People think shopping for a car is tough, but shopping for a plane is on a whole other level. And, if you’re new to aviation, there’s a lot of that can get tricky.

Do you know about aircraft valuation? Don’t let the buying process get the best of you, read this quick guide before you start shopping!

Aircraft Valuation Things To Consider

Just because it has wings, an engine, and is reasonably priced it doesn’t mean it’s the plane for you.

An aircraft is an investment and a commitment, not a one time purchase. So, make sure you’re going in prepared!

What is the Mission?

Why are you looking to purchase an aircraft? What’s the purpose of your flights? Are you staying domestic or are you hoping to go international?

Some fuel tanks allow for a maximum of four hours of flight time, where others can get you up to nine hours. If you’re looking to fly for a few hours and land, you might not need a plane that can survive the long hauls — which changes everything from storage to maintenance.

But if you’re hoping to hop countries a few times a year, you have to plan for that mission in advanced when it comes to maintenance, fuel, and storage.

What’s Your Passenger Load

If it’s you and a significant other taking weekend trips to a private cottage, chances are you’re not looking at a Gulfstream or something.

But if you’re hoping to make some side cash with your plane and want to offer a private service, consider the room and storage capacities of the planes you’re looking at.

If you spot a two-seater piper, but it doesn’t have a lot of room for bags, the plane might not suit week long trips.

What Are The Operating Cost?

Buying the plane is the first step. Have you calculated your operating costs?

Think about where you’re going to hanger it. What are the yearly hanger fees and does the hanger have a jet fuel filling station?  If it does provide fuel, at what rate? Is there a better hanger with better discounts?

When it comes to aircraft valuation, you have to think all of these steps through in advanced because even if you get your dream plane you might not be able to operate it.

Looking at wingspan, fuel range, and passenger capacity are all important for storing and operating the plane.

What’s The Flight Market Like?

Have you looked at the availability of current and trained pilots?

Can they fly the plane you’re looking to buy?

If you’re planning on flying your own plane, are you up to date on your license?

Giving some attention to the market is important because if something happens where you can’t fly, you’ll want to make sure your plane doesn’t become a hanger-dweller.

Plane Condition

Look at a plane’s operating history and flight logs.

You’ll want to know where it’s been and how much airtime it’s seen.

AVOID HANGER QUEENS. This term is when a plane is always in the hanger due to errors and repairs. Remember: tried and true is good for you

Like buying a car, the younger the plane the better. But, also like buying a car, you’ll want to avoid buying the first model. There may be mechanical bugs and quirks that get worked out in later models.

More Aviation

We hope this quick guide on aircraft valuation has given you a few ideas. For more content check out our news page where we have tons of articles.

If you don’t see something there or want more on a topic you do see, feel free to reach out and contact us! We’re here to help you get soaring!