The Expert Guide to Buying an Aircraft


Purchasing an aircraft for the first time is a daunting experience as there are many considerations to keep in mind. Since this is a significant investment, you want to get everything right. It’s sensible to involve an expert team to advise you accordingly. 

This guide outlines what you should know about aircraft sales and offers tips to get you started. Read on for more insights!

Evaluate Your Expected Operating Costs

Besides having a budget to purchase an aircraft, you want to consider operating costs. Whether you fly with your new aircraft or not, ownership comes with costs. 

If you take a loan, your lender wants to know whether you’re realistic with maintenance, insurance, usage, and repayment.

Schedule a Pre-Purchase Inspection

A pre-purchase inspection for aircraft sales ensures you make an informed decision. It’s best to work with an independent third party for this exercise and avoid possible issues after the purchase.

Many third-party agents have the expertise to inspect an aircraft before purchase, but this comes with a cost. The findings after an inspection may open ground for re-negotiation or finding a different aircraft.

Seek Out the Help of a Financing Specialist

Arrangement to finance your aircraft is a specialist enterprise, and not all loan providers consider it. To make the process straightforward, ensure you collaborate with a professional who understands aircraft sales.

Someone with solid asset experience and broad industry knowledge evaluates your needs to provide personalized services. 

A specialist funder offers a competitive and flexible option when looking for an aircraft for sale in Los Angeles, CA.

Research and Join Owner’s Groups

Thorough research when purchasing an aircraft allows you to uncover the pros and cons of the plane you intend to buy. Read online reviews and find other relevant information on the internet. You gain access to essential information about particular aircraft when you join owner’s groups.

Your goal is to understand pricing, maintenance requirements, and any other information you need to make an informed decision.

Prepare for Your Purchase

Once you identify the aircraft you want to purchase, you should make an offer and prepare for negotiations. Get your escrow finances and title, and ensure you have aircraft insurance before the transaction. 

Once you complete the deal, you want to register it and offer ownership proof to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Choose the Type of Flying License or Certificate You Need

Do you have a flying license? If not, you first want to consider the necessary certificate or flying license when purchasing an aircraft. Besides getting a private pilot’s license, you may want to consider a recreational certificate. 

This is less expensive, and getting it is faster, but you should expect some restrictions.

Aircraft Sales Contract

Once you decide to purchase, you want a written agreement. This protects you and the seller since verbal contracts are challenging to implement. The agreement shouldn’t be complicated but should include the intention of the involved parties. You can partner with a local attorney to help draft an appropriate legal contract.

Essential FAQs

What should I know before purchasing an aircraft?

Buying an aircraft shouldn’t be a stressful experience if you understand the process. Things to check out include:

  • Storage location
  • Maintenance costs
  • Included equipment
  • Airworthiness
  • Engine hours
  • Ownership costs
  • Age and condition

What is an aircraft escrow?

An escrow is a third-party company that allows for a transparent transaction. The firm may also provide other services such as funds disbursements, bill of sale, FAA application, and lien releases coordination.

What is an aircraft purchase agreement?

This is an essential legal document you need when purchasing an aircraft. The contract features the terms and conditions for both parties and outlines the purchase transfer to the buyer.

What is the process of aircraft acquisition?

There are four common means of acquiring an aircraft. They include outright purchase, leasing, fractional ownership, and charter. Each acquisition method depends on your individual needs. As you begin your aircraft search, you want to evaluate your situation to know what works best for you.

What do I need to file with the FAA when buying an aircraft?

When you purchase an aircraft, you get an Aircraft Bill of Sale. This document shows the purchase transfer from the seller to new ownership. You must record the Bill of Sale by the FAA.

Does an aircraft have titles?

An aircraft doesn’t have a physical title. It’s digitally recorded at the FAA Aircraft Registry.

Recent Stories