Our Services

Pre-Owned Private and Business Aircraft Acquisition Consulting

Providing high-net-worth individuals, corporations and family offices with the insight and expertise they need to confidently navigate the purchase of their next pre-owned private or business aircraft.

pre-owned aircraft acquisitions

The Pre-Owned Aircraft Acquisition Process

60 to 90 Days, Plus Refurbishment Time (if Applicable)

  1. Perform Initial Evaluation and Aircraft Identification

    With many options to consider when purchasing a pre-owned jet, it is critical our clients decide on the aircraft model that best suits their needs. In some cases, modifying or refurbishing an aircraft will be desired. The team at Essex assists clients in evaluating all the various aircraft options based on their specific needs and desires. Essex also provides an operational and financial analysis to ensure the most appropriate aircraft and aviation utilization models and applications are considered.

  2. Survey the Market

    Once the initial evaluation is complete, Essex reviews the market to identify potential aircraft that meet the criteria outlined in phase one (above).

  3. Manage Return to Service

    Upon identifying the aircraft, Essex manages the entire pre-purchase inspection and technical acceptance process as well as final closing and transfer of title, with on-site support and representation if desired by the client. In some cases, this pre-purchase event aligns with an opportunity for new equipment installations and improvements, which can begin as soon as the transaction closes.

Refurbishment Process

If applicable

  1. Perform Initial Evaluation

    There are many options to consider during the refurbishment of a pre-owned aircraft. Clients must decide on the extent to which they wish to refurbish the aircraft and what facility is best suited to meet their expectations. Every refurbishment facility is different, offering varying capabilities, materials and design expertise. The team at Essex assists clients in the evaluation of facilities and their unique capabilities — so that clients can feel confident from the start that their needs and desires will be realized.

  2. Oversee the Proposal and RFP Process

    Once a short list of candidate refurbishment facilities has been identified and bids have been received, Essex assists clients with the entire proposal process, from initial presentations and negotiations all the way though to final selection and sign off.

  3. Oversee the Design Process

    Once a facility has been identified and assessments are complete, Essex assists clients with the entire design phase, attending all design meetings with the OEM, including the clients final design approval.

  4. Oversee Production

    With a final and approved design, aircraft completion or refurbishment is ready to commence. Essex manages and oversees the entire production process, which can range from a few months up to a year depending on several variables. Included within Essex’s project oversite, Essex delivers to the client regularly scheduled reports, checklists and photos that detail the progress and ongoing status of the project.

  5. Final Delivery and Acceptance

    When the aircraft is ready for final delivery, Essex has the experience and expertise to ensure the process runs smoothly, from the return to service to final acceptance.

Essex Pre-Owned Aircraft Acquisition and Refurbishment Consulting Services

Essex’s clients receive thorough consultative services that cover every aspect of pre-owned aircraft ownership.

  • Aircraft needs evaluation and model selection

  • Aircraft records research, valuation, test flight and pre-purchase inspection and technical acceptance

  • Financing and insurance options

  • Title, tax and legal consultation

  • Purchase offer, negotiations, escrow arrangements and closing coordination

  • Flight training / flight crew hiring and training / aircraft management services

  • Arranging for ramp storage or hangar space

  • Closing – final transfer of title

  • Coordinating aircraft upgrades and maintenance programs

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Why Essex Aviation?


Essex Aviation is not a brokerage firm and does not list aircraft for sale. We made this choice in order to avoid any conflicts of interest by representing both a buyer and seller. We accept no commissions, referral fees or any other forms of compensation from any third parties. At Essex, we work solely for our clients, offering unbiased and uncompromised advice.

Unparalleled Expertise

Lee Rohde and Tom Mitchell have been working in the aviation business for a combined 70+ years. Passionate about aviation since they were in their teens, Lee and Tom provide a unique combination of experience and a wealth of unparalleled knowledge while advocating for their clients’ interests.


We are committed to protecting the privacy of our clients. Every agreement we enter into includes privacy and confidentiality clauses, which are strictly adhered to by every member of Essex Aviation.

Honest and Fair

Essex is a well-respected consumer advocate within the aviation industry, known for our character and honesty. It is our desire to form and maintain long-term relationships with our clients and remain accountable for the analysis and support of past and ongoing decisions.

Our Testimonials

Our Clients Say It Best

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“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 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 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, 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.

Ask These Questions Before Making Your Next Aviation Decision

Private aviation offers numerous benefits, but each service option comes with its pros and cons. Find out whether a membership/card program, charter, fractional or dedicated aircraft model is right for you — and how a private aviation consultant can help you make an informed decision — in this free eBook.