Repo man visits United's hangar

A1FlyBoy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Posts
682
Total Time
Enough
Crain's Chicago Business

Observers who think they've seen it all in United Airlines' chaotic bankruptcy are scratching their heads over the case of the vanishing jumbo jet.

A Boeing 747 that had been part of United's fleet for nearly 15 years was reclaimed Aug. 5 at Chicago's O'hare International Airport by its owner, Wilmington Trust Co. The next day, United settled a lengthy dispout with leasing companties that own 105 other aircraft in its fleet.

While United says it voluntarily returned the aircraft, people close to the lessors say the jet was repossessed - unusual for a major airline - as a negotiating ploy. The maneuver pressured United execs to reach a deal with financiers who control about one quarter of its 450 aircraft fleet, they contended.

Either way, the airline lost a wide-bodied jet for its lucrative overseas routes at the height of the summer travel season. "United probably didn't want to give up that airplane at that particular point." says Glen Langdon, president of Langdon Asset Management Inc.

Adds turnaround expert William Brandt: "When somebody pops an airplane out of you, it gets your attention. It's also embarrassing."

A United spokesman has another take. "We'd made competitive offers on the aircraft and it was not in our financial interest to pay the rates they were seeking," he says. "We did not return it. It did not impact our schedule or operations."

Lawyers for the leasing firms and a Wilmington Trust spokeswoman did not return calls. Wilmington still has the plane N-176UA, which is parked in the Mojave Desert.
 

SkyBoy1981

Bring a towel!
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Posts
1,482
Total Time
5000
Who are the pilots that do these repo's? That would be an interesting job.
 

TransMach

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Posts
492
Total Time
>12K
Probably UAL guys doing a little "moonlighting" for some extra scratch!

TransMach
 

ultrarunner

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,324
Total Time
10000
TransMach said:
Probably UAL guys doing a little "moonlighting" for some extra scratch!

TransMach
Exactly...and they prly are not loosing a bit of sleep over it either....I sure wouldn't be.
 

Sam Snead

Roger, Roger.
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Posts
151
Total Time
5000
Doesn't seem like United pilots would repo the plane to Mojave, I bet Wilmington contracted some other kind of 747-400 crew. Maybe a Boeing crew out of Seattle?

Who's got the real scoop on the crew?
 

typhoonpilot

Daddy
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
1,381
Total Time
17000+
A repo like that would be done by a crew that was either hired by the lessor or a company that the lessor does business with. There are a few companies/individuals around that do this sort of thing. A very good friend of mine runs one of them, he primarily works with one leasing company but does whatever work he can get. If you are interested go to www.aviacrews.com and look at his job openings.


Pay for a Captain can range from $400 to $700+ per day, while an F.O. can get from $250 to $500. It can be a good gig, but you have to know how to move airplanes without support from a dispatcher/operations. A background flying non-sched tends to be very helpful. Friends that do this kind of work talk about the retired airline guys who try to get into it who can't even figure out who to talk to on the radio at uncontrolled airports. You also tend to fly some really crappy airplanes that have been sitting around somewhere for a length of time and have lots of little glitches to deal with.


TP
 

psysicx

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2003
Posts
2,252
Total Time
-----
How does one repo a airline jet without getting in trouble of arrested?
 
Last edited:

FN FAL

Freight Dawgs Rule
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
8,573
Total Time
7,000+
A bank paid me to re-possess my own plane, twice. It's sounds like a pretty cool gig, until you figure out that when the bill is settled that you're going to have to pay yourself in the end.
 

ms6073

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
236
Total Time
Some
psysicx said:
How does one repo a airline jet without getting in trouble of arrested?
I am a little curious about that myself. Although it is probably simpler to 'sieze' the aircraft while it is parked/loitering on the ramp at a maintenance facility or simply parked in a temporary spot away from the terminal, both would require proper credentials in order for the flight crew to pass through security checkpoints to get on the ramp. If the aircraft was parked at the gate of a Pax terminal, even after getting through security checkpoints in the terminal, how would the flight crew coordinate a pushback from the gate/terminal in order taxi to the active?
 

Immelman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Posts
324
Total Time
340
ms6073 said:
I am a little curious about that myself. Although it is probably simpler to 'sieze' the aircraft while it is parked/loitering on the ramp at a maintenance facility or simply parked in a temporary spot away from the terminal, both would require proper credentials in order for the flight crew to pass through security checkpoints to get on the ramp. If the aircraft was parked at the gate of a Pax terminal, even after getting through security checkpoints in the terminal, how would the flight crew coordinate a pushback from the gate/terminal in order taxi to the active?
Um, I dunno, coordinate with UAL? Communicate? I think it is in UAL's interest not to attempt to retain posession of something that is being forcibly reposessed... bad PR big time! Given this, the creditors probably just got in contact with the relevant management, made it clear what was going to happen, and asked for things to go smoothly....
 

erj-145mech

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Posts
1,071
Total Time
1350
psysicx said:
How does one repo a airline jet without getting in trouble of arrested?
Whats the quality of life for the repo-man?

hey, someone had to say it!
 

SkyBoy1981

Bring a towel!
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Posts
1,482
Total Time
5000
I would imagine that a court order of some sort is required to do the repo. If they show up with a court order there isn't much the airline can do other than let them have it.
 

Peanut gallery

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
183
Total Time
25,000
Repo the process is simple

You go to the airport police show them your court order ( can even be a temp from a lower court obtained in the dark of the night ). They escort your entire crew to the A/C and make sure the lessee gives the aircraft to the crew. If you are on a plane being repo'd be sure to get all your stuff the first time, you may never see it again.

Would not pack my bag for less than 1,200 a day plus expenses. This usually guarantees that they have everything in order instead of waiting days for the order. Or you do like the Connie Monster does and just send a crew with no order and they end up in jail like St. Loius last fall.
 
Last edited:

WillowRunVortex

Former Sleepless Knight
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Posts
352
Total Time
D
Man! You know your airline is suckin hind tit when they are getting airplanes repossessed.
 

Peanut gallery

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
183
Total Time
25,000
Actually it is what the peolpe have to do that really blows

Flew with an F/O that is working a second job and hardly knows his wife and kids any more. Has sold the " House " and new car and is barely making ends meet because of some extra expenses that are no longer covered by the company with his 2 year old that has some health issues that used to be covered.
 
Top