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

Printable Version

Aircraft Buyer's Checklist

Step 5:   Put a Deposit Down on the Aircraft
After you have reviewed all available information about the plane and you feel fairly comfortable that this is the plane for you, it is time to put down a deposit to remove the aircraft from the market. This will secure the aircraft while you make arrangements for a pre-purchase inspection.

Why put down a deposit?
This tells the seller that you are serious about the plane. You are saying that yes, I have the money to buy the plane and if it is everything that it is represented to be, I will buy it. This gives you first rights to the plane, meaning that the plane will not be sold out from under you. A purchase agreement should be signed by both parties, outlining the terms of the sale. Before sending your deposit money, you should trust the seller or use a third-party escrow company, make sure you understand and agree to the terms of the sale, and be sure your deposit is refundable. It is common for the seller to retain a small portion of the deposit, if there were expenses involved, but this should be clearly outlined beforehand. We recommend that you use an escrow company to handle the transaction, read on to learn more about escrow services can help you.

Escrow Services
If you find a plane you like, but you are not comfortable sending money directly to the seller, you can enlist the services of an Escrow Company. For a fee, an escrow service will hold the money and the aircraft documents until both parties give authorization for release. Then the money & documents are disbursed to the appropriate parties. Usually the escrow company files the appropriate paperwork with the FAA so you are sure the title gets transferred correctly.

Most Escrow companies that charge for their services are insured by the FDIC. This is not always the case, however; so it is a good idea to verify this before you send your money to a third party.

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