What Should You Look for Prior to Buying a Used Plane?


Quick Answer

When buying a used plane, it is important to take the plane's physical condition into consideration, as well as whether or not the plane meets the buyer's specific needs. Buyers should also compare the cost of purchasing the plane to the price of renting one to determine its practical value.

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Full Answer

It is important to verify that any used plane is in proper working condition prior to purchase. While many used plane dealers can provide certificates and other documentation that show that the plane has been inspected by a licensed mechanic or flight safety organization, private sellers are under no obligation to do so. It may be necessary to hire an outside inspector to examine the plane to make sure that plane does not have any structural or mechanical issues before completing the purchase. Also consider the cost of any repairs or upgrades compared to purchasing a similar plane new.

Another common issue associated with buying used planes is a situation referred to as "overbuying." Many pilots tend to look for planes that meet a specific ideal instead of an actual need, which results them in purchasing planes that get little to no use. Avoiding this tactic is called the 90 percent rule, because the chosen used plane should meet 90 percent of the pilot's needs.

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