Whether you are in the commuter, cargo, or agricultural sector, it all begins with a well-maintained and capable craft. And since buying a craft can be a daunting task even for professionals, here are a few tips we’ve assembled.
- Decide on new or used: Before you start the process of searching for a plane decide on whether you wish to go used or new. A used airplane can be a bargain if the savings aren’t negated by constant repair costs. On the other hand, the difference that a new plane cost versus a used plane can be made up for in maintenance costs. Thus, buying new actually makes more sense in a lot of cases than buying used.
- Set a budget and stick to it: This will help you to avoid buyer’s remorse. It will also prevent you from purchasing based solely on the mere excitement of the moment.
- Review the logbooks: If you are going to buy used, you need to get a good idea of the maintenance records and damage history. You can best do this by going over the logbooks. Additionally, interview the previous owner if there are entries that you question.
- Decide on how you will use the plane: Obviously, you already know what the plan will be used for, now you must decide if the plane you are considering is best for that purpose. For example, it makes little sense to buy a turbocharged plane when you will only be making short flights.
- Make a personal inspection: Make your own list of particulars and go over the airplane from stem to stern. Pay attention to any parts that may be damaged, the engine condition, etc. Finally, you may wish to do your inspection in conjunction with a mechanic.
- Test fly the airplane: Create a test flight checklist and take the aircraft out at least once. Make sure that you follow all the items on your list. Don’t skip over items in your excitement to buy the “perfect plane”.
- Have an (aviation) attorney involved: Why involve an attorney? An attorney can help you in a number of ways. He or she can help specify who pays for which discrepancies, define the rights of the buyer to accept or reject the aircraft, do a title search, etc.
Even aviation knowledgeable buyers become excited about the prospect of adding a new aircraft or aircraft to his/her fleet. The wise decisions you make when you do decide to purchase can make all the difference in the world to your company. Decisions like who to choose for aircraft APU service are important for example. We can service your aircraft auxiliary power unit so that your secondary systems are ready when you need them to be.