Buying Better

posted on 20th March 2023
Buying Better

Nick Copley, President of SherpaReport, the private aviation and lifestyle website, explains the thinking behind its Aircraft Buying Guide 2022 digital book

SherpaReport, a well-established independent source of in-depth information on private aircraft and associated lifestyle, released its Aircraft Buying Guide 2022 in October 2022. Co-authored by Nick Copley, President of SherpaReport, and Paul LaFata, President of AirPower, the guide offers a side-by-side comparison of around 150 business aircraft types and their specifications, as well as examples of operating costs for more than 25 models, with charts and data designed to help inform the purchase process.
“Private aviation is a massive part of what we do,” Copley tells EVA. “We also cover ‘shared luxury areas’, including travel clubs and yachts, but private aviation accounts for as much as 90% of our coverage. We speak to the folks in the cabin, aiming to educate them on their options for getting from A to B. We explain fractional ownership, charter, what jet cards are and what’s involved in wholly owning a plane.”
The website has seen an influx of new users post-Covid, as travellers look for an alternative to airline travel. It also welcomes seasoned private jet users looking for new ways to fly, and former corporate fliers exploring options now they have retired or moved out of the company structure. As a result, Copley says SherpaReport was engaging in more and more conversations around the themes of what full aircraft ownership looks like and what is involved in buying an aircraft.
“We’ve always covered that, but in a variety of articles. Paul LaFata and I looked around and couldn’t see anywhere that all the parts of the aircraft buying and ownership puzzle had been described and written down in one place. We decided to bring the pieces together to help people recognise what they were and help them solve the aircraft buying puzzle. We didn’t set out to provide legal advice, for example, because we aren’t lawyers, but we have made people aware they need to talk to an aviation lawyer and given them an idea of the types of questions they should ask.”
Described as a ‘book’, the Aircraft Buying Guide 2022 is available for all SherpaReport members to download. Because it is digital, it is easily changed and Copley aims to update it at least annually. “We have charts of typical purchase prices and operating costs for new and used aircraft, for example, and those will change over time. We’ll also add new models and adjust the content to reflect new legal requirements and other changes,” he says.