7 Key Factors Affecting a Used Airplane Valuation

By Andrew Myers

June 3, 2019 Educational

Are you looking to sell your private plane? Just like selling a house or a car, you'll have the most success if you price it right. Also, like a house or a car, the value can depend on multiple factors like age, upkeep, and condition. Learn about the factors in an aircraft's value to consider when pricing and selling your plane.

1. Engine Hours

The number of hours on an engine is one of the biggest things to consider for valuing a plane. In simple terms, the engine hours are the amount of time flying in hours or by the calendar that a plane has before it will need required maintenance. The time between overhauls (TBO or TBOH) indicates how soon the plane will again need engine maintenance. The closer it is to needing engine work, the less value it's likely to have.

2. Paint

The paint job on a plane can factor into its value. It can be expensive to repaint a plane. If a plane needs a paint job its aircraft value drops. While a new paint job for a plane definitely makes it look nice. Take a close look to be certain it isn't covering anything up like corrosion that might be hiding under the surface of that new shiny paint.

3. Maintenance Records

Take a close look at the maintenance records for a plane. First, if they are not current, that's a red flag. Look at the maintenance done to a plane to be certain it is up to date and done correctly. Upcoming required maintenance will also depreciate a plane because of its cost.

4. Airworthiness Directives

Airworthiness directives, also called ADs. are passed down from the FAA. These are directives for things that might need to be done to a plane within a certain period of time. First, a plane needs to be compliant with all ADs. Second, consider the number of directives issued for a plane and how significant those were. Consider whether a directive was issued one time, or multiple directives have been issued for the same issue.

5. Damage History

Look closely at the damage history of a plane. The number of times a plane has experienced damage can greatly impact its value. If the plane has had any damage to the fuselage, wings, empennage or landing gear look closely at the quality of the repair work. These structural parts can impact the value of the plane. It's important the plane's repairs meet FAA requirements.

6. Technology and Installed Equipment

A plane's technology is significant to its value. An older plane can increase in value if it has had updates in technology for things like new avionics. At the same time, a plane with older tech features is reduced in value.

7. Interior

Like the interiors of a home, the interior of a plane and its condition factors into its value. If a plane's interior is not well maintained or out of date, it can cause a decrease in value. Like putting on a fresh coat of paint in a house, refreshing the interior of a plane can increase a used aircraft's value.

What Affects Your Aircraft Value

When you are making a sale of a big ticket item, getting the highest price is important. Use these 7 factors to help you consider how to price your plane for sale. The aircraft value depends on you taking good care of its maintenance and records. Learn more about buying or selling a plane by visiting our blog today.