Welcome to GlobalAir.com | 888-236-4309    Please Register or Login
Aviation Articles
Home Aircraft For Sale  | Aviation Directory  |  Airport Resource  |   Blog  | My Flight Department
Aviation Articles

Tales from the Red River Valley

by Lydia Wiff 15. March 2017 08:00
Share on Facebook

At UND Aerospace, the sense of community and family is strong among the current students and faculty, but even more so among the alumni.  My first opportunity to connect with my interviewee was through my work with the UND Air Race Classic Team when Mr. Leppke sent me a brief message relating his time in the UND Flying Club which preceded the School of Aerospace Sciences.  I have been wanting to share Mr. Leppke’s story for some time, and I was excited when he and I could exchange emails and read his tales from the Red River Valley. 

Bob Leppke, a UND alumnus, studied in John Odegard’s first aviation class.  Retired, he lives in Seattle where he enjoys his grandkids and the area’s aviation culture. 

Lydia Wiff (LW): Tell me how you ended up at UND.

Bob Leppke (BL): I grew up on a farm southwest of Carrington, North Dakota.  Prior to UND, my education included 8 years in a one room school house close to our family farm and 4 years at the Carrington High School.  In high school, I became interested in business.  Through my older brother, a UND graduate, I became familiar with the university. Because of the strong reputation of the College of Business, I decided to attend UND. 

LW: Tell me about your degree program at UND and how you got involved in the Flying Club (precursor to UND Aerospace).

BL: I selected the Business Administration BS/BA degree program in the College of Business.  I enjoyed the business curriculum especially, the courses on management.   The four years went by quickly.   Not only did I gain an education, I gained a wife two years into my college career.

In the spring of my senior year, I needed an elective to fill out the semester. I wanted something different, so I ended up enrolling in the Introduction to Aviation course.  I did not have any aviation experience but always loved airplanes. As a kid, I loved to build model airplanes and watch a neighbor fly his Piper Cub over our farm. 

It was the first time the course was offered at UND.  The class included 11 other students and was held in one of the basement rooms in the UND Law building.  I can still remember the first day.    John Odegard, our instructor gave us a summary of what he would cover and what materials we would need.  The goal of the class was to prepare students for the FAA private pilot written exam.  I did not know where it would lead, but I was thrilled with the course material and was especially impressed with John Odegard’s instruction.  I studied harder for this class than the business-related classes and it paid dividends because I ended up with an “A” and passed the FAA exam.  

Since I had to stay in Grand Forks for the summer, I talked to John about flight lessons.  I was concerned whether I would have time to complete the requirements for the PPL before I needed to leave Grand Forks for the military.  The Vietnam War was in progress and I ended up being drafted after graduation.  John laid out a schedule that convinced me I could complete the training in time.  I joined the UND Flying Club and scheduled lessons with one of the club instructors.  There is no doubt that John’s enthusiasm had rubbed off.  I could not wait to get started.  At that time the club had a Cessna 150, Piper Cherokee 180 and a Mooney.   

LW: Tell me about your flight instructors.

BL: My first flight instructor was Ann Ross Anderson. I met her at the UND Flying Club hanger and she took me on my first flight using the Flying Club’s 1967 Cessna 150 (6232S).    John Odegard’s course had already planted the desire to fly, but after the first flight, I was really hooked.  I reached around 10 hours of dual instruction when Ann told me she accepted a job with the FAA in Grand Rapids, MI and was leaving Grand Forks. During my time with Ann, I learned that she served our country during WWII as a member of the WASP’s (WWII   1942-1944 Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots).  She was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.  I was ready for my first solo but Ann felt it would be best to get started with another instructor before I soloed. 

My second flight instructor was Col. Lincoln L. White.  He was serving in the US Air Force at the Grand Forks Airbase as a B-52 navigator.  He told me many stories about his love for flying and his time in the military. Because of his military background, he expected perfection in my flying, navigation and knowledge of the airplane.  I looked forward to each lesson with him.   Thankfully, he was able to stay in Grand Forks until I was ready for the PPL check ride. 

Five days before I was scheduled to begin my US Army training at FT Lewis, WA, Col. White gave me my last review and scheduled me for the PPL check ride with Elton Lee Barnum.  After an hour and half in the air, Mr. Barnum shook my hand and said I passed.  I was thrilled and could not wait to tell my wife who was waiting in the Club hanger.   I took my wife for a short flight and then called John Odegard to thank him for all the instruction and encouragement.   I could not think of a better way to cap off my time at UND.  That night we left Grand Forks. I did not know at the time that two years later I would be back. 

LW: Tell me about your experience interacting with John Odegard.

BL: During the spring semester Introduction to Aviation class, my contact with John was primarily in the classroom.  But something was different.   His passion for aviation was rubbing off.  He made learning fun and brought a high level of enthusiasm to the class.  

After I found out that I had passed the FAA written exam, I went to his office to talk to him.  He congratulated me and asked me questions about the exam.  During the discussion, he expressed a disappointment that a number of students had failed the exam.  He told me that he felt he had not included some topics in his instruction.  He did not blame the students.  It was after I completed the course that I started to have more contact with John. His help in getting me started on flight lessons was greatly appreciated.  The relationship changed from instructor to mentor.    

During my second year in the Army, I found out that I could get discharged two months early if I went back to college.  The timing was excellent because I could leave the Army with just enough time to start a fall semester.  I had been in contact with John Odegard during my time in the Army and learned that he was able to implement curriculum for a full aviation administration major within the School of Business.  After some back and forth mail and encouragement from John I decided to return to UND. 

I left Ft Lewis, Washington August 15th, my last day in the Army and returned to Grand Forks.   It was great to see the expansion of the aviation program.  John had also managed to obtain two new Cessna 150’s. I enrolled in 24 semester hours of junior and senior-level aviation courses over the 70-71 school year.  The classes included Advanced Aeronautics, Air Transportation, Airline Operations, Airport Management, Advanced Instrument, Intro to Air Traffic Control, and Aerospace Law.  I also enrolled in one Advanced Aero Lab and flew 44 hours toward a commercial license.  Classes were held in the rooms on the first floor of Gamble Hall.   John’s office was located next to the classrooms. 

It was like coming back home.   I ended up have both John Odegard and Mr. Barnum for instructors.  John taught the airport management class.   I remember two projects that I worked on, one was picking an airport and writing a paper about it.  I picked the new Houston International Airport in TX.  I also built a model of one of the terminal buildings.  The second study was on airport snow removal.   One milestone during the class was John taking us on a tour of the Winnipeg Airport in the UND DC 3.  (No Passports, customs.  Can you imagine what it would take today) It was my first and only ride in a DC3.   Mr.  Barnum taught the Advanced Instrument course.  There were new instructors teaching the other courses.   One instructor would fly to Grand Forks from North Central Airlines in Minneapolis.   He would later open the door for me to interview with North Central Airlines.

Things had changed at the airport.  UND had a small trailer used as a pilot lounge on the west side of the large Quonset hanger. The airport was now controlled by a tower.   The Cessna 150s were tied up outside the Quonset. The DC 3 was parked inside the Quonset.  They also had a maintenance shop in the Quonset and had one mechanic on staff.

As I was getting close to the end of the 1971 spring semester I started looking for a job in aviation.  John helped by creating a booklet with information about those of us that were completing the major.   He also helped arrange an interview at Republic Airline in Minneapolis.   

Through the years I have always been grateful for John’s impact on my life during those years at UND.   John’s approach to learning and pursuit of excellence was a major help during my career in software engineering and IT.   The fact that John is the only classroom instructor that I remember from my college days tells a lot. 

LW: Where did you end up after graduation and where are you at today?

BL: After adding the Aviation Administration major to my degree I left Grand Forks to look for a position in Airline management.  It was bad timing because the airline industry was in one of its deepest recessions.   I needed work so I fell back on my business major and ended up with an IT management position in Chicago.   I stayed in Chicago for 10 years and then moved to Boston where I managed a software engineering group. After 14 years in Boston I moved to Seattle to work as an IT Project Management Professional until I retired in 2010.

LW: What are some important lessons you learned at UND?

BL: One of the lessons I learned while at UND was to set goals and be persistent in pursuing the goals.  It is interesting that after all the business courses it was the aviation training that added the most valuable aspects in pursuing a successful career.  Being a pilot there is structure and discipline that you learn that is so important in life.   It also is a great confidence builder.   Every time I was faced with something difficult in my career, I would think back to my aviation days at UND.

LW: What have been some of your networking experiences with UND alumni? 

BL: In my business travels, I started to run into aviation graduates and loved to share those early days of aviation at UND with them.  I have enjoyed the Alumni get-together in Seattle where I have met a number of UND aviation graduates.  Through my 40 year career in IT and Software Engineering, I told countless people about the program.  My co-workers in Chicago, Boston, and Seattle all heard about UND Aviation.  If I ran into anyone looking for a career in aviation, I always directed them to UND.

I noticed as the years went by that more people, especially those connected to aviation, knew about the aviation program at UND.   In 2010 I got to know the CEO of Alaska Airlines.   He talked about hiring from UND.   I also have found out that some of the graduates from the air traffic control program are now working in Seattle.

LW What is your advice to UND students and recent graduates?

BL: Do not be afraid to take risks.  Try new things.   All your experiences are building blocks in your career path.  With hard work, you will find success in all that you do.

LW: What’s one thing you’ll always take away from UND?

BL: I have always been proud to have my degree from a university in my home state.  It was a solid stepping stone to start a career.  The aviation training was a plus in that it gave me confidence that I could do new things.  I accomplished more than I could have imagined than when I started college at UND.  Most of this I owe to the aviation training and my relationship with John Odegard.

I have always enjoyed the statement from Leonardo da Vinci.  I have displayed it in my offices over the past 45 years.  Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”   Leonardo da Vinci

 

 Image courtesy of Bob Leppke.

Tags:

Aviation History | GlobalAir.com | Lydia Wiff | UND

The Top 10 Business Jets

by Lydia Wiff 15. January 2017 08:00
Share on Facebook

It’s hard to believe that just over 100 years ago, flying was just a pipe dream.  We’ve come a long way and now aviation has a part to play in many industries and has become its own segment of the aerospace industry.  “Business aviation” refers to any aircraft that are used in furtherance of a business.  According to the National Business Aviation Association, business aviation contributes approximately $150 billion to economic output and employs at least 1.2 million people (NBAA.org).  While only about 3% of the 15,000 registered business aircraft are flown by Fortune 500 companies, the rest belong to varying sizes of for-profit and not-for-profit companies all over the United States – this includes universities, local and federal government, and other businesses. 

Arguably, the future of aviation is business aviation and Globalair.com has their top ten picks for business aircraft backed up by several years of experience in aircraft sales. 

#10: Gulfstream 550 (G550)

If there is one company that evokes luxury in their aircraft, Gulfstream Aerospace has to be it.  The sleek frame of the G550 cuts through the air at 0.80 Mach using two Rolls-Royce BR710 engines with a max cruising altitude at 51,000 feet.  This luxury jet can be configured up to 19 passengers and sleeps 8 comfortably.  If you’re looking to escape the cares of everyday life easily, or reach your international group in England, the G550 has a range of almost 7,000 nautical miles (nm).

While it boasts a comfortable ride for passengers (a cabin over 40 feet long), pilots aren’t soon forgotten with the state of the art PlaneView™ flight deck featuring some of the most advanced avionics known in existence.  The flight deck features four liquid crystal displays for your flight crew with easy software upgrades making it compatible to your flight department, no matter how big or small.  Additionally, a Head-Up Display (HUD) is included in the G550 that projects flight data in the pilot’s forward-looking field of vision.  In times of reduced or obscured vision, such as inclement weather, the Enhanced Vision System (EVS) uses infrared technology to capture what the pilot cannot see – runway markings, taxiways, and other terrain are now visible in poor weather conditions.

According to the NBAA, the G550 has the reliability of 99.9% -- this means out of five years of service, you will only miss one trip (Gulfstream.com).  In a world where time equals money, this is a statistic to get behind.

#9: Gulfstream 200 (G200)

The little brother to the G550, the G200 had its first flight on Christmas Day in 1997 and was later released in 1999.  While Gulfstream no longer produces the G200, it doesn’t keep it from being a popular used aircraft.  It was originally named the “Astra Galaxy”.

Like most Gulfstream aircraft, the G200 boasts a large cabin size that can hold to 18 passengers, but typically configured for 8-10 passengers.  Unlike the Rolls-Royce engines, the G200 runs on two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306A turbofans producing a maximum cruise spend at 0.80 Mach, similar to the G550.  While it has approximately the same cruising speed, the G200 has almost half the range at 3,400 nm at 45,000 feet which makes it a perfect aircraft for domestic flights here in the U.S.

From this description, the G200 can be seen not only as a predecessor to the G550, but the smaller, less expensive version of the G550.  The G200 is an excellent aircraft for a business that does mostly domestic flights.

#8: Hawker 4000

Taking a break from the Gulfstream family, the Hawker 4000 hails from Beechcraft which is owned by Textron Aviation – the parent company to Cessna and others.  Produced from 2011 to 2013, the Hawker 4000 was quickly realized as the top jet product by Beechcraft.

A worthy competitor to the G200 as well as slightly newer, it can seat up to ten people (14 maximum) and has average of 6 feet of standing room in the interior cabin.  It cruises at 45,000 feet with a range of 3,445 nm and 870 km/hr.  A common identifier of the Hawker 4000 is the hawk profile painted in tan on the tail section.

If you’re currently in the G200 as an airframe, a newer and comparable version would be the Hawker 4000.

#7: Hawker 800XPi

A predecessor to the Hawker 400 is the Hawker 800 which was first produced in the early 1980s.  A later version of the Hawker 800 was the XP and XPi which was most notable by the addition of winglets.

Like the previously mentioned aircraft, the 800XPi is similar in size when it comes to passenger capacity and length.  The maximum speed in cruise is 745 km/hr while its range is the shortest out of the group at just under 2,000 nm and has a service ceiling at 41,000 feet.  However, it’s rate of climb is nothing to sneeze at – 1,948.8 feet/minute!

#6: Citation Sovereign

We now switch gears back to the Textron company to that of Cessna and the Citation Sovereign.  This particular aircraft is classified as a mid-size business jet and at the time of its introduction in 2004, the third largest in the Citation line (weight-wise).

A unique feature of the Sovereign is its ability to take off and land in short distances which is unusual in a business jet.  For corporations and private companies, this becomes a valuable feature for plants and factories situated in small towns with short runways.  Not only does the Sovereign get you there fast (848 km/hour), but it also is considered a transcontinental aircraft with a range of over 3,000 nm.

#5: Falcon 2000

In our plethora of business aircraft manufacturers, we come to Falcon (birds of prey do make good names).  Dassault Aviation is a French aircraft manufacturer that can be seen as a fairly healthy competitor to Textron’s companies as well as Gulfstream.  Probably the most notable of the Falcon line are the aircraft that have three engines, however, the 2000 is the one of the older models in the line with just two engines.

Like other aircraft in its class, the 2000 has comparable speed as well as range which is 3,000 nm.  The impressive thing about the 2000 is its ability to climb to 37,000 feet in just nineteen minutes – that’s just over 1,900 feet/minute!

#4: Challenger 605

We’ve finally come to our last brand name in jets (although not our last pick) which is that of Challenger.  It’s one of the few non-American manufactures and actually is produced by Canadair which you might recognize as the manufacturer of the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ).  Coincidentally, Canadair is an independent company that is also a division of Bombardier Aerospace – famous for its Bombardier Business Jets, or BBJs, among others.

The Challenger 605 is the fourth aircraft in the 600 series which dates back to the late 1970s.  The 605 was introduced in 2006 as an upgrade to the 604.  Some new features included larger cabin windows, updated Rockwell Collins instrumentation and the capability of holding an “electronic flight bag”.   The most distinct visual feature is the rounded tailcone.

The 605 is comparable in size to the previously discussed aircraft, but is one of the fastest at 870 km/hour and a range close to 4,000 nm.

#3: Challenger 300

The Challenger 300, at first glance, can easily be confused with the Challenger 600 series which is not the case.  Unlike the 600 series, the 300 is recognized as a Bombardier (parent company of Canadair). 

It entered commercial service in early 2004 and is considered a super-mid-size jet.  This basically means it’s very comparable to all the other aircraft discussed, but has greater range capability.   The 300 has a range of approximately 5,700 km and caps out at 45,000 feet.  

#2: Gulfstream IV-SP (GIV-SP)

We’re back in the Gulfstream family (popular for a very good reason)! The GIV-SP is very comparable to other Gulfstream products, but represents the fine-tuning that the Savannah-based company did to improve their product line.

For instance, Honeywell advanced flight deck displays, electrical power generation, cabin temperature control and pressurization were added to this particular model.  Additionally, improved Automatic Power Unit (APU), flap system, redesigned landing gears, and other systems were improved in this particular model.

#1: Gulfstream 650 (G650)

Quite possibly my favorite Gulfstream is that of the G650.  Sleek, shiny, and the largest of the Gulfstream family, this aircraft has the ability to take you just about anywhere.  True to the company’s tagline for this aircraft, “Farther faster, first of its kind,” the G650 more than lives up to its standard.

It has done just that with a maximum range of 7,000 miles (you read that right), and an operating speed of 0.925 Mach.  It also has the heaviest takeoff weight at almost 100,000 pounds (that’s a lot of golf clubs, or fuel).

Besides the G650 being visually stunning, the wingspan is the most noticeable at approximately 100 feet which is nearly as long as the aircraft itself.  It also features the most advanced avionics developed by Gulfstream – the PlaneView™ II flight deck.  Like the G550, it has four displays with the EVS, HUD, Synthetic Vision as well as fly-by-wire technology which is computer-controlled and highly redundant – this is advanced as the technology gets.

A Clear Winner?

While Globair.com has their favorite picks which have proven to be popular among used aircraft owners, be sure to do your research when it comes picking the business jet that works for your company.  Remember to read our tips about purchasing an aircraft – while focused on single-engine aircraft, there are some excellent tips to consider.  However, you might want to consider going to a jet broker when it comes to your business needs.

Hopefully you now have a better idea of the common business aircraft on the market – just remember to save your pennies as these sleek, used aircraft run anywhere from $6.4 to $52.9 million!

 

Searching for your next private jet? Click here to visit Globalair.com’s listings. 

 

 

Tags:

Aircraft Sales | Aviation Technology | Flying | GlobalAir.com | Aircraft For Sale | Lydia Wiff | NBAA

Job Hunting 101

by Lydia Wiff 1. January 2017 08:00
Share on Facebook

As a new year has just begun, some of our readers might be considering a new job or a career change.  I’ve been in the process of job searching and applying as my graduation date is just around the corner and naturally I’ve been thinking about the subject a lot.  This week’s post will focus on some tips on preparing your application and for an interview.

The Application

I recently went through the University of North Dakota’s (UND) Aviation Capstone as part of finishing up my Bachelor studies and we had a few weeks of class activities surrounding the idea of career preparation.  A professor I had in class on several occasions came in as a guest lecturer and spends time outside of his classes as a counselor to individuals who are searching and applying for jobs.

One of the things he stressed the most was making sure that an application was completely filled out when applying.  Leaving blank areas can invite more questions than necessary, but could possibly put a person’s application at the bottom of the stack.  Potential employers need to know you can follow through on a task, so an application is a good place to see if you can read directions and completely fill out a form.  In the aerospace field, you’ll have to do a lot of paperwork and forms, so an application is a good place to start when evaluating a potential job candidate.

Another point he made was to be as thorough as possible when providing information.  For instance, in the airport industry you often have to go through a background check that can go back as far as five to ten years.  While this is a painstaking process, providing as much information as possible makes the process go much smoother than leaving out key details.  It can also raise some potential red flags to a future employer if they see large gaps during those time periods.

Lastly, it’s important to be entirely truthful in your responses to application questions.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but it could mean the difference from not being considered all together or getting a lot of extra questions in the interview process. 

Resume and Cover Letter

I’ve always thought of the resume and cover letter as the most important part of an application.  This is mostly because a resume provides a snapshot of work history, education, skills, etc., while a cover letter gives a snapshot of why a company should consider you as a candidate.  For those reasons, it becomes crucial piece of preparation for any possible job and should be periodically review to make sure information is up-to-date.

The resume is generally kept to one page.  Some professionals with many years of experience will often have two, or even three, pages for their resume while academic professionals, such as professors, will have a curriculum vitae (commonly known as a CV) as their resume.  It’s used most in the academic world, but contains greater detail than your average resume.  College graduates will often use a traditional resume style unless going into an academic position or some related type of job.

Important items to include are your personal information such as mailing address, email and phone number as well as your name.  The actual layout depends on your personal preference and generally includes the following items: an objective, educational degrees (who, what, where, and when), Grade Point Average (GPA), work history, as well as certifications held and personal interests or professional affiliations.

On my resume I have a section for my professional objective, Associate degree, Bachelor degree (clearly noted as in progress), honors level (if obtained), GPA, and then that section is followed by certifications I hold.  Currently, I have my Private Pilot’s License (PPL) for Airplane Single Engine Land (ASEL) as well as my High Performance Endorsement.  Eventually I plan to add certifications as I continue my training in airport operations and management.

The next section I have is work or related experience with jobs I have held in the last few years, particularly those I have held while at UND and in the Airport Management program.  The challenging thing about being limited to one page is that I may not be able to fit all of the jobs held prior to a certain date, however, those jobs are still related to my program.  While I may not be able to add it to my resume, it’s certainly something that can be worked into an interview when they ask about your previous experience.

Lastly, I have a section for my professional affiliations.  This section is sometimes used for hobbies and personal interests and give an idea of what a potential candidate does outside their normal workday.  For instance, for several years I was involved in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the US Air Force Auxiliary, so I list that on my resume as it was a significant period of time I spent in volunteer service.  However, I am inactive in CAP as of right now, so I am careful to delineate dates that I was actively serving in the program.  Oftentimes, applications will an applicant to list any volunteer service organizations, so I will use CAP if I come across such a question.

Lastly, cover letters should also be kept to one page and should be neat and to the point.  A good place to start is to write about your intentions (applying for “X” job) and a summary of your work experience.  It should also use key words that might have been in the job description and any pertinent information you may want to call their attention to.  An employer may spend 5 minutes or less on your entire application, so make it clean and to the point, but with a personal touch.  Addressing the specific person or organization in the header of the letter and salutation is also a nice touch.   As with the resume, I generally use a template I’ve created, but I also make sure to review each application and tailor the cover letter to fit each one.

The Interview & Social Media

After you’ve finished the application process, you may be fortunate enough to get called in for an interview – this could involve a teleconference, a videoconference (common these days), or an in-person interview.  While a potential employer may have an idea of you on paper, you only get one shot at an in-person impression.

My professor at UND always stressed being professional in every way when it comes not only to your work, but an interview.  Preparing for your interview a few weeks ahead of time will help not only to reduce stress, but make sure you are on track.  Preparing answers to possible technical questions for your particular line of work, or field, as well as scenario questions (“Tell me about a time…”) are a good way to prepare and get your head in the game.

Additionally, preparing what you will wear is also important.  Suits are always a must and a black or navy blue with neutral or toned-down ties, accessories, etc. are a good start.  Making sure that your personal grooming is taken care of a head of time when it comes to getting a haircut, or shaving that winter beard off (this is important to males when they interview at airlines).  Additionally, going easy on the cologne or perfume, or forgoing it altogether can possibly prevent triggering your interviewer(s) allergies during the actual interview.  Of course, don’t forget to shower or use deodorant – this isn’t college!

Preparing ahead of time will can go a long way to feeling more comfortable in the interview setting.  As always, don’t get too comfortable – good stress is helpful in keeping you on your toes and focus.

Lastly, think long and hard about your social media use.  It’s more of an issue for my generation because of the ability to quickly access the internet from our phones, tables, etc.  A good rule of thumb is if your grandma would be shocked, then it’s probably something that shouldn’t be out there.  Also, comments about the work environment, coworkers, and bosses should be avoided, especially if in poor taste.  It doesn’t matter how private your settings are – someone, sooner or later, can find it.  I’m not saying social media is a no-no, I would just be careful what you put out there in general.

One other note: you might want to consider using professional sites such as LinkedIn which are often free and can be an extension of your traditional resume.  I’ve also used it to connect with those I’ve worked with or met in the industry and a way to network professionally.  I can also use it to keep track of special projects, events, etc., that I’ve been involved with over the last several years in addition to awards and certifications earned.  More and more, potential employers are using the internet to research candidates and LinkedIn is a positive way to present your past and present professional history.  I’ve also referenced it on more than one occasion when digging back into the last several years for job applications.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully this article has been a good refresher on the job search process, but with some new twists on preparing an application.  While it’s an exciting time to be in the market looking for a job as an almost-graduate, it can also be an unnerving process.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your college adviser, professor, or friends and family when preparing. 

 

Best wishes to all those in the job market!

Tags:

GlobalAir.com | Lydia Wiff | UND

Trade Show? I Think You Mean Fun Show!

by Lydia Wiff 1. November 2016 10:00
Share on Facebook

Growing up, I always remember my dad attending trade shows for the different companies he worked for.  Now, he was an engineer, so I always assumed they were pretty boring (sorry, Dad!).  It didn’t matter if he came home with all the trade show cool swag like pens, pencils, reusable bags, hats, or stress balls (to a kid, those things are like gold).  Several years later, I have learned that trade shows, aviation ones of course, are tons of fun and the opportunities to network and learn are endless!  This post will cover a few that I have had the chance to personally attend as well.

Air Venture

What summer would be complete without a trip to Oshkosh, WI for the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) Air Venture?  I know, people don’t really think of it as a trade show, but have you really looked around when you’ve been there?

Icon is giving demos of their recreational aircraft (you can fish from it!), Cirrus is writing up orders for their new jet, and general aviation is absolutely thriving during this aviation extravaganza.  Hundreds of companies tote their wares all week in the hope they will meet new customers, see their current customers, and really just get their name out there.  9am-5pm are the show hours, but networking goes on for hours after the show is closed.

Companies like Cirrus, Piper, Pilatus, Kodiak, and many other woo their customers and new clients with cookouts, dinners, and more.  New products get shown over dinner and deals get sealed by the time the dessert menu gets passed around.  Additionally, this “trade show” features class acts from aerobatics pilots, showcases military aircraft from every era of aviation, in addition to the biggest pyrotechnic show you’ll ever see at an airport (actually, it’s probably the only one at an airport). 

I love going to Oshkosh when I have the chance and even if you aren’t working with a company, it’s a great place to network.  Just sitting at lunch one day this summer, I met a pilot who flies for SkyWest – now, tell me that Air Venture isn’t the most fun you’ll ever have at a “trade show”. 

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

The second trade show I’ve had the opportunity to attend is that of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (BACE) in Las Vegas in November 2015.  This particular trade show caters to any type of business with a corporate flight department in the United Sates and all over the world. 

I had the opportunity to attend last fall with a group from the University of North Dakota (UND).  Since we were students attending, we got a huge break in the conference fee and by that I mean it was so affordable even for a poor, college student!  All we had to do was take care of meals, flights, and lodging.  I found some fellow students from Purdue University who were members of Women in Corporate Aviation which proved to be a great networking opportunity in and of itself. 

Additionally, there were many universities that had their own booths at BACE including any company you could possibly think of.  I actually sat on one of the shuttle buses with a gentleman from Italy who worked for Pilatus – I told you it was a worldwide affair!  I also had the chance to meet those from other companies at the different booths in addition to after-hours functions.  A fun memory was going to the Las Vegas Executive Airport and looking at all of the static aircraft displays.  Gulfstream had many different aircraft on display, which is one of my favorite business jet manufacturers.

Lastly, NBAA BACE was a great way to faces to names.  I actually got to meet the owners of Globalair.com and those that had given me the blogging scholarship that year.  If I wasn’t so busy with classes, I’d be back this year promoting the scholarship!

Why Trade Shows?

You’re probably sitting there wondering why you should go to trade shows in general.  Besides the FUN aspect of trade shows, it’s important to continue to network even though you might currently be a student, or even if you are well into your career.

Last year, I had a professor that really pushed students to attend NBAA and to network in general.  In fact, many of my professors, including my adviser, always push students to get their names out there.  It doesn’t matter if it’s introducing yourself to a guest lecturer, meeting alumni, or attending trade shows.  I guess what I’m getting at here is that you never know what’s around the corner and growing your professional network only builds your contact list in addition to the possible jobs that could arise from it. 

Plus, going to these events is a great way to catch up with alumi!  I love running into people I know at these events – it makes the event that much more memorable and we get to talk about aviation (I mean, who doesn’t?).


Remember, NBAA BACE is just around the corner!

November 1-3, 2016 – Orlando, FL

Visit the Globalair.com booth – Booth 4936!

Tags:

GlobalAir.com | Aircraft For Sale | Lydia Wiff | NBAA | UND

So You Want To Insure Your Plane...

by Lydia Wiff 15. October 2016 10:00
Share on Facebook

Imagine yourself here: you’ve finally saved enough to buy that beauty of a Cessna 172. You have got your pre-buy done, the loan paperwork finished and the delivery to your home airport all arranged.  You suddenly remember that you need insurance, but realize you have no clue if aircraft insurance works the same as car insurance.  Today’s post is designed to give readers an idea of how aviation insurance works – you’ll see that aviation insurance is similar to your car, but also very different. Before I give you the low-down on aircraft insurance works, it’s important to get a little history.

A Brief History 

After World War I, we begin to see the emergence of the civil aviation industry which goes hand in hand with the aviation insurance industry.  Post-war brought a surplus of war aircraft which were then either dumped into the market for pennies on the dollar.  An aircraft which had previously cost the government, such as $17,000 for a Curtiss Jenny, was being sold in the open market for as little as $50 – I don’t know about you but I’d buy an airplane right now if a Cessna was that cheap!

Former military pilots all over the country were buying these cheap planes up using them for a variety of civil aviation activities such as barnstorming (trick flying), crop dusting, mail delivery, passenger transport, and more.  As one can imagine, these new civil aviation activities added a whole new risk for insurance companies and often resulted in crashes for a variety of reasons.  Companies were ill-equipped to handle this new risk and many saw a significant loss as a result.

However, one company rose to the occasion, despite an almost certain loss, and Travelers Insurance Company became the first to announce a comprehensive program specifically for air risks in 1919.  Travelers wrote lines of insurance primarily for maintenance, operation, and the use of an aircraft for private and commercial operations.  Several lines were included in the program including: life insurance, accident insurance for owners and pilots, trip accident ticket insurance, Workers’ Compensation insurance, and public liability and property damage insurance.  While Travelers was the first to offer these lines of insurance, it’s important to note that they did not include lines for damage to the actual aircraft (this is referred to as hull coverage). 

Over the next few years, which Travelers anticipated to be a period of profit, the company ceased to exist in 1931 after being in business for 12 years.  Several other companies sprung up during those first years after Travelers made their foray into aviation insurance.  As the aviation insurance industry stabilized, companies that exist still today started to appear such as United Sates Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG), the Associated Aviation underwriters (AAU), and the Aero Insurance Underwriters (AIU).  With several new companies in the U.S. market and an abundance of accidents during the early years, companies began to look for ways to spread the risk so that losses were not so significant. 

Group Approach, the Law of Large Numbers, & Reinsurance

As many new companies were entering the aviation insurance industry, it was discovered there was a more economical way to do business in addition to spreading the risk.  Individual companies were taking huge losses when a claim was filed because of the damage to aircraft and property as well as the deaths of those involved.

The “Group Approach” was created with the intent not only to spread the risk between many companies but also to spread the profit between those same companies.  The founders of the group approach did considerable research in Europe (a country with a more developed aviation insurance industry) and found that indemnification (making a party whole after a loss) could be handled safely only by employing the group approach.  This new method of the group approach also brought about the synonymous concept of the “Law of Large Numbers” – the risk and profit are spread over a large number of companies which allows for a much more stable aviation insurance industry.

Another approach used to stabilize the insurance industry was the approach of “reinsurance”.  In the early days of insurance, a devastating fire threatened to bankrupt several of the local insurers and it was quickly discovered that insurance companies themselves needed to be insured against such catastrophic losses.  What began as a way to protect insurance companies became the essential element of aviation market supporting major airlines, airports, and even space risks.  Aviation insurance can be similar to auto insurance (premiums, liability, etc.), however there are some key differences that are important to know about. 

Direct Writers, Brokers, Underwriters & Policy Term Length

Recently I bought a new car.  To add it to my insurance, all I did was call up my insurance agent at State Farm® and give the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, year, and the accident history.  I opted for full coverage since it was a much newer car than I had owned previously and in a matter of minutes I had a binder (temporary insurance policy) ready for me at the office to pick up so that I could use my new car.

State Farm® is a great example of what is known as a Direct Writer.  A direct writer gives a you an aircraft policy option through their company, just like an auto insurance agent.  There is actually only one company that currently issues policies this way –  the Avemco Insurance Company.   This company is actually very popular with private owners of aircraft in general aviation, airports and Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs).  It can be argued that Avemco gives the best deal as they directly write their own polices, which brings me to the concept of insurance brokers.

Insurance brokers (as well as agents) are the middle men between insurance companies and people looking for insurance.  Brokers work for a commission (percentage) of the premium and work with certain companies to find the best policy for their client much like aircraft brokers look for the best buyer for their clients’ aircraft.  When they gather a list of different policies, they take them back to their client for comparison and selection.  Agents are a representative of an insurer and have delegated authority to act on behalf of their company.  Insurance agents, however, are often certified as both an agent and a broker.

An important item for novice plane owners to know is that the policy term is much different than that of auto insurance.  For instance, if you have auto insurance, you are probably set up for auto-renewal.  You pay your bill every month, every 6 months, etc., and your coverage continues along.  However, when it comes to aircraft insurance, a policy must be reviewed every year – this means that Avemco, your agent, or broker will be giving you a call to re-write your policy contract.  While this may be slightly annoying to you, it is actually in your best interest as it allows the company to revisit you and the aircraft and see what has changed in the last year.  The assumption is that risk has changed at some point whether that relate to you as the pilot or the aircraft itself.

Closing Thoughts

Prior to a few months ago, I actually could not have told you the differences between auto and aviation insurance.  Since then I have been taking a class about aviation insurance and learning that it is a lot more complex that I originally thought.  I’m not sure when I’ll be able to insure an aircraft at this point, but just learning about it will only help me to become a more informed consumer.  Hopefully that is the case for my readers as well!

Works Cited

Brandon Wild, Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota, Aviation Insurance, Lecture, Fall 2016.

Wells, A., & Chadbourne, B. (2007). Introduction to aviation insurance and risk management. Malabar, Fla: Krieger.

Images courtesy of Google Images.

Tags:

GlobalAir.com | Aircraft For Sale | Lydia Wiff | UND



Archive



GlobalAir.com on Twitter