How to Buy an Airplane for the First Time: A Buyers’ Guide for Beginners see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, shares the best steps to take when purchasing an airplane for the first time.
Have you ever had the dream of owning an aircraft? Does the thought elicit fantasy-like imagery of you soaring above the clouds as you jettison off to some Carribean island?
If it’s always been your dream to own a plane, it might be more financially viable then you thought. There are not only several ways you can potentially afford the aircraft of your dreams, but also some creative ways to get in the air quickly.
Today, you don’t have to be a billionaire to own an aircraft, especially if you’re looking into a smaller airplane to fly for recreation, or take a loved one on the journey of a lifetime.
So where do you start? It’s essential to follow a process when buying an aircraft regardless of its size. We created this simple guide for beginners so anyone who wants to own a plane can.
Keep reading to learn how to buy an airplane.
1. Know What You Want and Why You Want it
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you need and want in an aircraft. If you’re looking for a cropduster, you’ll need something vastly different than if you’re looking to take groups on luxury flights. In all seriousness, this is a much more difficult decision for beginner pilots. It’s hard to know what you need from a plane, things like its size, number of seats, how far it will fly, to stuff like nearby maintenance centers, insurance costs, and how much it will cost to operate. There is a perfect reason as to why so many models exist as many factors determine the ideal aircraft for you!
I always suggest a first-time buyer go to a fly-in, or an airshow and look at aircraft, get in them, kick the tires and ask questions. You might love how one plane looks, and you didn’t realize it’s just too small for you. Likewise, seeing them all in person close to each other will help you identify traits not so apparent at first.
2. Set Your Budget and Add 10%
Once you know the type of plane you want, you can start looking to determine the approximate price of that type of aircraft. Being able to stretch your budget is where some creativity and due diligence will pay off. There are aircraft for every budget. So who will finance it?
Did you know AOPA FInance sources aircraft loans? They do, and they work with a fantastic group of lenders from small regional banks to credit unions. They make the process simple, and you might even be able to borrow to include refurbishment or some updated avionics. After all, now that you are buying an aircraft you at some point decide to customize it or utilize newer avionics equipment. Your lender will help!
3. Kick Tires, Search, Search and Search
When a market is hot, finding aircraft is not easy. You will often find out that the plane you had your eye on was also the dream machine of 40 other buyers and someone beat you to it. I tend to see this occurring more and more in specific piston markets. So what’s the trick to finding a great aircraft? For one, I like to use Facebook Groups, Owner Forums, and maintenance facilities. However, I have news for you; if you are only interested in a private sale, you may be missing out on an opportunity to develop a relationship with a local dealer who will not only support your aircraft beyond the purchase but be there when its time to upgrade. HINT, some dealers, if you are friendly, might even give you the heads up about an aircraft someone else is thinking about letting go. So don’t limit yourself to a marketplace or classified listing. Get active in the community, and make friends in those forums.
4. Get a Verified Value Report the “CarFax” of Aviation
Once you’ve found a plane or planes within your budget that looks promising, you’ll want to get a VREF Verified Report. The Verified Report is the “CarFax” of aviation, and it provides all that you need to know to decide about which aircraft to focus your buying efforts.
Our report includes Value history, market demand, serial number specific Retail Value, Damage History, and much more. These, along with the rest of the report, will give you everything you need to decide if you want to keep pursuing that plane. It can also help you in the negotiating process.
Once you know what you want to pay, you can determine what you should pay by using VREF. So whats next? Its time to make the offer, which most of the time a buyer will send a written offer. However, let’s not jump ahead too far. I always suggest you find an aviation attorney to assist before buying so that he or she can set up a proper entity to own the aircraft, which will also protect you and your estate if there were ever liability. You will also want to talk to your accountant so that you understand what the tax ramifications are and where to establish your closing venue. Once these components to the purchase are complete, you can make your offer, provide proof of funds or your deposit to the seller and have your lender make the arrangements for your loan. Keep in mind, most if not all of the banks will require an Appraisal of the aircraft before they will send you a commitment or approval letter. The reason being, the bank needs to know what the asset is worth at that moment in time.
6. Research Insurance BEFORE you commit
Once you know which plane you’re going to buy, you’ll want to look into insurance. Make sure you have a broker or agency you can work with and don’t leave this to the last minute as you might be wishing you hadn’t if those premiums come in substantially higher than your budget was forecasting. Insurance brokers are so crucial to a successful aircraft purchase that I can not emphasize enough you need to build a relationship with someone. There will also come a day that you will need solid advice on how to deal with a claim, so get a reputable agency to set up your binders.
7. Buy Your Aircraft!
At this point, the only thing that’s left to do is to finalize the purchase!
Phew, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now that you are an aircraft owner, the world is at your fingertips. So pack a bag, grab a friend or family member, and explore!
How to Buy an Airplane: Are You Ready?
Now you know how to buy an airplane. As you can see, it’s a relatively simple process that’s extremely rewarding.
If you need a loan to make this purchase, check out our post on the aircraft loan process. There, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting the money you need now to make your dreams come true.
This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services on July 26, 2019.
The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring Aircraft Appraisers see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services shares what you need to know when hiring an aircraft appraiser.
The joy of taking flight is one like no other. The business of getting to that take off though can be another matter.
The purchase or sale of an airplane isn’t exactly an everyday sale. For many buying or selling an aircraft, it’ll be their first time at the rodeo. That’s all the more reason to be prepared when getting into an aircraft transaction.
Hiring an aircraft appraiser is an important part of the aircraft transaction process. If you’ve never worked with an aircraft appraiser before, it’s essential that you prepare yourself for the experience.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through all the dos and don’ts of working with aircraft appraisers.
Understanding Aircraft Appraisal
If you’re going to get an aircraft appraised, hopefully, you understand why you’re taking such a step. But many potential aircraft owners simply call an appraiser up because they’re told to do so. They don’t take the time to understand the reasons behind the recommendation.
A proper understanding of the aircraft market is hard to get. A big aircraft company is likely to have a team of appraisers on hand at all times who keep incredibly detailed track of aviation industry trends and costs. Those unlucky enough to not own a multi-million dollar company have to outsource to receive such expertise.
An aircraft appraiser uses their unique knowledge of the aircraft and market trends to properly estimate the value of a given aircraft. Appraisers are held to a high standard and must be able to back up their estimates with a huge amount of data.
Their estimates must hold up to scrutiny even in a court of law.
You might need an appraisal for a variety of reasons. You can use an appraisal to properly find the right selling price for an aircraft or to see if the buying price for another is reasonable.
There are many other reasons to have aircraft appraised. You might be refinancing a loan, looking at an insurance policy, or just curious about the current value of your aircraft.
It’s important to understand the purpose of your appraisal. This way, the appraiser you hire can take special care to analyze discuss areas most closely related to those goals.
Do Find Someone Qualified
The aircraft appraisal industry is unregulated. That means that anyone out there can technically give a value amount for an aircraft since there are no required standards for training or experience.
That doesn’t mean you should throw a dart at the wall and hope you hit someone who knows what they’re talking about.
The Appraisal Standards Board develops and publishes a set of standards on behalf of appraisers. Ensuring that your appraiser lives up the standards of that publication can be important.
There are two organizations in the aircraft appraisal world that are known for their great reputation. They are the N American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) and they both have long histories. VREF has a substantial staff of Senior Accredited Appraisers through both the ASA and ISTAT. It is important to note that hiring an appraiser is hiring his knowledge and experience. If the appraiser is not qualified to appraise the asset then he/she should bring in an appraiser that is qualified, or the report would not be considered USPAP compliant.
Both organizations provide a wealth of training for their members. A badge of certification from one or both of these organizations can mean a lot in terms of an appraiser’s credibility.
Regardless of who you go with, you should ensure that the appraiser you hire qualified and experienced when it comes to the kind of aircraft under consideration. Ensure that a field visit is part of their process.
An appraisal is a tricky business and there are many ways to come to a final number. The last thing you want is someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about giving you a number that will lead you in the wrong direction.
Don’t Get Too Subjective
A proper appraisal of an aircraft will be an objective evaluation of the aircraft. You are filling out a balance sheet, not a sales pitch. As such, don’t be surprised when certain selling points don’t add up to the valuation you might wish for.
Having the wrong floor plan or missing critical equipment for compliance might be a recipe for lower than anticipated values.
Just because you have a certain taste for a design or feature, doesn’t mean that aspect will add value to your aircraft. There are certain aspects you might find cool about an aircraft that actually detract from the value.
Enjoyment is subjective after all, and it’s important to keep this in mind when it comes to appraisal.
Do Consider Databases Used
An appraiser will need to pull and use a certain market database for their analysis. Publications are consulted frequently by aircraft appraisers, but not all these publications paint the same story about the state of the market or industry.
VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, delivers aircraft and engine data through online subscription services and published quarterly digests. VREF provides valuations, appraisals and advisory services to a world-wide client base of aviation professionals including, banks, financial institutions, lessors, manufacturers, aircraft operators and suppliers. VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services plays a key role in informing decisions and identifying opportunities within the aviation industry. VREF is also the official Valuation Guide and Appraisal company for the AOPA.
The database used for reference can have a huge impact on the final estimated value of an aircraft. As such it’s important that you, as the hiring party, stay well informed.
The Dos and Don'ts Of Aircraft Appraisers
Aircraft appraisal can be a tricky business. If it’s your first time working through an aircraft transaction, it can take a minute to get used to working with aircraft appraisers. But with the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to a proper valuation.
Need more info about aircraft ownership? Feel free to contact us with any questions.
This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Service on April 18, 2019.
What Is the Best Personal Aircraft to Buy in 2019? see more
NAFA member Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, shares advice on finding the best personal aircraft in 2019.
When buying an aircraft for personal use, there is a litany of factors that will go into your decision-making. Whether your intentions are to take day trips for the weekend or intercontinental excursions, finding the best personal aircraft to meet these needs will come at wildly different price points.
In addition, the number of passengers and on-going costs for the aircraft can affect your decision.
Keep reading for a VREF breakdown of various examples for the best personal aircraft you can buy in 2019.
The most utilitarian and hassle-free aircraft are single engines planes. With price points in the low or sub-six figures, a single-engine plane can get you flying for a low cost of ownership.
Here are some of the best buys for 2019:
Pre-Owned Beechcraft Bonanza
- Price $100k – $375k
- 765nm range
- Seating for 6
Pre-Owned Cessna 206 Stationair
- Price $100k – $225k
- 730 nm range
- Seating for 6
- Features a large rear “clamshell” door easy load-ins
Other notable players in this category are the Piper Cherokee Six, Piper Malibu Mirage, and, of course, the trusty Cessna 172.
Pilots enjoy the redundancy or dual engines of a twin. Twins handle larger payloads and faster speeds, as well as faster takeoff and climbing speeds.
These tend to cost less than high-performance single engines but garner higher ownership costs due to the second engine.
Examples of deals in 2019:
Beechcraft Baron 58
- Price $200k – $1.4 million (new)
- Seating for 6
Pre-Owned Beechcraft Baron 55
- Known as the “Baby Baron”
- Price $75k – $175k
- Though smaller, it comfortably seats 6 passengers
Other Notables: Piper Turbo Seneca II, Cessna 310R
Typically known as a “Step-up airplane,” turboprops have taken a huge share of the market from the multi-engine planes of the past. While pilots originally bought twin-engines as a way to make them and their families feel safer, turboprops have made great leaps in sophistication and reliability. Their short takeoff and landing capabilities make dealing with emergencies much easier.
Turboprops do incur higher purchase prices and operating costs. They are extremely efficient at lower altitudes and slower speeds.
They enjoy the ability to access smaller airports and runways and are ideal for day trips of 500nm or less (think, Miami to Nassau and back). Be sure to enlist the help of a professional aircraft appraiser because of the substantial jump in price.
Here are some of the standouts:
Piper Meridian (2002 – 2015)
- Price $650k – $1.5 million
- 1,000nm range
- Seating for 6 in plush interiors with upgrades
TBM 700 (1990 – 2005)
- $750K – $1.5 million
- 1,350nm range
- Seating for 6
Best Personal Aircraft – Jets
Jets are at the top of the personal aircraft hierarchy. They fly further, faster and with more people than the other categories on this list.
Jets have massive price tags and ballooning maintenance and hangar fees. But for the business or personal traveler who demands speed and global access, this is the personal aircraft of choice.
Very Light Jets
Cessna Citation Mustang
- “Most bang for your buck” smallest member of the Citation Family
- Price $1- $2 million
- 1170 nm range
- Seating for 5 plus 1 crew
- The only brand new twin-engine jet for $3 million
- 1125nm range
- Seating for 5 plus 1 crew
Cessna Citation CJ3 or CJ3+
- Price $3.75 – $6 million
- 2,000nm range
- Seating for 6 passengers plus crew
Embraer Phenom 100
- $1.75 – $2.25 million
- 1,178nm range
- Seating for 5 plus crew
The Best Fit
As mentioned above, finding the best personal aircraft for you is a combination of factors that fit your lifestyle and intentions. Yet, both a hobbyist and a global businessperson can enjoy the freedom that private aviation provides.
With any aircraft purchase, be sure to reference our reference guide to make sure you have the most accurate data and valuations.
This article was originally published by VREF on May 2, 2019.
How to Know When It’s Time for a Private Jet Upgrade see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, shares what to look for when determining if you are ready for a jet upgrade.
If you’ve got a private jet, congrats. You’re one of a very select few people who do.
Having a private jet is a unique joy. Skipping TSA security checks, avoiding cramped quarters, and traveling on your own schedule are all perks that justify any expenditure.
But what if your experience is lacking? It might be time for a private jet upgrade.
If you’re thinking it’s time to revamp your jet but aren’t sure, look no further. VREF will show you a few signs that it’s time to refurbish that baby.
The Exterior Is Looking Rough
Considering planes regularly soar through the sky for long periods of time over great distances, it’s understandable that they’d accrue a significant amount of wear and tear over the years. The most obvious form that wear takes is cosmetic.
The day you bought your jet was probably a joyous occasion. A shiny, gleaming vehicle that was prepared to literally shoot you into the clouds. Only, these days, it might not be so shiny anymore.
If you’ve found yourself less enthralled with how your jet is looking, it might be time for a new paint job. Sometimes, the only thing you need to reignite that initial love affair is a fresh look. It’s one of the simplest ways to get your jet looking brand new again, so if it’s looking worse for the wear, don’t hesitate to slap a fresh coat of paint on it.
The Interior Isn’t Looking So Hot Either
When your jet takes a beating on the outside, it doesn’t have much practical effect on your experience. It might not be as great to look at as it once was, but your trip goes as planned, you won’t be looking at the exterior of your jet during the flight.
The interior of the jet is what really counts when it comes to having a positive flying experience. A rundown or outdated interior cabin can make travel a serious downer.
It might be something as simple as cosmetics. If you just don’t like the look of your cabin anymore, revamp it. A sleek, modern update can often do wonders.
That said, it might be an issue of actual convenience. After all, a private jet isn’t much fun without all the proper amenities.
If your jet’s tech seems like it’s been lifted straight from a 60s Bond film…Well, actually, that sounds pretty cool. But you know what we mean. Your jet’s features should feel modern.
Bluray players, up to date television technology and other little details can make or break a flying experience. Don’t let your jet live in the past. If it feels dated, it probably us. Give it a much-needed overhaul.
Invest in a Private Jet Upgrade
If you think you need a private jet upgrade, you most likely do. Don’t let your experience be ruined by an aging piece of equipment when all it would take is a fresh look to bring it into the modern age.
On the other hand, you might be looking to sell your jet and get something new. If so, make sure you’re getting the job done right. Get a top quality professional appraisal right here.
This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services on April 22, 2019.
5 Things That Significantly Matter in An USPAP Appraisal see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, discusses what you should look for in USPAP Appraisals.
Imagine that you’re trying to buy an aircraft and you get an appraisal that looks great. Then, you acquire the aircraft and you realize the valuation was way too high. This is a huge problem, especially when planes can cost upwards of $700,000!
For most people, this would be enough to boil their blood. This is why it’s so important to understand your USPAP appraisal and why it matters in this process.
To avoid this, we’ve created a guide to USPAP appraisals so you don’t have to do the research on your own.
Let’s talk about what really matters in an aircraft appraisal.
The 5 Most Important Factors in a USPAP Appraisal
Remember: there are no actual rules regarding the value of aircraft. This means that anyone selling an aircraft can apply a price point to the craft regardless of what the actual value “should” be.
Because of this, it’s important to be highly aware in your judgment, so we’ve compiled some great tips here to help you do just that.
1. Your Purpose
Each USPAP appraisal is slightly different because the contents of the report depend on the purpose of the consumer. This makes knowing your purpose very important so you can convey this information to your appraiser.
Doing so will make sure that your appraisal report is as accurate as possible.
2. Your Appraiser
Much like your realtor, your doctor, and your lawyer, you only want the best people helping you, especially when your money is on the line.
Know who your appraiser is, what kind of business they do, and their overall reputation. They should be able to assist you in reading the aircraft’s history and evaluating risk factors – it could mean the difference between a successful and terrible USPAP appraisal.
3. An Understanding of the Aircraft
Like we stated above, it’s important for you and your appraiser to understand the aircraft and its history.
Depending on its environment, how much it’s been flown, and where it’s kept, there could be issues that are hidden even from initial inspections. Be wary of people who are too quick to close.
4. The Aircraft Logbook
The logbook is kind of like the roadmap to the aircraft. In a USPAP appraisal, this is one of the most important documents you can have at your disposal.
Use it as a diagnosis for the aircraft – was the owner proactive in fixing problems? Were there a lot of unfixed issues?
5. Taking Your Time
Finally, don’t rush the process.
You wouldn’t jump on a car just because you want a car – you should always evaluate accident history, features, and technical information that matters to how the car operates. The same is true of aircraft.
In your USPAP appraisal process, never rush to a conclusion before you know the full picture.
Now that you know what to look for in a USPAP appraisal, you might be asking, “Ok, where do I start?”
Check out our other blog posts – we offer trusted valuation guides to aircraft, like how the value of aircraft can fluctuate, so you can make the most educated decision with your money.
This article was originally published by VREF on May 6, 2019.
Why You Should Involve a Professional Aircraft Appraiser During Purchase see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, shares his tips on using a professional aircraft appraiser when making your next aircraft purchase.
Depending on the type, an aircraft can cost as much as $21,000,000.
That’s a heck a lot of money!
So why would you want to risk all that for an aircraft with hidden damages?
Getting an aircraft appraiser is the best way to ensure that you get value for your money. You get to avoid overpaying for insurance and other related taxes. The appraiser will also help you better understand the type of aircraft you want to buy and what you can expect in terms of performance.
That aside, here are more reasons why you should seek an appraiser’s professional help during purchase.
1. Appraisers Have a Better Understanding of the Market
Appraisers are well-versed with the aircraft market. They’ll analyze the market and give comprehensive findings on the actual market value of an aircraft. This is something you’ll hardly find in most publications or websites.
Additionally, an appraisal report can provide a basis for negotiating the price. It’ll vividly highlight the issues to be addressed before making any transaction.
2. Aircraft Appraisers Are Experts in What They Do
Determining an aircraft value involves more than plunging the model, make, and manufacture year of an aircraft into a publication or web tool.
Before an appraiser can attain the accredited member designation, they’ll need to have a college degree or its equivalent and at least two years’ experience.
Appraisers with more than five years of experience qualify for an accredited senior appraiser designation. With such experience, you can expect better appraisals for your big investment.
3. Aircraft Appraisers are Certified
Before appraisers are able to give any report to the public, they should have undergone special training. They also have to meet the minimum requirement for certification set out by the ASA.
This organization is one of the oldest and largest global institutions that focuses on documentation and evaluation of aviation aircrafts including helicopters, business jets, and turboprops.
Members of this association work on a strict code of conduct to ensure that they act in an unbiased manner. These requirements are unique and vital in the appraisal industry. They make the difference between an accurate valuation and an estimate.
What’s more, members who receive training as “buyer’s agents” help buyers with the selection of aircrafts that are in line with their requirements and budget. While at it, they maintain impartiality in their analysis. This isn’t the case with most traditional dealer/brokerage agreements.
Choosing an Aircraft Appraiser: Final Thoughts
Considering the benefits above, an aircraft appraiser will certainly help you make a good buying decision on your huge investment. Without an appraiser, you may spend money on a faulty aircraft, which is not only a loss of money but also a safety hazard.
If you’re looking for professional appraisal services, look no further than VREF. We offer USPAP-complaint aircraft appraisals and full inspections to ensure you get value for your money.
This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference on May 13, 2019.
Zilberbrand and Dufour Expand VREF Staff and Specialties see more
NAFA member Jason Zilberbrand, President and CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, announces expanding staff and specialties.
VREF Aircraft Value Reference, the leading provider of aircraft valuations for the aviation industry expands staff and services.
CHICAGO, IL, USA, June 3, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- VREF Aircraft Value Reference, Appraisal & Litigation Consulting Services the leading provider of aircraft valuations for the aviation industry, continues its 25th Anniversary celebration by adding more staff and specialties to its management team to meet their expanding business requirements.
VREF has been expanding its specialty expertise’s, which now includes aviation cyber security, airport security, avionics, avionics security, and ground equipment appraisal and Litigation consulting.
“Offering expertise, consulting and appraisal work related to cyber security and avionics is not something we take lightly. It is a highly specialized field that requires years if not decades of training, certifications and experience to produce high quality and awe-inspiring results”, said Jason Zilberbrand President of VREF.
“VREF is the only Business Aviation and for that matter General Aviation firm that offers the breadth of expertise we do with a staff including lawyers, federal agents, teaching professors and A&P technicians and is the most knowledgeable appraisal team I have ever worked with,” said Ken Dufour CEO.
Eric Pupye, Esq. joined VREF in March to oversee Cyber Security, Airport Security and Avionics Security Expert Witness and Litigation Consulting. Eric is an attorney and Federal Agent with The Department of Homeland Security and he has Top Secret Security Clearance. In addition to being an attorney, Eric is a certified Protection Professional (CPP) and a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI). Prior to joining VREF, Eric spent a decade in the U.S. Air Force working with the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Threat Reaction Agency. Eric is a combat veteran and he was awarded the Bronze Star.
“Eric brings a new skill set and specialties to the firm, we are not only honored to be working with him, but it also establishes VREF as the go-to company for all aviation related litigation support matters,” said Jason Zilberbrand, VREF President and CTO. Mr. Zilberbrand continued, “We are confident that Eric’s talents will be a huge part of our continued growth as we start taking on more sophisticated projects.”
Additionally, VREF opened its third International Office and welcomed Neil Schiller, ASA of Sydney Australia to the team. This is the third International office opened in 2019 including Switzerland and Austria. Neil will be overseeing appraisal and expert witness work in the Oceania region and he has over 30 years of extensive experience in appraising aviation related assets including aircraft, helicopters, ground equipment and airport equipment. Prior to joining VREF, Neil was in charge of the GECC portfolio of Business aircraft for Australia and New Zealand.
“Eric Pupye and Neil Schiller are welcome additions to VREF. The team we have assembled represents the best talent available in the industry and our commitment to the industry to drive transparency and ethics. We plan on opening additional offices to assist the existing client base,” said Ken Dufour, ASA and CEO of VREF.
VREF Aircraft Value Reference, Appraisal & Litigation Consulting Services, was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa with offices in Chicago, Rockford, Los Angeles, Boise, Daytona Beach, Austria, Switzerland, China and Australia.
VREF delivers aircraft and engine data through online subscription services (SaaS) and published quarterly digests.
VREF provides valuations, appraisals and litigation consulting services to a world-wide client base of aviation professionals including, law firms, banks, financial institutions, leasing companies, manufacturers, aircraft owners, aircraft operators and suppliers. VREF Aircraft Value Reference, Appraisal & Litigation Consulting Services plays a key role in advising decision makers within the aviation industry.
VREF is the official Valuation Guide and Appraisal company for the AOPA.
For further enquiries or interviews please contact the VREF team.
email us here
This press release was originally published by EINPresswire on June 3, 2019.
Appraising the Truth - Why Business Aviation Needs Accurate Aircraft Valuations and Appraisals see more
NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President of Vref, writes about why business aviation needs accurate aircraft valuations and appraisals.
Q: How did Vref get started down the road of providing prices and supporting data on aircraft?
A: The Vref story began roughly 25 years ago. The first Vref guide was published in January 1994. Vref was first published by Fletcher Aldredge, a former analyst at Aircraft Blue Book. He was unhappy with how information and data were being published, collected and updated so he started his own Guide. Fletcher created a platform that was ahead of its time and has the most trusted data in the industry. Vref is used by every bank, financial
institution, broker and aviation professional as one of the trusted resources they can depend on for accurate information on aircraft. By providing up to date real time values for helicopters, all fixed wing aircraft, and now engines and commercial narrow bodies; Vref is the predominant force in aircraft value data.
Q: So how did you and Ken Dufour, the CEO of Vref, get involved?
A: Ken and I were brought in to oversee the day-to-day business operations, run the company and implement new services. Ken and I have very different skill sets and backgrounds. I have spent the better part of my life in aviation, having come into the business when I was still in college, when my father started Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI), which we sold in 2008. For the last 15 years I ran an international aircraft dealership and brokerage.
My time at JSSI was invaluable in preparing me for what I now do at Vref, in that we were myopically focused on maintenance events and costs, and I was introduced to an amazingly diverse network of people in the MRO shops, the OEM community and in the aircraft financing and banking sectors. Buying and selling aircraft further honed my skills, and by applying my maintenance and engine knowledge base to brokerage it created opportunities
that I might not have ever been able to identify. However, when the crash hit on 29 September 2008, a day I will remember forever since it was also the day my eldest daughter was born, we were holding some $320 million in aircraft inventory, in the form of 23 aircraft that we suddenly had no buyers for those were harsh times for many in the sector as deals dried up all over the place. We were able to reach fair solutions to those positions and moved on. However, what happened over the next few years as companies started shedding jobs was that large numbers of people decided to reinvent themselves as aircraft brokers. Simply by selling one aircraft a year they found they were doubling whatever they had been paid in their old jobs. What was once a career that you were lucky enough to get into or in most cases born into, was now nothing more then a cell phone, website and access to classifieds. In that environment, being a broker no longer held out much interest for me. I was much more interested in the challenge of how one could go about gathering the data required to put a realistic and accurate value on particular aircraft. I was spending more and more of my time trying to determine where forecasts of values were going and appraising aircraft. It was apparent when I started doing more aircraft appraisals that Vref would be the perfect company for me to grow my career.
Q: I believe Ken came into it from an entirely different route?
A: Absolutely. Ken is without question the foremost expert appraiser of aircraft in the US. He is a Accredited Senior Appraiser with the ASA and he has appeared as an expert witness in over fifty cases and has helped his side to win them all. I should mention that he has been mentoring me as far as becoming an expert witness is concerned, and I have now appeared as an expert witness in two cases, both of which we won. We now offer expert witness services as part of the Vref portfolio of services, be it via actual court appearances and testimony, or via deposition.
Q: Can you give us something of a flavour of the kinds of cases involving business aviation aircraft that call for expert witness testimony?
A: A very common scenario is where you are acting either for the owner of an aircraft that has sustained damage, or for the insurance company or OEM. What you are trying to determine is what the value of the undamaged aircraft would have been at that point in time, and what its value is now that the damage has been sustained. It is a hugely complicated calculation, with a lot of moving parts. Ken is an absolute master at producing an evidence-based appraisal and his work has never been successfully challenged. That is part of the skill we bring to Vref.
Click here to read the full article.
This article was originally published in Business Aviation Magazine, Summer 2018, p. 78.