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Buying a Private Jet? Great! – Now How Are You Going to Crew It?

Buying a Private Jet? Great! – Now How Are You Going to Crew It?

NAFA member, Stephen Hofer, President of Aerlex Law Group, discusses what you need to know when buying and operating a private jet.

These are boom times for private aviation. Record sales of both new and pre-owned aircraft. Unprecedented levels of flying in fractional, membership, jet card and charter programs. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some storm clouds looming on the horizon.

In the United States, would-be buyers who hope to take advantage of the last year of 100% accelerated depreciation are rushing to complete their acquisitions and get their newly acquired airplanes into active business usage before December 31, 2022 are facing unusual challenges. For one thing, most maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and other companies having aircraft inspection capabilities already have fully booked their slots for the remainder of the year. Buyers who are insistent on completing a careful and comprehensive pre-purchase inspection as a pre-condition to accepting their airplanes will find it increasingly difficult to find FAA-certificated aircraft and powerplant (A&P) mechanics who can perform the necessary evaluations and then sign off on a return to service. A similar problem faces buyers who may want to hire independent technical experts to oversee those inspections on the buyers’ behalf. Many tech reps already are fully committed through the end of the year.

Another problem facing buyers may not prevent them from closing on their purchases, but may have a significant impact on their ability to use their airplanes after they take delivery, both before and after the new year, and that’s the ongoing shortage of qualified pilots to fly those corporate and private aircraft.

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This article was originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, October 2022, Volume 32, No. 10.


 November 29, 2022