Q1 2023 Pre-Owned Piston and Helicopter Market Highlights

It was an eventful quarter for many piston single aircraft, while North America accounted for the majority of light single engine turbine helicopter sales. Find out which models were in particular demand during Q1 2023 here.

Jason Zilberbrand  |  12th April 2023
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    Jason Zilberbrand
    Jason Zilberbrand

    Jason Zilberbrand is the President and Chief Technical Officer of VREF. He is an Accredited Senior...

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    North America accounted for the majority of light single engine turbine helicopter sales, while Q1 2023 also proved eventful for piston single engine aircraft. Learn the key trends from VREF's Jason Zilberbrand here...

    Piston Singles: The Continental AD has grounded over 1,632 aircraft, including the popular Cirrus SR22 and SR22T. Effectively, all aircraft produced after 2021 have been grounded until repairs can be made.

    • The Cirrus SR22 is flat from Q4 2022, while the SR22T has adjusted downward by 5%.
    • The Cessna 182 and 182T have also come off their respective peaks, adjusting downward by 5%.

    It's not all bad news with single piston aircraft. The market is undoubtedly responding to increased market values by seeking out less popular aircraft models, or those that buyers over the last year have ignored. This includes:

    • The Bellanca Viking and Super Viking, the Mooney M20M, and Maule M5/M7 180s, all up by double digits from Q4 2022.
    • The Cessna 172 is up 5%.
    • The Cessna 210L is up 20% since Q4 2022.

    As we get closer to spring, values should continue to hold up. It is the straightforward transactions that are occurring faster than usual for this time of year.

    Regarding the Continental AD (which has effectively grounded 1,632 aircraft from further operation until an inspection of the crankshaft assembly occurs along with the required repairs), it's anticipated that a short-term impact on values will occur, which will be rectified in the coming weeks.

    Piston Twins: Buyers looking for deals in this low-supply market are finding it receptive. 

    The twin piston aircraft market has again gained attention and popularity with fuel prices back down.

    The Beechcraft B55, Cessna 310R, and Cessna 414/414A are up between 4-10%.

    Among the downgrades are aircraft like the Aerostar 601 and Beech Duke 60s, which are well off their peaks, based on their substantial maintenance costs.

    It is worth noting that the piston twin market is sensitive to operating expenses, including fuel and maintenance. 

    Operators abandon these models when double overhauls exceed the value of the airframe. It is best to buy a fully modernized aircraft, here, without any upcoming engine maintenance due.

    Q1 2023 Helicopter Market Highlights

    North America accounted for 75% of the helicopter transactions in 2022, and light single-engine transport helicopters benefited the most.

    • Bell 407s and Bell 206s are up as inventory drops to historic lows. Whether used for commercial purposes, EMS, or VIP, these models are up 4-15%.
    • Enstroms, MD Helicopters’ MD 500 series models are also up as buyers seek to locate inventory in a tighter-than-normal market.
    • The Robinson (R22/R44/R66) market has remained mostly flat beyond the R44 Raven II, and is down around 15%, as prices have needed to drop to attract buyers willing to close.

    More information from https://vref.com

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