Aircraft Repossession Jobs

What do brief case carrying businessmen, major airline corporations, international drug dealers, and penny-pinching farmers have in common? They all use and own airplanes. But what happens when they can’t make payments on their expensive toys? An airplane repo man comes calling.

Small Airplane Repo Photo

Airplane repo men have a dangerous job. They research, track, trace, repossess, fly, and deliver airplanes. Whenever payments for airplanes become overdue, airplane repo men are hired by the bank to repossess the aircraft.

First the bank contacts the airplane repo man about an aircraft. The aircraft must then be tracked through records for fuel purchases, hangar rentals, tie downs, and Federal Aviation Administration records. Next the airplane repo man must travel to the destination to legally steal the aircraft. Repossession can be accomplished with master keys and propeller locks, other times it takes fast work and risky takeoffs. All this is combined with the thrill of flying the plane into the wild blue yonder.

Aircraft repo men work with hired muscle, grease monkeys, and fly boys to get this challenging job done. Most victims don’t even know the repo man is coming. Some will shake hands and be sad, but others will come out with guns blazing. This gig can be dangerous and if trickery can’t get the plane, sometimes hired muscle can help.

When owners can’t pay the bills, they also can’t afford the upkeep of a plane. This is why an aircraft mechanic needs to certify that the plane is safe to fly. After the owners give in and the plane is checked out – the aircraft must be flown away.

The airplane repo man must be an excellent pilot licensed to fly all sorts of aircraft. He may have to fly a private jet, a 747, a crop duster, a twin engine prop plane, a rusted float plane, or even a traffic helicopter. With so many types of aircraft, an airplane repo man needs to be able to fly just about anything. If he can’t, someone on his team needs to be able to fly it. That’s the only way to get the plane back to the bank.

Aircraft can travel long distances quickly. An aircraft in Texas can be in Brazil overnight – if that aircraft is on the list to be repossessed, it must be followed. It is important to know the legal side of the business. Rules and regulations differ in every state and country. Be familiar with local, state, and international laws and always have insurance.

Airplane repo men find themselves all over the globe chasing planes.

They have to be sneaky and do their job by the book. They may deal with upstanding citizens one day and ruthless criminals the next. Most of the work is in the general aviation world.

Airplanes are expensive. They can cost several million dollars. Every plane that is repossessed is delivered back to the bank for a 6% to 10% commission of the resale price. That could mean anywhere from $10,000 to $900,000 per plane. Consider that an airplane repo man could feasibly grab 30 planes in 2 months…it’s easy to see why airplane repossession companies make millions.

To get started in this job, become a licensed pilot. Learn how to fly as many types of aircrafts as possible. Contact banks about jobs or make contacts with a repossession company. Besides planes, many companies also dabble in boat repossessions.

Before you quit your day job for a life of adventure and legal theft, check out Nick Popovich’s upcoming reality airplane repossession show coming soon to Discovery Channel. If you love to fly, and you are open to a little risk in your life then maybe it’s time to go steal some planes. If this line of work sounds intriguing you might also check out the collections jobs section of JobMonkey.

Quick Facts About Aircraft Repossession

Job Title: Aircraft Repo Man
Office: Airports and a variety of types of aircraft
Description: Repossess aircraft
Certifications/Education: Pilots License
Necessary Skills: Able to fly a variety of aircraft, Risk-taker
Potential Employers: Aircraft Repossession Companies, Banks
Pay: 6 to 10% of resale value of each repossessed plane

Helpful Aircraft Repo Employment Links:

Search Airline Industry Jobs on JobMonkey
Federal Aviation Administration – Jobs with the FAA
Global Aviation Solutions
Aircraft Repossession and Enforcement: Practical Aspects by Berend J.H. Crans


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