14 & 15 November 2019 | Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Aircraft Transaction Masterclass US 2019

You never stop learning. Which is why the Aircraft Transaction Masterclass US was so valuable to everyone within the business aviation community who attended in November 2019. 

This unique two-day intensive course held at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach  provided attendees with the fundamentals of aviation transactions, designed to cover the process from start to finish, filling in any gaps in their  knowledge.

Through interactive group discussions, hands-on case studies and informative presentations, the course guaranteed attendees they would expand their knowledge –  either as someone new to the industry or for those looking to refresh or develop their insight.

In the past attendees have included: financial institutions, operators, charter brokers, trust companies, law firms, aircraft brokers and others.

Aircraft Transaction Masterclass US course outline:

Led by a faculty of expert business aviation specialists – who close transactions every day – the course will use practical examples and case studies to give you knowledge and understanding you can use to get deals closed:

Located on the stunning Miami Beach , this residential course was  held at the Fontainebleau, on the 19th & 20th November 2019


Day one: Buying & Selling

9.00 Introduction to the course
Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

9.15 Why aircraft transactions are a team sport
Choosing the right team
Keeping all the parts moving
Paying cash versus financing
The first questions: How will you use the aircraft?
Where will you use it? Who will use it?
Brian Proctor, Mente Group

9.50 Key legal aspects of the sales process
Essential elements of the LOI
Long form versus short form
Negotiating the deposit and escrow
The aircraft sale and purchase agreement
Getting deals to completion
David Hernandez, Vedder Price
John Farrish, JetAVIA

11.10 Case study: Negotiating a letter of intent
David Hernandez, Vedder Price

12.10 Lunch

13.10 Tax issues
Aircraft – the tax universe
Different states, Exporting aircraft
Chris Younger, GKG Law
Suzanne Meiners-Levy, Advocate Consulting Legal Group, PLLC.

14.10 Registering aircraft in the US
The key factors to consider:
The aircraft, Cost & service, Use & operation, Ownership structure, Financing, Political environment, Looking abroad
Bruce Marshall, AIC Title Service

15.10 Afternoon tea

15.30 Mitigating risks: Maintenance programmes
What do you need to think about?
What should you be tracking?
What do maintenance programmes protect?
How maintenance affects asset values
Alan Mangels, Rolls-Royce

16.00 The art of sales. Why nothing happens until something is sold
Wayne Starling, IADA

16.45 Day One Recap
Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor


Day two: Aircraft finance

9.00 Introduction to Day two
Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet Investor

9.05 The rules of financing aircraft
Business jet finance versus commercial aircraft finance
How institutions choose their sweet-spot
Competing with other asset classes
Minimising risk
Ford von Weise, Citi Private Bank

10.05 Looking after the assets
Gary Crichlow, Arc & Co. Marine & Aviation

10.35 Repossessing aircraft
Identifying potential risks
Managing risks
The importance of planning
David Hernandez, Vedder Price

11.05 Morning Coffee

11.25 Case study: War gaming a hostile repossession
David Hernandez, Vedder Price

12.25 What is an aircraft worth?
The different approaches for valuing aircraft
What affects valuations
Using valuation guides
Joe Zulueta, Aeronautical Systems

12.55 Lunch

14.00 Legal considerations for aircraft debt and lease finance
Structuring loan and lease agreements
Personal and corporate Guarantees
Aircraft Mortgages and security Assignments
Edward Gross, Vedder Price
Melissa Kopit, Vedder Price

15.00 Key insurance issues
What is insurance?
How aviation insurance works
What covers are available to what risks?
Ed Underwood, Avsurance

15.30 Closing Comments
Alasdair Whyte, Corporate Jet


Please find the following speaker profiles:

John Farrish
General Counsel, jetAVIVA

John joined jetAVIVA in 2016, where he combines his love of aviation and legal experience as VP of Transactions and General Counsel. In this role he quarterbacks the entire transaction process from "'yes' to close" for jetAVIVA clients. John and his team coordinate contracting, financing, insurance, mechanical inspections, maintenance programs, FAA, and escrow, simplifying the sale and purchase process for clients, including many first time jet owners. Approximately 300 aircraft transactions have been accomplished during John's time at jetAVIVA, including dozens of international transactions. Internally, John daily counsels jetAVIVA's Sales Directors and the rest of the management team on business strategy and risk management.

Prior to joining jetAVIVA, he was a partner at a national law firm where he represented clients from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies in civil litigation, with rich legal experience in the fields aviation, maritime, EMS, and hospitality.

John graduated from Purdue University in 2004 with a B.S. in Management and earned a J.D. from University of Miami (FL) in 2007. He is licensed to practice law in Georgia, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as various federal courts.

Edward Gross
Shareholder, Vedder Price

Edward Gross has 30 years of experience representing bank-affiliated and large, independent equipment financing companies in all aspects of equipment finance transactions, including documenting, structuring, negotiating, syndicating and enforcing these transactions.

Edward is considered an industry leader in business aircraft and helicopter finance. These transactions vary in structure and include tax and non-tax lease, operating lease and secured loan financing of managed and /or chartered aircraft, fleet aircraft and helicopters operated in various service capacities and engine pools, aircraft operated under fractional and “pay card” arrangements and progress payment, completion and other multi-funding structures. Clients include market-leading aircraft and helicopter financing providers, investors or operating lessors, as well as large publicly or privately held businesses, governmental entities or high-net-worth individual users. Many of these transactions involve foreign registered aircraft.

David M. Hernandez
Shareholder at Vedder Price

David M. Hernandez is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm's Global Transportation Finance team, whose performance led Vedder Price to be named Aviation 100 Law Firm of the Year 2015. In 2016, David was ranked Band 1 in Private Aircraft (Global-wide) in Chambers High Net Worth, which recognizes the world’s leading high net worth advisers.

David has considerable experience assisting clients with aircraft transactions, complex government investigations, aircraft, air carrier and part certifications, and enforcement matters (FAA and DOT violations, export controls, hazardous materials and drug/alcohol testing). He frequently advises clients on aircraft purchase/sale agreements, leases, fractional program documents, aircraft management agreements, aircraft use policies, cross-border transactions, personal use of company aircraft and regulatory (FAA, SEC and IRS) compliance. Mr. Hernandez represents a wide variety of clients, including public and private corporations, aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, airlines, defense contractors, airports, corporate flight departments, charter operators and high-net-worth individuals. Mr. Hernandez is also an active member of the National Business Aviation Association Tax Committee and Regulatory Issues Advisory Group.

Prior to joining Vedder Price, David was a prosecutor at the FAA as well as an honors attorney for the U.S. Department of Transportation. He also served in the Office of the Counsel to the President during the Clinton administration and was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Chris Miller
Managing Partner, Shearwater Aero Capital

Chris Miller is Managing Partner at Shearwater Aero Capital
Shearwater is a private finance company offering asset-based financing on business jet aircraft for clients across the globe. Founded in 2014 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, Shearwater has financed aircraft in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.

Prior to Shearwater, Mr. Miller oversaw Guggenheim Partners’ Business Aircraft Investment (BAI) Group. The BAI Group provided capital solutions to the business aviation industry, specifically asset-based lending on medium to large sized business aircraft.

Prior to a career in business aviation finance, Mr. Miller ran the US Division of a UK based performance management consultancy working with management teams of both small and large organizations on the execution of their strategies. Notable projects include working with a private equity group to form a venture to fly cargo into geopolitically unstable regions of the world as well as working with large defense contractors to help fulfill urgent need requests from US military forces based in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before entering the business world, Mr. Miller served in the United States Marine Corps, as an F/A-18 pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Aviation Safety Officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps School of Aviation Safety and currently holds a commercial pilot rating. He is an accredited “Senior Aircraft Appraiser” with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and serves on its Investment Committee. He is also the former President of the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA). Mr. Miller received a BA from Denison University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Nel Stubbs
Vice-President & Co-owner, Conklin & de Decker

Nel joined Conklin & de Decker in 1999 and has been in the business aviation industry for more than twenty-five years. She consults with numerous companies and individuals on aviation tax related matters at both the federal and state levels and has extensive experience in the areas of tax planning, cost and financial analysis, budgeting, aircraft ownership, operating structures and tax audits. She is instrumental in developing and supporting the Conklin & de Decker seminar program and marketing efforts. Nel was formerly with the National Business Aviation Association and developed the tax program during her tenure and was very instrumental in developing the NBAAs first comprehensive aircraft cost comparison program. Nel has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a Master of Aeronautical Science.

Ford von Weise
Global Head of Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank

Mr. von Weise is currently a Director and Global Head of the Aircraft Finance Group at Citi Private Bank. The group provides private aircraft financing solutions to individual ultra high net worth clients and their companies throughout the world. Mr. von Weise’s responsibilities and roles while at Citi have included loan origination, product program management, reporting and workouts. The group focuses on transactions typically in the range of $10 to $50 million.

Mr. von Weise has over fourteen years of business aviation experience most recently serving as Vice President of Business Aviation Finance for Merrill Lynch Capital. Prior to Merrill Lynch, he worked for GMAC Commercial Finance in the same capacity. His expertise covers a wide range of corporate and personal aircraft both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining GMAC, Mr. von Weise was Vice President of Capital Transactions at Lend Lease Real Estate investments, where he was responsible for the recapitalization and workout of large multi-family properties throughout the U.S.

Mr. von Weise is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Aircraft Finance Association and was appointed by the Boards of Selectmen from the Massachusetts towns of Concord, Lincoln, Bedford and Lexington as a commission member of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission. He is also a past board member of the Massachusetts Business Aviation Association and a local volunteer representative for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is also an instrument rated pilot, aircraft owner, and a pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Mr. von Weise has also appeared on the Discovery Channel as an aviation expert in the Celebrity Crash Files, J.F.K., Jr, documentary series. He is also currently a member of the Board of Advisors for Brown Aviation Lease.

Mr. von Weise holds an undergraduate degree, cum laude, in Environmental Studies and History from the University of Vermont.

Joseph T. Zulueta, ASA,
Managing Partner, Aeronautical Systems Inc.

Joseph T. Zulueta, ASA, Managing Partner of Aeronautical Systems Inc., has directed aviation portfolios, executed aircraft appraisals, forecasted future values and consulted on airplane equipment selection studies since the early 1990s.

Joseph also has been intimately involved in aviation financial analyses, fleet evaluations, contract maintenance and inspection “return” provisions, physical aircraft inspections and associated historical record auditing, equipment returns and remarketing strategies.

Over the course of his aviation career, he has provided commercial jet and business aircraft market research along with value adjustment factors, current and future value trend analyses. He is noted as well for his skill in overhauling periodicity analyses, maintenance cost estimating and technical report writing in support of the aircraft appraisal process.