Bank of America helps member buy LSA

AOPA member Carl Houghton finances Gobosh 700/Aero AT-4

When a good friend of Carl Houghton’s was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2010 and died several months later, it was a wakeup call for him that he better get on with his own life’s goals, and that included learning to fly. After a 15-year career in the Air Force, Houghton was ready to be in the left seat, not in the back of the airplane. In short, he wanted to be the pilot.

“I was predisposed to not wanting to learn to fly in a beat-up older aircraft, so I went to Skyraider Aviation in Denver and looked at their new light sport aircraft,” Houghton said. He decided to become a sport pilot, took his checkride in April 2011, and said, “That was great, but I wanted to own, not just rent.”

He decided to buy the same model airplane that he learned to fly in, a Gobosh 700 Polish-built light sport aircraft, also designated the Aero AT-4. “I was fortunate to find a good used airplane, in Kansas, that only had 93 hours on it,” Houghton said. His next step was to investigate financing, so he made some inquiries into AOPA’s Aircraft Financing Program.

“I exchanged 10 or 15 emails with AOPA with someone very patiently answering all my questions about aircraft financing. The person was very responsive—I’d even get answers during non-business hours and on weekends,” Houghton said.

He was then put in touch with Debbie Edwards at Bank of America. According to Houghton, “She is incredible.” He related the story of discovering the day before closing that there was a mistake in the original title of the airplane, at a bank in Iowa. “I thought there was no way we could get that corrected in time for the closing the next day, but Debbie called the bank in Iowa and convinced them to correct it. She followed up after the closing too to make sure everything was OK,” he said.

“The entire experience was very positive,” Houghton said. “I was provided with the highest level of customer service.”

These days, Houghton enjoys flying with his wife to various locations for breakfast on the weekends. One of his goals for the year is to fly to EAA AirVenture in his own airplane. He said, “I flew the same model to Oshkosh this past July, but now I want to fly my own.”