Thinking that you want to trade a plane? It’s not exactly like buying a car. There aren’t dealerships around every corner, and it’s a potentially risky investment that you want to be sure of a few things beforehand.

But if you are looking at how to buy or trade a plane, there are a few tips that will keep your experience positive. Here are 5!

1. Think about Cost Vs. Safety

If you’re looking to trade a plane, it’s easy to have cost cloud your judgment. Make sure to analyze cost versus security. If you’re willing to spare equipment due to budget constraints, think twice.

Is what you’re trading for going to earn you money in the short term, but cost you money in the long run? Does the plane you’re buying for have modernized avionics and a clean pedigree?

2. Fly What You’re Thinking About Trading Before Trading it

The last thing you need is to trade your airplane for one that you’re unsure of. Carefully inspect all of the aircraft’s systems and equipment, so you know you’re getting what you paid for. Sounds easy, but relying on 3rd party research or representation can be iffy. Perhaps you should hire someone willing to visit the aircraft and determine if it is worth the purchase price.

3. Prepurchase Inspection

Before you buy your airplane, make sure to have a trusted airplane A&P mechanic thoroughly inspect it. Have him/her issue a written report as to the status of the plane. Prepurchase inspections should at least have a differential compression check on each cylinder of the engine, and we like to see a fresh annual.

You should also thoroughly examine the airplane logbooks and other records to determine the correct status of the plane. The FAA requires that airplane owners keep reports of significant repairs and airplane component serial numbers. The mechanic you decide to use should be familiar with these rules and regulations.

4. Make Sure You’re the Rightful Owner

Before you trade your plane’s rights away to another, make sure you’re getting theirs in return. The last thing you want to discover is that there is an outstanding lien on the plane you traded for. Title searches and reports are VREF VERIFIED REPORTS and make trading your plane much less of a hassle.


5. Style Doesn’t Always = Performance

The more exotic the airplane for which you’re trading, the more unique the mechanical issues. Having to find rare parts makes minor repairs seem like nightmares. Before you opt for style, think about all of the potential unforeseen circumstances that arise with planes. It’s better to have easy access to maintenance than having to pay loads of cash to get the issue fixed.

This is also the case with older models. Older parts tend to be harder to come by than newer parts. Try to account for all the hidden costs that you may incur down the road. You’ll thank yourself when you’re flying peacefully, worry-free.

How To Trade a Plane Guilt-Free

The easiest way to trade a plane guilt-free is to be prepared for the unexpected. Planes aren’t quite as simple as cars, and the ramifications of malfunctions are far more significant.

While thinking about trading a plane, make sure you’ve thought extensively about what you’re looking to get out of your new flight. You want to feel good about letting your baby go, so make sure you’re informed! Find out more with our comprehensive guides!