AIRCRAFT IS ALWAYS LOCATED AT THE
FARTHEST GEOGRAPHICAL POINT FROM YOUR AIRPORT"
If you've been diligently looking, you'll know what
we mean. Don't despair. Dealers buy aircraft over the telephone
daily as a matter of course, and with a little knowledge and information,
you can too.
Begin by getting a full set of specifications. You should have
a complete avionics list (by model), along with the N number and
serial number. Be sure to ASK the current
owner if he has all the original logs. Ask him to describe
the interior and exterior in detail or send him our interior/exterior
If the aircraft suits your needs, preferences, and budget, get
some documentation before proceeding further. Don't
ask for a complete copy of the logs- it's a rare owner who'll
take the time and trouble, and you'll see them at the pre-purchase
inspection anyway. You can. however, gain greater insight into the
aircraft's condition by asking to view a few critical pages.
Request a copy of the last annual inspection:
engine and aircraft log entries, as well as the shop invoice if
available. If the engine has been overhauled, ask for the same items.
If you can get them, the three basic photographs (exterior, interior,
instrument panel) will give you a good idea of the paint scheme
and colors, interior color and condition, and the panel layout.
Don't rely too much on the exterior shot to indicate the condition
of the paint. Airplanes seem to be naturally photogenic, and always
appear better in pictures than they do on the ramp.
If, after examining all these, you still want to purchase the
aircraft, you have only two choices: you can travel to the sellers'
home field at your expense and arrange for a pre-purchase with an
unknown mechanic. Or, you can get the seller to bring the aircraft
to you. Obviously this is better, and here's an agreement that's
been used many times to facilitate this arrangement. Agree on a
price first, then get the seller to sign and return an agreement
similar to the following:
1978 Cessna 177RG N-Number: N52766 Serial number: 177RG2655
and seller agree that the total purchase price of this aircraft
is $_______. Seller warrants the aircraft title to be free
and clear of all liens. Within ___ days of receipt of a purchase
deposit in the amount of $______, seller agrees to ferry said
aircraft to the airport at _____ for the purpose of a pre-purchase
inspection at buyers' expense. It is further agreed that,
upon satisfactory completion of this inspection, buyer will
immediately pay the balance of $______ and take immediate
delivery of the aircraft.
the aircraft fail to pass a pre-purchase inspection to the
buyer's satisfaction, seller agrees to refund all of buyer's
deposit, less actual expenses incurred in delivery and return
flight. Said expenses are agreed to be limited to fuel, oil,
lodging, and meals. This agreement becomes null and void upon
________________ (Buyer)   _______________(Seller)
Notice that both buyer and
seller have something at risk in this arrangement. For the
buyer, it's obviously his deposit. The seller is going to have to
spend a day (or more) delivering the plane, and if it fails the
pre-purchase, flying back home.
If you want to buy, he wants to
and the aircraft is as represented,
this arrangement will work nicely.
is offered as a suggested example only,
and is not intended to represent a legal document.)