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RCP_0709_p08-15:Hangar Talk 8/12/09 12:23 PM Page 14
The State of the Used Robinson Helicopter Market
By Andres L. Kerllenevich -
As a broker of used Robinson Heli- however, is that the vast majority of these away their helicopters.
copters, I receive two or three calls a day helicopters are owned free and clear of Buyers hoping to buy at rock bottom
from prospective sellers and buyers in- any loans. As a factory authorized dealer, prices must be prepared to make dozens
quiring as to the state of the market. My I know from experience that less than 5% of low offers before, possibly, finding a
response is always the same: the market of my customers borrow money to pur- seller that will accept. In most cases, that
is active but depressed. While this may chase their helicopters. In this way, the seller will not be found. Invariably when
seem like a contradiction, it means that used helicopter market is unlike the hous- such a deal is found, the buyer has spent
while there are still many buyers out there ing market where homeowners, who are months calling every ad in the trades (as
with the funds and desire to buy, they ex- behind on their mortgages, must sell well as calling the author of this article)
pect to pay much less than they would quickly or face foreclosure. In addition, making one low offer after another. As I
have paid just nine or ten months ago. where the housing market is awash in tell prospective buyers looking for the
Where a helicopter would have sold foreclosed properties, there is no such del- deal of a lifetime, “you will earn that deal
quickly for $375,000 last summer, the uge of repossessed Robinson Helicopters. with your time”. If a buyer needs or
highest offer I might receive on the same In order for a sale to take place at rock wants to buy a helicopter relatively
ship today is $315,000. The result is that bottom prices, a seller must find himself quickly, it is unlikely he will find a steal in
there are a lot of ships for sale, a lot of in a situation that requires him to take a a short period of time.
buyers making very low offers, and very significant financial hit. Given that most One sure way for a serious buyer to
few sales taking place. sellers are not carrying debt on their find a well priced helicopter is to purchase
Buyers call me every day making low ships, they can usually afford to park their one of the canceled orders sitting at the
offers and seem genuinely perplexed helicopters and wait for the market to im- factory. These ships are not going for fire
when sellers do not gratefully accept. prove. Unfortunately, when such deals sale prices but they are significantly dis-
They proclaim indignantly that the econ- do occur, the aviation rumor mill exag- counted and represent very good deals for
omy is in a recession and that the sellers gerates and disseminates knowledge of the serious buyer who does not have
have no choice but to sell at these prices. them at light speed creating the unrealis- weeks or months to spend making count-
One of the main points they are missing, tic notion that sellers a lining up to give less fruitless calls.
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