Case Histories

1 - Extra Effort


The successful truck fleet leasing company operated a twin engine turboprop to help them manage and grow their business. Revenue increased, customer locations expanded both in numbers and locations, and soon they realized more capable equipment was required. But which aircraft was the best choice?

That's when their president sought the expertise available from a Holstein Aviation team member. Mission requirements, operating parameters, financial resources and management team preferences were researched. Aircraft which met those criteria were thoroughly evaluated. A light jet was selected and the acquisition process set into motion.

Almost immediately the challenge arose of maintaining travel schedules while the flight crew underwent training. That's when the Holstein Aviation team member went the extra mile. He quickly left for recurrent training just before the holidays, traveling back home Christmas Eve. Then he delivered the aircraft on New Year's Eve.

Next he initiated the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums flight manual preparation process, while also flying the company's trips over the next three weeks, including one to transport a cancer patient who was also a company employee, while the permanent flight crew completed their initial training.

But he didn't stop there. On the regular captain's first trip, which was at night in the winter, he flew with him, and maintained an ongoing familiarization process until the company pilot was completely up to speed.


While transactions are a means for generating revenue, building relationships based on trust, performance and extra effort are what add value. When the time came to acquire another aircraft, the call immediately came to their Holstein Aviation team member who has performed for them so superbly before.

Lessons Learned

Few others, if any, have the client focus or the ability and desire to do whatever it takes. At Holstein Aviation, going the extra mile is just the first step.

2 - Patient Diligence


One of the very tools that proved so instrumental to their rapid expansion and increased profitability, a business aircraft, was something against which the founder of a privately held flexible packaging manufacturer was dead set. Ironically, this was a text book case of a business aviation asset being the ideal solution to an otherwise crippling time management problem.

Founded in the late 1950s, innovation, dedication to excellence and good timing helped the family-owned company start growing immediately and continuously. Then the unexpected death of their father, who was also chairman, meant that all five children and their mother were forced to assume more roles and broader responsibilities, and travel much more.

While they were successful going from an annual revenue of $300 million to $500 million, that growth took its toll. More nights away met more and more family dinners, children's school programs and extracurricular activities were missed. Then a key and unavoidable business trip arose. Being back in time for the necessary commitment was not possible via automobile or commercial airlines. That's when the Holstein Aviation professional stepped in.

Utilizing flight demonstration aircraft on an interim basis, he quickly developed an affordable ten hour turboprop and jet charter trial program for emergencies such as this one. That first ten hours were gone in just three days!


Quickly the means for eliminating a major obstacle to further growth became an indispensable way of being in more places more often. The company took a quarter century to first sample the benefits of business aviation. Now they have owned multiple aircraft over the past 25 years. Starting with chartered turboprops and light jets, they then purchased a light jet. The next move was to a larger aircraft. Now another aircraft with greater capability supports their multiple subsidiaries and locations across the United States and the world. In the process, their annual revenue has grown from $300 million to greater than $3 billion.

Lessons Learned

Due diligence is the key for a successful decision to utilize business aircraft. Sometimes that takes another format - patience. Your Holstein Aviation team is ready to help you today. But we'll also be here to assist you tomorrow. We know how to get you where you need to go, and how to step you through the process at your own pace.

3 - Long Term Care


The Holstein Aviation professional team member first began this multi-year relationship with his client when the aircraft being used was a single engine turboprop. His client, an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, was a real estate investor who also owned multiple franchised motorcycle dealerships. Being present at many different locations frequently and in a timely manner was critical to profitably growing his business and successfully managing the inventory investment portfolio.

Engine and systems redundancy was almost immediately identified as a key factor that needed to be addressed. Thorough evaluation brought a twin engine turboprop into use. Next, tax benefits and desirable upgrades were elements brought to the forefront, and a newer turboprop was purchased through the Holstein Aviation team member. Then the opportunity to obtain additional capability was reviewed, and a larger, faster turboprop with great range and payload was put to work. Finally the time arrived for transition into a faster mode of travel. A light jet is now the latest workhorse in the 20 aircraft he has owned.

When it came time to hire pilots, or address training issues, his Holstein Aviation associate was there with information and recommendations. Once he even sent a pilot to bring his client and the aircraft back home when an event occurred while they were on a business trip.

There was one particular occasion over the years that the situation could have gone south. The first twin engine turboprop purchased presented multiple challenges and opportunities for a business relationship to flounder. However, his Holstein Aviation representative put everything into the proper perspective with one simple and declarative statement: "You can be assured that, at the end of the day, we will take care of you, as always."

He was assured, to the extent that this client has relied on his knowledge and experience to purchase five airplanes in the last six years with him.


While the aircraft have changed a lot over the years, one thing remains unchanged: a solid relationship built by maintaining focus on the client's best interests and needs, even before he knows they exist.

Lessons Learned

Trust built on performance stands the test of time. Accomplishing your objectives is how we get paid, but building strong and lasting relationships is how we are measured. That's why our clients come, but rarely go.

4 - Caveat Emptor


In the world of aviation transactions, the potential for severe turbulence always exists if proper protocol is not followed, and attention is not paid to every single one of the myriad of associated details. Historically, the majority of times aircraft are bought, sold or leased the entire process can be pre-calculated and made to go forward smoothly, efficiently and accurately. However, even with the most precise planning and detailed preparation, unforeseen circumstances can arise. Here is where your need for experienced, knowledgeable professionals is critical.


The most important component of any transaction is conducting exhausting and thorough research to gain complete and total knowledge of the aircraft in question, including its ownership, operational and maintenance history. Additionally, if disregarded or not managed correctly, all relevant aspects, such as FAA regulations, legal requirements, financing ramifications and intended missions or proposed areas of operations, can inevitably complicate transactions, precipitate substantial financial loss, or create serious, possibly unsolvable, problems in the future.

Creative writing. The Holstein Aviation team member was procuring a pre-owned turboprop aircraft for his client. As the log books were being reviewed, many years of experience triggered alarm bells. The maintenance record indicated there had been minor, and repaired, damage from a "bird strike". While encounters with various flying fowl are not uncommon in aviation (think Captain Sullenberger, US Airways and the Hudson River), someone with lesser knowledge and expertise very likely may not have sensed a major problem.

Separate entries in the airframe log book recorded repairs to a wing leading edge and engine cowling air inlet. Another entry in the propeller log book showed a premature prop overhaul. Lastly, the engine log book revealed an extraordinarily early hot section inspection performed during the same time period.

Yes, there had been a bird strike. But the bird was sitting in a tree at the time! Further, detailed investigation revealed that the pilot had gotten too low on an approach to the airport in poor weather conditions, subsequently elected to go around, and in the process impacted tree tops, and the now deceased bird, which damaged the wing, cowling and propeller, along with the engine from the debris that went through it.

The aircraft's market value was now significantly less than the proposed purchase price. As you probably have surmised, thanks to his Holstein Aviation professional, the buyer did not make the purchase, and a substantial loss was avoided.

Lessons Learned

Proceed at your own and great risk in an aircraft transaction, or utilize the knowledgeable, experienced and trusted professionals at Holstein Aviation. That way, Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware), is nothing more than an ancient mantra, not a prediction of the outcome.

5 - The Other Guys


We are all human, and mistakes do happen. But, as our clients will testify, the chances for problems to occur fall somewhere between slim and none when Holstein Aviation is looking out for your best interests. Unfortunately, others weren't as fortunate as you will be when you have our team of professionals on your side.


Errors of Omission. The large cabin, long range aircraft was purchased from a major, widely recognized telecommunications provider and then leased through a third party. The buyer's attorney, while undoubtedly good at his profession, was not particularly knowledgeable of or experienced in some of the aviation transaction nuances. Consequently, the lease was never recorded with the FAA, resulting in the company being subject to a fine of $1,000 per movement. It was not until a new Director of Aviation came on board more than a year after the purchase and began his operational assessment that this major problem was discovered. Potential liability was well in excess of $100,000!

The Scam. While there are many variations, a common approach is where the purchase offer regarding an aircraft listed for sale arrives via email. Attached is a signed contract with very reasonable terms, minimal or no price negotiation, and only the requirement that the seller sign the agreement to execute the sale. A substantial purchase deposit purportedly will then be put into escrow.

Unfortunately, when a seller goes it alone without professional advice and assistance, an uninformed, albeit normal, response is to sign the agreement prior to the deposit being made. Then an "official looking" email arrives stating that the seller is required to wire $10,000 to an account in a European financial institution for purchase of "bank-required title insurance". Of course, this requirement, the buyer and everything else involved is fictitious. When the fraud is perpetrated, the seller certainly is now much wiser, but also definitely much poorer.

Different Countries. Different Rules. The European Union requires US-registered aircraft operating within the EU for longer than seven days to be "imported". If not, the operator is subject to a Value Added Tax (VAT) on the aircraft. Properly completed paperwork and a $1,000 fee will yield a "letter of association" that allows flights within and between EU countries for up to six months.

Failure to comply with this regulation can have disastrous results, as an unnamed aircraft manufacturer learned the hard way. They based an aircraft in Geneva for their customer to use while awaiting delivery of a new aircraft. However, Switzerland is not a member of the European Union. Shortly thereafter the aircraft was impounded in England upon landing there. Twelve days and $125,000 later in fines and legal fees, the aircraft was released.

Lessons Learned

Even experienced operators or flight departments are still only usually involved in buying, selling or leasing an aircraft on occasion. Yet the potential for costly and perhaps even unsolvable problems never looms larger than during an aircraft transaction. When you rely on the experience and expertise of the professional team at Holstein Aviation, you'll learn a lot, but not at a high cost.