Before purchasing a used ultralight trike, consider the price, the manufacturer, history and condition of the trike. Also find out if the trike contains outdated materials or functions. Check for local dealers when purchasing used.
The price of a used ultralight trike should be 30 to 80 percent less than a new one and shoud reflect the manufacturer, age and condition. Stay within a set budget, and research new trikes for price and structure comparison.
Research the manufacturer of the prospective ultralight trike. The longer the company has built and sold planes, the more planes it has sold and the more planes still flying, the better. Ultralight News suggests only purchasing a trike model after it has been in production for three years.
Be aware of the ultralight trike history, such as whether or not the owner kept it in a hanger to reduce weather damage. Find out if the trike had significant damage or replacement parts. If the trike was in an accident, find out the circumstances.
Inspect the condition of the fuselage, airframe, wings, engine, propellers and parachute. Anything cracked, torn, decaying or damaged incurs costs to be fixed or replaced. If there is no parachute or the existing parachute is 5 years or older, you must purchase a new one.
Check for outdated materials or functions that can be dangerous, such as airframes using pit pins, which corrode and are weaker than AN nuts and bolts. Be cautious of the drive system installed, as some are dangerous and need replacing. Instead of ROPE control systems the ultralight trike should have steel cables and proper NICOS.
Purchase used ultralight trikes from local dealers as they can provide information and instruction. Local dealers can supply parts, services and a flying site, as well as connections to other local fliers.