skip to main content
Getting To The Runway The Right Way Pentastar

Getting to the Runway the Right Way: The Private Aviation Lifecycle

For some, the journey through The Private Aviation Lifecycle is fraught with challenges and frustrations. For others, especially those who benefit from the experienced guidance of a private aviation provider who has the insights, resources, and relationships to help them navigate the process, it’s a smooth flight with little turbulence. One thing that journey rarely is, however, is fast.

The Private Aviation Lifecycle is “the journey of discovery and education that typifies most entrants into the rare air of flying private.” The key steps in that process are research, acquisition, outfitting, and entry into service. Thoughtful and informed engagement at each step in this process is important to making sure newcomers to the world of private aviation have an experience that meets their needs and validates the time and money they have invested in flying private. And when making a substantial investment in a potentially life-changing acquisition, research and due diligence is a critical first step.

But even before getting started on research, aspiring owners of private aircraft would be well served in identifying a trusted aviation partner to guide them through the complexities of a process that can take several months—or more—to complete. The right partner will not only be able to answer your questions and put you in touch with reputable experts to assist you along the way, but frequently introduce you to new ideas and considerations that never would have otherwise come up. In other words, they can not only tell you what you need to know, but help you answer essential questions you probably didn’t even know you needed to ask.

While every step in the private aviation journey requires some level of research and education, the initial research period is especially critical. Deciding on the right aircraft and service profile to meet your private aviation needs is the foundational element that will inform future steps in the process.

Perhaps counterintuitively, that means that every private aviation journey begins not by looking to the skies but by looking inward. Basic questions like where do you want to fly and how often will you be traveling and how many coworkers or family members will be accompanying you all need to be answered. The right private aviation partner won’t just dig into these questions but will conduct research on your past flights and business travel schedule, overlaying that data with different aircraft profiles to start to get a sense of which aircraft would be a good fit. They can also talk through some nuances and provide valuable perspective on cost-benefit analysis and discussion about trade-offs and expenses.

For example, if you typically only take one long-distance trip a year, it might make sense to save the money that it would take to buy a bigger aircraft capable of flying longer distances without refueling, and instead reconcile yourself to having to make a stop along the way. Even some lifestyle and logistics questions such as how much luggage you typically take with you, do you carry golf clubs or skis, and how much usable weight and space flexibility will you require can all influence your decision-making.

Once your private aviation partner has narrowed down your options to a short list of the best aircraft models to meet your needs, they can present you with a detailed breakdown of the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each of those options. From price and performance to premium comfort features and conveniences, every aircraft is different.

As you narrow down your options, your partner will typically then present a market overview that includes a general price point of what each of these aircraft typically cost when purchased new or used. This overview will also show which aircraft are for sale, what the current asking prices and aircraft conditions are, and other relevant information. Empowered with this perspective and information, you can make an informed decision about where—and how—to invest.

At this stage of the process, it’s not yet time to fly—but it is time to buy. Acquisition is the next step in the private aviation lifecycle.