Top Letters And Comments, June 2, 2023


The Hangar’s Done. What Can I Put In It?

I absolutely agree about the indefinite storage of non-op aircraft. Airports are for flying and fueling and fixing and all those activities keep GA a vital and growing industry. If hangars are bring squatted on by folks who will never fly their dust-covered aluminum hangar furniture that means someone else who wants to get into flying and buy a plane will be discouraged from doing so. Affordable hangars are generally offered as incentives to keep the whole package going. Hangars priced realistically would probably sit vacant or be filled with high-end corporate clients. No hangar availability means fewer airplanes and fewer folks getting into maintenance. Then everyone suffers.


Don’t even get me started on this. At one airport I landed at, I looked into a hangar. There were 5? cars in various states of repair. Not ONE aircraft was in it. If I was the manager, that wouldn’t happen on my watch. Also, I wouldn’t put up with aircraft out of annual, not flying, and hangar turned into man caves or storage sheds. Either fly your aircraft, or get out. Find another hobby. Don’t tie up precious space.


How To Avoid Having A Skydiver For A Hood Ornament

As a 23-year skydiver and Jumpmaster I did NOT want to be a “hood ornament.” Jumped all over the US and incursions were rare but did happen. The worst incursion in my memory was at Dillingham on the North Shore of Oahu in the late ’70’s. Some guy in a Hughes 300 appeared and hovered a few feet above the landing area kicking up dust and dirt with the rotorwash and laughing. Sooo, one of the jumpers, who was a Huey pilot at Schofield Barracks, grabbed some pea gravel, stood tossing it up and down in his hand so the pilot could see him, and looking at the tail rotor. The 300 pilot suddenly pulled pitch and left in quite a hurry.

Richard B.

Poll: Can A Fractional Charter Model Like Wheels Up Ever Be Profitable?

  • The fractional model only works if the shares are sold at well above cost and if a plethora of exorbitant “service fees” are stacked on top. Many customers are willing to pay such a total price if the services delivered are impeccable. Such a quality of service is easier to sell than it is to actually deliver. But deliver you must, if you are to keep the investment churn going. To make a small fortune in aviation, it is required that you begin with a large fortune. Even better if it’s other people’s fortunes!
  • Yes… with a mature, professional group that puts their company and employees first. Happy staff translates into happy customer/owners.
  • No. You can’t own business aviation aircraft and make a profit. The industry rates that can be charged will never be able to cover the cost of capital of owning an aircraft.
  • I worked for Wheels Up and watched them chase away clients with the slogan “democratize private aviation.” Wheels Up badly misunderstood and continues to misunderstand what private jet clients want. Having made (with many other pilots) the move to NetJets, I can tell you that Wheels Ups business model is fatally flawed and will not last, largely due to the fact that the people paying for the plane at Wheels Up, the clients, are not being taken care of properly nor given fair value for what is a very large outlay.
  • Forget charter. There is no money in it—the over-regulation by the FAA has killed the business—AND, made it LESS safe. Think about it—the very same airplanes operated under the less restrictive Part 91 have a BETTER safety record than Part 135 charter.
  • NetJets is profitable on one end of the spectrum, and PlaneSense is profitable on the other. Hockey stick economics don’t work in any industry, but a well-run business with reasonable cost control that charges a fair price should be able to operate just fine. Marketing is important, but there’s a lot more to it.
  • Had they stayed with one aircraft model… With a diversified fleet training and invitatory, cost are prohibitive.
  • Yes, look at NetJets, profitable and a very good company to work for.
  • Can ANY new start-up company “Ever Be Profitable?”
  • Yes, in a niche market of quality over quantity, and growing slowly instead of buying a large fleet in short period of time.
  • With electric aircraft for shorter flights.
  • “Yebbut… It’S nEvEr BeEn IMPLEMENTED cOrReCtLly!” Where have we heard that before?
  • The way you become a millionaire in aviation is to start a billionaire, as they say. Anyways, does anyone want to partner in a 747?

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