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Tag: Aircraft

by Michael O’Keeffe

I’m often asked by both current aircraft owners and non-owners what options are available for owning or operating private aircraft and what is the most economical. While there are numerous ways of owning a aircraft some of the most noteworthy are as follows:

Whole Ownership: This is traditional aircraft ownership whereby a corporation or individual owns the aircraft and enjoys all of the benefits. This offers maximum flexibility, tax advantages and has the greatest amount of financial risk.

Partnership: This method of ownership is similar to whole ownership but the benefits and risks are shared by the group of partners. The benefits include lower individual costs while the negatives include less availability of the aircraft to any one partner.

Lease: This is similar to leasing a car whereby the lessee pays a monthly rate for the aircraft for a given time period. With interest rates being so low, the popularity of a lease seems lessened. It’s often used by companies that don’t want to show the aircraft on the balance sheet. (This is not to be confused with a lease-back)

Fractional Ownership: This popular method of aircraft ownership allows an entity to purchase a “share” of an aircraft. Shares of ownership can be 1/2 of the aircraft down to just 1/16 of the aircraft. The quantity of available shares for a given aircraft model is determined by the fractional service provider. Each of the owners are allocated a given number of flight hours annually based upon their share of equity. Owners also pay monthly management fees.

Jet Cards: This popular form of travel is similar to a prepaid phone care whereby the card has a given value and that value is reduced each time you fly. This form of travel is popular due to its simplicity and a cardholder only pays for what they use. Some operators allow a card holder to utilize different aircraft types within the operator’s fleet depending upon their requirements.

Charter: This method of travel is similar to renting a limousine. You pay the cost to take you to your destination and back at a quoted flat rate. Charter is popular for its simplicity. The negative is you will pay for the aircraft to return home empty if you elect to stay at your destination for an extended period of time. If an aircraft was charted to take a week-long ski vacation, you will either pay for the aircraft and crew to sit on the ground at the destination or you will pay to have the aircraft fly home empty.

We’re happy to discuss the merits and pitfalls associated with each of these transportation methods in greater detail. Please feel free to call anytime.

The ideal preparation for a hurricane is to remove your aircraft from the storm’s path, if that is not possible here are suggestions to help you.

Each year, hurricanes season hits Florida lasting from Jun 1 to Nov 30th.  During this time, Florida is hit with everything from small tropical storms that cause minimal damage to hurricanes causing destruction on a large scale. Even with modern technology and advances in predicting hurricanes, you and your plane can sometimes get caught in a storm.

Although the first thing we recommend to any aircraft owners is to leave the area well before the hurricane and find an FBO out of the storm cone, we understand that this is not always possible. If you do get stuck, it is important to make sure you are as prepared as possible to wait out the storm.


Suggested tips for your plane if you stay:

1)      Make sure your aircraft is in flying condition

2)      Verify your aircraft insurance is up-to-date

3)      Get a complete list of all avionics inside your aircraft

4)      Make sure your batteries are fully charged

5)      Make every effort to tie your plane down so that it will  face the wind

6)      When tying down your plane, use both internal and external control locks (example:  a belt around the yolk could help prevent excess damage to control surfaces.)

7)      Make sure you have additional chocks

8)      Make sure you have a full take of gas

9)      Clear excess debris from around your aircraft and hangar

10)   Make sure the trees around your aircraft and hangar are cut back

11)   Make sure your neighborhood area is clear of debris

12)   Move your aircraft to the highest ground possible to reduce flooding and possible damage to the fuselage or engine compartments

13)   Contact your local FBO for modified hours during storm warning


Remember in addition to preparing your aircraft for a hurricane, you also need to be prepared.


Suggested Hurricane Supply:

1)      Water

2)      Canned and dried food

3)      Extra prescription medication

4)      First Aid Kit

5)      Cash

6)      Personal Hygiene items

7)      Batteries

8)      Can opener, bottle opener, scissors

9)      Flashlights

10)   Don’t forget to stock up for your pets (if applicable)

Customer support representative, Tonya Reeder, rolls out the red carpet at Banyan Air Service (FXE)

Banyan Air Service is often a visitor’s first impression to South Florida.  Every year, Banyan welcomes private and corporate aircraft arriving at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) from all parts of the world.

“It is our pleasure to roll out the “red carpet” to welcome you and ensure your visit is memorable,” says Don Campion, Banyan’s president.  “Our location is an arrival destination for aircraft visiting South Florida for business and pleasure.  Visitors enjoy our warm sunshine, beautiful beaches as well as a wide range of other activities.”

To help visitors plan activities while in Fort Lauderdale, Banyan has added a web page of South Florida information.  In addition, Banyan’s customer support team can help with area information, hotel reservations, and on-site Hertz rental cars.

“While at Banyan, take time to visit Hangar63 (Banyan’s Aviation Store) and Jet Runway Café.  Both of these are attractions that you won’t want to miss,” said Campion.

Banyan provides 24-hour fixed base operation (FBO) services; such as fuel, ground support, hangar space, and gourmet catering.  The FBO is also a gateway flight center for aircraft traveling to and from the Bahamas, Caribbean and South America.  United States Customs is available from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm daily.

Banyan also provides aircraft sales, heavy aircraft maintenance and turbine engine services, avionics installations, parts distribution, Hangar63 (Banyan’s Aviation Store) and Jet Runway Café.  Pilot’s consistently vote Banyan in FBO surveys as one of the best aviation centers in the United States.