Purchasing Aircraft Parts and Attorney Advice


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For many airplane lovers, from the home hobbyist to the aviation professional, purchasing aircraft parts is a part of daily life.  Over the past few years, the internet has dramatically improved access to hard-to-find aircraft parts, resulting in a booming business.  However, the aircraft parts business is regulated by the FAA, which helps to determine whether parts are responsible, safe, and legal for buying and selling.  Getting advice from an attorney when purchasing aircraft parts is a move that may save you money and frustration in the long run.

Regulations for Aircraft Parts Sales

Thousands upon thousands of aircraft components are bought and sold each year, a testament to the individuals who are dedicated to aviation.  Most of these parts are bought and sold by individuals who concern themselves with aircraft safety and faa regulations. 

Unfortunately illegal or fake aircraft parts are purchased in the thousands as well, and the undiscriminating buyer often cannot tell the difference.  The danger in such parts is readily apparent: counterfeit landing gear, faulty gas turbine components, and other uncertified, unregulated accessories pose a huge threat to the safety of aviators and passengers

Testing and Certification

In order for an aircraft to fly safely, all of the parts installed must be subject to close scrutiny from regulatory bodies in the aviation field.  FAA testing and being PMA certified are integral steps in quality assurance.  Even if a part is manufactured at the exact same time and in the same manner as an FAA-approved accessory, unless it has been inspected and approved, you cannot rest assured that it will function properly when installed in an aircraft.

Purchasing Illegal Parts

According to the FAA, scores of accidents over the years have been linked to unapproved aircraft components making their way into airplanes.  The serious risk posed by the sale, purchase, and installation of non-certified and potentially unsafe aircraft parts causes the government to take the matter very seriously.  You could be held liable if an accident occurs due to unregulated parts finding their way into your aircraft and, if inspection reveals the presence of such accessories, you could lose your insurance policy.

Advice from an Aviation Attorney

With so many variables to consider, it is usually a wise choice to contact an attorney if you are unclear about parts you wish to purchase for your aircraft.  An attorney will help you determine whether the parts you wish you buy are legitimate and if the parts you’ve installed in your aircraft may remain.  He or she may even be able to direct you to reputable brokers for parts you wish to purchase, and will advise you as to the best way to keep your aircraft airworthy.

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