January 3, 2019
Read this story in our FlipViewer digital magazine.
Lawyer Dan Newlin is realising the benefits of investing in a Bell 505 helicopter, which has joined the Citation Ultra that he has owned for three years. His law firm utilises the new rotorcraft to transport lawyers around central Florida, beating the traffic and increasing productivity.
“I have law offices throughout central Florida with a geographic range of about 100 miles in each direction, as well as an office in Chicago, Illinois, which is a two-hour flight north of Orlando," he tells Business Air News. "I bought the Citation Ultra to go back and forth to Chicago and for short missions. It’s been an amazing aircraft and I have two full-time captains that work for me, employed by the firm. Having full-time staff rather than shopping around for pilots has been a big help.
“When the Bell 505 was first released, I looked at the efficiency of the unit and felt that it would better be able to accomplish our missions within the 100-mile range. As well as being more efficient it would also be more effective, because it would enable us to land within a mile or two of our offices. We’ve only had it for a short time, but it is working out extraordinarily well."
He will be keeping both aircraft, deciding which one to choose based on individual missions. "There are 70 lawyers that work in my law firm and we have more than 15,000 active clients spread out all over central Florida," Newlin continues. "When we need to respond to a new case that is 60-80 miles from central Florida, it has become very easy. We hired a full-time captain for the Bell who came from a local law enforcement agency and who has been flying rotary aircraft for his entire career. He is available 24/7 to get us to where we need to be on urgent matters as well as court-related ones.
“Here’s the big reason for using these aircraft, and I think a lot of areas of the world are experiencing this: traffic congestion. The roadways here were never made for as many people as now use them. Housing and population growth has overwhelmed the infrastructure that exists.
“The time is takes to drive from Orlando to the coast might be an hour if there was no traffic, but with the way that things are right now it could be two hours, and if there’s a tie-up or traffic wreck, you could even lose half a day sitting in traffic. To know that you can get from point A to point B and avoid the traffic jams that exist in Orlando, which are horrible, means that these aircraft more than pay for themselves."
Newlin entered business aviation after his company experienced rapid growth. The team's needs were away from the central offices and extended further out as the client base expanded too. "We needed to be able to get from point A to point B effectively," he explains. "There are too many risks associated with getting on an interstate highway in Orlando; the risk of congestion and tie-ups, and also the high stress level involved with driving. For a lawyer to be able to make it from Orlando to a location 60 miles away, complete a 15-minute court hearing and then return to the office and work a full day, there’s a lot to be said for that in terms of productivity.
“So far we’ve really enjoyed the Bell experience. I was told when I went to buy the 505 that there was a one-year waiting list. We were very lucky to be able to find one on Controller that was used but had very low hours, only 15 or so. We were delighted to find it in phenomenal shape, and we purchased it and entered it into service without any issue.”