A mad hybrid of cat burglar, F.B.I. agent and con artist, Nick Popovich and his adrenaline-fueled team specialize in one thing: stealing jets. In a nail-biting two-part special, Discovery Channel presents AIRPLANE REPO, June 26 at 8 and 9 p.m. ET/PT. Popovich is a super repossession man, one of a handful of specialists who get the call when a bank wants its Gulfstream II jet back from, say, a small army of Colombian rebels. A danger-fraught cat-and-mouse chase, Popovich seizes jets from jungle hideouts of corrupt landowners in South America and swipes corporate airliners from mainstream companies like Southwest and American Airlines.
When people default on their payments, they run the risk that their property will be recovered by a finance company or rightful owner. When drivers run late with their car payments, their wheels get hauled away by a tow truck. But what happens the property in question isn’t a car, but a private jet worth millions of dollars? In this high-stakes recovery business, Popovich has been beaten, jailed and had a gun held to his head. But even these threats to his own personal safety aren’t a deterrent: “That’s what motivates me,” said Popovich. “It’s the adrenaline, excitement and pressure to be smarter than your opponent.” With his crew – consisting of spotters, pilots and technicians – Popovich first locates the plane, and then moves in with a carefully orchestrated battle plan. And after a quick safety check, he flies the recovered plane back to his farm in Indiana.
In Part 1, AIRPLANE REPO: “Best in the Business” (at 8 p.m. ET/PT), Popovich and his team are looking for a Gulfstream G200 with a replacement value of $22 million – a task made more difficult when he learns the plane is constantly on the move from airport to airport. When his spotter gets a lead, Popovich springs into action to try to intercept the aircraft in Palm Springs. Will they make it in time, or will the huge effort and expense be a bust? Then, in Part 2, AIRPLANE REPO: “Not Ready to Fly” (at 9 p.m. ET/PT), aircraft seizure becomes a family affair when Popovich recruits his son to take pictures during the assignment – a critical task under challenging conditions.