Q:

What are some tips for buying light aircraft?

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Quick Answer

Tips for buying light aircraft include determining your exact necessities before purchase, budgeting accordingly, locating an airplane guru ahead of time, and buying directly from America. It is important to recognize that purchasing an aircraft is neither easy nor quick, even for the most experienced of veteran pilots.

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Full Answer

The first tip is to determine what you want to do with the plane. This includes deciding how many passengers you wish to fly and how much collective luggage you need to store, both of which inform how large the plane must be. The altitude of the place from which the plane regularly departs also determines how powerful the engines need to be.

Another tip is to include extraneous costs in the budget. Instead of only focusing on the cost of the plane, factor in fuel, oil, insurance, inspections, and the need to occasionally overhaul parts of the vehicle.

Before making a purchase, befriend someone who has been flying for a long time. Such individuals are often involved in local Aircraft Maintenance Organizations and can provide not just general tips about flying and purchasing a light aircraft, but can also help inspect a prospective purchase.

The final tip is to buy American-made aircraft whenever possible. While planes from other countries may have cheaper price tags, it may not be compliant with the FAA's Airworthiness Directives. The cost to make the plane compatible with these directives may outweigh the money saved by purchasing the plane from abroad.

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