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"considering to buy a used aircraft?"  - august 30, 2000

considering to buy a used aircraft?

 assume seller could not afford the maintenance and repairs, you may be assuming his neglect.

only the purchase price is fixed, all else is a big surprise.

get an insurance quote before you buy -- premiums reflect the safety record and price of repairs -- they have already been through it all!

be sure of product support for your selection before you buy.  waiting months on the ground for a simple part (eg. gas cap) can be exasperating.

consider your selected model's track record pertaining to ad notes, malfunctions, safety record and cost of ownership.  some have even been rejected by the federal government as being too expensive to operate.

be concerned with the residual service life of all components.  a $10,000 overhaul does not increase the value of the aircraft $10,000 -- only about $5000.

blue book prices are for average aircraft.  average used aircraft are like average used cars, beat!

the instrument panel may be full -- yes, of worn out, obsolete, un-repairable units.

be very suspicious of new interiors and fresh paint -- that's the only way they can sell old dead dogs.

a very simple aircraft will really cost a half-week salary per month just sitting there.  an inactive aircraft has more deterioration and malfunctions than one in daily service.

co-owner/partnerships/flying clubs can be bait; it you can't handle his share, stay out.

inspections, maintenance, repairs are expensive and time consuming.  double your mechanic's estimate to be safe.

get a title search, find out if it is a salvage aircraft before committing, search out any liens.  you want it to be really yours!

all annual inspections are not the same -- some are little more than a pre-flight.  feds don't do much until after the crash.

get a pre-purchase inspection by a full-time professional aircraft technician who really knows your selected bird.  heed his report and expect more surprises.  if you can convince the seller into paying half the annual and associated repairs at your maintenance facility, do so.

be prepared to pay substantially extra for a good bird, it will save you lots of grief.

prize your new possession and take good care of it, and have fun flying.

march 14, 1987, revised august 28, 2000.   roger a. stern, little flyers

 

 

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