Charles Gunter, a former Boeing 747 training and check captain with Cathay Pacific, became involved with aircraft sales in 2007 when he joined Airitalia as sales rep for the Vulcanair brand.
In 2009 the Vulcanair sales channel continued under Airflite (Cessna) where Charles also became responsible for sales of the Cessna piston range. Charles says he was fortunate to be mentored by some great aircraft sales people through his association with Airflite.
Gunter says, "the GFC was a tough time to be in the aircraft sales game. The coronavirus reminds me of the GFC where we focused on survival, knowing good times would return again one day."
Avia Aviation, founded 2011, is now in its 10th year and continues as a sales agent for the Vulcanair brand (distributed by Airitalia), and specialises in pre-owned Cirrus sales. Avia held the Cirrus dealership in Melbourne from 2014 to 2018.
Advice for aircraft buyers and sellers?
"Right now the best deals are - by a large margin - here in Australia and New Zealand, especially compared to importing anything from the USA. Unfortunately exporting aircraft to the USA isn't practical at the moment because of the current coronavirus restrictions."
"Legally document everything even where the parties know each other well. I've seen handshake deals go horribly wrong."
Why use an aircraft broker? "Negotiation for one thing. Sales psychology is important and doesn't come naturally to many people. Brokers work really hard and the admin side of an aircraft sale can easily go pear-shaped, especially with the CASA paperwork" Gunter said. Avia also insists buyers have a pre purchase inspection (PPI) done regardless of the age of the aircraft.
What can happen? "If the paperwork is not submitted in a timely fashion the aircraft can become deregistered requiring the reissue of the Certificate of Airworthiness. That can be horribly expensive." There is also Airservices, AvData, and AMSA paperwork to be taken care of.
Other advice? "Always tell the truth - you don't need makeup stuff to get a deal done. Advise potential buyers to the existence of other buyers interested in an aircraft - otherwise you risk people getting out of shape with you if they miss out..."
Avia also offers flight training from RPL through CPL at their Moorabbin premises under their Part 141 training certificate, specialising in the Private IFR rating.
Cirrus training is also offered at Avia where they operate the only CAPS-handle-equipped, full-motion simulator in Australia, as well as six Perspective and Perspective+ Cirrus aircraft. Formal Cirrus training is offered utilising the services of Melbourne's only Platinum CSIP (Cirrus Standardised Instructor Pilot).