It goes without saying that a properly maintained aircraft has greater value, is safer and can sell at a higher price than one that is not. In that way, aircraft are really no different than cars. (They are, of course, much more complex and subject to many more regulations.) That being said, let’s first look at some maintenance-related issues that can determine a plane’s resale value.
* Airframe hours and age: You should be able to present all logbooks related to your aircraft regardless of whether they support a higher asking price or not.
* Engine hours: If an engine is nearing the time for an overhaul it may lose some of its intrinsic value. You may have to ask yourself at some point if maintaining an elderly aircraft will be more costly than replacing or selling it.
* Installed equipment: The technology you have installed in your aircraft – such as avionics or an upgraded auxiliary power unit – can have a significant impact on its value down the road (or in the sky).
* Records and Airworthiness Directives: Your records should show that you adhere to Airworthiness Directives and other safety-related service bulletins that apply to your aircraft.
* Damage history: In valuing an aircraft it is important to know its damage history. It is important to know who repaired the damage and the degree to which the issue may have affected major components.
Having a well-trained, maintenance staff at your disposal presents the best opportunity for owners to maintain the value of their aircraft even as it enters its golden years.
* Maintain the aircraft records: Think of aircraft maintenance records in the same way that a doctor thinks of a patient’s health record. These records let anyone who will be working on your aircraft know the maintenance history and any upcoming maintenance in the future.
* Keep up with routine maintenance: You should use every available resource necessary to keep your aircraft airworthy. A well-maintained aircraft will also help you avoid any unexpected expense and possible problems with the FAA.
* Upgrade when needed: The right upgrade can increase your plane’s value and help it maintain that value as it ages.
In short, a clean, well-maintained aircraft is more reliable than one that is not. It will also fetch a higher price from potential buyers when you decide to sell and keep you in line with all regulatory requirements.