Assessing the Used Market

Midwest-based General Aviation Services is in good shape ... in a tough marketplace

“The key is timing,” he says. “The first ones to be moving will be the savvy brokers and dealers out there that have the financial capability of doing that. You’ll see them start buying stuff again.

“But for the most part you’re not seeing too many dealers buy anything unless it’s just so dirt cheap. And some of our competitors don’t have the financial capability anymore.

“Cessna Finance basically said ‘We’re done; lock the door’. I don’t think GE is doing much of anything. And if you think about it, when GE runs out of money there’s a problem.

“A lot of the major financial institutions that lend money to dealer/brokers like ourselves aren’t doing it anymore. We’re fortunate because we still have most of our credit lines available. I think the dealers and brokers that have personal relationships with smaller banks that didn’t have all their money invested in real estate and houses, are still out there and providing money for people like us.”

Duckson says that whereas financing firms were backing up to 100 percent of the purchase price, today’s credit environment demands a significant down payment. And, aircraft have to be appraised, and good appraisals are harder to get in a rapidly changing marketplace.

‘There’s an older airplane now’
Greg Duckson of General Aviation Services says an evolutionary step is occurring with certain business aircraft.

Comments Duckson, “In the last five or six years it’s gotten to where there’s an older airplane now. A lot of banks today won’t finance an airplane that’s 20 or 25 years old anymore. That’s a problem.

“The OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] would rather shed some of their older equipment, I think. Then you’ve got the older Stage 3 aircraft, the old Hawkers, the G-2s and G-3s, when things come around this time those airplanes are going to be left behind.

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