OurPLANE "Owners" Angry
Those who might have thought they were fractional owners of aircraft managed by OurPLANE are finding out, the hard way, that they are now little more than creditors in the bankruptcy of the company. Although it was apparently billed as a fractional, instead, OurPLANE maintained sole ownership of the planes (mostly Cirrus SR22s) and entered into contracts with "owners" promising to pay them their share of the depreciated value of the aircraft when the five-year terms of the contracts were over. When OurPLANE filed for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy last week, it appears all the aircraft had been sold and instead of a check in the mail, "owners" are getting an invitation (PDF) to a bankruptcy hearing in Buffalo where they have status as creditors. Several have contacted AVweb to outline similar tales in which aircraft sat unmaintained for up to a year after the five-year contract ended and then suddenly were sold without the payment they were promised. AVweb has e-mailed OurPLANE CEO Graham Casson for his take on the events but he hasn't returned the message. He has, however, been in correspondence with some of his clients and in one of those e-mails said he and his director of operations Mike Huffman were "getting on with our lives." The new life appears to be Exclusive Jetz, which is offering access to Embraer Phenom 100 aircraft.
It now appears that former OurPLANE clients are organizing a legal challenge. Most who have contacted AVweb seem to understand that they were not actually owners of the aircraft but a few did find a way to secure their investments by putting FAA liens on the aircraft. The registration couldn't be transferred unless the liens were satisfied and those folks got their money. There will certainly be more to this story, so stay tuned.