How to
Buy an Aircraft

Step 1:
Choose the Make/Model
that is Right for You


Step 2:
Get Pre-Qualified
for Financing


Step 3
Shop Around


Step 4
Research Your Aircraft


Step 5
Put Deposit on Plane/
Open Escrow Account


Step 6
Pre-Purchase Inspection


Step 7
Verify the Aircraft
has a Clean Title


Step 8
Get a Quality
Insurance Policy


Step 9
Arrange Final Payment


Step 10
Closing Paperwork


Step 11
Pick Up your plane/
Schedule Delivery


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Step 4:   Research Your Aircraft

Gather all information related to your aircraft including, a complete list of specifications, photos, maintenance history, damage history, etc. Knowing the history of an aircraft is essential. All maintenance should be complete and well documented. Airplanes with missing records or major damage may still be good, but they are usually worth less and you may want to speak with a broker to determine value in a situation like this.

When buying a plane, the owner/seller should be willing to provide you with all the information you request. You can also do a little research on your own.

Resources to Help You

MyAirplane.com: Run a free aircraft background investigation including NTSB and FAA accident reports.


Order Aircraft Records: You can get copies of all 337s and the chain of aircraft ownership for an individual aircraft directly from the FAA. You will need the aircraft registration number and serial number to process the order. You can expect to receive a CD-ROM in the mail in a week to 10 days, unless the FAA is currently updating the file. If you need this information quicker, some Title and Escrow companies can retrieve the data within a day or two and email or fax it to you. The FAA charges $10 for this service, title companies will charge more but it may be worth it.


Google: It is always a good idea to type the aircraft registration number of the plane you are going to buy into a search engine like google. Occasionally you will find accident reports that for some reason didn't show up on the MyAirplane.com search or past owners talking about the history of the aircraft, which can be useful.


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