation. It's been a crazy ride since with the struggles of a small aviation start up with lacking financial backing. But having gone through our share of promising investors and start-up heart burn, Plane Connection has weathered those storms quite well. And we are developing our team and growing our capacity to handle Aircraft Management, Contract Flight Services and Charter Brokerage.
And there is exciting news on the horizon so check back with us for that!!
Darrel Gilbertson - Director of Operations @ Plane Connection
I originally wrote this article for my LinkeIn profile, but I feel that it is also fitting here.
If you haven’t noticed our “new” economy is very focused on connections and relationship. What is the real value, strength and meaning of those connections and relationships? There are many levels of “connection”. Think about it. You connect with everyone around you, the difference is to what level and what focus that connection has. I connect with the cashier at the store, my peers and customers at work, my acquaintances, friends, kids and my lovely wife. But the connection I have with my wife is totally different than the connection I have with you. What is our impact through all those connections?
In mechanical terms if something is connected to something else they will both move together. So, if I’m connected to you, and you, and however many yous there are reading this, and I am moving in a positive direction shouldn’t that affect you? And vice versa.
If not, than I don’t think we are really connected. What can I do to either connect or reconnect with you?
The best way I know of to connect is by adding value to your life. Maybe, a smile is all you need from me to add value to your life. Or you need some skill or knowledge I have. I’d love to help, to add value to your life. This is an offer to give my skill and ability to help you. Send me an email: email@example.com
One thing I’ve noticed is that people who are willing to help, are also willing to ask for help. So don’t be surprised when I ask “who do you know that I should know” or for some advice/help that is in your sweet spot. Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I help you move in a positive direction? When I help you succeed, we will all move in a positive direction. Because we are connected.
TheConnection Blog is a combined effort of the Plane Connection family and occasional guest contributors. You will find that while we are in the Aviation Industry, we are really in the People business. So we write about airplanes, the industry, training and life in general.