AOPA - VREF IS GONE

Nick Geber

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NIckG
So it looks like VREF is now no longer a feature with AOPA membership. Anyone else know how to get valuations?
 
Fewer benefits, higher dues. Yep, that's AOPA. How soon does Mark Baker leave?
 
Yep, I wouldn't notice. I pulled the plug on AOPA right after they killed the red board. That was the last straw with how annoyed at their increasing costs and less service.
 
I dropped ‘em years ago. I never felt like VREF gave an accurate assessment anyway. Nothing beats a self conducted market analysis and price accordingly. It ain’t rocket science.
 
Got this email the other day...

This message is to notify our membership within the greater Milwaukee area that there is a new local association advocating for the interests of pilots based at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport. A master plan at MKE has determined that some general aviation hangars will be, or already have, been removed to make way for other airfield improvements. Long-term leases are not being renewed, or shorter-term leases are being offered which stifle development and threaten the sustainability of light GA aircraft on the airport. The master plan does include GA, but the changes are at the sacrifice of long-standing infrastructure and tenants. While the actions taken by the airport are in line with FAA policy, it is clear that a channel of communication with the general aviation community to airport administration is needed. Pilots based at MKE consulted with AOPA, and the best strategy was to form a local association to strengthen the GA community and advocate for locally based pilots at both airports. The GMGAA was born in December of 2023, and the association is now able to take on members via its new website, and planning is in progress for in-person events and meetings.

So a group from Milwaukee got fed up with aopa's advocacy (or lack thereof) and started their own thing?
 
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I have run numerous planes through Vref. I never saw one estimate close to what the market was calling for.
 
Got this email the other day...

This message is to notify our membership within the greater Milwaukee area that there is a new local association advocating for the interests of pilots based at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport. A master plan at MKE has determined that some general aviation hangars will be, or already have, been removed to make way for other airfield improvements. Long-term leases are not being renewed, or shorter-term leases are being offered which stifle development and threaten the sustainability of light GA aircraft on the airport. The master plan does include GA, but the changes are at the sacrifice of long-standing infrastructure and tenants. While the actions taken by the airport are in line with FAA policy, it is clear that a channel of communication with the general aviation community to airport administration is needed. Pilots based at MKE consulted with AOPA, and the best strategy was to form a local association to strengthen the GA community and advocate for locally based pilots at both airports. The GMGAA was born in December of 2023, and the association is now able to take on members via its new website, and planning is in progress for in-person events and meetings.

So a group from Milwaukee got fed up with aopa's advocacy (or lack thereof) and started their own thing?

HUH???

It reads to me that they, working WITH AOPA, decided that a local group would enhance their position.
 
HUH???

It reads to me that they, working WITH AOPA, decided that a local group would enhance their position.
It reads to me that someone reached out to AOPA to see if they'd get involved, and AOPA said, "Nah, do it yourself."
 

AIRCRAFT VALUATION​

Our previous service is no longer available.

We are currently evaluating a new member benefit to bring to you soon.
 
Got this email the other day...

This message is to notify our membership within the greater Milwaukee area that there is a new local association advocating for the interests of pilots based at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport. A master plan at MKE has determined that some general aviation hangars will be, or already have, been removed to make way for other airfield improvements. Long-term leases are not being renewed, or shorter-term leases are being offered which stifle development and threaten the sustainability of light GA aircraft on the airport. The master plan does include GA, but the changes are at the sacrifice of long-standing infrastructure and tenants. While the actions taken by the airport are in line with FAA policy, it is clear that a channel of communication with the general aviation community to airport administration is needed. Pilots based at MKE consulted with AOPA, and the best strategy was to form a local association to strengthen the GA community and advocate for locally based pilots at both airports. The GMGAA was born in December of 2023, and the association is now able to take on members via its new website, and planning is in progress for in-person events and meetings.

So a group from Milwaukee got fed up with aopa's advocacy (or lack thereof) and started their own thing?
Do you have any contact info for people trying to get involved there?

I foresee hangar space becoming less available and more expensive at Kenosha, Waukesha, and West Bend.....
 
It reads to me that someone reached out to AOPA to see if they'd get involved, and AOPA said, "Nah, do it yourself."
Well, they may be worried about setting a precedent.

They probably don't want to set an expectation that they will get involved every time a local airport tears down a hangar or changes a tie-down layout.
 
Do you have any contact info for people trying to get involved there?

I foresee hangar space becoming less available and more expensive at Kenosha, Waukesha, and West Bend.....
The rest of the email. I haven't read the AOPA link. The email came from "AOPA’s Regional Manager for Airports and State Advocacy – Great Lakes Region"

If you are a pilot with an interest in either airport, I strongly recommend visiting https://sites.google.com/gmgaa.org/gmgaa/home and considering becoming a part of this new association. I would like to mention Jim Hausch (GMGAA President) and Scott Fisher (GMGAA Vice President) for their time and energy in forming this association, and specific questions about the association can be directed to president@gmgaa.org



Again, thank you for your AOPA membership, and please consider becoming a member of the new Greater Milwaukee General Aviation Association




https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2024/april/01/introducing-a-milwaukee-ga-association
 

AIRCRAFT VALUATION​

Our previous service is no longer available.

We are currently evaluating a new member benefit to bring to you soon.
Was Vref really a benefit before? I think that's why they took it down. Realizing the same year and model of aircraft could be vastly different with different engines via stc, paint, interior and avionics that could span 12 presidents.
 
Was Vref really a benefit before? I think that's why they took it down. Realizing the same year and model of aircraft could be vastly different with different engines via stc, paint, interior and avionics that could span 12 presidents.
Yes, vref is a very useful tool.
 
Well, they may be worried about setting a precedent.

They probably don't want to set an expectation that they will get involved every time a local airport tears down a hangar or changes a tie-down layout.
God forbid they do something helpful with the >$100M in net assets, including $73 million in "Alternative Investments" that are not publically traded, which includes $23M in Central American and Caribbean assets. (Source: 990 form from 2022, the numbers are likely significantly higher by now.)

AOPA hasn't been here for the little guy since Phil Boyer was president.
 
I didn't think you got the same access though AOPA as by actually signing up with Vref. At least when I last used it, it seemed neutered.
 
Back when I was shopping for my plane (albeit that was decades ago), I paid for Vref as well as using a friends aviation blue book. The paid Vref tended to inflate the values compared to the other items and what seemed to be the actual going rates. Noticiably, the AOPA financing people (MNB, MBNA, Nations Bank, BofA, all the same people just kept getting sold) didn't trust it either. They would loan based on their own bluebook.
 
Was Vref really a benefit before? I think that's why they took it down. Realizing the same year and model of aircraft could be vastly different with different engines via stc, paint, interior and avionics that could span 12 presidents.
That is why VREF was good. You could specify those STCs and ancient or new or mix of instruments to get a value as THAT plane was equiped.

They did a few things that I thought was weird, like age based value of avionics. Is a new GPS really worth more than a 5 year of the same make and model?
 
I thought AOPA was about renovate and update VREF?
 
So it looks like VREF is now no longer a feature with AOPA membership. Anyone else know how to get valuations?
If you look at the market for a couple of months, you'll get an idea quickly. I started shopping in February and but March, I had a pretty good idea of values for my specific model. I had brief conversations with three brokered airplanes that I passed on due to misrepresentation/too difficult to deal with. I ended up finding an privately represented aircraft 500 miles away and everything was done in 9 days from the first phone call (negotiations, inspection, flight home, closing...).

I did look at Vref but it didn't seem to match the market and some of their assumptions are as wrong. $27,000 to overhaul an IO360? Please tell us where we can get that done in this day and age.
 
$27,000 to overhaul an IO360? Please tell us where we can get that done in this day and age.
That isn't the cost to do the overhaul, that is what the value of a fresh overhaul is to the next buyer. If I was buying, I wouldn't pay anywhere near the cost of a recently done overhaul, since the quality of the overhaul can vary greatly. Depending on what was specifically done, and by who, I'd pay more or less. Just listed as a "fresh" OH without a lot of info to support what was done? I'd assume OH mostly to service limits done by Joe's powerplant services in Bumblewood. Maybe Joe doesn't great work. I have no way to know, and no way to know how he'll warranty the work once the plane is 1,000 miles away. Even factory OHs are highly suspect in quality these days. I'd rather buy a plane with 250+ hours after OH, good compressions and some oil analysis info.
 
Never found vref to be an accurate tool for pricing some used airplanes. You can do the comps on asking prices on the internet through brokerage ads.
 
The best evaluation tool I used was one that Trade a Plane from, NAAA. You could actually input all the various avionics as well as engine, airframe, paint, and interior info.
 
My plane sold for 8% below it's VREF. You can decide if that's good or bad. All I know is it meant nothing to any of my prospective buyers. They couldn't have cared less.
 
VREF is a tool. It is not the only tool.

And, as I mentioned, it does some screwy things with avionics values.

If the price was within 10% of VREF, I would consider that not a big deal. If the VREF was twice the asking price, either something is very wrong with the plane, or you have found the proverbial perfect plane for a steal. And if VREF is half the price, the seller is smoking some funny stuff.
 
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