Everyone reading this knows the sophistication and complexity of the business aviation field, as well as the expensive factors involved. The cost to buy, the cost to operate, the cost to charter, the overall cost to utilize these amazing pieces of equipment. There is one more cost that could be the biggest: the cost of missing critical steps in business aircraft buying, inspecting, or operating processes. These are the details.
Lately, I have had a few aircraft brokers on the other side of a transaction say, “Wow, I wish we had found a buyer that was not as focused on the details as you all have been.” I can only scratch my head at that comment and wonder what that must look like for everyone involved.
Yes, it is true, we always have the most expansive pre-buy we can choose. Yes, we drive down into smart delivery conditions. None of these factors create transactions that are awkward or overly one-sided. They just create a demand for certainty. After all, that is what our clients pay us for.
But this demand for certainty should be a part of both sides of the transaction. The only difference is when the details become important. As aircraft sellers, we create accurate specifications that are signed off by the seller, before the marketing begins. As aircraft buyers, we have the specifications verified during the pre-buy.
As a seller, we pay close attention to the requests made by the buyer when outlining the pre-buy workscope. For us as buyers, it is never just taking a facility's standard pre-buy as sufficient. We are always looking at proximity to near-term future maintenance and being sure we are checking the optional boxes for inspecting those areas that could be near-term expensive findings. Getting this done during the pre-buy continues to give us and our clients certainty they are buying the right airplane.
There is nothing worse than a buyer missing the details as to what to inspect then having to come back to the table post completed contract and asking the seller to allow for an expansion of the inspection. Again, details and when it is critical for each side to focus on them.
Paying very close attention to the operational protocol of the proposed aircraft will give the buying side more to consider when looking at the best airplane to buy. Not realizing that, for a Part 135 operator, there needs to be a flight data recorder or a modified one capturing the correct number of parameters is one key factor a buyer must consider the details of to avoid costly surprises.
Knowing if the airplane will be flown Internationally or over water will also drive certain equipment criteria for those specialized operations. Not understanding those details could create post-closing expenses that should be considered in the original criteria for the selection of the target aircraft.
All of this is so logical for many to consider, but believe it or not is completely ignored by some. These omissions could drive a terrible and costly outcome. After all, the devil is in the details—but so are the diamonds!
Jay Mesinger is the CEO and Founder of Mesinger Jet Sales, an international aircraft brokerage firm. With 46 years of successfully buying and selling aircraft, Mesinger Jet Sales has a reputation for personalized, transparent service.