While channel surfing recently, I came across “Airplane Repo” on Discovery. It is what its name implies: it weaves together stories, typically about three, of people whose job is to repossess airplanes. Based on about 6 cases I’ve seen, typically the owner has defaulted on the loan used to buy the plane, and the lien holder, usually a bank, gives the repo person a hefty fee for recovering the plane. The planes can range from small Cessnas worth in the low 6 digits to Citation jets worth about $3 million.

There’s often adventure. In one case, the hopping mad “owner” showed up in his truck after the repo guys had taken the plane out of the hangar and the repo guys narrowly escaped getting beat up. In another case, once the plane was in the air, the pilot discovered that the radio needed to contact air traffic control at a busy airport did not work.

But what I really like is the implicit premise of the show: people who own property have a right to recover it from the people who don’t. “Airplane Repo” is a hymn to private property.