Vol. 24, No. 1 | March 8, 2011 | Go to Charts
by Carl Janssens, ASA | Aircraft Bluebook — Price Digest
Have you ever been involved in an incident when you actually made the news?
I have. No, nothing in my life as the editor of Aircraft Bluebook–Price Digest has been particularly newsworthy. But in my previous life as a 25-year veteran in law enforcement with the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, I sure can relate.
In some cases, my experiences during a particular incident and what I later read in the news about the same incident did not match. Not to knock any journalists for their reporting skills, I am making the point that it is hard to report third-hand information.
Instead of reviewing market statistics to summarize business aircraft activity, I’m going to shoot from the hip, so to speak, and generalize my personal experiences with those I have been in direct contact with who were directly involved with an aircraft transaction.
Business has improved. The only downside to making the deal happen is that the values of yesterday in some aircraft markets are not making a comeback. Breaking it down, late-model, long-range large-cabins are competitive. I can say this because reported values are not skidding downhill. They are holding steady if not improving. Time and condition do impact value.
Looking at the mid-cabin class, sales are also rebounding, but pricing, not so much. Yesterday’s sale price is stronger than today’s. It is what it is.
Light jets and VLJs tell the same story as the mid-cabin class. Turboprops, the muscle of short hops, heavy loads and limited runway environments, are showing a good steady trend of transactions. On the topic of values, what these turboprops are worth today will be a little less tomorrow. If I had to give it a name, I would call it standard depreciation. That alibi will just about work anywhere.
Purchasing piston-powered aircraft is like buying a car. Who in their right mind would buy a new car as an investment? Reported transactions seem to follow my rationalization. I could not find one person who bought a piston-powered aircraft for an investment but plenty who bought for business use and even a few — very few — who bought for personal recreation. No discoveries were noted with values improving, but again, there were plenty of sales.
I have been with the Bluebook for a dozen years now. Reporting on values would be difficult if not for the good support I get from all of you in the trenches making transactions happen. My sincere thanks and gratitude.
Increased — 3
Decreased — 534
Stable — 378
Early model Citation Xs were down this quarter. The Citation Mustang gained $100,000 when compared to the winter quarter. The late-model, long-range, large-cabin-class business jets remained stable for yet another quarter. Mid-range cabin business jets were off slightly again this quarter. Check your Bluebook for specifics.
Increased — 0
Decreased — 70
Stable — 530
The turboprop market displayed little movement in values when compared to the previous quarter. Prices, still softer than previous reporting periods, were not eclipsed by the sales volume of aircraft.
Increased — 12
Decreased — 38
Stable — 605
In the multi-engine category, sales reports were better than what Bluebook received for the previous quarter. Quantity was higher while values remained fairly stable.
Increased — 133
Decreased — 280
Stable — 2095
There was a slight increase in values of the Beechcraft Bonanza 36 series. Reported retail values were slightly higher than the winter Bluebook values. Take a look in the Bluebook to see if your aircraft got the positive bump in value this quarter. Ag piston aircraft values increased this reporting period as well.
Increased — 33
Decreased — 79
Stable — 942
This market is all about time and condition. Overall, rotary market sales have been nearly the same in the value range when compared to recent Bluebook retail values.
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