Airplane Auction Debuts At Sun 'n Fun

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For the first time, visitors to Sun 'n Fun last week had a chance to bid on airplanes for sale at a live auction, and the organizer of the event told AVweb on Wednesday that he and his partners will be back next year. Wes Lutz, the president of Flight Level Auctions, said the event was his company's first try at organizing an aircraft auction. "We had a great time, and we learned a lot," he said. He said the company also plans to hold a two-day auction in Fond du Lac, Wisc., this summer, during the week of AirVenture. The auction is not affiliated with EAA's event, he said, but he hopes that aviators who are going to Oshkosh will consider a visit if they are shopping for a used airplane. "We sold nine aircraft at Sun 'n Fun," he said, "ranging from $30,000 to $100,000." About 45 airplanes were offered for sale, he said, mostly single-engine pistons and a few light twins.

Lutz, who is a pilot, said he and his partners just formed the auction company earlier this year. Most of the airplanes that sold in Lakeland went for prices "in between wholesale and retail," Lutz said, which was about what he expected. A mechanic was available at the site to inspect aircraft if the buyers requested. For next time, Lutz said, he hopes to do a better job of helping people who may not be experienced with the auction process to understand how it works.