Help Me Pitch A Company Plane Solution

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Sinistar, Nov 19, 2021.

  1. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Okay first things first, as much as I would love to be the pilot this isn't about that, I am no where close enough. Just trying to get a feel for the plane / money side of things to see if its worth pitching to ownership.

    Inputs:
    Company:
    Private Corp, 1000+ employees, low to mid 9-digit gross revenues, zero debt
    Home base: Flying Cloud (KFCM) suburb of the Twin Cities
    Top Destinations:
    (980nm) Lawrence, MA (KLWM) or Danvers MA (KBVY)
    (470nm) Detroit area Class D's
    (220nm) Local production plants
    Trip Duration:
    Typically 1 overnight for farther destinations, max is probably 3 overnights
    Same day and perhaps 2 full round trips for local production plant runs
    Total Seats Needed
    Pilot+2 is typical, Pilot+3 next most common, Pilot+4 max
    Local runs might be pilot + equipment only
    Hangar
    I could see the company renting or owner LLC (build/partner/sublease)
    Mountain Flights:
    None. All flights are upper midwest or heading east
    FIKI
    Yes
    Dispatch:
    Local Runs: 25 weeks per year, 2 runs a week
    Far trips: 30 weeks per year, 1 run per week max

    Thats about all I know.

    Is this TBM/Meridian/Pilatus territory? Of is small jet all they way?

    Is the dispatch and flown seats just to low to warrant owning the aircraft / hangar?

    For the turbo props would the Flight Level limitations and/or lengthy upwind (west bound) legs be to harsh for the passengers? Or fuel limitations?

    Any thoughts from others who fly these corporate routes, planes or has a company doing something similar?
     
  2. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    To me, as a PC12 pilot, that has PC12 written all over it. PM me if you want to talk performance numbers.

    On the PC12 westbound on those far trips (I used LWM to FCM in my example) you'd be in the airplane for 4-4.5 hrs. If you fly all the way up at 28 or 30 thousand feet, you're looking at a cabin altitude between 9 and 10 thousand.
     
  3. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    There's not going to be a financial benefit over commercial. But there's other benefits, like scheduling and possibly being able to get closer to where you need to be. I used to work for a public company that owned two jets. The CEO was a family man and never wanted to have to be away on weekends or overnight if not necessary.
     
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  4. jayhawk74

    jayhawk74 Pre-Flight

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    How many passengers would you have when flying to/from KLWM or KBVY? Any more than 1 or 2 passengers would require a fuel stop. I currently fly a PC-12 for a 91K Company and while it will fly for 4.5 hours it leaves you with very little payload and the requirement to fly at FL280 or higher, The flihhts under 500nm it will be a great aircraft, and if you don't mind a fuel stop it will do the longer flights as well.
     
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  5. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    The citation M2 that I fly would be perfect for this if the economics support it. You can still make your long trip into headwinds in less than 3.5 hours and only 2.5 hours no wind.
     
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  6. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    What is the company ownership? If it’s privately held, the personal travel component can be a lot more compelling.
     
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  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Those 1000 mile legs would make me want a jet if they happen very often. If you’re under 500 miles most of the time and occasionally doing the 1k then turboprop works just fine. The other way around I would want the jet. Much more time efficient.
     
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  8. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Have they ever chartered before? I would suggest chartering a few times so they can get the feel for what it is like to fly private. They could also use that to help figure out what kind of airplane they would like.

    There are a ton of different airplanes that could do this mission. There are some companies whos insurance may prohibit employees from flying on single engine aircraft, or the life insurance policies of the CEO, owner, etc may prohibit that. That would change what airplane you're looking for.

    Aside from that, my suggestion would be to get a CJ2 or 3. They are pretty efficient as far as jets go, and you could see as much as an hour of time savings on those long legs to MA. They will also get you above the weather. I have 2500 hours in the PC-12, and while they are wonderful airplanes, there have been plenty of times I was sitting in the clag at FL260 wishing I was 10k feet higher in the clear sky.
     
  9. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    The best way to help get momentum started is to introduce the idea of chartering. One disadvantage you have is being at MSP, a Delta hub. You can probably go non-stop to many of your destinations. A charter would cost more than airline, but you would be able to travel on your schedule and skip the two hour each way check-in and security hassles. The schedule thing is important, because with airline schedules it often difficult to go out and back in a single day. Now if the trips would fill the seats on a charter, it usually isn't that much more expensive than buying that many seats first class on an airline.

    If the company balks at charter and its costs, there is no way they will skip to ownership. Nearly all of our corporate owners at our airport started with charter, and bought aircraft to have more availability and control over the operation.
     
  10. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Business aviation is an unquantifiable subject.

    The CFO's and their like (sorry guys ;)), generally think it's a waste of $$'s, because no, it doesn't pencil out if you isolate it in it's own column. But you can't put a static $$ figure on everything - IOW aviation gets axed, revenue starts declining and no one can understand why, because we're 'saving' $$'s. There have been multiple companies that have followed this 'model'. Leading and growing a business takes great 'gut' instincts, doing things that don't always 'add up' on the income/cash flow statements, but you have to make 2+2=6 to be successful. Business isn't just a formula, but it's own 'being'. You feed it well, w/the right inputs, it grows, you don't, it starves and dies, and all healthy things grow.

    Now if all your doing is hauling salaried employees from point 'A' to 'B', plant to plant, office to office, yep, commercial is probably the ticket.

    Marc
     
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  11. Gmonnig

    Gmonnig Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How about a Commander 1000? Low acquisition cost, good long range and short range block times, fuel efficient TPE-331 twin turboprop, all wx capabilities, and easy to squeeze into small fields. Not sure about what kind of “equipment” needs to be hauled but the Commanders have a huge baggage area and a low slung fuselage that makes it easy to load up.
     
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  12. Der Fliegermeister

    Der Fliegermeister Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Definitely charter for a year so you have a comparative cost analysis in the books. I think you'd find that ownership will be vastly more expensive.

    It's not just the acquisition and fuel for the proposed asset (which you likely know). Hangar space, maintenance (scheduled and non-scheduled. And all the escrows for life-limited components and overhauls on engines & props etc), initial & recurrent training for your pilots (no one will insure your flight crew without formal training), their salaries and benefits (hiring flight crews is very competitive right now. You'd better be able to offer a good wage and good benefits or you'll constantly be scrambling to staff the cockpit as your crews move on to better gigs). Direct costs (fuel & oil, landing fee$, and away-from-base hangar space when necessary, etc).

    Oh, and insurance. This is a big topic. Yes, you should insure the aircraft. The policy will be heavily dependent upon the experience of your flight crew (named insured pilots), the value of the airplane, there's liability to consider. But what a lot of people don't talk about is whether the life insurance policy of the company executives and prospective passengers will allow them to fly in a single engine airplane. Folks might love to recommend a PC-12 or TBM, but if for some reason the worst should happen and there's a limitation such as I've described, there will be families left with nothing because their loved one bought the farm in the wrong airplane. Ever wonder why so many King Airs are operated in small corporate flight departments? Actuaries know that twins are safer when flown by competent and current crews (hence the initial and recurrent training).

    Anyhow, that's my $0.02.

    Chartering is a great way to try the theory of augmenting the company's operations with flying to its operating locations and you get something for your dollars. In other words, the company won't lose money by chartering, but they might lose their a$$ taking the plunge and spending on setting up a flight department.
     
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  13. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some great advice in all the above posts. Your varied mission (shorter "local" trips, plus longer east coast trips) kind of hits both ends of the spectrum. A turboprop, PC-12 or King Air (personally, I think the Meridian or TBM, nice as they are, are just too small for your mission), is ideal for the short trips, and the long trips fit a jet profile. You've also listed similar frequency of operation for both. I do like the suggestion to try charter for awhile to get a feel for private aviation ops. Operating from Flying Cloud in the Twin Cities area probably provides some good options right in the neighborhood, minimizing deadhead time (compared to say, base of ops from a more remote location). Check out Conklin & DeDecker website, they specialize in cost analysis for corporate aviation. Lots of general info from them, and once a decision to proceed with a flight program has been made, using their paid services might be worthwhile.
    As a starting point, you could ease into the flight program by getting a turboprop, lower cost than a jet, just to test the waters so to speak. That plane could of course get to the east coast, but with probable fuel stops and less efficiency. Or, turboprop used for the short runs, and charter, or maybe join a fractional ownership program for the long trips.
    Edit: Another consideration, how long are the runways at some of those short-trip destinations? Some jet choices might not be able to get in and out of shorter runways at small towns.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
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  14. jayhawk74

    jayhawk74 Pre-Flight

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    Another option to consider is a 91K Fractional. At Planes Sense if you are a PC-12 owner you can convert some of the time to a PC-24 for the longer legs. The advantage of 91K is that you don't have to worry about only having one aircraft and having it go down for maintenance. Also you don't have to worry about hiring or training pilots.
     
  15. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Wow tons of great advice here!!

    I kinda figured the Meridian/TBM are too much of a stretch for those 1000nm trips. Had no clue on the PC-12. But to answer one question I could see there being pilot + 2 or pilot +3. So as awesome as the PC-12 is it sounds like WB, Ceiling and upwind long leg times make it marginal.

    That brings up a question. The pilot knows he's about to do a 4hr upwind leg. But 2 or 3 salespeople are used to having a bathroom. Doesnt crossing that 3hr (or so) limit almost require a bathroom?

    Regarding equipment carried by the travelers...we usually try to do the whole trip with carry on so I'd be surprised if the weight of pilot + 3 passengers and gear exceeded 900lbs. For the local plant trips it would probably 500lbs of equipment or less and the pilot. Or it might be pilot + 3 and same say out and back with 100lbs of equipment or less.

    I see that there's really two different things happening here. The plant trips are like PC-12 or maybe even M600/TBM territory. And the long legs are small jet.

    To another poster, yes privately held. I'm not clear on their 2nd homes and personal travel stuff.

    For us we are getting more and more business out east. Not many love to travel, especially the big airport times. But that frequent presence, both sales and eng should really pay off.

    So charter first and fractional afterwards sounds more financially sound to pitch.

    Any ballpark on charter flight hours?. For example, let's say something (Jet) that can seat minimum 4 not counting crew. What would something like 120hrs of block time cost?

    The above would be about 20 round trips. If we averaged 3 per trip that would be 20 x 3 x $500/rt. So that's $30k on Delta booked last minute.
     
  16. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    Just hire me as the CFO/pilot. I'll take care of it.
     
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I need a cfo/truck driver...

    You'd have to take a pay cut though.
     
  18. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    Lemme think about it. @Sinistar 's company gets first rights though.
     
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  19. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Really really rough math, 120 hours of charter of a light jet would be around $450k.
     
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  20. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Great idea. I would recommend an Excel or Phenom 300 share or card at Netjets. Both aircraft would be perfect for this mission. Netjets isn’t the cheapest. They’ve been doing it the longest and the 800 lb gorilla out there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  21. jayhawk74

    jayhawk74 Pre-Flight

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    With a pilot plus 3 and using 900 pounds for the 3 and bags in a PC-12 you could go from KBVY to KFCM. It would take 5 hours but there would be enough fuel for KMSP as the alternate with IFR Reserves plus 30 minutes. As for a bathroom on the PC-12 the configuration that Plane Sense has in their PC-12s does come with a bathroom.
     
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  22. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Commercial flight is 3.5 hours, but private saves you airport commute time and hassles. But commercial can be had for $250/pp.
     
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  23. 6t6

    6t6 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fractional Ownership
     
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  24. cowtowner

    cowtowner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A low to mid 9 figure company with no debt is looking for writeoffs. Their PPP money from the last 12 months should buy a nice jet.
     
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  25. cmsuav8r

    cmsuav8r Pre-Flight

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    Depending on who is making the visits, it might honestly be cheaper to base an employee on the East coast to take care of those duties. The aviation side of me says go for the light jet though. As others have pointed out, the intangibles are what really drive the value proposition for something like this. Either the time savings/convenience is worth it to the company, or it isn't. The last thing that I haven't seen mentioned, and maybe doesn't matter, is the mission expected to expand or change?
     
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  26. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ^^^ Good ballpark. I was about to post $480,000 using an all-in number of$4000/hr.

    Regarding fractional - be prepared in today's environment for there to be a possible delay in getting into a share. Some of the companies have outright stopped new shares temporarily and all have imposed a variety of changes on availability, even for true owners (versus jet card customers). Demand for all facets (pure charter, membership programs, and fractional) is far outpacing supply.
     
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  27. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    This is what I found on line...
    Aircraft Type
    The following hourly rates represent a range of prices for aircraft within each major category. Exact rates for specific aircraft within each class will vary:

    Aircraft Type Example Aircraft Max Passengers Ballpark Hourly Rate
    Turboprop Pilatus PC12 6-8 $1,200 – $1,800
    Very Light Jet Phenom 100 4-5 $1,500 – $2,250
    Light Jet Hawker 400XP 6-8 $2,200 – $3,000
    Midsize Jet Lear 60 7-9 $2,800 – $3,800
    Supermidsize Jet Citation Sovereign 8-10 $3,800 – $5,000
    Heavy Jet Gulfstream G-IV 10-16 $5,000 – $8,000
     
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  28. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Piaggio Avanti II/Evo would also fill the bill.
     
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  29. jayhawk74

    jayhawk74 Pre-Flight

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    I checked early december flights from MSP to BOS and for 3 people it would be $1085 round trip. Leaving KMSP at 0730 would get you into KBOS 1130. Getting a rental (an additional cost) and driving they would get to KBVY about 1 PM.
    IMO for this mission privtae or Fractional would be the best option. At Plane Sense you can get a 1/8 share in a PC-24 and a 1/8 share in a PC-12 which will get you about 200 hours for the year.
     
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  30. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    So they'd save a couple of hours in exchange for paying a multiple of the cost of flying commercial.
     
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  31. SethV

    SethV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    CJ3+ would be great for the mission. Can fly single pilot, high enough at FL450 to get above the weather, does not burn a crazy amount of fuel. About 420/lb/hr/side. Save money vs commercial, no - not even close but it does give the employees greater productivity and quality of life being home at night with their families.
     
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  32. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    True. Not the average turboprop…
     
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  33. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route PoA Supporter

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    This is a jet operation with 2 pilots. Some kind of Citation.....I forget, there are so many now.

    PC-12 too slow and unreliable
     
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  34. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I know a local operation that went from a king air 200 to a CJ3+ for almost the exact mission the OP described and they've been very happy with their choice. I've flown right seat on quite a few trips in both aircraft. If the OP is doing a 1000nm trip several times per month that pretty much seals the deal.
     
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  35. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Another advantage of the jet over the PC-12, is you could do a day trip to the east coast much easier. While it would be a long day in either airplane, 6 hours of flying vs 8 is way easier on both the pilots and the pax.

    Anyway, hope to hear back from the OP on what the results of this little project end up being. Good luck.
     
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  36. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    You just have to get it by....our CFO.... LOL!
     
  37. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Our last trip was what made me wonder. We bought tickets on Delta last minute (less than a week) and they were $500 for middle seats. We always buy refully cancelable. Byt the time we were done it was $500/each. We just don't know enough in advance to always ensure the $250/pp. Before Covid we were always using JetBlue, SouthWest and Delta. This is our first new travel push after Covid. Sure would be nice to drive up to the FBO. Excepting the pilot everyone knows everyone's Covid status and quirks. And no rental car hassle or rush hour out of Boston when arriving at 5pm the night before.
     
  38. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I would guess it would slowly expand...until whatever crash is next.

    We have critical sales people out there already and I think they are properly compensated for the crazy high cost of living increase. This travel would be a mix of technical marketing, applications support and often primary developers and designers. Maybe not today but in 1yr it might be more common. And a bit of that "Hey we needed help and they were here in 8hrs instead of 24hrs.".
     
  39. Sinistar

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    Will be long process to be sure but this information really helps!!!
     
  40. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I get that the PC-12 isn't going to jet speeds and probably not jet flight levels. But would you mind elaborating on the the 'unreliable' part? I wasn't aware they are the type of plane that is down a lot??