DTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1028 posts, RR: 5 Posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10621 times:
I have always been curious about who gets the job of repossesing an aircraft when the leasor falls behind in their payments or simply stops flying. Does the airline fly a crew in under cover of night and "sneak" it out or are there companies that specialize in this? I imagaine some airlines just willingly surrender them.
Years ago I recall reading a fascinating story of how TWA got their 727 back after the Beirut hijacking. They were afraid the aircraft had been wired with explosives or had been disabled deliberately. They were able to get it out and fly it to Crete (IIRC) for a complete checkout. The article said the interior had been vandalized and it stank to high heaven but was flyable. After that it wasflown to MCI for a complete overhaul and I remember seeing a picture of Captain Testrake being reunited with "his" airplane.
Does anyone recall where that article appeared and if it can still be pulled up through the magic of data bases?
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/MD-88-90
cptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2854 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10490 times:
Last year there was an interesting TV series (on the "Dirty Jobs" series, I think, Discovery Channel) on aircraft repossession featuring Nick Popovich's airplane repo business. Sage -Popovich, Inc. is located in Valparaiso, IN and is one of the foremost a/c repo businesses worldwide. They often sneakily, and with some certain danger depending on the country, repo everything from SEL up to Airbus and 747. Helicopters, too.
Interestingly, they'll sometimes find an a/c is "junk" when they get it "home" and make money by parting it out.
Really neat TV series, hopefully they'll rerun it. For interest you can access Sage-Popvich, Inc. online for background, overview, etc. regards...jack
cornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 309 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9999 times:
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2): Interestingly, they'll sometimes find an a/c is "junk" when they get it "home" and make money by parting it out.
I watched one of the episodes where they determined that the aircraft that they were supposed to repossess was unflyable. (Birds' nests in the engines, water leaking in the interior, that sort of thing.) They rented some hangar space at the airport, had the aircraft towed in there, and then paid a local mechanic to disassemble the aircraft and part it out.
cptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2854 posts, RR: 13 Reply 8, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9984 times:
Perhaps for TV drama, all (or surely most all) of the Sage-Popovich efforts in the series envolved this very clandestine type of operation. I remember one installment showed the difficulty of sneaking in and installing batteries in an Airbus at certain opportunities when airport security was "on break" (this was in a Middle Eastern country) so they could ferry it to a fuel stop before returning to the USA. These instances are for sure when the operator refuses to give up the a/c voluntarily. Some "past due" operators actually hide the aircraft and S-P, Inc. has "private detectives" to locate the properties before a repo crew designs a way to retrieve. regards...jack
avek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4236 posts, RR: 19 Reply 12, posted (10 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9564 times:
Among other things, if a lessor thinks a bird might be repossessed anytime soon, the company is going to send folks to te airline's maintence record storage areas, as a full copy of the aircraft's maintenance history is required in order to place that plane anywhere else.
CX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6448 posts, RR: 56 Reply 20, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4492 times:
How on earth can you just take an airliner? How do the crew get through security? Who does the pushback? Who drives away any ground equipment? Who refuels it? Who files a flightplan with ATC? I've never watched the series, maybe it would answer my questions but it seems like an almost impossible feat.
Skyguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 467 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4027 times:
In 2003 a 727 went missing after taking off from Luanda, Angola, it is believed the aircraft was being repossesed but details were murky. The FBI got involved as in those days after 9/11 a missing plane could mean that it had been stolen b terrorists. The plane was never seen again and wreckage has never been found. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N844AA
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
rduddji From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1377 posts, RR: 3 Reply 22, posted (10 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3851 times:
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 2): Last year there was an interesting TV series (on the "Dirty Jobs" series, I think, Discovery Channel) on aircraft repossession featuring Nick Popovich's airplane repo business. Sage -Popovich, Inc. is located in Valparaiso, IN and is one of the foremost a/c repo businesses worldwide. They often sneakily, and with some certain danger depending on the country, repo everything from SEL up to Airbus and 747. Helicopters, too.
I think I would rather see the guys from "Lizard Lick Towing" repo an airplane. That being said, I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of repo's are done with permission from all involved.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
planesmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 739 posts, RR: 0 Reply 25, posted (10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3078 times:
So exciting in the movies and TV, but.............
Financiers have experts monitoring their clients, and the clients suppliers, for early warning signs of problems (asset managers).
99% of re-possessions are amicable, often initiated at the request of the client.
For the 1%, interest / debt forgiveness may be agreed, and / or cash paid, to ensure all documentation, spares, plus the aircraft are handed over complete and undamaged, though it can be staff, rather than management, who are the least co-operative.
That basically leaves country risk, for which there is insurance.
GA is different, because u have financial issues, plus relationship matters (such as marraige break-ups, family feuds, inheritance), and it's easier to conceal, move, break up and destroy the asset. The same challenges faced re-possessing vehicles.