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Old Jul 9, 12, 9:17 pm   #1
 
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Did Southwest Airlines really have an airplane reposessed?

I just saw a rerun (first time for me) called Airplane Repo. It was about a firm called Sage Popovich that repos airplanes. On the show they were repo-ing Gulfstreams, Lears and the like.

As I looked a bit more about the company on the Internet I found this web site from the Discovery Channel

http://press.discovery.com/emea/dsc/...airplane-repo/

The above web site says that Sage Popovich repo-Ed airplanes from Southwest and American Airlines. Is that true and if it is true, what were the circumstances of the repo?
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Old Jul 9, 12, 11:12 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by FCfree View Post
I just saw a rerun (first time for me) called Airplane Repo. It was about a firm called Sage Popovich that repos airplanes. On the show they were repo-ing Gulfstreams, Lears and the like.

As I looked a bit more about the company on the Internet I found this web site from the Discovery Channel

http://press.discovery.com/emea/dsc/...airplane-repo/

The above web site says that Sage Popovich repo-Ed airplanes from Southwest and American Airlines. Is that true and if it is true, what were the circumstances of the repo?
Hmm....

Maybe he is repossessing the planes that Southwest already sold to other airlines like their old 737-200 series. ???
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Old Jul 10, 12, 8:48 am   #3
 
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Airplane repo sounds like a cool business.

If the airline does not cooperate, do you sneak into a hangar at night and hot-wire the thing?
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Old Jul 10, 12, 9:10 am   #4
 
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Or perhaps those aircraft which were repossessed were leased from another company that didn't meet its obligations?
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Old Jul 10, 12, 11:19 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Airplane repo sounds like a cool business.

If the airline does not cooperate, do you sneak into a hangar at night and hot-wire the thing?
It was a very cool show. I don't see a rerun of it coming up in the next two weeks, but watch for it on the Discovery Channel.

The main security over the corporate planes was the fence line. Once they got past the fence line, these $20m+ airplanes are not locked. Not even sure they have a lock. There is no "key" in the cockpit. If you are in, flip the right switches and up come the engines.

Further searching for Sage Popovich say that they repo-ed commerical airplanes right from CDG (Paris) and other major airports. They showed up at the airport, showed their paperwork and took an MD-80. They have a Power of Attorney from the lender. In the case of CDG, they flew it to Iceland, added more fuel, then onward to their home base in Gary, Indiana (GYY).

Other searching says that they have been shot at on departure. As you can imagine, taking a plane from a third world country can be a bit tricky.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 11:46 am   #6
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The line says "Swiping CORPORATE airliners from Southwest and American"...I wonder if they mean corporate jets from the executives, like Lears and Citations etc. I would love to see them try to swipe an airliner in circulation!! Unless it was grounded it would be mighty hard to keep up with it. I suppose they could try swiping it in the wee hours.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 11:57 am   #7
 
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Sounds like one way to get rid of the unwanted -500s still in the fleet!
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Old Jul 10, 12, 12:16 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by FCfree View Post
I just saw a rerun (first time for me) called Airplane Repo. It was about a firm called Sage Popovich that repos airplanes. On the show they were repo-ing Gulfstreams, Lears and the like.

As I looked a bit more about the company on the Internet I found this web site from the Discovery Channel

http://press.discovery.com/emea/dsc/...airplane-repo/

The above web site says that Sage Popovich repo-Ed airplanes from Southwest and American Airlines. Is that true and if it is true, what were the circumstances of the repo?
It sounds like a case of promotional embellishment.

What I suspect this guy and his outfit are actually doing (in addition to their actual repo work) is providing the non-SWA pilots to ferry newly-retired SWA aircraft (-300s and -500s, owned, or coming off-lease) from SWA airports to various airports out west where the aircraft will wait to find new owners/lessees, get parted-out, or be broken up for scrap. If that's the case, characterizing these types of flights as "repo" flights is disingenuous at best.

I know that AAL has ferried many of their retired aircraft to Roswell, NM (ROW, check out a Google satellite photo to count them all), and SWA has sent some there as well, plus other desert airports.
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Last edited by OPNLguy; Jul 10, 12 at 2:05 pm.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 1:56 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by FCfree View Post
Other searching says that they have been shot at on departure. As you can imagine, taking a plane from a third world country can be a bit tricky.
Now THAT I'd like to see on this new WN "reality show."
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Old Jul 10, 12, 2:04 pm   #10
 
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interesting. i recall being told that a very small judegement creditor had a JAL 747 latched up in Alaska on a re-fuel since JAL failed to pay on the judgement the person had...it might not have been JAL but the point is, there are many types of creditors out there than can resort to this type of action to seize assets by order in cases with entities fail to pay. i recall the judgement need not be huge to take some rather extrodinary enforcement proceedings.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 2:31 pm   #11
 
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interesting. i recall being told that a very small judegement creditor had a JAL 747 latched up in Alaska on a re-fuel since JAL failed to pay on the judgement the person had...it might not have been JAL but the point is, there are many types of creditors out there than can resort to this type of action to seize assets by order in cases with entities fail to pay. i recall the judgement need not be huge to take some rather extrodinary enforcement proceedings.
I Googled the guy's name (Nick Popovich), and one of the hits was a pretty nicely detailed article in Salon from a couple of years ago on his outfit and the work they do. The article mentions he has something like 60-125 folks out in the field who work with him, and I imagine most of them are pilots, since Popovich certainly can't fly everything himself. I suspect that it's this same cadre of pilots who also end up ferrying retired airliners to their desert parking spots when they're not actually repossessing aircraft for financial purposes, which (as per the article) seem to be mostly general aviation type aircraft, bizjets, and a few airline-type aircraft operated by non-airline entities.

http://www.salon.com/2009/06/06/lear_jet_repo_man/
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Old Jul 10, 12, 3:43 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by OPNLguy View Post
What I suspect this guy and his outfit are actually doing (in addition to their actual repo work) is providing the non-SWA pilots to ferry newly-retired SWA aircraft (-300s and -500s, owned, or coming off-lease) from SWA airports to various airports out west where the aircraft will wait to find new owners/lessees, get parted-out, or be broken up for scrap.
SWA pilots don't take the planes to the storage facilities?
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Old Jul 10, 12, 4:10 pm   #13
 
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SWA pilots don't take the planes to the storage facilities?
They may have at one point in our history, but in more recent years I seem to vaguely recall them being flown by others, i.e. pilots who retired at (then) age 60, etc. I'd have to double check, so don't quote me on that.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 5:36 pm   #14
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It may well be that WN had assets seized...not for late payments on the aircraft itself, but in judgement or other debts..perhaps the 13 milliion they owed in fines for FAA violations awhile back..who knows. This I know for sure: the wouldn't publish the fact. It may well be true, but "proprietary information"
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Old Jul 10, 12, 5:46 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by tusphotog View Post
SWA pilots don't take the planes to the storage facilities?
A least with DL taking over FL's 717s, the transfer can (or at least should) occur via Tug.
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