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Tips for Buying an Airplane

from Your Local Las Vegas Hangar

November 6, 2018

Just as it is with buying a vehicle of any kind, it can be a complicated process, but if you prepare yourself and do your research ahead of time, it can be very helpful during the process of buying a plane. Most people getting the process started will have a list of things that they have either had their mind set on or are looking for when selecting an airplane to purchase, and there are many questions to address. Here are a few things to consider while you are beginning your planning of the purchase of a private plane in Las Vegas:

Whether to Buy New

Just like with cars, a major consideration prospective plane owners need to consider is whether they will be purchasing new or used. While there are many similarities to the options when buying new or used planes as there are with other vehicles, some of the benefits will differ. Similar to cars, some new planes will have a warranty available with the purchase.

Considering that maintenance of a plane is an integral part of its use and constant upkeep, starting out with your first plane could be daunting if you aren’t prepared for the maintenance costs. A way to ensure you are equipped for the first year or so after purchasing your plane is by going with a new model that comes with a warranty to cover you while you learn more about what is needed. This way, you know how much you’ll be spending in the near future on the plane, and you might even be able to pay less interest on a new model as well.

Consider Your Use

Typically when you are shopping for a plane, you can be easily distracted by the features or some of the more luxurious options that might be at your disposal. It is very important to keep in mind the main use of the plane. You may be planning out your vacations with the family, but if the planes primary use will be business travel, consider the amenities which apply more directly to business necessities rather than group oriented features or options. Ultimately, you can rent a plane to suit your needs for a less regular trip, but it is best to shop for your plane based on the needs that will be required during most of its usage.
tips for buying a private plane

Another important consideration for usage of the prospective plane you are looking to purchase is the main use versus intended use of the previous owner if it is a used aircraft.

Be Ready to Test

After you’ve narrowed down your options for purchasable planes, it is wise to have a trusted mechanic and aviation experts able to assist you with inspections. Typically, owners or sellers will take a test flight with you so you are able to monitor the function and performance of the aircraft in flight. You can make notes about different rates to compare to an expert’s opinion about standards.
Along with testing out the plane, you’ll want to make sure the records and documentation of the plane are in order as well. Maintenance logs can illustrate any history of performance issues or past repairs to help you be aware of potential issues in the future.

Use Your Community

If you’re considering purchasing an aircraft, you should get in contact with another owner of a private plane to learn more about the smart ways to maintain and keep your plane as well as purchasing one in the first place. If you don’t know anyone who owns a plane personally or professionally, consider reaching out to a group or professional organization/club for aircraft owners. Some people wouldn’t think that you can join a group of this kind before owning a plane themselves, but it can be a very helpful resource when beginning the purchasing process.

Other owners can give you pointers on where to rent hangar space in Las Vegas, where the private airports are in the city, and some of the smart ways to keep things maintained as well. It can connect you with people who might provide you with answers to specific questions or opinions while potentially sharing a love of a specific manufacturer or aircraft.
tips for buying an airplane

Budget Requirements

One of the most obvious and important aspects of planning to purchase a plane is determining your budget. You’ll need to do your research to learn more about the types of options and associated pricing that exists on the market. Once you’ve determined your needs for options and amenities in the plane itself, you can begin to search for specific models or features to settle on a price range. Make sure you set your expectations and don’t get swayed by luxurious add-ons or features, decide on a sure budget and don’t waiver beyond the final numbers. Allow yourself to have a little extra room in the budget in case you find a great opportunity, but do not go overboard.

Have you considered purchasing your plane with others - partners in the ownership? This can help you offset some of the regular costs, but keep in mind that you will always have additional costs to include your pilot and the fuel necessary for your trip. It will depend upon how far you go and whether any special requirements are necessary to fully budget each trip or each year of ownership.

Take Advice

As with the inspection process, it is always smart to surround yourself with others who are more versed in the plane purchasing process. You might consider speaking with a lawyer to manage the documentation needed in order to begin the process as well as any necessary certificates. They can assist you in the the filings needed to transfer ownership and all other items in a purchasing agreement. In the long run, it will save you valuable time and ensure you have all your affairs in order.

Looking to connect with experts in the aviation industry as you get started on your plans to purchase an aircraft? Cheyenne Air Center is Las Vegas’ local private airplane hangar and serve many aircraft owners in the Vegas valley. Learn more about our hangars and some of the features we offer by following us on Facebook. We are growing and expanding with Las Vegas and look forward to connecting with new faces in the future.