Pre-Purchase Inspection

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Inspect thoroughly, own happily
Buying a used aircraft requires a very careful up-front analysis. Such analysis could be economic planning, Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) compliance and most importantly liability protection planning. As buying aircraft involves an expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the entire process consists of significant pre-purchase inspection issues. This article will highlight those various issues along with mechanic’s dilemma who perform the inspection and identify some high level recommendations before purchasing aircraft because pre-buy prevention is better than all unwanted lawsuit hassles. First of all, I think one should make sure that they are not just making an airworthy inspection of the aircraft during their pre-buy inspection but looking for additional maintenance the aircraft might need in the future. It is not just about current aircraft condition but about the same aircraft’s performance, reliability and worth in next several years. As article pointed out, most buyers hire mechanic who could perform just a general inspection on such short visit which is not enough. Since there is not any mandatory pre-buy inspection required by FAA, it is up to buyer who decide how detail inspection he/she wants to perform. At this point, buyer should be very careful to delegate right person to evaluate the aircraft condition and should not compromise with inspection cost which otherwise haunts him/her in the long-run. To get the full value of a pre-purchase inspection, the evaluator needs to know the service history of that type of airplane. Such background only comes from a history of operating or maintaining the aircraft. For example, it is one thing to have a mechanic tell a buyer that the oil pump is not leaking. It is more helpful to know what the further life expectancy might be. Secondly, purchasers are not just supposed to rely on honesty of seller or documentation of the aircraft but they need to do some research...
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