About Us

Who We Are

Essex Aviation Group, Inc. has had the privilege to be a part of the decision making group for hundreds of clients. With over 90% of our relationships being cultivated through the referral of existing clients, you can feel confident that Essex is the right choice for your aircraft acquisitions and advisory services.

Our Personnel

What Makes Us…Us

Essex Aviation’s executive team has combined 70 years of aviation experience. Our position within the industry is well respected as a consumer advocate and our reputation with service providers and vendors in the industry is one of character and honesty.

Photo of H. Lee Rhode III

President & CEO

H. Lee Rohde, III

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Mr. Lee Rohde is the founder, President and CEO of Essex Aviation Group, Inc. (Essex), a broad-based business and private aviation aircraft acquisition and consulting firm located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Lee brings over 30 years of experience in financial and operational analysis, manufacturing, distribution and corporate business development. He advises aviation related clients on a wide range of aircraft acquisition, strategic planning, financial, operational and management matters.

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Executive Vice President

Thomas W. Mitchell

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Mr. Thomas W. Mitchell, Executive Vice President of Essex Aviation Group, Inc. brings nearly 40 years of experience in the business aviation industry. Specifically, Tom’s experience has been in flight operations, technical support, aircraft management and numerous projects that integrate private aircraft support of both business and personal use.

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Our Services

A Wide Variety of Services To Fit Your Needs

We pride ourselves in having worked with a wide range of clients with diversified needs and personal requirements. Essex is ready to handle your needs in one or more of the following business and private aviation assets. Our desire is to form a long term relationship with our clients and remain accountable for the analysis and support of past decisions.

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Our Clients

Servicing a Wide Range of Clientele

High Net Worth Families

When working with High New Worth Families, Essex focuses on recognizing and responding to the individuals specific needs and desires; and no detail is ever considered too small. As core values for accessing private aircraft are to experience privacy, security and the various benefits of all types, Essex thrives on matching every concern and objective with the best and most suitable options and providers available. In most cases, there is a very high level of required confidentiality, which Essex appreciates and can be counted on to provide.

Private Wealth Management Firms

Essex has focused on developing relationships with Private Wealth Management Firms of various sizes and include many U.S. regions. Invariably, firms realize the cost associated with private air travel and the unique experience and knowledge necessary for properly vetting the options of private aircraft, by providing a logical partnering between Essex and Private Wealth Management firms. Not only are initial decisions critical when recommending safe private travel options which are economically tested, but the ongoing relationships between Essex and Private Wealth Management Firms discover added value as their client's needs frequently evolve and change completely.

Major Public & Privately Owned Business

Essex points to a basic but proven strategy when serving large and small business owners; that is to team up and be an extension of internal members of the client's senior management. If necessary, Essex can recommend known aviation professionals who offer specialized aviation skill sets, such as with legal or tax matters. As advisors and not product suppliers, Essex truly offers both independent aviation knowledge and transparency that most companies find difficult to compare within their organization and core business. With upmost confidentiality, Essex has often worked simultaneously with top Fortune 100 companies while meeting the individual needs of private business owners.

Private Family Offices

Essex has found Private Family Offices and their individual wealth managers are rightfully concerned with having to consider and ultimately recommend options of private air travel for their clients. With the magnitude of safety, service and fiduciary concerns, private air travel is worthy of much consideration and for many, a challenging subject to support and describe to a client with confidence. Essex routinely works with individuals of Private Family Offices, providing independent and necessary knowledge providing members of Private Family Offices with current data describing virtually all options with varying details, which can be used to present to their clients.

Fortune 400 Companies

Fortune 400 companies represent a significant client group within Essex. While confidentiality is of extreme importance, Fortune 400 companies team with Essex to provide them financial analysis of all options, manage an aircraft acquisition process, provide guidance when integrating corporate policies for use of private aircraft as well as tasks including but not limited to the analysis of a legal structure, security and tax considerations. Depending on the companies objectives, Essex can provide direct assistance, offer industry benchmarking data or if necessary, recommend proven industry professionals to ensure all matters of concern are satisfied.

Major Financial Institutions

Essex supports a variety of major financial institutions in the area of providing technical opinions of the current condition of a physical aircraft or asset of which they are funding. The technical services Essex provides will often coincide with Essex reviewing the operator or the management company involved. In addition, Essex is often called to represent the lender during a lease return process for which technical representation is required to ensure the terms of a leased aircraft are properly realized.

Our Testimonials

Our Clients Say It Best

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“Essex Aviation facilitated an end-of-lease process for a large aircraft and assisted us with structuring a subsequent lease extension. The transactions had several challenging issues that required expert counseling and negotiation. The Essex team is friendly, prompt, easy to work with, and most importantly, simply the best at what they do. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

5 Star Rating

Joe Stone, CFO

Sartini Enterprises, Inc.

“Lee and Tom are the dynamic duo you've been looking for. Their collective skills provide exacting coverage on every detail needed when considering an airplane purchase or refurbishment. I worked with them on a lengthy process, from identification of plane, purchase, full refurbishment, staff assignments thru delivery. I was never once disappointed. Perfect personalities for even the pickiest of clients!”

5 Star Rating

Heidi M.

“Essex Aviation’s guidance and data analysis was crucial to our successful first CJ3 lease and later our CJ4 purchase. The expertise of Essex allowed us to understand more fully our flight metrics, history, costs and how to match our future aviation needs with available options in a way that would not have been possible on our own.”

5 Star Rating

Alexandra Glazier, President and CEO

New England Donor Services

“Lee, Tom and the team at Essex have worked with us over the years on a variety of fixed wing, rotor and other special projects, performing to superior standards throughout. We initially went through an industry downselect to compete them against their peers and they surfaced as the best fit for us. We continue to be very happy with the relationship.”

5 Star Rating

Mike D.

Northeast Based Family Office

“Knowledgeable. Informed. Competent. Thorough. Practical. Candid. Professional. Responsive. Efficient.”

5 Star Rating

Tony R., CFO

Northeast Based Family Office

“We had a very positive experience with Essex. We found them to be competent, professional and objective. They dedicated a significant amount of time to providing an extremely insightful evaluation of our aircraft division. The report detailed strengths and weaknesses in our operation, together with constructive recommendations . They interacted very well with the staff and were able to elicit accurate and honest information.”

5 Star Rating

Michael M.

Northeast based Family Office

“Throughout my career as a family office executive, Essex Aviation has been my go to aviation expert. Lee and Tom have guided me through the most complex aircraft acquisition while being able to meet difficult client deadlines. The Essex team has provided key analysis ranging from the mundane, such as the interpretation of the placement of a placard on an aircraft to negotiations relating to an engine care program. Lee and Tom are key partners in all aspects of family office aviation matters.”

5 Star Rating

John Castrucci, Family Office Executive & Founder

Global Family Office Advisors

“I engaged Essex Aviation to prepare an analysis of large cabin aircraft that best met my needs. Their process was comprehensive and thorough. After an exhaustive search of available aircraft, they represented me on the acquisition, negotiation and importation of a long range aircraft and then oversaw a comprehensive customization of the entire plane. Throughout the process, Essex was a knowledgeable, trustworthy and detail oriented partner.”

5 Star Rating

Daniel R.

Questions You Should be Asking Before Making Your Next Aviation Decision

Membership/Card Program, Charter, Fractional, Dedicated Aircraft? What Aviation Model is Right for You?