Dude, where’s my plane…?

While I have little interest in the profusion of “reality” shows that the various viewer-hungry networks keep cranking out each weeknight, I do admit to watching more than a few episodes of the Discovery Channel’s Airplane Repo series.

In case you missed it (or don’t want to admit to watching), the premise was simple: Some unnamed “financial institution” would hire the repo pilots to go out and, against incredible odds, successfully swipe the aircraft out from under the nose of the unsuspecting miscreant.

Meanwhile, the weekly misadventures of Kevin, Ken, Mike, and the show’s other “repo experts” were so far-fetched that they were actually entertaining. But, if you’re asking, “Does this happen in the “real world?”

I’d have to say that the premise was on par with Alien Encounters (while I can’t say I don’t believe in extraterrestrial visitors, I have to think any civilization with that kind of galaxy-jumping technology wouldn’t waste their time with us).

But amongst it all, there was a smattering of the “real world.” While each “repo” scheme was more unlikely than the last, one thing kept popping up as being critically important to the mission’s financial success: the whereabouts of the aircraft’s logbooks.

As the show’s stars mentioned many times, while the aircraft was the primary goal, the incompleteness or lack of an aircraft’s logs greatly impacted its value – both to the financial institution holding the loan and the repo team. The higher the aircraft’s value, the bigger their payoff.

Stop right there, or the logbooks get it. 

Reality TV aside, while it’s all kept rather hush-hush, humans being who humans are, it’s a good guess that financial institutions are often faced with having to repo an aircraft. And again, I’m assuming that, more times than not, it’s handled quickly and quietly. No lock picks or bolt cutters are needed.

But every once in a while, a less-than-reputable individual will hold an aircraft’s logbooks for ransom. While their demands can vary, the financial institution is forced to negotiate. The time and cost of reproducing operational or maintenance logs are considerable and not high on any bank’s list of things they want to do.

But, if those logbooks had been digitized and stored on Bluetail’s cloud-based network, there would never have been an issue with the logbooks being put in a dire situation. There would be a literally endless supply of copies.

With that in mind, I wonder why forward-thinking banks and lenders don’t require an aircraft’s logbooks to be digitized as part of every loan or lease package on a pre-owned aircraft. While very few applicants will default on their loan, every one of these loans can benefit from what Bluetail has to offer.

For example, having all of the aircraft’s back-to-berth records, including its full maintenance and damage history, digitally available and instantly sharable and searchable makes it easier for the lender/lessor’s technical team to determine the aircraft’s “health” and actual market value before funding the loan.

It’s also beneficial to the borrower. By providing the lender/lessor with easy access to the aircraft’s digital records, they facilitate the funder’s oversight process while reducing their reporting workload. Plus, it’s an excellent way to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and ongoing compliance.

With regard to maintaining transparency and ongoing compliance, once the deal is closed, the lender/lessor can legally access those digital records to ensure that the new owner is following the best maintenance practices for both the aircraft and the engines, thus keeping the aircraft in the best condition. The banks can cover their assets, so to speak.

Speaking of which, since risk and asset protection may well be the shared responsibility of two or more internal departments (sometimes located in different cities) in many larger financial institutions, the secure shareability aspect of Bluetail’s cloud-based network is another significant benefit. Multiple users can have ‘read-only’ access to the files at any time.

JSSI Traxxall now integrates with Bluetail