What You Can Bring on a Charter Flight

Packing for a charterIt’s an understatement to say flying privately is more convenient than flying commercially. No waiting in long lines at security, no scheduling problems, no hours of waiting at the airport and you can bring pretty much anything you want on the plane with you.  The emphasis here is “pretty much”, although, the list is still substantially larger than what you can bring on a commercial aircraft. Charter clients regularly ask what they are allowed to bring onto the aircraft and here we have listed the most common items:

  1. Yes, you can also put pets on a commercial aircraft, but they have to go down in that stuffy luggage compartment.  If they are not sedated (read this article here about why sedating your animal for travel is a bad idea), they are scared out of their mind… and it’s really not the best experience for an animal. On a charter aircraft they get to ride right next to you.  They have you to comfort them through the strange experience of traveling 40,000 ft into the sky.
  2. Sports equipment. Yes! You can charter an aircraft and bring your mountain bike, golf clubs, skis, or any other abnormally large piece of equipment that wouldn’t fit in an overhead bin. No shipping it, no trucking it through the airport and no renting a subpar replacement once you get to your destination. You get to bring your own.
  3. This is a good one, right? Because when you fly commercially there’s always that underlying question “did I pack all the right size liquids?” and then you have to sort through your luggage on the spot and put the liquids in a Ziploc bag. Flying privately means you don’t have to throw out your favorite face cream or water bottle before you get on the aircraft.

So the question remains what is NOT allowed on a charter aircraft…. Well, you can bring anything and everything that’s LEGAL and will fit in the aircraft, which, depending on what aircraft you charter could be quite a bit of space.  I have to state the obvious here because there are regulations for some items brought onto an aircraft (remember those Galaxy Note 7 phones) and if you are unsure, then clarify with your charter provider.

Keystone Receives Diamond Award

FAA Keystone Aviation LLC- UAO Diamond Award
Keystone Aviation has received the FAA’s Diamond Award for excellence in Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) training. Both the Salt Lake City, UT and Aurora, OR maintenance locations were recognized for their commitment to providing the highest level of training and knowledge to benefit Keystone’s employees, the company and the customers they serve.

In October 1991, AFS-300 determined there was a need for an incentive program to encourage AMTs and employers to participate aggressively in available initial and recurrent maintenance training courses. Through the AMT Awards Program, the FAA recognizes eligible technicians and employers by issuing awards to those who receive or promote and foster initial and recurrent training.  Employers and individuals are recognized yearly, with Diamond Level being the highest award given to eligible employers.

As one of the few FAA Certified Class IV Repair Stations in the Intermountain West, Keystone Aviation is capable of repairing and maintaining any fixed wing aircraft.  With aircraft service available 7 days a week, on-call maintenance support avaible 24 hours a day, and a world-wide reach, Keystone Aviation is available anytime and anywhere to provide “The Complete Solution”

Keystone Aviation’s Newest Addition

rd-wooten correctKeystone Aviation is pleased to announce RD Wooten as the newest addition to the Piper Aircraft sales team.  Mr. Wooten joins Keystone as Sales Director- Piper Aircraft for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Mr. Wooten began his flying career at a small airport in Columbia, MO, specifically, flying Piper Aircraft.  He gained over 1000 hours within his first few years as a professional aviator.  Eventually moving to Phoenix, AZ in the early 80’s, Mr. Wooten began his career in aircraft sales.

Mr. Wooten is a well-established aviation professional with over three decades of aircraft sales experience and 4000+ hours of flight experience. He is an FAA Licensed commercial pilot with Single-Engine, Multi-Engine, and Instrument and Glider ratings.  Mr. Wooten is a valuable asset to the Keystone Aviation Aircraft sales team.

RED (rock), WHITE & BLUE

HondaJet over Lake Powell

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Nowhere is this more true than in the photogenic pairing of the white and blue HondaJet and the red rock region of Utah. Keystone’s Jerry Osoro and Jeff Jerman recently piloted the HondaJet in close formation with world-renowned aviation photographer Paul Bowen.  The results were spectacular, and the experience was a highlight of their shared HondaJet journey.  Jeff Jerman summarized the experience:

flight courseThe HondaJet photoshoot was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I felt very fortunate to be a part of Paul Bowen’s work. He’s a renowned aviation photographer, having completed countless photoshoots over the years; including over 1000 magazine covers involving aviation.

 Our day began by heading south for sunset shots over the majestic shadows of Zion National Park. Mr. Bowen knew exactly where to lead the HondaJet to get that “it” picture. Seeing the chic curvatures of the Honda Over-the-Wing-Engine-Mounts (OTWEM) slicing through canyons only enhanced the natural beauty of Utah’s landscape. It was a sunset I’ll never forget.

 We ended up at Lake Powell that evening for an early morning departure the following day. As we briefed over dinner, it was humbling to hear the many stories Paul spoiled us with. You see, this photoshoot ended up being more than just a photoshoot. Earlier in the day, many of us were saddened by the news that Bob Hoover had passed away. Paul was very close to Mr. Hoover. He told story after story of how inspiring Mr. Hoover was, including a few that had our stomach muscles hurting from laughter. It was truly a memorable evening.

 Day 2 began bright and early for sunrise shots over Lake Powell. The still air was reminiscent of the glassy water beneath us. We followed Paul in his supercharged Bonanza, wondering how in the world we were actually getting paid to do this. We were cloud-surfing with no one around, as if we were the only bird in the sky. After 2 hours of making art trails, we headed north back to SLC. It was another HondaJet memory I’ll never forget.

The Five Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Buying an Aircraft

Robb Report’s private aviation advisors identify the costly errors and tell you how to prevent buyer’s remorse.

 You’ve decided to buy an airplane instead of continuing to use charter services. Now what?  The market offers an overwhelming number of choices in new aircraft models, each with its own set of variables to consider, including speed, range, cabin amenities, seating options, and overhead costs. When buying a pre-owned aircraft, you have those factors plus many more to consider, such as the plane’s vintage, its maintenance history, its possible need of major repairs and refurbishment, and its cost relative to others of its kind on the market. The task of choosing the right plane may be daunting, but it’s only the starting point in a long process that can be fraught with pitfalls.

The acquisition of an aircraft is a complex transaction that can trigger many unexpected expenses for inexperienced buyers. Members of the Robb Report Private Aviation Advisory Board weigh in on five common and costly mistakes that first-time buyers make and how to avoid them.

1. Believing Everything You Hear
Don’t assume you know how much an aircraft is actually worth and how much another buyer paid for a similar plane. The community of aircraft buyers and sellers is relatively small, yet accurate information about past sales is still hard to come by. According to Kevin O’Leary, the president and CEO of Jet Advisors, buyers and sellers don’t always disclose the transaction’s financial contingencies when they talk about the price of a jet. “Someone may tell you that he sold his plane for $1.5 million but neglect to say that he had to spend $600,000 on maintenance before the sale went through because he sold it right before a major overhaul,” says O’Leary. “Buyers and sellers are optimistic about how well they did on a deal, but the details are always different.”

O’Leary cautions buyers to be wary of any numbers thrown around by other buyers, and to be especially cautious when a motivated seller or broker claims that a particular price is the deal of the century.

2. Failing to Consider the Production Run
Be cautious when buying an aircraft that has just been released or one that’s on its way out of production. “If you are buying at the beginning or the end of a production run, there are financial implications and other maintenance issues,” says Peter Agur, the chairman of the VanAllen Group.

The first few aircraft on a new production line may be subject to more maintenance tics as they’re broken in, and because it’s a new model, you may have trouble hiring a qualified pilot.
To exemplify the problem with buying an aircraft that’s being phased out by the manufacturer, Agur cites the Gulfstream G450, which, it appears, will be replaced by the G500. He says the G450’s resale value is declining as the G500’s delivery date (2017) approaches. “As I look to replace my current aircraft with a G450/G500-class aircraft, which will I choose?” says Agur. “I want an aircraft that has the attributes of advanced technology and current production. I’ll order a G500. That decision process drives customers toward future models and makes the current model more difficult to sell.” However, if you know an aircraft is near the end of its production run, you can use that information to negotiate a good price.

Agur and other board members also caution against buying an aircraft that has been highly modified by a previous owner. If, for instance, the owner had digital avionics retrofitted into an older-model airplane, you might have trouble finding someone to service the aircraft. “You could end up with an aircraft that no one knows how to service except the guys who installed the equipment,” says Agur.

3. Giving the Seller a Pass on Inspections
Don’t agree to a deal without first insisting that the plane go through a rigorous prepurchase inspection. Lee Rohde, the president and CEO of Essex Aviation Group, tells his clients that the inspection should be conducted at a facility other than the one that regularly maintains that aircraft. “Part of the inspection process is having the records examined for the whole life of the aircraft,” he says. This involves checking life-limited serialized components (those that must be replaced at regular intervals) in addition to confirming that regular engine overhauls took place. Inspectors also must be able to verify that any parts were sourced and replaced according to the manufacturer’s dictates.

The inspection is vital, yet many buyers forego it. “I’ve had clients refuse a prepurchase inspection because they knew the seller personally and felt a lot of trust for that person,” says Agur. “But there can be enormous maintenance issues—including corrosion—that the seller doesn’t know about.”

“I don’t care if you’re buying the aircraft from your brother,” says O’Leary. “Unless he’s the pilot or the mechanic, he doesn’t know that aircraft. He’s riding in the back, reading the Wall Street Journal.”

If you plan to make the plane available for charter after you purchase it, your aircraft management company has to have it inspected to ensure that it conforms to FAA requirements. “You could be in for a lot of expenses to get that plane ready for charter,” says Rohde, “and you should know about those before you buy.”

4. Not Preparing for the Sales Tax
Don’t buy an aircraft assuming you can avoid paying the sales tax, which can be substantial. “It’s true that most purchasers pay a limited amount of sales tax on this kind of purchase, but that’s because they did the proper planning from the beginning,” says Keith Swirsky, the president of GKG Law. “If you call an advisor after you take title, there’s typically nothing they can do for you.”

An aviation lawyer can help you structure the deal so that it complies with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Swirsky says that many buyers assume they can create a limited-liability company (LLC) that will take title to the aircraft, and thereafter operate the aircraft. However, for operations under FAR Part 91 (the section of the Federal Aviation Regulations that governs noncommercial operation), the FAA doesn’t consider a specially formed LLC a viable ownership structure. “According to the FAA, such operations would be prohibited,” says Swirsky.

5. Trying to Go It Alone
Purchasing an aircraft is not like buying a home or a yacht or any other large and expensive item. It has more in common with setting up a new business, one that has its own technology, its own set of regulations, and its own culture. “Trying to do it on your own—not using specialists in law, taxes, and transactions—is a mistake,” says Rohde. “They can help you identify which airplane makes the most sense.”

“It’s difficult for any one person to accumulate enough knowledge about how to see a good deal,” says O’Leary, noting that even aviation consultants tend to focus on a single class of aircraft because so much goes into evaluating a plane.

Yet some buyers want to preserve their privacy by having a family office handle the purchase, or they want to rely on a pilot as the expert who will guide them through the purchase. “There are so many facets to buying an airplane, and so many opportunities for misunderstanding what’s happening,” says Agur. “I had a client who had done hundreds of millions of dollars in deals over the years, and he told me that this was the one time when he didn’t know what to negotiate. He didn’t even know which details were critical in the purchase.”

Buyers who arm themselves with the right advice can avoid feeling overwhelmed, and they can avoid the costly mistakes that go with that feeling.

Source: http://robbreport.com/aviation/five-biggest-mistakes-you-can-make-when-buying-aircraft

Celebrating 20 Years of The Complete Solution

coffee_bar_slide_16-1Keystone Aviation, a TAC Air company, is celebrating over 20 successful years as a world-class aircraft charter, management, maintenance and aircraft sales and brokerage provider.

Keystone Aviation’s roots date back to 1995 when it began as a franchise FBO operator. From there, Keystone Aviation rapidly expanded into other aviation service lines. During its first year, the Company added a Piper Aircraft dealership and service center and its maintenance department obtained FAA certification as a Part 145 Repair Station.

By 2007, Keystone Aviation had built a successful aircraft brokerage business, was appointed as a TBM Aircraft Dealership, and was selected to be one of only five HondaJet dealers in the United States.  Also during that time, Keystone Aviation’s maintenance department was granted the exclusive Class IV maintenance status by the FAA, authorizing Keystone Aviation technicians to work all types of fixed wing aircraft.

After 17 years of strategic growth, Texas-based wholesale refined petroleum products marketer and FBO network operator Truman Arnold Companies (TAC) recognized the value and potential of bringing Keystone Aviation into its operations.

Today, Keystone Aviation is stronger than ever. Aircraft sales territories are expanding across the United States and Canada and the FAA certified HondaJet is being delivered into the hands of excited customers. Charter services lead the industry in safety and are optimizing the use of an expanding fleet and renovated sales and ops facilities. More aircraft owners are realizing the value of “The Complete Solution®” for aircraft management services and maintaining it all is a maintenance department that is growing in technological expertise, accreditations and scope of operations with the addition of a Garmin Service Center and more.  And behind it all is Keystone Aviation’s amazing team of dedicated aviation service professionals who are among the best in the business.

Here’s to the next 20 years of aviation excellence!

The HondaJet Conquers the Concours

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McCalls Motorworks Revival

Keystone's HondaJet at Monterey Jet Center

Keystone’s HondaJet at Monterey Jet Center

Monterey Car Week.  The name conjures up a vision of spectacular automobiles displayed in one of the planet’s most spectacular settings. The week comes to a close at Concours d’elegance, a world-renowned event considered to be the most prestigious of its kind. People in the know however, begin their week with an equally sought-after ticket:  The McCalls Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center. This year, the Keystone Aviation HondaJet was an acknowledged star, the centerpiece of the most exclusive combined automotive-aviation event in the world. Nearly one thousand special guests had the opportunity to try the new jet on for size, have their photo taken while relaxing in the leather seats, and have their questions answered by Keystone’s HondaJet specialists and pilots.

Keystone’s HondaJet at Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance

On the surface, another combined event known as the Morgan Adams Concours d’elegance appears to be a close cousin to the Monterey party. However, a longer look revealed a much deeper, and in many ways much more thought provoking experience.  Over 1,500 guests entered the APA TAC Air facility through a hall lined with large photographs of dozens of children. Only a careful examination of each photograph revealed a sad fact: all of these happy-looking kids suffer from cancer.  Each and every one of our fellow exhibitors, and each and every one of the attendees who bought a ticket to view our HondaJet was contributing to a larger, more noble cause.  Those of us from Keystone fortunate enough to participate were a bit more careful in our step, and a little quieter in our usual ‘sales pitch’.  It served as a reminder of how lucky most of us truly are, and how gratifying it is to be able to contribute.

The ‘Flight’ Against Cancer

Loading up to go to Driggs

TAC Air employees help load up golf clubs

On August 19, 2016, Keystone Aviation’s charter department once again answered the call for the fight against cancer.  For the 7th straight year, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation called upon Keystone Aviation to Accomplish an airlift of golfers from Salt Lake City to Driggs, Idaho for a day of golf at the Huntsman Springs Golf Course.

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Part of Keystone Aviation’s fleet ready to take flight

Each foursome donated $50,000 to attend and all proceeds went to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.   TAC Air SLC donated fuel and line services while Keystone donated pilot services and arranged for owners to donate aircraft.

 

The President & COO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Susan Sheehan, said “Huntsman Cancer Foundation is grateful for the generous, consistent support we have received from Keystone Aviation each year since 2010.  Thanks to Keystone’s steadfast commitment to the fight against cancer, our foundation had been able to foster teamwork by offering gatherings to top industry leaders.  This has allowed us to unite leaders who have the will, passion and financial resources to speed cancer research.  In all, this effort has raised $7 million for cancer research since 2010 – and thanks to Keystone, all those funds fueled cancer research – not airplanes.  Through creativity and entrepreneurial know how, Keystone is literally Changing the DNA of Cancer Care.”

Keystone Aviation’s HondaJet Tour Takes Flight

 

Keystone Aviation, the exclusive Northwest HondaJet dealer for the United States, kicked off its HondaJet demonstration tour with an event in Denver on February 15th. The event was held in TAC Air APA at Centennial Airport, where more than 100 people got the chance to see the world’s most advanced light jet on display.

Hondajet-sales-territory“We are very excited to introduce the HondaJet to the Colorado business aviation community,” said Kim Page, Chief Operating Officer of Keystone Aviation.

The event marked the beginning of Keystone Aviation’s tour throughout the Northwestern United States. The tour will highlight the HondaJet’s best-in-class advantages in performance, efficiency, comfort, and quality.

The HondaJet received type certification from the FAA and began customer deliveries in December. With upcoming events in Northern California and throughout the Northwestern United States, Keystone Aviation is celebrating the HondaJet’s certification by exhibiting the aircraft’s innovative design, capabilities and value.

Keystone Aviation’s Northwest sales territory  includes: Northern California, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Northern Nevada. If you are interested in more information on the HondaJet or the demo tour, please contact Michael Parker at 801.933.7509.

Keystone Aviation’s Daher TBM Sales Territory has expanded

Complete KSA TBM sales territoryKeystone Aviation has officially enlarged the sales coverage for Daher’s TBM very fast turboprop aircraft, adding four Canadian provinces and one additional U.S. state to its area of responsibility.

The new geographic zone comprises the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, along with the most northwestern U.S. state – Alaska.  This territory is in addition to the company’s previous coverage across the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana.

“We’ve had a fruitful 10-year partnership with Keystone Aviation in promoting and supporting our very fast turboprop aircraft throughout the Northwestern United States,” explained Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of the Daher Airplane Business Unit. “The next step is to build on this relationship by expanding into Western Canada and Alaska.”

Headquartered at Salt Lake City International Airport, Keystone Aviation has been a TBM dealer since 2006, with its experienced sales team achieving continuous growth in the company’s dealership business activity for new aircraft.

Brian Jones – Socata Sales Director for Keystone Aviation

“With our expanded sales territory, we will be able to introduce the TBM’s benefits of speed, comfort and efficiency to many potential new customers,” said Brian Jones, Keystone Aviation’s TBM Sales Director. “The TBM family appeals to owners and operators who desire an aircraft built to commercial airline standards with point-to-point performance equivalent to light jets, while having the ability to operate on almost any runway.”