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How To Buy A Used Airplane

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How To Buy A Used Airplane

Buying an aircraft is an important investment and the many aspects of aircraft ownership should be seriously considered before signing on the dotted line. AOPA is committed to making the purchase and ownership of your aircraft as rewarding as possible. This subject report will present those topics that should be considered when purchasing a used aircraft. For example, the pre-purchase inspection is a very important and often over looked precaution when deciding whether to purchase an aircraft. Many aircraft have underlying flaws that would cost thousands of dollars to correct, which are found by doing a pre-purchase inspection. Prospective buyers can ask the current aircraft owner to correct them, or negotiate new price. Another thing to consider is time between overhaul (TBO). For the sake of example, consider you are purchasing a 1977 C-172N for $40,000. The TBO for this aircraft is typically 2000 hours, and costs roughly $20,000; or half the value of the aircraft. If the aircraft you are considering buying has 1800 hours on the engine, you need to expect to spend an additional $20,000 on the aircraft in your first 200 hours of ownership. Knowing this, it would be in your best interest to negotiate a lower price for the aircraft. This subject report will walk you through the process of buying a used aircraft and focus on the important things to consider before you accept the deal.

The amount you borrow will have substantial impact on the total cost of your purchase; therefore, it pays to put some effort into finding the right source of financing. Interest rates on aircraft can vary widely and may reflect a bank's knowledge, or lack of knowledge, about the subject. AOPA Aviation Finance Company, LLC is available to help members find the right financing for new and used general aviation aircraft..

Be careful of the terminology used to describe engine condition. A top overhaul involves the repair of engine components outside of the crankcase. A major overhaul involves the complete disassembly, inspection, repair and reassembly of an engine to specified limits. If an engine has had a top or major overhaul, the logbooks must still show the total time on the engine, if known, and its prior maintenance history.

As prospective buyers of used aircraft pour over classified and display advertisements, there is apt to be some confusion. To keep costs down, advertisers use certain abbreviations to indicate an aircraft's condition or features. A time, expressed in hours, usually precedes these abbreviations.

At the beginning of this journey, just the thought of owning an airplane seemed to be something other people did, certainly not me. I had an instructor who told me being a pilot is one thing, buying a plane is another, and owning a plane is still another. True words. Having a pilot certificate does not prepare you to buy an airplane.

One of the first steps in buying an airplane is money. The plane I bought, a 1979 Cessna 172N, new would cost around $400,000-plus. I paid $65,000 for mine. It had less than 3,000 hours and approximately 1,100 hours on the engine.

The business aircraft listed for sale on AvBuyer are categorized under Private Jets (including Large Jets, Mid-Size Jets, Light Jets, Very Light Jets) and Turboprop aircraft, and the selection of rotorcraft offered for sale, including Turbine Helicopters and Piston Helicopters are regularly used for corporate and VIP transport.

While the proper acquisition of an airplane is complex process that should be done by someone who clearly understands the procedure, the "rules of engagement" are little more than common sense. Here are ten tips that can help you...

I. Negotiate price, not quality - The value in any aircraft acquisition is almost always in the "buy" and rarely in the sell. You are money ahead to spend a bit more to buy an airplane that has been well cared for, flown regularly, lives in an organized hangar, with beautiful logs and documen


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