Sean Keehner is part of that large group of people who say, “I always wanted to fly, but I either didn’t have the time or the money.” That changed in June 2013 when Sean began his training at Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland. Sean says, “Freeway Airport is a small airport that offers the comradery of a small airport to meet friends and develop long-term relationships with people who share my interest in flying.” Today, Sean has a multi-engine rating, an instrument rating, and a seaplane rating with, according to him, “675 hours and climbing.”
For someone relatively new to general aviation, Sean has been an active aircraft buyer. He says, “I have bought and sold four airplanes since I received my license, trying to find the right aircraft for my missions.” He thinks he’s found it with his latest purchase: a Piper Mirage, N205AP. He says he also considered a Cirrus SR22 and a Piper Seneca. He explains, “The Mirage seemed to be a good fit as we had a Twin Cessna C335 and a Beechcraft B36T Bonanza. The Mirage seems like a hybrid between the twin and the single. It offered a cabin-class feel with the affordability of a single.” He says the final factor to purchase the Mirage is the pressurized cabin to help fly over weather to his Florida destinations, adding that, “Buying a newer aircraft meant that I did not have to go through the process of repainting the aircraft, updating avionics, and refurbishing the interior.”
A typical trip for Sean to visit family in West Palm Beach Florida, especially during the colder months in Maryland. He also enjoys a quick local trip to Ocean City, Maryland, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
When it came time to finance the Mirage, Sean chose AOPA Aviation Finance. In fact, he chose AOPA Aviation Finance every time – for all five of his aircraft purchases. He joined AOPA as soon as he began flight training and has relied on AOPA to guide him through his purchase process right up to his latest buy. Sean says, “Acquiring an airplane is completely different than acquiring a car or a boat. Although the negotiations are similar, there are steps along the way that include a pre-buy/annual inspection, test flight, a complete and thorough inspection of the logbooks, title searches, learning what forms like 8103s and 337 forms are and how important they are in the purchase decision.”
Sean also learned how important it is to learn where to locate information regarding damage history and value of the aircraft that looks like the one you may want. He says, “AOPA helps to determine a logical value for that large purchase and helped me make a good financial decision and not an emotional one. With the age of some of the aircraft in the market, overall condition, avionics equipment, engine times, airworthy directives, service bulletins are all items that AOPA can research for the buyer to make the process a less painful one.”
In sum, Sean says, “The process of acquiring an aircraft is a stressful and emotional one for many young low-time buyers. Being able to afford to buy an aircraft is important, but having the support of AOPA to help along the total acquisition process is important as well. I have certainly learned a great deal about flying and acquiring an airplane in a short period of time!”
Sean found good, solid reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when he bought his Mirage. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 1-800-62-PLANE or visit the website at http://finance.aopa.org/.