Have a Mint Spoolup with Mark Parry, Paula Williams and Jeffrey Carrithers
Jeffrey Carrithers is the President/CEO of Globalair.com
Started 1995: One of the oldest aviation websites on the internet. Developed into an aviation portal site that provides aircraft for sale, airport, FBO and fuel prices, aviation buyers guide, aviation events, and aviation news and articles.
Jeffrey is VERY up to date on the jet and turbine markets.
This podcast series is called “Contrails and Cocktails” and it’s sponsored by Global Aircraft Group. Global Aircraft Group offers desktop appraisals, expert witness and prebuy inspections. The founder is located in New England, and he travels free of charge to anyone in New England with a situation that needs his services – you may need an aircraft appraisal for an aircraft transaction, an estate settlement, a divorce, a legal situation, whatever it is, if you’ve got a problem,
So let’s jump into the episode.
Notes from this episode:
Paula Williams: I’m Paula Williams, an aviation marketing consultant with ABCI, and you are watching or listening to Contrails & Cocktails. Of course, whenever you get 2 or more smart aviation people in a room, the stories are going to start flying. And when you start mixing cocktails, things start to get really fun.
Our guest today is Jeffrey Carrithers. He is the president and CEO of GlobalAir. GlobalAir started in 1995. It’s one of the oldest aviation websites on the internet, developed into an aviation portal site that provides aircraft for sale, airport, FBO, fuel prices, aviation buyers guides, aviation events, aviation news and articles, and so on. Jeff Carrithers is an expert on jet and turbine markets as well, so we’re really happy to have him here today.
Mark Perry is the president and founder of Global Aircraft Group. Global Aircraft Group sponsors this podcast. Mark Perry has over thirty years of experience in corporate aviation, a diverse roster of clients, an unparalleled access to professional resources. And he’s a senior certified aircraft appraiser, and a member of the Professional Aircraft Appraisal Organization, PAAO. And he’s also a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic. He went to law school at Andover.
Since Jeff is from Kentucky and Mark likes Bourbon, and it’s just about the time of year for the world’s most famous horse race at the time of this recording, you can probably guess what cocktail we’re going to be talking about today. So, let’s dive in.
Mark Perry: Hi! So, I’m Mark from Global Aircraft Group and I’d like to welcome Jeff to our podcast, Contrails & Cocktails, and to remind everybody on YouTube to like and subscribe. There’ll also be a giveaway at the end of the season, some aviation art. And also to watch till the end for our signature drink that has something to do with Kentucky and the hats that we sometimes wear back in the 1880s.
Paula: [chuckles] Fantastic! All right. The neat thing that I know about both of you guys is that you’ve been involved in the aviation industry for a really long time. And Jeff, you had a story that you shared with me the other day. Everybody’s got a horror story I think. [laughs] Something that’s…
Jeffrey Carrithers: I can’t say that it was a horror story, but it was probably one of the most fun stories in my corporate career in aircraft sales thirty years ago. I happened to be at my first NBAA, I was designated to go to dinner with one of the lead salesmen of the company. And right before dinner, he had to make an emergency stage left. The dinner happened to be with the vice president of JCPenney and the flight department of JCPenney, the lead mechanic, and the lead chief pilot. So, the lead salesman was, “Well, you have to go on to go to dinner and see everybody.” Being in my 20s and never have gone to a corporate dinner in my life, I was, “Sure, I’m up to the task.”
Paula: A little nervous, right?
Jeffrey: Just a little bit nervous. But I walked in, had the reservations, everybody met, all got to the table, and I’ve managed to do just an easy placement for everybody to sit. I made sure that the salesman was next to the vice president, and we had a wonderful deal. It was all going down for a Hawker 800. This lead salesman has basically got the deal already composed and completed, so we’ve kind of a celebratory dinner.
Jeffrey: We had a wonderful dinner that night. But what made it really fun was at the very end of the dinner. Being a young man from Kentucky, you’re used to drinking, I say Bourbon out of shot glasses. That’s basically what I’ve been raised with. We talked about the menu, about what kind of after-drinks to have. I have never had Port before, and both the lead salesman and the vice president were sophisticated. They understood that so they go, “We want some Port.” I’m up for new things, “Okay, I’ll try some.” I’ve come to find out this was a hundred-dollar-glass Port. They brought it to the table, and they were very courteous and took little sips. And me being a Kentucky country boy, I was doing more like gulps.
Paula: [laughs] It looks like a shot, you know. [laughs]
Jeffrey: Yeah, pretty much in a shot glass. So I made haste and drank it very quickly. And both of them were looking at each other and started smiling. And by the time they sipped their drinks, the conversation came up to, “What should we have another one for the evening?” Being a youngster, I wasn’t going to pass away free booze.
Paula: [laughs] Of course not.
Jeffrey: The next thing you know, they had another glass of Port. I believe it was Taylor, as a matter of fact, that was the type, very good vintage. [laughs] By the time I finished that glass of Port, I had the vice president of JCPenney laughing to the gills. He had to help me walk out the restaurant door.
Jeffrey: He and the salesman had me by the elbows, walking me out the door. And they got the biggest kick out of that at my expense and my being very naïve. But that was my very first corporate dinner that worked out extremely well. I was the joke of the trading floor for about a year.
Paula: Little did he know you were the evening’s entertainment. [laughs]
Paula: Well, we’ve all been there, right? I think everybody in their 20s has a story about something like that, right?
Jeffrey: Absolutely. It was a good time by all.
Paula: Yeah, and they still made the sale, right?
Jeffrey: Yes, sir.
Paula: That’s fantastic.
Jeffrey: They dug the Hawker 800A.
Paula: So you did your part. You did took one for the team. [laughs]
Jeffrey: [laughs] And I did it very well.
Paula: And you did it very well. That’s fantastic! It’s funny, I mean we all have… I think especially as youngsters, we have a lot of latitude in terms of making mistakes and things like that. Speaking of such things, I guess you guys have both heard about the YouTuber, [laughs] and I’m not sure how young he is, but…
Jeffrey: Oh, you must be talking about Trevor Jacobs.
Paula: There you go, exactly. Who made an interesting exit from an aircraft and did not do a re-entry, did not attempt to re-entry but allowed the aircraft I think to crash into the side of a hill. What I heard recently was that the FAA had taken action against his license and that’s probably a good thing. We all need a little bit of latitude when we’re young, but I think he’s used up all the latitude he had and then some, right?
Jeffrey: That was the number 1 read story in our news side of the globalair.com for 3 days.
Jeffrey: Number 1 read story, number 1 page, on globalair.com. So, yeah, a lot of people wanted to know about him.
Jeffrey: I feel that he took advantage of everything and the FAA should have come down on him. That’s just my own personal opinion. And I can understand why the FAA did it because if you don’t do something, then you’re going to have all kinds of people trying to do those kinds of stunts. Just like the Red Bull team, who ended up crashing one because they want to be doing stunts to get publicity.
Paula: Right. I think, on one side, you want to give people some latitude and allow them to make mistakes and everything like that. This is way beyond the realm of mistakes. This is an attempt to get publicity, right?
Paula: Yeah. What do you think, Mark?
Mark: Yeah, I went on YouTube to watch the whole video of it. And when he declared his emergency, the engine was off, the propeller was horizontal. And then after he jumped out, he had video cameras on the airplane and all the way down, the propeller was turning. After that the engine was shut it off to declare his emergency, then he must to have it running to keep it straight and low when he jumped out, that’s my guess. And I’m sure they picked up on that. The engine was definitely running on the video, so he gave this whole thing away.
Paula: Yeah, Monday morning, quarterbacking. But the thing is, if you’re going to put a video on YouTube, you give everybody the opportunity to see every step of the way, and it’s kind of like handing me… I’m just really happy there wasn’t a video when I was younger… [laugh] I guess the incidents that I have had when learning to fly, and incidents that I’ve had and other things, I’m just glad there’s no record of some of them. So, that’s probably [inaudible].
Jeffrey: Paula, I would absolutely agree.
Paula: [chuckles] Right.
Mark: I forgot to mention that we’re dedicating each episode, the last 4 episodes to one of the airlines. We did Pan Am the other day and then today is American Airlines, everybody can see that vintage suitcase sticker.
Mark: They started in 1930 and they actually, ironically bought out TWA. Then they merge, not merged, there was a lot of mergers of it over the years, but what I thought was interesting was they got their big start with the DC3.
Mark: So, yeah. And then they bought out Howard Hughes in TWA eventually. They’re like the largest airline in the world right now with the 2013 US Air. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure we get that in real quick.
Mark: Yeah, the Port wine, I found out about that also. My cousin was like, “Oh, you got to come up and try some of this Port.” It was up in law school. So, I was up visiting and he puts it in the freezer. It won’t freeze.
Paula: Of course not. Right. It has very high alcohol. I [crosstalk] don’t know what…
Mark: [inaudible] similar to a wine. So he freeze it over a slice of orange. And it was really good that way. But I’ve had Kentucky Bourbon and scotch and I had like, by just talking about it, not a lot. You got to be careful with that stuff.
Paula: Yeah, it’s even worse if it tastes good [laughs] because then it goes down real smooth.
Jeffrey: Right. Well put, Paula. That’s exactly the problem [chuckles].
Paula: Right. Well, speaking of American Airlines, DC3s and so on, if we fast forward to today, we have a very different aircraft market. And there’s a lot going on in the jet and turbine markets. I think we have unprecedented… I hate to use that word because everybody uses that word so much, unprecedentedly low inventory on everything. Is that what you’re seeing, Jeff?
Jeffrey: The market right now is… how can you say that we’re having a small rebound when we’re still so low? We’re going from, in 2020 let’s say, when COVID first started, we were probably at a regular norm of about 7,000 airplanes, we’ll say of the corporate fleet.
Jeffrey: But today I believe just today, we’re up to 1,500. So in the past 6 months, we’ve really been down less than 500 aircraft that are really for sale. There’s a lot of aircraft that could be advertised but they’re either sold or deal pending and are being left out on the internet, which is something, by the way, you won’t find on globalair.com. There’s only airplanes for sale on our site, not something that’s been languishing for some time on a website.
Paula: That’s good. You don’t leave them up with the sold sign on, like a lot of the other sites do, where they’re just there for…
Jeffrey: No. That’s why we always have smaller inventories but it’s more like what the market really is. But it is amazing to think that we’re actually starting a small rebound and 1500 aircraft, people are actually being happy about. The market has been such that the sellers have really taken advantage of the situation, which we’re not a capitalist country and that’s bound to happen. But they have really taken it over the edge, going sometimes 20%, 30% points up the normal value of an aircraft. And when you’re talking a $50 million pre-owned G550, then something that should be in the 50s, is up around 55, 60. So the sellers are doing quite well. It does look like it has peaked. I don’t want to be too bold [laughs], but it does look like it has peaked somewhat. There’s more inventory coming on the website every day. So, it shows us that the buyers have actually kind of “let’s take a pause on this and look at it a little bit later.” That slows things down, so then instead of the way it’s been, as soon as an aircraft hits the market, it’s sold. Now, we’re having one, two, three, then one sold. One, two, then one sold. So we’re able to start collecting up a little bit of inventory. It does look positive as far as that side of it and hopefully, that will kind of top the arch at the pricing index.
Paula: Right. Well, I know in most cases, people do complex transactions where they are selling one and buying one at the same time. So they get hit with the good and the bad side of the market at the same time. And that makes for interesting times.
Jeffrey: I’ve talked to brokers every day and one of their their biggest comments is “Yes, I have my seller wishes to sell his aircraft, but then I have to go out and find him an aircraft and trying to explain to him that what he’s doing to his buyer is exactly what’s going to happen to him when he turns into a buyer.” So, yes, he might make a little money on his transaction, but he’s going to turn it right back over to the next seller.
Paula: Yeah. Beyond the other side of the team.
Jeffrey: That’s when a well-seasoned flight department manager that has been in the industry for a while, they’re working with a very experienced brokerage firm who understands the markets, that’s when they work together as a team. And that’s how they get the best advantage to their dollar.
Paula: Yeah, right. So, Mark, what are you seeing in the market? I guess, at least in the last little bit, you’re probably seeing some changes.
Mark: Yeah. Well, thanks to ABCI, I just got a call from a hedge fund manager. And he’s flying an aircraft from the military at West Point, New York. It’s a small aircraft nonetheless, so I’m going out there next Tuesday to look at that aircraft. They’re also looking for pilot. They do a lot of commercial property stuff, I guess. So they’re going to be looking for an airplane to fly their pilots, excuse me, their lawyers the closings. So, anyway, I’m hoping… I’m really looking forward to seeing where all that leads.
Jeffrey: I have a broker that’ll help you with that. [chuckles]
Mark: Yeah, please. He said when you need a pilot, they’re not aviation people, so I’m just really trying to help them figure out what they actually would need versus somewhat paying to fly attorneys to sit[?] around overnight or stuck here and there, with the airlines[?] versus if they had a Pilatus or King Air.
Paula: You know how much they charge an hour, so…[laughs]
Mark: Yeah, so I do too. It’s a lot.
Mark: So, it might be [inaudible], air time with the… versus that, so we’ll see.
Paula: Great. So I think a lot of people listening may not be terribly familiar with GlobalAir. Jeff, maybe you can tell us more about how the company came about, how you put that together and how that’s working now? And what you see?
Jeffrey: Well, how the company came about is probably going to be almost as comical as my first story.
Paula: [laughs] Comical is good.[laughs]
Jeffrey: I was working for a brokerage firm out of Virginia and my boss fired me. [chuckles]
Paula: Oh, the nerve.
Jeffrey: I’m from Kentucky. So I moved back to Kentucky. A friend of mine showed me the Internet. And just about the same time, Al Gore came out and said that he invented the Internet. I’ve been using that tagline for years, “Al Gore and I invented the internet.”
Jeffrey: But I immediately saw that the internet was perfect for aviation because most pilots are information junkies, especially regarding aircraft. So it was a natural fit to start building a web for information of aviation. And we’ve now grown it to approximately 329,000 unique visitors per month. So we’re one of the larger websites on the internet. We developed our company using real true web tactics. We don’t have a print publication. We don’t have that overhead, nor do we have that… I don’t know the right word to use for print anymore, except people don’t use it. We built it through the web using web techniques, and that is basically built on links. So we’ve decided to instead of staying focused on one area, we wanted to open up a portal. Remember, you’re hearing that several years ago, well, that’s what we really are. We’re a hub-and-spoke portal to where we have different types of information all pertaining to the aviation. Our biggest is aircraft for sale and we have our airport resource center which has all the United States and territories airport information and the 3,200 FBOs as of yesterday, were reporting fuel to us. Which we have a few clients EFPs[?] that use our fuel data. Then we have our buyer’s guide, the aviation events calendar, and last, we’ve just added on news and articles which has really taken off well. So we’ve really built the website out to be exactly what the web is supposed to be, using the many thousands of links. We have over 300,000 links on the Internet which by far is larger than any other aviation web company out there. That’s how we built it. We started in 1995 and here we are today in 2022. I’ve bypassed the dot com bust, the depression, and now who knows what this COVID next is.
Paula: Right. I’m sure there will be a word for it. [laughs] Whatever it is.
Jeffrey: Keep that on.
Paula: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Jeffrey: Thank you.
Paula: Yeah, 1995. That was even before the whole 2000 thing where everybody’s computer was going to break because of the zero, the extra zero. So you’ve been through a lot.
Mark: Right, Y2K period.
Paula: Yeah, Y2K. That is crazy. But it’s also a really cool legacy to have where you kind of built a sub internet, or a sub city maybe, of an entire city about aviation where you’ve got stores and that fits.
Jeffrey: That’s a very good analogy. A lot of times, what I used is you look at a spider’s web and how that is developed. Just like a city with its street circuits, that’s exactly what the web is. Just linking to other pages internally to external, and people linking back to you.
Paula: Well, I have to tell you when we started, and that was actually closer to 2000 doing digital marketing in the aviation industry, nobody knew what we were talking about. It was really, really tough because everybody was so intent on what they had always done, which was magazines and trade shows. So you had a lot of foresight to get into the internet so early and to stick to your guns that long.
Jeffrey: I remember one of my first things, what we did when I first started globalair.com is I had the buyer’s guide, the directory. But on the side to make money, I was building websites for people.
Jeffrey: And my very first website was with Curtis Horne of CAH Aircraft. And Curtis is still one of my customers to this day and still a very good friend. He was one of the first guys I did an airplane deal with.
Paula: Oh, that’s fantastic!
Jeffrey: So it was all through word of mouth and that’s how I built the business.
Paula: That’s great. And Mark, I know you’ve been around for a long time as well.
Mark: Yeah. I started the appraisal side of my business in 2013 with the NAA. I went to law school for a while. Then I added an expert witness. And then I did a lot of pre-buy inspections when I was at Bombardier on Challengers. A lot of guys didn’t like doing them [inaudible]. Then most recently, the organization of flying adjusters or the insurance claims. So [inaudible] quite different, quite a bit of territory with those services, hopefully.
Jeffrey: I’m really envious of what you do, to do an appraisal of an aircraft, it just takes so much time and detail work to go out and look at the values and find your comps to make comparisons with. I just don’t know if I would have that kind of patience.
Mark: Well, I turned wrenches. I’ve done a lot of different things and just kind of culmination of everything that I’ve done. I really enjoy it. I got to do the trial of the untrials[?]. I like prepping for the trial. It didn’t necessarily I did an honest stand for 4 hours in an actual trial. That was not fun. That ain’t even done [?] but I did enjoy getting paid for it, so…
Mark: So yeah. Then, there’s insurance stuff I’m really looking forward to so…
Paula: I guess as an expert witness, you don’t get to call a recess [laughs] when you want to.
Mark: No, you don’t.
Paula: You just have to keep going. [laughs]
Mark: [inaudible] past hour or something.
Paula: [laugh] Just soldier[?] through it, right?
Mark: Woo! Yeah.
Jeffrey: I don’t know if I could have another lawyer aiming at me, arrows.
Paula: [laughs] Right. Well, you know who tells the best lawyer jokes? Is the lawyers. [laughs] They are actually kind of funny people, some of them.
Paula: Yeah, so speaking of drinking, [laughs] which I guess is what you have to do if you’re in that profession to get through the day. You have a special drink that you cooked up for us today, Mark?
Mark: Yup. Our signature drink is…
Paula: I’m looking forward to this and I know you can’t throw it into the zoom window, but we’ll do our best, so…
Mark: Yup. Let’s say a take-off of the mint julep, which I’m not sure, is that coming from Kentucky, Jeff? Or, is it just very popular Kentucky drink?
Jeffrey: Absolutely. The Kentucky mint julep is drank every first Saturday in May for the Kentucky Derby.
Jeffrey: There’ll be more ice crushed and mint crushed than in the entire year will be at the Kentucky Derby. And that’s two weeks away.
Paula: Wow. This is timing.
Mark: I’m going to a Kentucky Derby party in Connecticut with the Shoreline Boat Club. So I’m looking forward to that. Now, we had done the mint juleps with some fresh mint, two summers ago. Bryan[?] and I, went get some in the garden and “let’s try it.” I was like, it was really good. It’s like the first one I’ve ever had. So anyway, this is an aviation twist on the mint julep. It’s called the mint spool up[?].
Jeffrey: You’ve got turbine spooling up, let’s go!
Mark: Spool it up. Here we go. Right, so I already have crushed ice do I need to move the camera or not?
Paula: Oh, no, you look good.
Mark: You can see what we’re doing? All right. So you get the best Kentucky bourbon that you can get your hands on. This is Evan Williams, I don’t know Jeff may have to just[?] judge me. One shot. One good shot.
Jeffrey: After the first drink, you don’t know the difference anyways.
Mark: One good shot of Kentucky bourbon, that’s very simple. Get the model of the fresh peppermint, about a half a shot or to taste of simple syrup. And then I also read, for the new[?] Englanders[?], you can use maple syrup. You can get fresh maple syrup.
Mark: Yeah, maple syrup. [inaudible]
Paula: We have someone from Kentucky laughing about the idea of maple syrup.
Jeffrey: Maple syrup with mint. Yeah, that’s interesting.
Mark: I was going to try but I’m like, I don’t even really like… I’m okay with maple syrup, but it’s real representing maple syrup. It’s good, but it’s… so anyway… no, mean make a good shake. There you go, you have a… now, it’s not quite a minute spool up[?]… Do you add some Mr. Boston’s blue teqiula.
Mark: A little bit of that in there.
Paula: Have a nice blue green…
Mark: Sky blue color.
Paula: Uh-huh. It’ll go nice with the green of the mint.
Mark: Yeah. And then one more ice. Actually, it is all the ice.
Paula: Because I don’t think you can do too much ice in a mint julep, is that?
Mark: No [inaudible]
Jeffrey: Much as you can stuff in there.
Mark: Which we check it out. Yes. Wow.
Jefferey: Here’s cheers to the mint julep.
Mark: Yeah. Oh, and then the syrup, you’re supposed to take the mint leaves and slap it between your hands. And it brings the scent out of the sprig of mint blue moon.
Paula: So you garnish your…
Mark: We garnish, [inaudible] it up.
Paula: Mm-hmm. Uh-huh. I started growing mint on the side of my house just for mint juleps and mojitos, and it’s taken over. It’s like…
Mark: I was going to tell you [inaudible].
Paula: Uh-huh. I think we’re going to have to dig it all up and put it in pots where it will be contained because we can’t drink that much.
Mark: It grows like a weed.
Paula: It does, right. It’s a very, very pervasive, which is great. And it smells wonderful when you walk through it.
Jeffrey: So you have a wonderful smelling house, I’ll bet.
Mark: A price[?] that are easy that is actually make.
Paula: Yeah. Is it good?
Mark: It’s yeah.
Jeffrey: All right. Yeah.
Paula: Fantastic. Does the kirkel[?]? And I’m not sure if I’m saying that correctly. I looked it up before we did this. Does that affect the flavor? anyway, it is it still tastes kind of mint julepy[?]
Mark: No, it’s still mint julep. It’s great. It’s very mild with core[?]. I’ll just put a tiny bit just to get the blue color. And we could call it the mints spool up.
Paula: The mints spool up. Nice. So spool up [inaudible]
Mark: [inaudible] spool up thing or…
Paula: I like that idea. We’re kind of spooling up the economy after the whole Covid thing. So this is very…
Mark: For aviation spool up time on the jet engines. When you go to start a jet engine? You leave it, throttles and cut off.
Mark: Then you get to do our stuff, you hit the start button and there’s what’s called a spool up time. The challengers, about 20% of N1, the fan speed. And hit the N1, 22% N1, then you bring the throttles up and back down to idle, and then everything just lights up. That’s for reference for spool up.
Paula: That is cool. That’s really a neat drinking. A neat way of putting it together and bringing together all of the bits and pieces we talked about today.
Mark: Yup. Way to go.
Paula: All right. Well, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you Jeff [crosstalk] for being a good sport and telling us about your crazy younger days. And we all have them. Nice of you to share.
Jeff: My pleasure.
Mark: Look Leo, if you want to start N1.
Paula: Oh, I haven’t. [laugh] I think the rule number one about growing up, is never grow up. Right?
Jeffrey: Never grow up.
Paula: Yeah. Sorry, Mark. What was that?
Mark: I said I’m heading towards 21% N1.
Paula: Good for you. It’s the end of the day here as well. So we’ll have to find… I’m not sure if I have all the ingredients for that, but I’m going to try that. That actually sounds really good.
Jeffrey: As I say it’s 5:00 somewhere.
Paula: It is.
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