New Aircraft Dealers – those companies that actually buy inventory from OEMs in advance and hold stock for resale – are actually pretty rare in the industry. You’re more likely to come across a person or entity that an OEM has authorized to help sell their product than you will an actual stocking Dealer. When you encounter a Dealer, you’ll likely also find a stable, independent business with a long history in various aspects of the General Aviation business. Longevity is a noteworthy feature because big-ticket sales environments are rarely static. Between raw economics, changes at the OEM level, or the immensely cash-intensive nature of the new aircraft sales business the operating environment from one year to the next is rarely the same. That demands that a Dealer be independent and easily adaptable with a variable yet substantial support system.
One attribute of the Dealer business model, at least in our case, is that our employees tend to measure their tenure with Skytech in decades instead of years. In the past 60 days, our 42-year-old business has had the privilege of celebrating Ann Parks’ 35th year at Skytech and Rob Sammartino’s 25th. Ann runs our Administrative functions as Vice President and Rob directs the Pilatus segment of our operation. Both are examples of resourceful, adaptable people who never found a job at Skytech that they couldn’t do. And once they settled into the right mix of comfort level and challenge, their work environment just became an extension of “our” family.
Going one step further, when you compile the three most senior employees at Skytech you find that we have more than 110 years of General Aviation experience between us. If you throw in the five most senior you get more than 150 years of capability. That’s a lot of “oh, that’s the same sequence that we saw in 1988…”. And that’s before you throw in our 12,000+ hours as Pilots In Command.
That experience level comes to bear when you have a chance to introduce a new airplane into the marketplace as we have with the new PC-24 jet. After weeks of intensive in-and-on-the-airplane pilot and technical exposure, all of which followed our formal pilot and maintenance training at Flight Safety, Skytech’s PC-24 demonstration unit has been on-line and fully operational for more than 10 months now. And what an airplane it is. We more or less knew what to expect and it still thrills and surprises us on every trip. Our special thanks to Pilatus (Switzerland) for stationing their own Daniel Faustmann at Skytech for three weeks to oversee the airplane’s initial Entry Into Service. The effort was as close to flawless as anyone could possibly expect, which is another in a long line of testaments to Swiss engineering and precision. Ironically, while Daniel and the team were at Skytech, the Product Support rankings from Aviation International News and Pro Pilot magazine were published. Pilatus carried the #1 ranking in Product Support…for the 17th year in a row. Because the PC-24 is newly in service it was not included in the rankings this year. Rest assured when it is, the Swiss “quality” mindset, which permeates Skytech and the entire Pilatus Service network, will carry the Pilatus traditions of precision and reliability straight into the PC-24. Well… precision, reliability, and a whole lot of resources and experience.