Sometimes it pays!
Elliott Aviation Aircraft Sales Manager
In our previous articles we talked about the technical side of our deals; now it is time for a discussion about the power of relationships. Dealer/Brokers thrive on repeat business from our core customer base. We all need new customers to keep our database alive but we must nurture relations with customers who have already used our services. As our client’s needs change, we need to be willing to adjust, stay intelligent and supportive.
I spent my first 16 years in the Aircraft Sales business with a full-service dealership. Our sales team represented a full line of new piston through turboprop products and enjoyed a large protected territory. We had the backing of an MRO division that grew to several OEM Authorized Service Centers. We were stocking dealer and did our own demos, deliveries and often customer training . This offering was ideal for many owners as they had local and complete support as they moved up the product line.
In the late 90’s I met an owner of a cabin-class single who was ready to move up and purchased a new twin turboprop. He would base with us and be a perfect customer… buying airplanes, hangar, fuel and maintenance. My company was happy with the deal and also happy to tell me that I would personally be doing the 200 hrs of transition training that the insurance company had decided to require. It was immediately obvious he was excellent pilot, fun to fly with and the mission was complete in four months.
The next two years went smoothly with his ownership experience and he was ready for the next logical transition to a light jet. He was a new airplane buyer and the OEM we were representing did not have a single pilot jet to offer. I painfully sat on the sideline while he bought a new airplane from the competition. We still had a fuel customer but had lost the sales and MRO business.
Interestingly, it became evident that the new jet service center being 200 miles away was very inconvenient, especially compared to the on-field service that he had become accustomed to with our product. My company was supportive of my idea to provide shuttle service to and from the competition’s facility, as needed. Yes, it was usually a piston airplane but it was a ride and he was very appreciative. This offer of support proved key, since after two years, our OEM had a single-pilot jet to offer and the customer was ready for an upgrade. We participated in the new delivery, got our local facility MRO Factory Authorization for the new jet and sold the trade!
The decision to think outside the box and offer the extra support with this client proved to be very worthwhile. He has provided countless referrals and has personally owned eight airplanes, bought two for his company and had us involved in 13 transactions. Without the decision to offer the support when he went with the completion it would have most likely ended with just the one sale. We have remained loyal to each other and that’s a win-win.
Jim Odenwaldt has extensive flying and technical experience with all Beechcraft products and sales expertise with all models of Hawker/Beech, Citation and Gulfstream. After graduating from Embry-Riddle in 1989, Jim worked as a CFI and maintenance technician. While with American Beechcraft Company, he was responsible for aircraft sales in the mid-Atlantic region. In addition to his ATP, Jim is an A&P and type rated in the Beechcraft Premier.
Elliott Aviation is a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company offering a complete menu of high quality products and services including aircraft sales, avionics service & installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair & overhaul, paint and interior, charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, they have facilities in Moline, IL, Des Moines, IA, and Minneapolis, MN. The company is a member of the Pinnacle Air Network, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA).
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world's best race pilots in a pure motor-sport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes, pilots navigate a low-level aerial track made up of air-filled pylons. Now the race is set to return in February 2014 with a full seven-race World Championship taking place in six different countries – in the U.S. they will take place in Dallas/Fort Worth on September 6th and Las Vegas on October 11th, 2014. It’s return was announced at the Putrajaya Maritime Centre in Malaysia on October 8th.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championship comes to Las Vegas in October, 2014.
There have been several improvements, including standard engines and props for all pilots, changes to the pylons for safety, and a few rule changes. A new highlight is the Challengers Cup, giving pilots who qualify experience racing on the tracks.
Reigning champion Paul Bonhomme of Britain won the last two competitions in 2009 and 2010, and he will be seeking a third-straight win in the 2014 competition.
For more information on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, click here.
UPDATE - Tickets are now available through RedBullAirRace.com, Ticketmaster.com, lvms.com, texasmotorspeedway.com and in person at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway box office (800-644-4444) and Texas Motor Speedway box office (817-215-8500).
inter airport Europe 2013 will open its doors from October 8 – 11, 2013 at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany. For this year’s show, exhibition organizers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, announce a record number of exhibitors and a record floor space. More than 630 exhibitors from 37 countries will present their innovations at the 19th International Exhibition for Airport Equipment, Technology, Design & Services. The exhibition range covers all areas of airport planning, design and operation. Solutions for aircraft, passenger and cargo handling, security, airport IT, architectural components as well as Ground Support Equipment will be on display.
"A 10% increase in floor space and 4% more exhibitors compared with the previous exhibition reflect the general recovery of the airport industry. While passenger numbers in growth regions such as Asia have continuously increased over the past two years, passenger figures in Europe have remained static for quite a long time. Now the forecasts predict that the economic situation for the European airport industry will pick up again. Furthermore, the worldwide cargo market is currently also showing first signs of recovery", says Nicola Hamann, Show Director inter airport Europe, on behalf of the organizers, Mack Brooks Exhibitions.
Innovations for all areas of the airport
inter airport Europe, the leading exhibition for the international airport industry, is considered an important barometer for the economic situation of the industry branch as well as for technical innovations. Once again, the exhibitors will showcase new and enhanced products and services to improve the handling processes at airports and make airports more secure, more efficient and more environmental-friendly. From energy-efficient baggage handling solutions to high-speed explosives detection systems and environment-friendly de-icing equipment, there will be a wide range of innovations on display. Visitors can look forward to a large number of live demonstrations and expert exchange about the advantages of new and enhanced products.
Four exhibiting companies will receive the inter airport Europe Innovation Award for their technical advancements. During the official Opening and Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 8 October 2013, at 11 a.m., in the entrance area of the exhibition, prizes will be awarded in the four exhibition categories interRAMP (ground support equipment), interTERMINAL (technical terminal installations and services), interDATA (specialized hard and software) and interDESIGN (architecture and furnishings). Award winners have been selected by an international panel of industry experts.
The exhibition website features extensive information about the exhibition and its exhibitors. The online show planner is a useful tool for visitors to plan their visit to the show. The online show preview includes profiles and product descriptions of hundreds of exhibiting companies. A personalized show preview can be created by choosing the relevant exhibition categories.
Smartphone users are able to access the official app for inter airport Europe 2013 from www.iae2go.com. The up-to-date exhibitor list, the conference program and the Show Daily can be accessed here as well.
Travel, opening hours, entrance tickets
inter airport Europe 2013 will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Centre, occupying halls B5 and B6, directly linked with the spacious outdoor area for the presentation of large-scale exhibits such as de-icers, push-back tractors, snow sweepers and fire fighting vehicles. Entrance to the show will be entrance Ost (East) of Munich Trade Fair Centre.
The venue is easily accessible by air, road and public transport. Shuttle buses will be running from Munich International Airport at regular short intervals throughout the day.
inter airport Europe 2013 will be open from Tuesday, 8 October 2013, to Thursday, 10 October 2013, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Friday, 11 October 2013, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Entrance tickets are available at a favorable price via the online ticket shop on inter airport Europe website. Price for a day ticket via the online ticket shop is € 37; for a season ticket € 57; the on-site price of a day ticket is € 47; for a season ticket € 67.
This is a continuation of my article on the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend. To see Part 1, click here.
We moved over to a beautiful little Cessna 172L Skyhawk, and chatted with its owner Keith Mountain. Keith, a native Australian, stateside for 35 years now, still has a strong hint of an accent that sets him apart from the Kentucky twangers (like myself at times). He explained that he has owned this Skyhawk for about three years – he sought it out for the 180hp constant speed prop conversion, plus the fact that both windows open. The latter was important for him since he does a lot of aerial photography.
Keith grew up with flying, as the farms where he worked frequently used cropdusters in the fields. When we joined the Australian army, he worked with C130s, Bell 212s and Caribous. He got all his ratings 25 years ago when he was considering a career in aviation.
Finally, we chatted with Jerry Depew from Knoxville, and his son Jeremy Hunt. They flew in with their Bonanza 35 C-model V-tail – Jerry joked that they were both "built in the same year – 1951". His Bonanza still has the original 185/205 hp engine, and has only replaced the glass and cylinders – other than a major overhaul, it’s a stock airplane. He’s owned it the same amount of time he’s been married – 17 years. "I asked her permission and she waivered. I thought about it, but kept her anyway!"
When I asked about what got him interested in flying, it was a family affair for him as well. "My father had an airplane, so when I was first flying I couldn’t see out of the windows! I could only see the ground when he turned left base or left for final."
Jerry also shared how he got his first job in aviation. "I just got my driver’s license – since I loved aviation, my first drive was to the airport. The pilots that hung out there asked if I was there to apply for the job. ‘What job?’ was my reply. They needed a lineman, and I asked what they do. So I spoke with the man in charge and got the job. I wound up endorsing my paychecks over to a flight instructor and got my license that year."
Jerry, the editor of the Knoxville EAA newletter, also enjoys collecting aviation stories like me, and shared a gem he heard from Peter Koza in Louisville. "Flying is NOT expensive. The cost of therapy and anti-depressants ARE expensive! Besides, if you take anti-depressants, you have no medical to fly, no libido, no sex, and then you are REALLY depressed!"
Enjoy these additional photos from the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend!
The weather was perfect this weekend for a countryside drive from Louisville to the Falls of Rough. There, at Rough River State Park’s airport (2I3) was the 39th annual Kentucky EAA Sport Aviation Weekend, where pilots and aviation enthusiasts from Kentucky and surrounding areas to get together for the weekend. Activities, beyond the typical aircraft sightseeing and meeting old friends (or making new ones), included a poker run, spot landing contest, a Friday night hospitality room, and a Saturday evening banquet.
When my wife and I arrived, the poker run was underway, so many pilots were in the air. But there was still about 30 aircraft of many varieties hanging around, with their pilots grabbing from brats, burgers and potato salad, and sharing their experiences. We wondered around, snapping photos and talking to a few until the batteries on my camera faded away.
Nathan Robertson was minding his parent’s 1950 Cessna 195 when I wondered over – they were off chatting with some friends. His wife was changing their baby’s diaper in the back seat, which made me wonder if a car seat in an aircraft is still called a "carseat".
While his parents, Phillip and Tia, are career commercial pilots, Nathan only recently got his license. "Growing up around aviation, I took it for granted – if I wanted to go flying, I’d just ask them to take me up. When my friends wanted to go flying, and mentioned that they wanted to be adopted by my parents so they could be taken up like that, I began to realize this was something I wanted as well. I got my license in January, plan to get all my ratings, and possibly make a career out of it myself."
We also discussed the difficulty the younger generation faces when pursuing their licenses – Nathan had an approach to consider to fast-track it. "Get books and DVDs, study and get the written exam out of the way first. That way you can just do 20-25 hours flying to save expenses. Most people, like myself, focus on flying first because it’s more fun, but that can stretch out your training time and cost. However, if you decide to make a career out of it, in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that expensive!"
Part 2 of this article can be found here. In the meantime, enjoy these additional photos!