When purchasing a jet aircraft, using a well-qualified team of professionals ensures you are provided the most accurate and beneficial guidance during the transaction.
While you will likely contract with a broker to handle the acquisition, you shouldn’t stop there in assembling your acquisition team. Ideally, your team will consist of your broker, an aviation attorney, an aviation tax adviser and your aircraft manager, who can ensure these professionals are working on your behalf to structure the best arrangement possible for you. These team members will contract on your behalf for third party services such as aircraft title and lien searches, international registration, FAA registration, maintenance and completion centers for pre-purchase inspections, logbook inspections, refurbishments, etc.
Solely using your regular attorney or tax adviser to complete the transaction is not generally recommended during an aircraft acquisition due to the specialized nature of the transaction. Most corporate attorneys and CPAs are not well versed in Federal Aviation regulations and how certain advantageous tax structures can inadvertently cause you to operate illegally. Additionally, state sales and use tax can be legally avoided for many aircraft owners but precise procedures must be followed or hundreds of thousands of dollars can be put at risk. Experts who specialize in aviation tax and law should support your regular advisers for this transaction. An experienced aircraft manager can make recommendations for you for aviation transactions and structures attorneys as well as various aviation tax specialists.
When using an aircraft manager that is also a broker, you benefit from the experience of a manager who operates aircraft. For example, when obtaining operating cost information, an aircraft broker will provide you with a generic operating cost report prepared by a third party, typically Conklin and de Decker. While these reports are excellent representations of average operating costs for a model’s fleet as they compare to other aircraft, they don’t accurately portray the actual operating expenses you can expect with your exact aircraft. For example, the maintenance expenses on a year 2000 model aircraft will be quite higher than the maintenance costs on the exact same model aircraft that is ten years newer. An experienced aircraft manager is aware of the differences and can provide more precise operating figures.
Additionally, an aircraft manager that is accustomed to overseeing maintenance events will be an asset as the aircraft begins its pre-purchase inspections. A broker is concerned with completing a transaction, whereas the aircraft manager who will be responsible for the ongoing operation of the aircraft after closing will be concerned about reliability of the aircraft chosen and its maintenance history.
An experienced aircraft manager will ensure your transaction runs smoothly and will keep your best interests in the forefront of your acquisition team’s minds.
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