I went with Dean Welch, our technical director, to Pontiac, MI to review the log books and records for a 1989 Challenger 601-3A S/N 5050 we are now representing for sale. This is one of the most crucial steps in the process of signing up a new airplane. It can’t be overstated how important it can be for a smooth transaction to physically go to the hanger or FBO that is housing an airplane you intend to sell. You get a first-hand look at how it has been maintained, how the facility it is in is maintained and meet the people who do that work, and it gives you a chance to make sure you that all of the log books and records are accounted for and accurate. We read every entry in every book, line by line. As a broker, you want to know any issues an airplane may have or important upgrades and service bulletins it has complied with and be able to relate that story to any potential buyer before they make a trip all the way out to look at those records themselves anyway.
This was a really great experience for me, and something that I will repeat many times in the future. It was also a cold trip, filled with freezing rain and ice covered rental cars. Michigan is a beautiful place with warm people, but man we hit a cold patch. Another important element of this trip was getting a new headshot while we were having the aircraft we were listing photographed. I worked in LA for 8 years, but never got a headshot. Then, I move to Boulder, CO to sell airplanes and I’m on my second one! I have to admit that when I first made the move and I needed something fast for the website, my wife and I did a little Photoshop. Here’s a secret. If you saw my first one, I am not really standing in front of an airplane. I am in my house against a white wall and my wife, a master photoshoper, worked her magic. In Pontiac, it was now time for the real deal. Our regular airplane photographer, Charles Tack, stood out in the snow with me as I stood next to a real airplane and he took a great picture. His Photoshop work included removing snowflakes, but the background was set. Thank you, Charles. And thank you Dean, for taking me on this trip and doing your share of training me. A plane from 1989 has a lot of records and you taught me how to get through that much data. That’s all for now, but there’ll certainly be more to come!