Tips for Buying a Used Aircraft
Purchasing an aircraft can be an enjoyable, yet overwhelming experience. Each potential buyer should take the time to discover what type of plane will be best suited for his or her needs. In addition, it can be wise to look at used aircraft as a way to potentially save some money. When searching for an airplane to purchase it is best to contact an aviation lawyer who can help you understand the aviation laws that will affect you going forward. In addition to that, follow the tips listed below provided by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association when purchasing a used aircraft.
- Valuation Factors. It is important to look at the different valuation factors. These include engine hours, installed equipment, airworthiness directives, damage history, and paint/interior condition. Each one of these factors will affect the cost of an aircraft. It is important to understand that some thing like a high number engine hours can create more costs down the road. Each engine has a recommended time between overhaul (“TBO”). While you are not required to overhaul an otherwise airworthy engine just because it has reached TBO, an overhaul may likely be required in the early future.
- Fly the aircraft. It is always important to fly the aircraft before you buy it. This will give you the opportunity to check all of the equipment to verify that all is working as it should. You will also be able to determine if this is the right aircraft for you.
- Aircraft Inspection. Before you buy the aircraft, allow a trusted mechanic to look over and inspect the aircraft. Have the mechanic provide you with a written report of what he or she finds. Additionally, aircraft logbooks and records should be inspected for reports that indicate major repairs or alterations. You should also review the records for AD compliance and status of service bulletins. Pay attention to the records! A beautiful aircraft with poor records is probably a poor investment.
- Sales Contract. When you decide to purchase an aircraft, it is best to put the terms and conditions in writing as oral contracts can be difficult to enforce. The contract can be simple, but it does need to clearly explain what the intentions of both parties are and include any warranties or promises made by the seller. It is best to contact an aviation lawyer to help draft this agreement.
If you are interested in purchasing a used aircraft, allow us to help you create the legal agreement between you and the seller. The attorneys at McDonald & McDonald have the experience to help you start flying as soon as possible. Contact us today!