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Viability of G3 vs G4

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Old 31st Jul 2018, 23:44
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Viability of G3 vs G4

Guys,

New member here, not a pilot, but a potential owner. I need a jet to travel 100-150 hours per year, mostly within the United States but once per year to Europe (Italy). My sales guy has been steering me to GIV used, ones that are in the mid $2M range maxing out at $3M.

I like the room and the speed of the Gulfstream planes. My casual searches have shown me GIII planes that are very similar ( I know, slightly smaller, shorter range) and some of these examples are a million bucks or more cheaper than the equivalent GIV.

I also know that the Spey engines burn more fuel and have noise issues when traveling to Europe, but most all of the ones for sale have hush kits of some sort.

So why is a GIII with hush kit not viable vs a GIV? I am hearing they burn up to 200gph more fuel, but geez, a million bucks cheaper buys a lot of fuel....

Please give me your thoughts, be gentle, I am a total novice........

Thanks!
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 02:55
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There are a myriad of reasons to steer clear of older aircraft. They are cheap for a reason.

The GIV would be a much better choice.

Whatever you do, when purchasing older aircraft the better the pre purchase inspection the better off you will be.

Have a Google if corrosion and older aircraft. Let’s say during an inspection corrosion is found in the wing tip, cost...

Also doing the hours you are suggesting wouldn’t either charter or fractional ownership be better?

In addition the resale value of older aircraft is not good, your asset will depreciate fast.

I am sure there will be some brilliant advice to follow.

Good luck!

Last edited by Global Aviator; 1st Aug 2018 at 02:58. Reason: Added some info
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 03:19
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Thanks for the feedback. Truthfully, and I may be dreaming here, I want to buy the plane and spend ~500K per year on keeping and maintaining it. For me, it will be a tax benefit.

Probably chartering or fractional makes more sense, but I can't stomach renting something. I also want to go when I want to go, and to wherever. I will admit it is a bit of a fantasy but that is the mandate of this mission.

As to resale, isn't a 1.x million GIII or 2.x million GIV almost fully depreciated at this point?

Also, I know exactly the square root of jack shyte when it comes to plane maintenance, so my sales / management guy will steer the inspection to make sure I am getting something good.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 10:27
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Originally Posted by Catorce14 View Post
I also want to go when I want to go, and to wherever. I will admit it is a bit of a fantasy but that is the mandate of this mission.
(...)
Also, I know exactly the square root of jack shyte when it comes to plane maintenance, so my sales / management guy will steer the inspection to make sure I am getting something good.
I highly recommend buying a Netjets share (or something similar). Then you get to enjoy all the freedoms but avoid the nasty stuff. And there will always be loads of nasty stuff.
An old private jet will typically be down for maintenance exactly when you want to go to wherever. Brand new ones are not much better btw.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 10:52
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Originally Posted by whoknows idont View Post
I highly recommend buying a Netjets share (or something similar). Then you get to enjoy all the freedoms but avoid the nasty stuff. And there will always be loads of nasty stuff.
An old private jet will typically be down for maintenance exactly when you want to go to wherever. Brand new ones are not much better btw.
And your NetJets employee number is ?
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 12:04
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100-150 hours a year would barely justify ownership of a much smaller plane, let alone a Gulfstream. And, for only once a year overseas, you really don't need that large longer-range plane for every trip. From a business sense, the numbers would simply never make sense.
And, what everyone else said, older airframes can be problematic.
Fractional operations are an ideal fit for your planned mission profile, and depending on what program you were in, might even allow a selection of appropriate aircraft better fitted to suit each trip. I'd suggest contacting several fractional outfits during your research.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 13:47
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Few things can put a tear in the eye of a high net worth individual like private jet ownership. IMHO your net worth should be 50M or better to even consider a GIV purchase (if not you'll learn to hate your aircraft). Insurance, crew salaries and training, and hanger are all very expensive before the a/c even moves. The last G3 I saw purchased wound up parked after 2yrs when required repairs exceeded its market value. G3 ownership helped drive baseball great Lenny Dykstra into bankruptcy. If you do this, IMHO, you need high integrity professional guidance for a/c selection, evaluation, and pre-buy. If it were me the a/c would then be placed on the Part135 charter cert of one of higher quality a/c managers like Solarius to generate income to offset costs. Chartering used to be the fast track to a beat up a/c but if you are starting with an older airframe it's less of an issue. Oh btw make sure you check the costs of making the cockpit PBN/FANS 1A, ADS-B compliant. Don't forget aircraft sales AND use tax in CA...aircraft ops and hangerage are closely monitored by the CA FTB. Also be aware you'll be stopping for fuel on the way to/from Europe from California in a GIII/GIV. Good luck!

Last edited by givdrvr; 1st Aug 2018 at 16:20.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 14:48
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Originally Posted by 340drvr View Post
100-150 hours a year would barely justify ownership of a much smaller plane, let alone a Gulfstream.
I agree, that's 8-12 hrs/month. Full-fare First Class tickets make more sense.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:29
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Originally Posted by givdrvr View Post
Few things can put a tear in the eye of a high net worth individual like private jet ownership. Insurance, crew salaries and training, and hanger are all very expensive before the a/c even moves. The last G3 I saw purchased wound up parked after 2yrs when required repairs exceeded its market value. G3 ownership helped drive baseball great Lenny Dykstra into bankruptcy. If you do this, IMHO, you need high integrity professional guidance for a/c selection, evaluation, and pre-buy. If it were me the a/c would then be placed on the Part135 charter cert of one of higher quality a/c managers like Solarius to generate income to offset costs. Chartering used to be the fast track to a beat up a/c but if you are starting with an older airframe it's less of an issue. Oh btw make sure you check the costs of making the cockpit PBN/FANS 1A, ADS-B compliant. Don't forget aircraft sales AND use tax in CA...aircraft ops and hangerage are closely monitored by the CA FTB. Also be aware you'll be stopping for fuel on the way to/from Europe from California in a GIII/GIV. Good luck!
Excellent point. My AC manager wanted to put the plane in 135, and said down here, it could work as much or as little as I wanted it to. Also said that during the pre-buy, he would let his charter people know and we'd have it booked for some time.

Wife didn't want other people on the plane.........

Correct on the fuel stop, I was told LA>East Coast>Europe, which is not bad because we want to bring the dog anyways.

Also great point about use tax.....I forgot about that here.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:33
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Or buy a midsize aircraft for your American trips, first class tickets to Italy. With the money you save, you can easily charter an aircraft there to take you from a major airport to your intended destination. If you go for Netjets, you can fly with the program both in the US and in Europe - if you think that the longhaul trip from the US to Europe and vice versa is too costly with Netjets, then travel first class on an airline and use Netjets on either end. I work for Netjets Europe, it is a great product.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:37
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Originally Posted by 340drvr View Post
100-150 hours a year would barely justify ownership of a much smaller plane, let alone a Gulfstream. And, for only once a year overseas, you really don't need that large longer-range plane for every trip. From a business sense, the numbers would simply never make sense.
And, what everyone else said, older airframes can be problematic.
Fractional operations are an ideal fit for your planned mission profile, and depending on what program you were in, might even allow a selection of appropriate aircraft better fitted to suit each trip. I'd suggest contacting several fractional outfits during your research.
Wanted the extra space to travel nicely even within the US.

I looked at ONE fractional outlet and ONE Jet card - I got on the phone with NetJets and here is what I was told:

1. A jet card from them is tied to the type of plane you want for your longest trip. I think he said that would be a Challenger 6000. Therefore, the card was $550K for 25 hours. When I stated that all 25 hours would be more or less used in ONE trip to Europe and back, the salesman just shrugged.

2. He offered me Fractional on a G650. Or maybe it was a 550. Again, one plane, could not switch. 1/16 share: Price: 3.7M up front, $27K per month maintenance and hanger cost, $8K per hour flight. So I said that for 3.7, I could buy a nice G4 OUTRIGHT, and pay 27K a month in maintenance and less than 8K per hour, and yet I would own the WHOLE plane. Again, a shrug.

Maybe I am looking at the wrong fractional outlet.

So for me, the numbers I am seeing for fractional and jet card appear to wholly justify ownership, however small the use, and in fact, they are driving me towards ownership. I am not too worried about maintenance surprises because my manager is a top notch guy, and many of my friends have planes with him, and he knows all the players at both Long Beach and John Wayne so I feel confident that we can pick the right plane in the outset. He is picky as hell.

But what I am feeling from all this is that even if the G4 makes no sense, the G3 makes even LESS sense.....correct?
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:38
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Originally Posted by EatMyShorts! View Post
Or buy a midsize aircraft for your American trips, first class tickets to Italy. With the money you save, you can easily charter an aircraft there to take you from a major airport to your intended destination. If you go for Netjets, you can fly with the program both in the US and in Europe - if you think that the longhaul trip from the US to Europe and vice versa is too costly with Netjets, then travel first class on an airline and use Netjets on either end. I work for Netjets Europe, it is a great product.
This idea I like......what is your recommendation for a midsize US / Canada only plane?
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 18:47
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Originally Posted by Catorce14 View Post
But what I am feeling from all this is that even if the G4 makes no sense, the G3 makes even LESS sense.....correct?
Indeed. In fact, in your case it seems NO private jet makes any real "sense" other than you just want one (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's a lot of trouble for 150 (at most) hours per year.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 15:07
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So how does everyone feel about $500K per year maintenance and upkeep, with the provisos that 1) the *right* plane is selected from the outset, and 2) it's run about 150 hrs per year or less??

Is this reasonable?
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 19:50
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Originally Posted by Catorce14 View Post
This idea I like......what is your recommendation for a midsize US / Canada only plane?
As long as you aren't based above 4,000 ft elevation with a short runway or routinely go into Aspen I would say the G200 represents the best value of a Super Mid. Low operating costs (roughly $2,600/hour), Very nice cabin size (same height and width as a GIV), and a relatively low barrier to entry: I.E. There are multiple 2000-2001 vintages with 16C (biggest inspection on a G200) already complied with, wifi, decent cosmetics, can be bought as low as $2.4M up to $3.5M.

They also charter out very well and a good management company should be able to offset the majority of your fixed costs on the G200.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 22:51
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I would be operating out of John Wayne in Orange County, no trips to Aspen planned.

My biggest problem with the G200 is how small it is. We are 5 people plus Dog and very frequent relatives. Also, I am getting the sentiment that airplane owners typically scale for their most frequent trips, not necessarily their longest ones. Although the G200 seems to cost half of what a GIV would on paper as far as operating costs, it cannot complete the entire mission I would ask of it.

I'm also worried about giving my family a bad experience in a plane that appears very small relative to the GIV. My wife especially is used to the pod at the front of a 777 Dreamliner and other first class accommodations. G200, while same width and height, is not the same length inside as you stated, so looks much smaller no matter how capable.

What I still don't understand and what I wish someone would tell me is this:

If I take a GIV for 2.5 million, and I take a G200 for 2.5 million, and I run them both 150 hours, is the only thing that is going to change is operating costs? It seems like the GIV is so much more bang for the buck......and it can do so much more......why would I ever buy anything lesser?

Honest question.
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 00:10
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With the information, you provided the G200 isn't an ideal fit for Orange County due to Runway length. The G200's one shortcoming, in my opinion, is that it is a runway hog and John Wayne is a fairly short runway. Flying part 91, you may be able to make NYC non-stop getting out of John Wayne but you wouldn't have a ton of margin for error.

One of my clients flies out of John Wayne currently and an earlier serial number (heavier) G200 will not make Hawaii because of the shorter runway...different story if you are flying out of Long Beach or Van Nuys.

Regarding your question, outside of obvious things like cabin size, ramp presence, range the main differences would be operating cost. There's more than just fuel burn- GIV captains and SIC's will command more money (I'm sure you are aware of the pilot shortage and how hard it is to retain/hir pilots), more expensive hangar rent, higher insurance premiums and ramp fees, more expensive scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, upgrading to FANS 1/A/CPDLC/ADS-B out is going to cost a lot more too (unless the aircraft already have the 6.1 FMS provisions). Both pre-owned markets are very stable Both the G200 and the GIV/SP residual values have been flat over the past several consecutive quarters. I see the G200 depreciating less over the long term than a nice ASC-190 equipped IV or IV-SP. The G200 market currently has way more demand than the IV market- currently there are more buyers than sellers and good pedigreed/low time G200s (especially between SN 52-150 ish) are going fast.

If you have room in the budget, I think you would be an ideal Legacy 600 buyer.
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 00:21
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Originally Posted by SpaceWrangler View Post

Regarding your question, outside of obvious things like cabin size, ramp presence, range the main differences would be operating cost. There's more than just fuel burn- GIV captains and SIC's will command more money (I'm sure you are aware of the pilot shortage and how hard it is to retain/hire pilots), more expensive hangar rent, higher insurance premiums and ramp fees, more expensive scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, upgrading to FANS 1/A/CPDLC/ADS-B out is going to cost a lot more too (unless the aircraft already have the 6.1 FMS provisions).

If you have room in the budget, I think you would be an ideal Legacy 600 buyer.
I am actually not aware of ANY of the things above you mentioned; I won't even pretend to understand what you are talking about other than insurance, ramp fees and maintenance.

I can't find any pricing data on the Legacy 600. How much do these run, and why are they better than a GIV?

Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time, man!
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 05:31
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Having personal experience with what you are proposing, I suggest you compare monthly cost with aircraft basing at CRQ vs SNA.
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 10:13
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@ Catorce14
If I where you, I would try to put a little more money on the table to get a nice GivSP or maybe even a G450. Also a Challenger 605 would do it. The early ones are quiet ok pricewise at the moment.
Concerning the Range, both aircraft will do approximately the same. A decent range to plan for the 605 is around 3800NM depending on the wind.
Go for a european aircraft as most of them comply with the upcoming regulations already and you dont have to spend additional money to upgrade for ADSB-in/out, FANS A-1 and so on.
According to my experience most of the US aircraft need to undergo this refitting and upgrade to comply with the new regs. Maybe a point to push the price. Your choice.
All the aircraft my previous company sold, went to the US and Mexico.
Just my 5 cents.
Enjoy looking for and flying in your new toy.
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