Aligning a Flight Department for Success

Change, it is inevitable, how we plan for unexpected events is what makes all the difference.  Many high net worth individuals and corporations are having to make some tough decisions these days, but this is nothing new.  Mente Group has been successfully assisting our clients through their own challenging times for years now, whether that is to dispose of aircraft and find other flight options or purchase an aircraft; assisting with changes to the flight department team; or completely closing the flight department altogether.

By Brian Hammer, Vice President of Transactions & David Coppock, Managing Director, Central US

What are the right steps to ensure a seamless process for a flight department when they are undergoing changes?  No change is too big or too small for MENTE, we have “been there, done that” and partner with your team for seamless integration.

  • As a team, we layout the project, define targets, identify communication paths, set expectations and establish milestones. The team typically consists of some or all of the following: key decision makers, legal, travel, flight department, and management companies.
  • We understand that everyone’s time is valuable, so we work with our clients to define the appropriate level of communication. We strive for constant, open communication.
  • Business & cultural differences can be challenging, and we always work with our client to effectively manage differences to ensure successful implementation of changes.
  • While Implementing sensitive changes, it is always done with the utmost care around those team members impacted.

What solutions do we offer?

Depending on needs, our feasibility studies provide all flight options and we combine this with our proprietary financial model to give you real world costs, whether for a high net-worth individual or a complex, multi-national public corporation.

Disposition of aircraft – If disposing of an aircraft is needed, we can help:

Develop the specifications and review the aircraft and records. Take photographs. A comprehensive market study showing current for sale market, off market aircraft and recent transactions. We use this to compare against your closest competitors.  Then combined with your valuation and the knowledge we have about the configuration and maintenance status of your aircraft, we know where your aircraft ranks against the competition. Then we execute the plan and keep you updated on market changes, every two weeks. Working with you and your legal team, we have experts in every facet of a disposition.

Acquisition of aircraft – If acquiring an aircraft is needed, we can help:

Combined with a feasibility study or if you have already identified a target model or a specific aircraft, we meet with the users and define their requirements. We then complete a comprehensive market study of all available aircraft, including off market aircraft, to identify candidate aircraft. With your input, we narrow the target to two or three candidates and complete deep dives on each aircraft.

Whether it is an acquisition or disposition, we have your back.  With our industry associations and network of leaders in the industry, we are prepared to extract the best value for you. We are experts in international transactions and no deal is too complex. MENTE Group was the first ever company to have a foreign government aviation authority perform an export on an aircraft using a “desktop export” whereas the exporting country did not physically inspect the aircraft. We work through the multiple layers of governance.

When the changes are more than just the aircraft, our Operational Consulting team provides expertise in services that require some or all of the following: interviewing team members, assessing the issues, studying the results and identifying the best solution.  The services offered include:

Best Practices Audits

Flight Department Start-Up and Interim Management

Retention Studies

Our goal is to execute a successful plan of action to make the necessary changes needed for the flight department and its individual needs.  Every company has different needs, so we partner with them to create a plan that fits their business and cultural expectations while still ensuring Mente Group can provide excellent service.  Call us at 214-351-9595 to discuss with one of our experts.


About the authors:

Brian Hammer is Vice President of Transactions at Mente Group, LLC.

In his role, he is involved in business aircraft acquisitions, sales and leasing activity, basically all aspects of aircraft transactions.  Previously, he was Vice President overseeing the technical aspects of aircraft transactions, including inspections, pre-buy inspections, completions, and aircraft modifications.

Hammer has a broad-based background in aviation and has been involved in many transactions since joining the company in 2009.  Prior to Mente, he was a technical consultant at another aircraft brokerage and consulting firm.

Hammer’s 28-year aviation career includes serving as an Aircraft Technician in the United States Air Force, in corporate aviation as a maintenance supervisor for a leading 135 certificate holder and Director of Maintenance for a Fortune 200 flight department.  Hammer holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.  He is located at the company’s headquarters in Dallas.


David Coppock is the Managing Director of the Central U.S. at Mente Group, LLC.

Prior to Mente Group, Coppock was Chief Operating Officer (COO) for SmartTray International. International is the leader in BYOD platforms for PEDs (personal electronic devices) serving the airline, rail & bus, and automotive industries. Previously he served as Vice President of Hawker Jet Sales for Hawker Beechcraft in the Western United States territory for 3 years.

His experience includes more than 25 years in marketing, sales, and flight operations of business and commercial turbine aircraft. Prior to Beechcraft, he was with Gulfstream Aerospace for 7 years as Regional Sales Director for the Western Rocky Mountain Region where he sold the entire Gulfstream jet product line, including the commercial launch of the award winning G650 super long range aircraft. Coppock also spent two years in the private client wealth industry as a Vice President for Sanford Bernstein/Alliance Capital. He conducted his financial training in New York City where he successfully passed the exams for the Series 31, 6, and 7 licenses and subsequently managed portfolios out of the Dallas, TX office. Coppock worked for Bombardier Aerospace as a sales demonstration pilot type rated in the Global Express, Challenger 604, and Lear Jet series aircraft. His professional flying career started as a pilot in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, flying the T-37, T-38, and F16C aircraft. He also holds type ratings in the Falcon 900 and BBJ aircraft.

Coppock received his bachelor’s degree in political science and marketing from the University of Iowa in 1988 and he is married with two children. He is also a board member on a non-profit organization based in Paradise Valley, Arizona.


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