Why You Need Professional Aircraft Management
May 01, 2014 | Categories: Aircraft Management, Aviation Safety, Customer Care
Owning a business aircraft is a great way to buy back your time, and it’s a convenient, efficient, extremely comfortable way to travel. However, aircraft ownership can be very hazardous in terms of safety, cost and legal compliance for the un-initiated. That’s why we recommend spending the money to have aircraft management professionals taking care of your airplane and your aviation operations as you venture down the path of aircraft ownership. If properly vetted, the right aircraft management company can more than pay for their fees through risk reduction, through cost savings and through using the untapped capacity of your aircraft for charter operations, all the while giving you the peace of mind that your airplane is a safe, compliant and productive member of your team.
We look at it like this. When you have a medical problem, you see a doctor. When you need legal advice, you consult an attorney. Why would you risk your life and your wealth by entrusting your aircraft to anyone but a proven professional aircraft management company, like Moser Aviation?
Aviation Safety is a profession in its own right and should be treated as such. It requires much more than just a pilot’s license or some basic management skills. A true aviation safety professional is educated, trained and experienced in aviation safety, and knows well that there is much more to keeping an aircraft and its passengers safe than just what happens between takeoff and landing. We liken it to an iceberg. Much as one can only see a small portion of the iceberg above the water, most people see only the tip of the iceberg respecting safety in business aircraft operations. A truly safe organization has most of its “safety mass” below the water line where it is unseen. Aircraft maintenance, crew training, operational control procedures and organizational culture to name a few all have a huge impact on the safety of an aviation operation. You need to have professionals who understand all these factors, and who are constantly evaluating and proactively managing the many aspects of aviation safety on your side in order to truly be safe.
So, how do you identify those organizations that are truly safe, and those that are just paying lip service? First, a safe operation will be spending the time, the money and investing the effort to have a third party evaluator audit their operations. Safe management companies will have a recent audit, and will be able to provide you with a copy of the report. Safe operations will be IS-BAO registered, which includes the audit, and requires an active Safety Management System (SMS). Companies that aren’t audited or who don’t have an SMS in place simply aren’t doing as much to ensure safety as those that do have one.
Aircraft are inherently expensive. It takes active management to protect the value of your investment because there are many things one can do, or simply fail to do, that will drastically degrade the value of your airplane. For instance, when an aircraft is sold, the condition of the aircraft is important, but just as important as the condition of the plane is the condition of the maintenance records. Poor records can literally cost the seller of an aircraft millions of dollars when it comes time to negotiate a deal. Additionally, the day to day operating costs can have a significant impact in your bottom line. Consider the case of a light business jet. If the aircraft is operated at a normal rate of about 400 hours per year, it will likely burn around 80,000 gallons of fuel during the year. The cost of that fuel is going to run about $5.70 per gallon, or $456,000.00 annually. Imagine if you could save just $0.25 per gallon. Over the year, that’s a total of $20,000.00. A professional management company like Moser Aviation understands all of these concerns and will work hard on your behalf to make sure your investment and your operations are protected from carelessness and inefficiency.
OFFSETTING YOUR COST OF OWNERSHIP
Even the most utilized business aircraft are often not out flying. Even though they’re not flying, many of the associated expenses continue to accrue. That’s why we recommend that our clients make their aircraft available for charter flights when they aren’t using them. Allowing your aircraft to do charter flights can drastically reduce your operating costs, often creating a situation where you’re only paying a small percentage or possibly none of the fixed operating costs associated with your plane. The rest is being paid for by charter clients. Given the right conditions, it’s even possible to make enough money to pay a portion of the acquisition costs. The FAA however limits the legal ability to fly charter flights to those companies that the FAA has certified as an air carrier. In order to legally fly your aircraft for hire, it must be operated by a company that is certified under part 121 or part 135 of the FARs, like Moser Aviation.
Aviation is one of the most highly regulated industries in the nation and the world, and rightly so, because the consequences of poor operating practices can quite literally be deadly. Consequently, the legal compliance of an aviation operation can be a minefield for those that don’t operate in it every day. Many things that seem on the surface to be legal, can actually get you into hot water with the government. For instance, if you utilize your aircraft to fly customers to your office, depending on the circumstances, the FAA could (and has in the past) interpret that activity as illegal charter, opening you up to court battles, regulatory fines and bureaucratic agony.
It truly takes a professional aviation management company dedicated to compliance to mitigate the very real risk of both regulatory and in some cases, criminal prosecutions by the government against an aircraft owner or operator. The volume of regulations and laws, and the associated nuances of interpretation are so many in fact, that entire legal practices have been built around aviation law. A professional management company will be experienced in dealing with these issues, and have techniques for keeping your operation compliant. They will also have standing relationships with at least one, and sometimes multiple attorneys who specialize in aviation law. By utilizing Moser Aviation to manage your business aircraft, you can leverage our long years of experience in compliance, and tap into our network of experts whose job it is to keep us and you out of hot water with the FAA, the IRS, and the many other government agencies that have something to say about business aviation and the enforcement authority to make your life very difficult if you’re not compliant.
AVOIDING THE POSERS
A true aviation management company is worth the money you spend to have them help you keep your operations safe, compliant and efficient. However, there is no legal certification or licensing process to certify such companies, other than for those that wish to conduct charter operations. Consequently, the marketplace is filled with companies and individuals that claim to be aircraft managers but truly do not know what they’re doing. We recommend you do your due diligence and checkout their background before you agree to let them manage your airplane. Even if you don’t select Moser as your management company, we can vet those that are in competition and give you an informed and professional perspective on their true capabilities. You need to know that they are capable of doing what they say they can, and you need to know what to look for to prove it.
For instance, we had an experience where we took over management of an aircraft from a pilot who was being paid to “manage” the plane. When we got the plane it was more than 200 hours overdue on some critical inspections. The pilot was not willfully overflying the required maintenance, he was simply ignorant of the requirements, and consequently put himself and the aircraft owners in grave danger, not only physically, but fiscally and legally as well. Imagine that the aircraft had an accident with overdue inspections. Do you think the insurance company would have paid the claim when the aircraft was being operated in direct contradiction to the policy? Neither do I. That’s why you need to make sure that the people managing your airplane are true aviation management professionals, and not simply posers out to take you for a ride.
PEACE OF MIND
Aircraft owners are always a little nervous about the safety, compliance and business efficiency of their airplanes, and they should be. Moser Aviation can put your mind at ease. More important to you though, is that Moser Aviation, will take care of all the countless details that you need to do to safely and efficiently run a business aircraft, so that you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of being able to travel where you want and when you want without waiting in a security line, being bumped from an oversold flight, or being trapped in an airliner for hours on end while you wait for the airline to decide whether or not they can get you where you need to be.
We invite you to contact us for a no cost consultation on managing your aircraft. Your safety, your investment, and your good name depend on getting this right. Let Moser Aviation take the risk out of the equation for you, and make your aircraft ownership experience one that brings you safety, efficiency and peace of mind.