We are in aviation for the love of flying and of the deals and the people we are involved with. We have extensive knowledge of many different types of aircraft including helicopters and tubines/jet ships. What is most valuable to you is our knowledge of how things get done in aviation around the world, as well as at home.
Mika spent her childhood riding her bicycle around her dad's hanger at the KSAF airport and flying over the mountains she grew up on. As an adult, she went on to earn a BA in International Business and Marketing at Texas Tech University. Mika took a job in IT after college, but ultimately decided to go back to her roots in Santa Fe and join her father in aviation. Mika is currently working on getting her private pilot license and enjoying being back in the cockpit and in the air.
Licenses held: Airline Transport Pilot
Multi-engine Instrument Instructor
Seaplane Instructor; Hot Air Balloon
Approximately 4400 hours total including 1800 plus in rotor wing (Bell 206 B III, 206L, Hughes/McD 500, 530/ BO 105LS and most pistons. My turbine multi-engine time is mostly in in Merlin IIB and IIIAs which I owned several of. I have flown a number of seaplanes including 185 Amphib, Lake Buccaneer and DHC 6-300, the Twin Otter, again, all of which I owned as ‘Santa Fe Helicopters and Aircraft Sales.
I have flown coast-to-coast, south as far as Venezuela, islands including Domincan Republic and Panama’s Mulatupu San Blas chain and all over Mexico in various ships. I fell in love with Float Planes in Alaska where my father lost his life in a Twin Otter between Lake Clark and Anchorage on a flight God didn’t want me on because he got me a ride out three days earlier in a 185 float plane.
I grew up flying to my fathers hotel business in Puerto Vallarta Mexico in his 310 Cessna. I thought I was Sky King but I threw up a lot. Then we got a Shrike Commander with a rearward-facing seat for me: I really threw up then, but I loved to fly through the puffy clouds. I still do!
The Marines ‘let’ me join the Platoon Leader Corps near the end of the Vietnam War. Turned out I was the last aviation recruit in Colorado and I got to fly Saturday’s in a rented 172 at the Durango Airpark. Sunday’s, I got to march. On the bus to Camp Pendleton for an intensive bootcamp on the way to ‘the beach resort’, I was startled when the bus station manager yelled my name to come to the phone.
“Son” said my recruiter, “This war is over. Your contract is terminated if you want it to be”. I thought about how fun it was to have been shooting rockets in the jungle for a minute and then thanked the nice man for all his flying lessons and great marching around in the Gym at Ft. Lewis College.
Two years later I got my private ticket, bought a Cherokee 235 for $17,500 and it was ‘game on’ in the ‘get the tickets, build the time and figure out how to afford it’ game of aviation.
I somehow managed to buy an Enstrom 280C helo from a nice man in a cowboy hat who said it ‘was a brand new helomocopiter’. Later, after it was crashed hard by a ‘Vietnam Cobra Pilot’, (with me in it unfortunately), I found out that the ship had already been crashed off the roof of a bank building in Albuquerque.
What I had learned in the meanwhile, flying around to fire fighting camps with pilots, parts and crew, filming a few movies (City Slickers, Outrageous Fortune, White Sands and some Japanese TV), was that I really liked buying and selling aircraft and that I was pretty good at dealing, dickering and then doing the dirty work of cleaning and sorting out the ships after we bought them. This led to a lot of lessons being learned. Things like missing log book pages where somebody had neatly razored out the page with the crash repair on it.
Things like tiny, illegibly scrawled handwritten entries where, lo and behold, somebody had put a new set of cylinders, camshaft and other goodies into the engine two hundred hours ago and the dealer who was selling to me didn’t even know about it. Things like what sort of shop just might be telling the truth and amazingly in this day and age, which ones might be lying in their teeth. We bought a Skipper for my son to build time in ten years ago and the pre-buy was ‘all good’. Guess engine compressions in the 50’s didn’t really bother that guy. They made the plane run pretty badly at our altitude here in Santa Fe though.
I translated Turkish Logbooks on a new LongRanger for a Prince in Austria’s buyer and got the sale done when everybody else said it was worth half because of the books. Turned out that one entry for 500 hours said ‘Inspected and repaired in accordance with all Bell Textron procedures’. It was new and just plain didn’t have a lot of entries!
The Twin Otter 300 (auto-feathering and certified for single engine takeoffs!) belonged to a South American oil field company and they put it in my name so we could US register and fix it. We sold it to Papua New Guinea at a premium because they didn’t mind the Peruvian Air Force Pratt and Whitney overhauls. And so on.
Today, we are carefully buying aircraft, one at a time and doing our best to find the best values on the market in terms of safety, price, long-term investment worthiness, looks, logs and did I mention safety? We really care about that last part. Remember I lost my Dad in a plane. Don’t want to lose any of my kids or friends.
What we would like to do for you, is to help find you a plane that will fit your needs whether it be for travel, fun, training or re-sale. I work with my two older children who both have International Business Degrees and have themselves flown all over the world for business, school or pleasure. I look forward to sharing our knowledge with you as we learn from you who have doubtless done your own homework as well. Small or large, piston or turbine and even some large jets are all part of our repetoire and we will always do our best to get you the best deal.
Gratefully still flying,
David J. Old