Richard Hart, our chief appraiser, is an owner of National Helicopter Service & Engineering Company, his family's business established in 1957 as well as Elite Helicopter Tours. Beginning around 1965 as just a kid, he began working at National. After graduation from USC in 1975, he agreed with his father to continue in the helicopter industry quickly became National's Director of Maintenance and eventually its President as well. This experience of over 40 years of managing helicopter operations, at times with a fleet of over 20 helicopters including a mix of Bell, Airbus (eurocopter), Sikorsky, MD and Robinson helicopters, flying under FAR Parts 133, 137 and 135, as well as performing maintenance as the accountable manager and chief inspector of an FAA Repair Station on each owned make and model of helicopter has given Richard an unparalleled perspective of the helicopter and aviation industry. Having also operated fixed wing aircraft under FAA Part 135 and maintaining them under the Repair Station as well just adds to his overall knowledge of the aircraft industry as a whole.
All images taken from appraisals completed by Hart Aircraft Appraisal.
Helicopters must use forces acting on the airframe to generate lift. As a result helicopters have more complicated maintenance requirements and more time limited components. Consequently, maintenance plays a larger role in estimating value than in fixed wing aircraft. As with fixed wing aircraft, helicopters with a damage history have less value than helicopters with a clean history. The Vref appraisal process and software fairly and objectively assess the value of of components requiring routine maintenance and damage history.
What is the engine worth:
A fixed wing owner must consider the cost of overhauling engines and props. The helicopter owner has engines, main rotor, rotor head, tail rotor, swash plates, gear boxes, actuators, and other time limited components. Depending on the configuration, the same component has different life cycles and overhaul costs. These costs can affect the value by $1,000,000 and more. The Vref appraisal process utilizes an extensive data base of component costs and the configured life cycles to develop a correct value for the residual life in the aircraft's time limited components.
Although helicopters typically have fewer avionics components than an a fixed wing aircraft in a similar mission, avionics still comprise a significant portion of a helicopters value. Failure to consider the avionics would be a major error.
Whether used for dusting crops or transporting executives across Southern California, appearance significantly affects value.