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Buying a second hand aircraft


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1 minute ago, old man emu said:

Oh dear! :no no no: I have a feeling that this is not going to end well. I see someone who has a pair of rose-coloured glasses.

 

I really think that we ought to create a document to be posted here dealing with the the things one should do when purchasing an aircraft and the pitfalls to avoid. It strikes me as crazy that someone would by a piece of machinery, sight unseen and take the word of the vendor that it is 100% (not implying malfeasance by this seller) AND fork out a non-refundable deposit. If a person agrees to pay a non-refundable deposit, that's the contract they entered and there's no way a Court would order the return of the deposit if the subject of the purchase turned out not to be as described, or suitable for purpose.

I like this suggestion ; could be a great service to the Forum community.

 

I would suggest a standing (only changed by Admin) check list perhaps with references to additional information (web addresses RAA documents etc) where applicable.

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I have purchased many items of equipment, sight unseen. There are two processes I utilise.

One is, I utilise someone known or highly recommended to me, to inspect the unit on my behalf. That person must have demonstrated mechanical examination skills or extensive experience as regards the item of equipment.

The second process is, I inspect it myself, after requesting time to get to the site of the item.

 

I advise the seller clearly what is going to happen, and organise the inspection accordingly - and promptly. 

I provide a small refundable (or non-refundable - this depends on the sellers attitude) deposit to the seller, that shows I am genuine, and the inspection will take place ASAP - during which time, I have the first right of refusal on the purchase, and no-one else can gazump me. I set a short time frame, in which the seller holds the item, until it has been inspected.

 

By providing a deposit, you are "sealing your interest". If you do not produce money of any type when requesting an inspection, you will always be regarded as a "tyre-kicker" - and the seller has the right to sell to anyone else who makes a valid offer, while you're "getting your act together".

Upon inspection, I make a prompt decision to purchase, or not purchase, based on my own inspection, or on the report of the party I engaged for the inspection.

 

If I decide not to purchase, in most cases, the small deposit is refunded. In a few cases, the seller will demand to keep the deposit as compensation for holding the item temporarily for my exclusive potential purchase right.

This is uncommon, but can be the case when an item is highly sought after, and well-priced.

 

The biggest single factor you must take into account with an equipment purchase, is exactly what amount of work or money is required to bring the item up to the standard that you or the controlling authorities require.

Very few used items of equipment are in excellent, "ready-to-go" condition - most require money to be spent on them, and they are for sale because the owner prefers not to spend that money.

 

As a result, you weigh up what is required precisely by way of repairs/upgrades/replacements, and then consider the cost of that work required, and weigh that against the asking price.

Some sellers have an inflated idea of values, and peoples ideas of "true value", vary widely. Some sellers are difficult to deal with, and unyielding when it comes to lowering asking prices, in view of the work required on the item.

Other sellers are realistic and good negotiators and you can usually come to a satisfactory agreement with them.

 

Once the "deal is sealed", I produce a short contract form, which clearly states - the date, the item description, the items S/No or rego, the purchase deposit value, the sale value, and the period in which the balance is to be paid, to finalise the sale - and this agreement is then signed by both parties, and a copy provided to the seller. If finance is involved, then this must also be made clear on the agreement and the terms agreed accordingly with the seller.

"Subject to finance approval" is used on very large purchases such as property, but is rarely used in equipment sale agreements - but it can be included, if the seller is agreeable to this clause.

 

Even a simple, hand-written sale agreement is legally-enforceable, if things go wrong, and you end up fighting over the deal.

Of course, very few people will resort to such action unless serious losses are incurred. But, by providing this agreement, it reinforces your position and will hopefully prevent the seller from selling the item to another party.

 

However, if the person you're dealing with, has a lower level of ethics than expected, it is always possible they will abrogate the deal you made, and sell to someone else, before you roll up with the full amount.

On that basis, it is always wise to complete the sale rapidly, provide the balance as fast as you can, and take possession of the item. 

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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4 hours ago, old man emu said:

Oh dear! :no no no: I have a feeling that this is not going to end well. I see someone who has a pair of rose-coloured glasses.

 

I really think that we ought to create a document to be posted here dealing with the the things one should do when purchasing an aircraft and the pitfalls to avoid. It strikes me as crazy that someone would by a piece of machinery, sight unseen and take the word of the vendor that it is 100% (not implying malfeasance by this seller) AND fork out a non-refundable deposit. If a person agrees to pay a non-refundable deposit, that's the contract they entered and there's no way a Court would order the return of the deposit if the subject of the purchase turned out not to be as described, or suitable for purpose.

Edited by Roscoe
already did an agree on the thumbs up menu
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Absolutely agree with you OME. 
and surely I can’t be the only person buying a used aircraft who doesn’t want to get burned. I admit I know very little about all this, but I’m trying to fast track my learning and ensure I don’t do anything too stupid. I’ve spoken to heaps of people, taken onboard advice given, and do believe I’m covering my bases. Unfortunately this is the worst possible year to be buying anything from interstate, so guess I’ve got to accept that I won’t see it till it arrives.

Trying very hard to take off those Rose coloured glasses🤓 

 

Yes, it would be an excellent resource to incorporate all this advice into a document so people can get an idea of best practice before they put any money down.

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51 minutes ago, RFguy said:

All the SELLERs that I have talked to INSIST(ED) that I come and fly it  before any further consideration about buying said aircraft.

Easier said than done these days. Thankfully borders are slowly opening. WA tonight!

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Shajen,

I hope all goes well for you with the purchase of this plane.

There has been a lot of good advice given here for you to take on board which I am sure you will.

 

I also brought an aircraft sight unseen and have had no issues in the 6 years that I have had it which is just a reminder that there is also some great people in aviation who do the right thing.

 

I was very fortunate to have an experienced and trusted person to go over the aircraft with a fine tooth comb prior to my decision to purchase it. He also has a wealth of knowledge on VANS AIRCRAFT and is well respected in the aviation community.

Happy flying

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I had some friends look at that exact plane for me. I came close to buying it but in the end I decided not to because I want a J230 (If anyone knows of one for sale, let me know 😁). The guy who is selling it on the other guys behalf seems like a decent bloke. I did show the logbooks to a LAME here & there were a few things he wasn't overly happy about in there though. So make sure you get a qualified person to thoroughly check the logbooks. Good luck.

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I did end up buying this aircraft and I flew it home yesterday from Tyabb.  Flies beautifully and I’m really happy with it.
Thank you so very much to everyone who gave me advice and information.  I was getting pretty stressed for a while there, mainly cause I really had no idea how to go about buying a second hand aircraft, what I needed to check, who to ask, everything.

 I took note of all the advice, had so much help. Worked out well in the end. 
But, knowing all these things, it’s still caveat emptor, I know I’ve been lucky this time.

26DDB1F8-5B89-4996-8D1C-4DF5571A2E4F.jpeg

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Roscoe,

she’s a SP 500. Flew beautifully on the way home, straight and balanced with a light touch on the controls. Was in no rush so cruised home 90kts. 

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28 minutes ago, shajen said:

Roscoe,

she’s a SP 500. Flew beautifully on the way home, straight and balanced with a light touch on the controls. Was in no rush so cruised home 90kts. 

Great!

Enjoy it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Shajen!  Congrats on the beautiful new bird. 

 

I've gotta ask. Do you now have two Jabirus? Didn't you give us a glimpse of one in your hangar a few months ago? 

 

Cheers

 

 Alan  

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