Like most big purchases in life, buying a plane is an exciting, emotional time. But it can be easy to get swept up in the moment and forget all the details that are necessary for making a wise purchase.
When buying a plane, it’s important to know the total cost of ownership. This goes beyond the initial purchase price and includes costs such as fuel, storage fees, ongoing maintenance, insurance, and more. Knowing these costs upfront can help you make sure that the airplane fits into your budget and will be affordable throughout your ownership.
One of the biggest mistakes new buyers can make is falling in love with a plane that they cannot afford. To avoid this, sit down with all decision makers and set a clear, realistic budget before you start shopping. Once you have your budget in place, it will be easier to narrow down the options and focus on what is important to you, such as the age of the aircraft, engine hours, included equipment, damage history, maintenance records, airworthiness, and more.
Before you buy any plane, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved for financing so that you have an idea of what size loan you can qualify for. This will also help you speed up the process and show the seller that you are serious about the purchase. If you don’t have the cash to pay for an airplane outright, look into other ownership options such as fractional ownership or renting.
Purchasing an older aircraft is a great way to save money but it’s important to remember that older planes can become more expensive to maintain as parts become harder to find or may require extensive repairs. To avoid this, try to purchase a late-model used plane that is still in good condition.
If you’re interested in a specific plane, it’s a good idea visit a local airport or join a type club so that you can talk to people who own the plane about their experience with it. Ask about things such as whether the plane is a maintenance hog, how often it’s flown, what parts are easy to find and where they come from, and any other idiosyncrasies that you should be aware of.
One of the most important factors that impact aircraft resale value is damage history. If an airplane has been damaged, it’s important to know that the repair was done following strict FAA guidelines and was approved for airworthiness. This information should be documented in the airplane’s maintenance records, so it’s easy to check. buy a plane