Sales of Used Turbines Remain Flat

When looking for signs of recovery in general aviation, one of the first indicators is what's happening with used aircraft sales. But according to data supplied by JetNet and published by McGraw Hill, there's not much insight to take away from September's numbers, the latest ones available. Jet sales in North America were pretty consistent with those from Septembers going back to 2008. This year, 39 light jets changed hands, 17 medium jets and 22 heavies. That compares with 44 (light jets)17 (medium) and 29 (heavy) last year and 44, 21 and 34 in 2008. That's a bit odd in that the great economic meltdown is generally considered to have hit in October 2008. Yet in September 2007, well before the crash, used jet sales numbers were not much different comparable to all three years since 46 light jets, 34 medium and 24 large. Sales of light turboprops (mostly singles, but also including Mitsubishi MU-2s and Cessna Conquests) have been remarkably stable over the past four Septembers. There were 46 sold in 2007, 44 each in September 2008 and 2009 and 39 changing hands in September 2010. Sales of medium and heavy turboprops — such as King Air 90s and Cheyenne IIIs through King Air 200s and 300s, Cheyenne 400 Series and Jetstream 31s — were similarly stable over the past four years. What the sales data does not reveal are the prices paid. Most agree that hard times have reduced aircraft values across the board by at least 20 percent.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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