AIRCRAFT OWNERSHIP: IS THE TIME RIGHT?Written by Pat Redmond
In hours and days immediately following tragic attacks on America of 9/11, there was much speculation about effects on general aviation industry. While events of September 11, 2001 have had a significant impact on economy as a whole, sales of personal aircraft in Michigan have experienced a surprising boost. Certainly, convenience of personal transportation has played a major role in this increase as airport lines and security have become more time consuming. The reduction of flights resulting from airline cost-cutting have limited flexibility for business person and affected productivity of companies relying on commercial transportation. These factors alone can’t explain surge of people joining flying community for more than just pleasure. Rebates, low and 0% interest rates, training allowances, and yes, even IRS played a role in creating an environment that has introduced more people to benefits of aircraft ownership and had an effect similar to that seen after passage of General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1995.
The IRS is here to help you? Well, believe it or not, a new tax law passed earlier this year represents a renewed attempt by our nation’s leaders to jumpstart economic recovery. The bill applies to new airplanes acquired after September 10, 2001, and before September 11, 2004, and provides tax savings from economic stimulus provisions included in Internal Revenue Code designed to encourage investment in capital assets. Visit your local airport and you’re sure to see plenty of forty and fifty year old aircraft operating for both business and pleasure. Even prior to new tax law, Congress recognized that capital investment is an important part of our economy, and therefore allowed a five year depreciation of these assets. To further encourage investments, they do not require depreciation to be spread evenly over five years, but through a concept know as “double declining balance,” greatly accelerate depreciation during first two years of ownership. Now with additional incentives of 30% bonus depreciation on new airplanes, tax deferral opportunities are greatly expanded.
ADDRESSING SAFETY WITH NEW AVIONICSWritten by Pat Redmond
"How safe is it?" Along with "How much does it cost?" this is a question we often hear when someone is considering flight training as an option for depleting his or her discretionary income. Our industry has experienced a marked reduction in overall accidents and statistically, a 27.8% reduction in most recent 7 years! During this same time period General Aviation fatal accidents dropped 32.6% to just over 1 fatality for every 100,000-flight hours. Of these accidents, 80% are either partially or completely pilot induced, with weather related accidents and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accounting for majority of fatalities.
So what is industry doing to address issue of pilot errors?
Bendix/King has taken bull by horns and addressed this challenge with several new avionics products, and Cessna has taken next step by including Bendix/King advanced avionics package in their aircraft.
Situational Awareness: With its moving map and IFR approach capability, KLN94 GPS provides added safety through increased situational awareness. This GPS with its full color screen is as easy to operate, as it is to view.
Weather: Bendix/King Data Link Weather features a state-of-the-art data link system to bring textual and graphical weather to your cockpit with a high speed, high bandwidth system. With KDR 510, weather information (including METARs, TAFs, and PIREPs) is automatically updated and displayed on your KMD 550 (multi-function display) in your cockpit. For a small monthly fee, you can also receive NEXRAD radar and additional weather products that promote additional weather avoidance capability.