Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fly It Like You Stole It

From Air & Space magazine, a fascinating look at the world of Sage-Popovitch, the airplane repo men.

Repo pilot Kevin Lacey looks and sounds a lot like the Dennis Weaver character from the 1970s TV series “McCloud.” Despite the folksy demeanor, Lacey has a reputation as a somewhat Machiavellian aero-sleuth who always gets his airplane. He thrives on the sport of it: tracking an errant commuter airliner to its gate at a big European airport, then pouncing in the hours just before passengers arrive for an early flight. When he tells you he regrets not sticking around to apologize to inconvenienced fliers, you believe him. But he’s also sorry to miss “the expression on that airline agent’s face when they realized their plane was gone.”

But it doesn't always work out:

When the crew reaches the airliners, the sight they’re greeted with isn’t always pretty. Cut-rate Tower Air kept its wide-body fleet flying by quietly dismantling a trio of 747s leased from GMAC and dispersing the components among its 18 other airplanes. When Tower defaulted, the repo crew arrived to find little more than a shell of GMAC’s collateral. “The fuselages were still there,” Popovich says, “but most of the engines, all the avionics, hydraulic pumps, flight controls, landing gear parts—missing.” As Tower lurched into liquidation, Sage-Popovich rounded up 16 of the carrier’s intact 747s. It was a sweep of jumbos on a global scale. “JFK, Paris, Israel—they were scattered all over the world,” Nick says.
Fascinating read.

[Found thanks to Instapundit. He found it, I'm just sharing.]

No comments:

Post a Comment