Texas-based aircraft brokerage Charlie Bravo Aviation has launched an online aircraft buying course aimed at helping novice aircraft owners and operators navigate the complex and potentially turbulent process of private aircraft ownership.
“Buyers are changing,” said company CEO Rene Banglesdorf. “Fifteen years ago when I started in the business, it was all about picking up a telephone and building a relationship. Today potential buyers and potential users of private aviation are doing a lot of research online before they ever engage with a company.”
Known as Clear Skies, the program is free to the company’s aircraft purchase contract customers, while non-customers are charged $5,000 for a two-year subscription to the web-based course. The program comes with transcripts of all the videos, all five of the company’s segmented buying guides, a calculator for estimating operating costs and quarterly market reports on specific models. Clear Skies Lite, consisting solely of the first module covering fractional and jet card program options, costs $500.
Aircraft Buying 101, as the course is also known, consists of eight hours of video, broken down into six modules, each divided into three to five lessons, which can be accessed as needed. The user does not have to venture through the entire course.
The course covers the knowledge useful for anyone considering purchasing a private aircraft, ranging from assessing the mission before beginning the selection process, to financing and leasing options, to weighing the advantages of new and pre-owned, even to selecting a qualified aviation attorney and what to look for in a pre-purchase inspection location. Other elements examine setting up a 1031 exchange, choosing the proper management company and the ramifications of allowing others to use your aircraft.
“I’m hearing stories about people having bad experiences with private aviation, getting taken advantage of because they have money, or just making a mistake because they didn’t know all of the steps about buying an aircraft or all the things they need to consider,” Bangledorf told AIN.
The program helps users determine whether they are better served by buying an aircraft or by pursuing other options. “I want people to have a successful experience with private aviation,” said Banglesdorf.
Banglesdorf acknowledges that in its present form the course is “fairly U.S.-centric,” but she plans to expand its geographic reach in later versions, as well as update it as information becomes outdated.