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Is Airplane Repo on the Discovery Channel fake?


We have written a couple of times about the airplane repo business (see Risky business: Being an airplane repo man and Meet an airplane repo man) plus the Discovery Channel has even created a reality TV series called Airplane Repo where repo men chase multi-million dollar jets across America. However, just how real is the Discovery Channel’s Airplane Repo show?

That was the subject of a recent thread on the Airline Pilot Forum with a moderator under the pseudonym UAL T38 Phlyer pointing out:

And somehow, they always have time to mount belly-cameras—-more than one—-on these airplanes they are in a ‘hurry’ to takeoff with. On a Canadair, I assume they used more than duct-tape.

He or she then added:

I saw it the other night (surfing through it). They took a Cessna from a ranch in Texas. A ranch-hand gave chase to one of the guys on the ground. The guy who took the plane buzzed him repeatedly to drive him off.

Now, unless this was done with the full blessing of the FAA (under the auspices of an ‘air show’), only a dunce would allow video of such an event to actually be broadcast.

UAL T38 Phlyer concluded it was “staged, mindless spectacle for the uninformed” while rightside02 added:

Totally staged and a joke, I would guess about 14 percent of what you see is really true. The rest is drama for ratings, which I understand, the public wants drama.

Next new show, jersey shore cast gets the ppl and does the repos themselves !

Someone then posted a question to ask what happened to a reality show where they had a variety of people competing in flight training for some sort of prize, but then someone answered that the show only lasted about two episodes – no doubt because it could not compete with the Jersey Shore.

Finally, TheFly posted:

Just saw an episode where they “repod” a Beech Jet 400. There’s was a cut scene from inside the cockpit just as V1 is called, the attitude indicator is in a 60 degree bank and around a 15 degree nose down pitch. Engines probably weren’t event running.


Taking all of the above comments into consideration, we would like to ask you our readers whether or not you have seen an episode of Airplane Repo. If so, what’s your verdict? Real, fake or just plain entertaining?!!!

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