With an over three decade career selling new turbine-aircraft, Mark Molloy was encountering a common conundrum – clients desired a newer, more capable aircraft, but as financially prudent businessmen, they were unable to justify the expense in relation to their usage requirements. Many explored options like chartering or owning on a fractional model, but those models also reduced access, increased depreciation, and came at a higher cost.

While partnerships offered the strongest financial path, Molloy observed most ended poorly due to complications, risks and entanglements making many clients hesitant to enter one. Not to mention that finding a partner was much easier said than done. Most would-be partners want someone else to buy the airplane, so they can use it at the “great-uncle” rate.

Molloy set out to solve those issues with longtime friend and aviation marketing veteran Tom Bertels, the genesis of which became Partners In Aviation (PIA). Today, PIA offers a structured program that offers the financial advantages of a partnership with the independence, and peace of mind, that come with sole ownership.

“This is not a partnership, structurally or legally. This is managed co-ownership,” said Molloy. “Our customers fly 100 to 150 hour per year, some more, some less. Because the program is limited to two owner/ operators with a structure that incentivizes good behavior, access is comparable to sole-ownership. You fly your aircraft, on your schedule, but at half the cost.”

PIA offers a comprehensive, well-researched co-ownership agreement that differs from a partnership in four key areas — how it’s owned, how it’s shared, options for exit, and protection from default. It is designed to attract those who can afford the whole aircraft, but who would rather not. The agreements encompass the entire relationship in detail — from program entry to exit.

The company’s strategic partners include some of the best known names in aviation tax and law, as well as maintenance and management. Each match is tailored to the requirements of the owner, including the airplane, base, and crew requirements. PIA counsels, but the client chooses.

“When buying an airplane, it just makes sense to have industry experts on your side of the table,” said Molloy. “We have partnered with the strongest players in the industry, with a reputation for integrity to assist here. Lone Mountain more than meets that definition. They are an integral part of what we offer. Our core competencies compliment each other, allowing us to provide a whole new solution to our customers.”

The model also provides a scheduling system, designed around predetermined control and incentivized access, that allows coowners to have unparalleled aircraft access. According to Molloy, having availability comparable to sole-ownership has been key to the program’s success.

In addition to providing the structure, PIA also provides the match.

“We have built an organization designed to identify, vet and match highly qualified co-owners. Think of us as ‘Match-dot-Com’ for business aircraft,” said Molloy.

Our team at Lone Mountain Aircraft is impressed with the creativity and secure structure PIA provides for owners with low to medium usage requirements. It’s a new look at an old problem, and it’s one that is beginning to shift the business aviation industry one PIA Managed Co-Ownership agreement at a time. For more information on PIA, go to PartnersinAviation.com.

With the first half of 2017 in the books, it has been an exciting year so far for Lone Mountain Aircraft (LMA). As usual at this time, we are currently busy preparing for the world’s largest aviation event, the EAA Airventure Oshkosh. Kicking off July 23 in Oshkosh, Wis., Lone Mountain will have staff roaming the show grounds all week and will have our usual presence at the Cirrus booth. We hope to see you there!

Here is a quick look at what else is new:    

New Sales Team Member: Gordon Ramsay joined the Lone Mountain team in March of this year and is off to a great start with several sales already. Most recently the Piper Program Manager at Columbia Aircraft Services in Connecticut, Gordon is well-versed in high-performance piston and single-engine turboprop aircraft. As an experienced pilot with over 3,500 hours of flight time and more than 30 years of experience in aircraft sales, he is a great addition to LMA.

New Jet Type Rating: Daniel Christman earned a new jet type rating in June. Go here for more info.

Vision Jet Positions: In addition to continuing to lead the market in SR2X resale, LMA is taking a leadership role in position resale. As we have been predicting for several years, the market for Cirrus Vision Jet positions has matured and become very active now that the type certificate and production certificates have been issued. New Vision Jets are being delivered to customers and many early delivery positions have been sold to eager new owners. We’ve been excited about this new product and even more so now that several of us have time flying it. Give us a call for details on a purchase or sale of a position.

Vision Jet Factory Delivery:
LMA also recently assisted with a factory delivery of a Vision Jet, with our own Mark Stear lending his extensive experience with jet deliveries. We were involved with the delivery of serial #10, and were favorably impressed with the fit, finish and overall quality. New owners are going to love this aircraft! 

Aircraft Financing: Our bank is eager to lend and looking for more aircraft to finance. Lending terms have eased a bit over the last year as banks are competing for deals, and rates are still attractive despite recent moves by the Federal Reserve. Lone Mountain Aircraft Finance has now financed over 100 aircraft since our first aircraft loan in 2013, and we continue to innovate with more unique financing options for our buyers.