Do you enjoy flying? Do you like the freedom that comes with spending time up in the sky?
If you do, you’re not alone. Within the last 10 years, civilian helicopter ownership has increased by 38%. There are thousands of helicopters in use in the United States, including thousands of military helicopters.
If you’ve ever thought about buying your own helicopter, it’s best to consider all facets of such a purchase. You may have visions of taking luxurious trips with family, friends and your own private pilot. But buying a helicopter can’t be done on just a whim or by doing some basic research online. If you really want to buy your own private helicopter, here are some tips for doing it the right way.
- Meeting needs and budget: As you do some research into helicopters, whether it’s Sikorsky or another company, you want to make sure it meets your needs and your budget. You want to look at the cabin size, it’s capabilities in weather, whether it’s a single-engine or twin-engine and ultimately whether it fits within your budget.
Helicopters can range anywhere from $350,000 to $2,000,000, depending on what you’re looking for. Some companies like Airbus and Sikorsky have twin-engine models that have lots of speed, cargo space and other top-of the line features, but they also require pilots with specific skills, a high budget and lots of support from a maintenance service center.
Even if you were to buy a refurbished helicopter, you’re likely going to have spend quite a bit of time (think at least a few years) customizing and getting it to a point where it’s going to safe and reliable for you to use.
- Looking at specs: If you’ve put in some time and research to find a reliable model of helicopter that you want to buy and can afford, you can then search for that specific model to see if it’s for sale. Many websites and print publications list agents, private sellers, dealers and other folks who can help you.
Keep in mind that not all sellers are created equal and you want to make sure you find a reputable one before you put any money down.
Along with that, you’re going to want to get all the specs on your preferred model. That means getting a list of equipment that’s installed, a maintenance summary, photos, damage history and a log of how actively your model has been run or flown. You may also inquire how long a particular model has been for sale and whether maintenance support is provided for it.
- Get someone to help you: Comparing different helicopters can sometimes be like comparing apples to oranges. It’s best that you find an agent or a service center to really help you understand different costs and values associated with helicopters.
- Buy it the right way: Once you’ve done all the necessary homework, crossed your I’s and dotted your T’s, you’re ready to negotiate buying your chopper. The better informed you are and the more prepared you are, the more likely you can negotiate in your favor. Get an agent to draft a Helicopter Purchase Agreement (HPA). These HPAs can get quite lengthy, but they cover all the terms and conditions associated with the sale and purchase of a copter.
- Enjoy it: The process of buying a helicopter can be challenging and lengthy, but once it’s finished, be sure to enjoy your purchase. You’ve worked hard to get to this point and you can enjoy plane rides with friends, family and even work clients.
If you’re in the market for Sikorsky parts, you’re in luck. Thankfully Sikorsky maintains a thorough global parts inventory for both commercial and military helicopters alike. The Sikorsky parts inventory includes a very involved exchange program for various components of helicopters. In fact, it’s estimated that Sikorsky processes more than 50,000 shipments every year to more than 1,000 customers all over the globe. This is made possible by utilizing the services of more than 1,000 helicopter parts suppliers, who maintain more than 100,000 Sikorsky parts. So a search of “Sikorsky parts,” “Sikorsky spare parts” or “spare parts Sikorsky” can likely direct you to a nearby warehouse.