Aircraft Sales


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While many of us may never be involved with selling or purchasing an airplane, a number of businesses and wealthy individuals handle such transactions on a regular basis. Those familiar with such business affairs know that their success depends on the involvement of highly knowledgeable aircraft manufacturers, accountants, lawyers and skilled maintenance professionals.

The following information on how to buy or sell an airplane can be used as either a review for those familiar with this subject area -- or as a primer for those who’ve never been involved with such transactions.

Types of Aircraft Purchases

Buyers frequently look at planes manufactured by such companies as Lockheed, Boeing, Fokker, Beechcraft and Airbus. Some of the most popular airplane models for private use include: 

  • Cessna
  • Lear
  • Beech King
  • Piper and
  • Allegro

Should you be interested in ultralight aircraft sales or want to buy one or more cessna airplanes, make such facts known when trying to select an attorney since you may be able to find one who regularly negotiates contracts for these planes. (You can learn more about these types of planes by visiting the following links: The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14: Aeronautics and Space, Part 103: Ultralight Vehicles and http://www.eaa.org/Ultralights/)

You can learn quite a bit about various airplane models by visiting manufacturers’ Web sites or local air shows with ads indicating new or used planes will be on display and available for purchase. Make sure you schedule a thorough maintenance check of any aircraft before taking a test flight in it with the owner or manufacturer. Study all of the plane’s most critical features, listen for unexplainable noises and ask if the aircraft can be safely used under most weather conditions. An aviation attorney would be able to help you to properly examine all the various elements of the aircraft you are considering purchasing.

Airplane Transaction Process

Once you’re convinced that you’ve selected the best new or used aircraft to suit your needs, you really should have an Aviation Attorney help you research whether the purported seller actually owns the aircraft, free and clear of any encumbrances. After this title research is complete, you must take a serious look at how you’re going to finance the purchase. Your lawyer should be able to put you in touch with someone skilled in this field, if you don’t already have your own private accountant.                                        

Since sales of aircraft can be complicated transactions, before signing any documents, every purchaser should have an attorney review the contract terms to be sure they are as favorable to the buyer as they are to the seller. Both new aircraft sales contracts and those governing the sale of used aircraft contain special provisions that your lawyer can explain to you.                                                                                                

Once both parties are ready to finalize the deal, the buyer should always secure aircraft insurance before signing the contract. That way, should there be any problems in transporting the aircraft to its new hangar, the plane will be properly covered. (Note:  The purchaser should also check ahead of time with each airport where the plane will regularly stop for maintenance -- or be placed in a storage hangar -- to be sure such rights can be obtained and are affordable.)                                   

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