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Gordon Ramsay and Daniel Christman, Lone Mountain Aircraft Sales

The fourth quarter was robust across the boards for general aviation aircraft. For the first time in a long time, the aggregate numbers indicate a seller’s market. The marketplace continues to outpace anything we’ve seen in the last decade.

Jet Market

Both the light and mid-size jet markets are performing well. The budding pre-owned Cirrus SF50 market is also finding its stride as new sales continue to mount. Medium jets are strong, and buyers are finding they may have to spend a bit more for a low-time, pristine airplane or it will be snatched up ahead of them. On the other hand, just or near-out-of-production aircraft models are dragging down values of their older siblings as their own value edges downward. A new trend seems to be emerging with more owners keeping their aircraft and running them out, as they have now depreciated them using bonus tax incentives. Sale proceeds will cause a recapture, so some businesses are better off driving planes until they’re retired from service.

Turboprop Market

The turboprop market remains strong to end the year. PC-12s are the high dollar planes in this segment, but the market is price-sensitive. Only 5 percent of PC-12 NGs are available for sale, indicating a healthy demand. Used King Airs offer strong value now, making good demand as inventory slowly shrinks. Twin-turbine operating costs are steering some buyers to the more expensive, but more cost-efficient, single-engine turbines. Average hours flown in the heavy turboprop markets are slowly rising based on increased commercial/charter use in this segment. The TBM markets are hot, with later pre-owned (900/910) models being price-sensitive. Both TBM and Meridian are seller’s markets, each with around 6 percent of the fleet available.

Cirrus Market

Piston markets are active overall, and Cirrus is closing 2018 with a banner year. The fervor is expected to continue into 2019 with much of the year already sold in advance. Late model aircraft of all types are in high demand, and are bringing the money as long as they’re not priced out of the market. There is still a hangover from this being the first seller’s market in a long time. Those buyers who aren’t adapting quickly are missing out on the best aircraft, haggling for lower prices that are no longer available. Factory new aircraft are available in dealer inventory as the year wraps up, but with business depreciation available next year, we have lost a little bit of the end-of-year panic to spend for the write-off.

As markets continue to change, Lone Mountain Aircraft helps clients bring clarity and expertise to their side of the table. We are proud to be one of the preeminent sellers of pre-owned aircraft worldwide and offer both sales and acquisition services for all types of aircraft. Our team would love to be part of the reason behind your next success story in aviation! If you would like to be added to our TBM, Meridian, Phenom 300, Phenom 100 or SF50 quarterly reports, please email us your name and address to info@lonemtn.com.

Mark Rogers, President, Lone Mountain Aircraft

As we wrap up a record Q2 for sales at LMA, we are seeing continued optimism in the light aircraft markets. JetNet IQ just released a survey in late June showing most business aircraft operators believe the current market cycle is past the low point. Our own sales experience over the last quarter jives with this sentiment, as our units sold were a record 46 sales for the quarter. Inventories of some of the most popular models of aircraft are now at a third of the inventory of this time last year. The shrinking inventory has us returning to international markets again to find acquisition opportunities.

Contributing to the increased sales activity is the strong appetite of aircraft finance lenders for new loans. Lone Mountain Aircraft Finance has new finance offerings and competitive rates, and is proving to be a valuable resource for our clients.

Beginning in May of this year, Lone Mountain began a new model for providing detailed market data to aircraft owners. The model has been well received, and we are expanding this offering to all owners of turboprops and light jets. If you are an aircraft owner and interested in receiving our market reports, you can sign up on our website or via email at info@lonemtn.com.

Here is a quick look at what else is new:

Current Market Acquisitions: Lone Mountain is currently acquiring a King Air 350i, Phenom 100, Phenom 300, and Piper Meridian or M500 for qualified clients. Please let us know if you are considering selling or know of an available aircraft.

Vision Jet Positions: We have sold four more Vision Jet positions in Q2 of 2018 and are now selling positions that deliver in 2019. We have positions delivering as early as Q3 of 2019 with three delivery positions remaining for next year. Cirrus just delivered Vision Jet serial #54, and pilots are reporting a great customer experience and support from Cirrus. We expect Cirrus to build a total of 50 Vision Jets in 2018 and approximately 65 in 2019. On the training front, the first type-rating class offered at the new Vision Training Center in Knoxville will be held in July 2018 as training moves from In-Aircraft to simulator-based training.

Contact us today to learn more!   

Father and son duo Joe and Luke Slawek make their living adding flavor to almost every food imaginable. Now, they are spicing up the way they do business – using a new Vision Jet.

Founded by Joe in 1987 when Luke was just six years old, FONA International, Inc. uses some of the best flavor scientists in the world to create and produce flavors. It didn’t take long for the business to become recognized as a world-flavor and market solutions leader. Soon, Joe realized they would need a better solution to keep up with client demand. He decided to take FONA to the skies, although aviation was no new venture for the Slawek family.

“I used to wake up dreaming about flying,” said Luke. “At that point in time that both of my parents were glider pilots before I was born. I grew up in the family business but was inclined toward aviation, and started flying gliders when I was 14.”

While Luke was in flight school at Embry-Riddle, Joe’s passion for flying renewed when he realized the ease of a quick father-son hunting trip with a personal aircraft on hand.

“I think that is when we really understood what a time machine it is to have aircraft available,” said Joe.

Joe began considering how to utilize aviation to improve the FONA business model. He realized that unhindered flight could be the most important asset.

Joe and Luke began flying aircraft loaded with samples of FONA’s products around the country to potential clients in a Pilatus PC-12. Today, they estimate they have flown over 30 different airplanes together, falling in love with Cirrus and Beechcraft products.

Lone Mountain has assisted in a few transactions for the Slaweks. It was instrumental in the international selling of a 2012 King Air B350i to a buyer in China before acquiring a new 2017 King Air 350i for the Slaweks.

“Lone Mountain worked hard on our behalf,” said Joe. “Transactions are sometimes extraordinarily complex, especially internationally to China and other places, so we are very grateful and indebted to Mark Rogers and Lone Mountain for that service.”

Aviation turned out to be a beneficial move for the FONA business model. Last year, Joe again enlisted the Lone Mountain team to help negotiate the purchase of a brand-new Cirrus Vision Jet.

“There’s only two groups of people we really care about: one is customers, and the other is employees,” said Joe. “What the King Air and Vision Jet allow us to do for our employees is convert a two-day trip into a one-day trip.”

With an aircraft on hand, FONA is able to get products into the hands of customers on a very tight turnaround, and then get its employees back much faster. According to Joe, the shorter business trips allow FONA employees to have a steadier home life and pick up another day of productivity back in the office the following day.

Thanks to the purchase of the Vision Jet, Luke has developed a great relationship with the Cirrus team through the delivery and training phases. Joe is currently working on his type-rating for the Vision Jet.

“I have about 20 hours in it, and it is an exciting time,” said Joe.

Not only do the Slawek men use their aircraft to take care of business, but they also make time to mix in pleasure. The aircraft have transported three generations of Slaweks (and their canine companions) to fun-filled destinations like the Grand Cayman Islands.

“I think that families stay together because they have fun together,” said Joe. “It has really become a tool to have fun as a family.”

For more information on FONA International, go to FONA.com

Owner of several companies and working in consulting and private equity, Jay Vierling’s unique approach to business has proven massively effective. With a successful history of advising businesses to rapid growth, Jay quickly found that an aircraft was essential to his mode of operations.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jay first purchased a 2005 Cirrus SR22 GTS to help free him up to move between meetings, consultations, and home with his family. While the Cirrus was certainly a positive step in the right direction, in 2016 Jay found himself needing even more in order to expand operations with his company, AEV Capital. With overseas meetings and the need for more capacity, Jay started searching for something that could go further, longer, and faster than the Cirrus.

After a great deal of investigating, Lone Mountain Aircraft helped Jay find exactly what he was looking for online in a 2002 King Air C90B. There was only one problem. It was in in Léon, France.

Jay leaned on Lone Mountain President and multi-transatlantic pilot Mark Rogers in order to help make a seemingly difficult transaction a reality. Mark immediately went to work helping Jay get through the red tape and legal minutiae in order to purchase and reimport the US-made aircraft from Europe. Within only 45 days, Jay and Mark were crossing into French borders to inspect the King Air and sign the final documentation.

Once the purchase was complete, Jay began working quickly to get his multi-engine pilot’s license in order to fly the aircraft back from Europe – a daunting task for a pilot used to Cirrus’ single-engine piston. Taking it one step at a time, Jay then began studying the systems on the King Air before employing a Lone Mountain recommended professional with King Air multitransatlantic flight experience to help him get the aircraft home.

Once back in the states, Jay had another feat to tackle – the plane’s aesthetics. “It was an ugly bird,” said Jay. “We added an entire new interior, paint, and an avionics suite. It took some work, but I couldn’t be happier with the state it is in now. It fits my exact specifications.”

With time, he became comfortable with the aircraft through repetition, committing to muscle memory the correct steps with the help of mentor pilots keeping him on track. The mentorship time requirement of 60 hours went quickly according to Jay, who enjoyed the experience flying with a variety of Lone Mountain professional pilots.

Looking back on his wild journey of an international plane purchase, switching from piston to turbine, and time of mentorship, Jay concludes: “It was absolutely worth it. Having somebody lead you through the process that has been there and done it successfully, will not only save a lot of time and money, but will also potentially save you from making a bad decision.”

Jay and his wife Marielou now use the aircraft as a tool for business operations and family life, easily traveling between their two home bases in Ohio and South Carolina. The King Air has allowed Jay to secure significant deals with several clients simply because of the ability to meet with them before competitors.

Even more importantly, it has given Jay and Marielou the ability to be with those they care about most. Jay loves to fill his King Air up with his four grandchildren – or as he calls them, “flight attendants” – taking them to places they’ve never been before.

Our team of pilots at Lone Mountain Aircraft enjoy helping businessmen and women find the aircraft suitable for their day-to-day operations – no matter where it is located. For more information on AEV Capital, go to AEVcapital.com.