Corporate Aviation Articles

Title Summary
Aircraft Registration Numbers: Personalized "Plates" for Aircraft First-time aircraft buyers looking at a potential acquisition may not realize that the registration number painted on the fuselage or vertical stabilizer of the aircraft can be changed and personalized by the new owner. “Tail numbers” – the name often used when referring to aircraft registration numbers – can be chosen by an owner in much the same way as a “vanity...
Flight Department, Management Company or Hybrid? Aircraft owners have three options for managing their aircraft: hiring a management company to manage everything, including crew, maintenance, maintenance program management and insurance; creating their own flight department and handling all management tasks themselves; or selecting a customized hybrid of items a la carte for a management company to oversee. I recommend that first-time...
Upon Receipt of the Inspection Report... In most cases, when purchasing a preowned aircraft, the buyer pays for a pre-purchase inspection in order to evaluate the condition of the aircraft. A pre-purchase inspection normally consists of a complete review of the aircraft’s records and a survey of the aircraft’s current condition. Depending on the type of aircraft and, in some cases, where the aircraft has been located or...
Aircraft Ownership: Structure Matters Individuals and companies that are purchasing aircraft are often concerned about liability. When purchasing assets other than aircraft, it may make sense to set up a sole purpose limited liability company or corporation for the purpose of owning the asset in order to limit the potential liability associated with that asset. However, that is not always the case with owning and operating an...
The Buyer Financing Contingency: Worth a Seller’s Consideration When purchasing a pre-owned aircraft, a buyer, in many cases, may plan to finance some or all of the purchase price for the aircraft. If financing isn’t available through a commercial lender, the buyer may be willing to pay cash for the acquisition. But the buyer may also decide not to move forward with the purchase. In a situation in which the buyer must have financing in order to...
Why Aircraft Buyers Should Show Up for the Closing of their Purchase Deal after deal, there seem to be reasons why NOT being at the delivery location makes sense to buyers. The aircraft is going into immediate refurbishment or paint at its current location; no one is available on the day of closing to go to the delivery location; the aircraft will be flown to where the buyer is located in a few days when a crew is available; or the closing location isn’t...
Staying Friends While Sharing a Jet I often hear from my clients that, of all of the privileges in life, flying privately is the most treasured. The private jet is the time machine that allows a businessperson to schedule multiple meetings in several cities in one day (impossible to do flying commercially); attend a special family event; arrive at home in time for dinner; or depart quickly for family or business emergencies. In...
Digital Signatures NOW Accepted by the FAA Registry! Throughout my career as an aviation lawyer, I often have experienced a spike in my stress level due to an overnight package that didn’t make it to the escrow agent in Oklahoma City as expected and delayed the closing of an aircraft sale or purchase. This was sometimes caused by fickle weather, and sometimes by service issues or simple human error. Whatever the cause, in the past, the...
The "Truth" in Leasing an Aircraft in the United States One of the most common questions asked by aircraft owners is how to receive compensation when others want to use their aircraft from time to time. Under the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FARs”), private parties who do not hold air carrier certificates are not permitted to receive compensation for flights flown on their aircraft except under certain exemptions that are specifically...
Registering an Aircraft in the United States - Part 2 of 2 In the first part of this two-part series, I described in detail the citizenship requirements for an aircraft registered in the United States. However, when a prospective aircraft owner cannot satisfy the citizenship test, the most common way to register an aircraft in the U.S. is through the use of an owner trust. Owner trusts serve two main purposes: (i) allowing a person or entity that...