AUBURN — Aviation asset management company Sage Popovich based in Valparaiso, Indiana, repossessed on Friday one of the jets abandoned by Elite Airways at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport. It’s the same company featured in the Discovery reality show “Airplane Repo.”

Airport board chair Jonathan LaBonte said the company obtained a special flight permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the jet out of Auburn.

The Bombardier CRJ-700 was one of three jets leased by Elite and abandoned at the airport along with tools, trailers, machinery and miscellaneous property, which was auctioned off last month netting the airport about $140,000.

Two other jets remain in Hangar #5, the airport’s largest hangar, and LaBonte said they are still working on disposing of the other two aircraft, which are not flightworthy. The airport needs to clear out the hangar before it can lease it out to a new tenant.

When Elite Airways stopped paying its rent last summer, it also stopped paying its utility bills, which the airport had to pick up in addition to the hangar lease of $115,000.

The departure of the jet Friday puts the airport one step closer to plugging its financial gaps and is seen as another positive sign by aviators at the airport, even realizing about a $3,400 windfall selling the repossession team jet fuel for the flight back to Indiana.

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