An appraisal is an opinion of value, and it can be verbal or written. The truth is when it comes to appraising aircraft, the quality of the report is based on several factors, but what you are paying for is that appraisers experience. Hire the wrong appraiser, and your dreams of owning an aircraft will come to an end. Experience is not something you can google or research. It is only earned through decades of hard work and countless hours of on the job training. So if you’re the type of person that would ask your dentist to diagnose your back pain, then skip this article.

If you’re considering buying an aircraft, one of the most important steps is to get an appraisal. The appraisal ensures you know the fair market value of the plane you’re looking at before you purchase it.

But how do you know if the appraiser you’re working with is providing you with accurate information?

The easiest way to tell is to ask if they’re an Accredited Member of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). Keep reading to learn more about the ASA and why you should check that your aircraft appraisal is completed by an not just anyone calling themselves an appraiser.

What Is the American Society of Appraisers?

The American Society of Appraisers is a “multi-discipline, non-profit, international organization of professional valuers.” They cover a variety of industries including jewelry, machinery, real estate, and aircraft, which is referred to as real or personal property.

Appraisers have to meet rigorous training requirements, including 120 hours of in classwork, numerous exams including an ethics exam, as well as completing the USPAP training and passing that test. The ASA requires a thorough application be submitted, which includes a check on the applicant’s background (Those with Criminal histories or felonies are denied), education, and the number of years he or she has practiced appraising. Once these steps are completed, the appraiser is required to submit a written report which is scrutinized by the Board of Examiners. So when you see ASA next to someone’s name, trust me, it was earned.

The reason you want to ensure an aircraft appraiser is a member of the ASA is simple.

ASA Membership Requirements

There are two credentials most aircraft appraisers can qualify for within the ASA. Let’s take a quick look at what’s required to be a member of these accreditations.

To successfully reach even the lowest offered level of accreditation with the ASA, you need to have a minimum of two to five years of experience as a full-time appraiser.

ASA Appraisal Methodology

To give you a better understanding of what an ASA appraiser does, we took a quick look through their code of ethics to share a couple of points about the responsibilities prescribed to appraisers.


The most important thing an appraiser can do is create a value that is accurate and not based on personal opinions or changed to favor any involved parties. In other words, an appraiser can not be biased or be involved in any way with the equipment needing an appraised value. For example, intentionally under-valuing an aircraft to help the buyer save money could be grounds for removal from ASA membership.


Members are also required to maintain competency in their field. This means taking part in continuing education and staying up-to-date on industry matters, attending continuing education, practicing appraisal work, and attending conferences or seminars.

Professional Character

Not just anybody can appraise an aircraft. For this reason, members are required to maintain a level of professionalism and provide high-quality services to those who need them.

Need an Aircraft Appraisal from an ASA Accredited Member?

Now you know what the American Society of Appraisers is and can see that it’s essential to get an appraisal from one of their members when buying an aircraft.

If you’re ready to get the highest quality appraisal for an airplane or helicopter you’re considering, order a VREF Appraisal from us today. VREF has the largest staff of Accredited Appraisers in Aviation, and our team has skillsets in Vintage aircraft, Warbirds, Helicopters, Fixed Wing Aircraft, Business Jets, Commerical aircraft, airport property, and avionics. VREF has one goal, producing the highest quality, most awe-inspiring appraisal reports available in the global aviation market. Find out why we are the trusted source of thousands of aircraft owners who depend each year on our services.