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Moving up

What to consider when purchasing your first jet

The time has come. You’re ready to be a jet owner. You’ve spent years flying your turboprop and, as sophisticated as it is, you still can’t get above weather. You also need to quickly get to more distant places, so extra speed is important. It may be time for a light jet (see “Fast Lane” ).

If you have a track record of owning pressurized aircraft with turbine engines, you’re ahead of the game. To begin, you might start out with a used jet. Eventually, you may want a newer jet with better system integration and lower maintenance costs, or at least an avionics upgrade for your used jet to ease the pilot workload.

As for financing, if you have a history of owning aircraft, it helps lenders get comfortable making a lending decision by showing them you understand how to own and maintain sophisticated equipment. Most people with prior ownership understand what they can and can’t manage.

Just keeping up with scheduled maintenance can be confusing. If you plan to make a huge jump in aircraft models and have limited ownership experience, you may want your jet professionally managed. Otherwise management may be too overwhelming for you.

What poses the greatest challenge in moving up is “skipping a step” in piloting skills. For example, going from a Cessna 172 directly to a turboprop is a big jump. More capable aircraft have systems you may never have managed before, such as complex avionics, retractable gear, pressurization, two engines, and much greater speed. This type of transition is not only challenging from a piloting standpoint, but also from a cost perspective. The one exception to this is Cirrus airplanes, where owners can safely transition from a piston-engine SR22 to the single-turbine-engine Vision Jet. Cirrus has gone above and beyond in recognizing that this challenge is significant and has therefore invested many resources to training.

AOPA Finance representatives can help you figure out if a jet is in your future.

[email protected]
800-62-PLANE (75263)

Adam Meredith

Adam Meredith

President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company
Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, is an aircraft finance professional with more than 15 years lending, small business management and customer service experience. Adam is a commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings.
Aero-Space Reports

Aero Space Reports

Sponsor of Aviation Finance
Aero-Space Reports, a third-generation family-owned business, has been a leader in the aviation title industry for more than 45 years. In that time, they’ve seen tens of thousands of aircraft purchases: They’re all too familiar with what can go wrong, and they know exactly what it takes for things to go right.