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Advice on the process of buying an airplane!!

Hi guys,

I have been searching the market the last 12 months for an airplane to buy. I’m planing to buy an aircraft through my company for our business trips. I’m also considering to rent out the aircraft to local flying school as well. (We are located in Sweden)

This will be the first time to purchase an aircraft and would be grateful to get some advice about the process when buying one.

The airplane I’m looking at at the moment is a DA42 (converted to NG) from a flying club in UK.
So how is the process going to be.
Should I just bring a mechanic to check the aircraft and once the mechanic approves it just make the payment??

Can anyone recommend a websites that describes the process for GA airplane purchase in Europe??

Thanks

ESGT/ESGP, Sweden

ABCD my experience (three aircraft) has been somewhat basic – not a lot of complexity, agreed a price got a bill of sale and the owner gave me the form to transfer registration. I do check the CAA registration history, look through the log books (airframe, engine, propeller), and GIYF for accident/incident history. Ideally understand why the owner is selling.

The bill of sale should have a representation that it is free of liens etc, in addition to the registration due diligence showing there are no liens – overdue parking fees, or ATC charges may follow the aircraft. Also maintenance receipts history. This rep would allow you to go after the seller if undisclosed charges arise.

Alternatively you might agree a purchase price and place a deposit and agree that the owner cover any rectification work before completing the sale. This is not a bad process for more complex aircraft. In effect an annual type inspection is the pre purchase inspection, with items needing work/replacement to be covered by the seller.

Don’t get sentimentally attached to a prospect (unless you are an enthusiast for vintage types and the aircraft has a good pedigree/uniqueness), there are plenty of fish in the sea and it is a buyers’ market – always.

Some brokers act as an agent and provide an informal escrow service, but that means you need to be dealing with an established outfit.

The DA42 is an excellent ME IFR platform – I would speak to Diamond themselves on the vintage of your prospect and find out what to look out for. The aircraft have data logs and there may be useful stuff there which Diamond might help on. aart on this forum operates a DA42 and may have some good insights.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

You might want to consider if you want a WAAS capable aircraft or not. I have seen some converted DA42NG which are non WAAS G1000’s. Non WAAS units can not use the latest software and features, which depending on your requirements, might limit your operation.

When it is non WAAS and you want to upgrade it, their might be several options, which you might want to review before purchasing.

JP-Avionics
EHMZ

For sure do a pre-buy inspection. It might cost $1-2K, but it can save you half a fortune. Money well spent. If you do an annual in lieu of that, don’t do it with the sellers regular mechanic, go somewhere else unless they’re a known entity. Sometimes long standing relationships also means annuals are pencil whipped.

I have always agreed a price, signed a contract conditional on the inspection paid for by me. Always do a full annual. In contract is agreement that buyer rectify at their cost any airworthiness items up to a limit at which point they can walk away if they wish as can I.

Last Edited by JasonC at 12 Jan 21:31
EGTK Oxford

Lots of great comments above…

I have been in touch with vast numbers of pilots who bought planes… or didn’t buy them. Many stories, ranging from happiness, to outright disasters resulting in planes almost abandoned.

  • do a prebuy (astonishingly, so many people don’t, or they get somebody to do it who could not fix a Vespa)
  • use an engineer familiar with the type who is working for you (must not have any relationship with the seller, or with any business based at the airfield where the seller is… I could tell a story about that)
  • don’t fall in love with it (many people do – it’s like in auctions… people see the thing and just must have it)
  • if something smells, it’s probably rotten
  • if the seller is not straight, or there is some peculiar communication behaviour (e.g. you ask 5 questions and get 4 answers), that is never accidental… let’s face it, if you were selling your plane, you would answer all 5, wouldn’t you, because you want to get his money into your bank account ASAP
  • agree all deliverables e.g. if it had any avionics upgrades since leaving the factory, get all the details, preferably the work packs with wiring diagrams, and make sure (a) you have seen they exist and (b) that these are actually handed over… I got shafted over by the Socata dealer who said various MMs would be included
  • be aware that if you travelled a long way to see it, you will probably buy it
  • do a google on the reg; it tends to indicate pretty well whether the claimed usage is plausible, or may reveal accidents

One can expect slight differences in behaviour at different levels in the marketplace. With say a corroded 1972 PA38 you might get all sorts of weird stuff going on, simply because it is worth so little and the seller might actually not care much about what happens… there are loads of them just sitting outdoors and rotting. With a DA42 you should expect professional behaviour, with all logs available. I don’t know anybody who owns a DA42 and who is casual about any aspect of their operations.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

THANK YOU ALL FOR GREAT ADVICE and FEEDBACK!!

I will share some info about this DA42 NG

Asking price 430,000 USD (The price include VAT as it has been paid). NOTE: This aircraft had an accident in 2016 but it has been fixed
READ ACCIDENT REPORT

Total Time of Aircraft: 1,075

Engines:
2 × AUSTRO E4-B  ( MT-PROPELLER MTV-6-A-C-F/CF187-129
59 Hours Since New (Both)
Engine warranty until January, 2018

Props:
357 Hours Since Prop Overhaul (October 2011)

Detailed Description
2005 Diamond DA42 NG. 1075 TT, Garmin G1000 Integrated Glass Cockpit, GMA1347 digital audio system, LR Fuel Tanks.

Avionics / Equipment
• Garmin G1000 Integrated Glass Cockpit:
• GDU1040, 10 inch primary flight display
• GDU1040, 10 inch multi function display
• Garmin Integrated VFR terrain awareness system
• GEA71 airframe/engine interface unit
• Dual Garmin GIA 63 COM/NAV/GPS
• GMA1347 digital audio system
• GTX33 Mode S transponder with T.I.S. traffic
• GRS77 Solid-state attitude heading reference system
• GDC74 digital air data computer
• GMU44 magnetometer
• Garmin GDL69A XM weather and entertainment

Autopilot:
• Honeywell KAP140 Dual axis autopilot with altitude hold and preselect

Additional Features:
• TKS de-Ice certified for flight into known icing
• Composite cabin and safety seats (up to 26g)
• Lightning protection system
• Fire extinguisher
• FAILSAFE airframe design
• 3 point safety belts automatic (all seats)
• Hydraulic retractable landing gear
• High intensity discharge landing and taxi lights
• Position and anti-collision lights
• 4-way baggage compartment system
• Nose baggage compartment accessible from both sides
• ELT ARTEX 406 MHz
• Long range fuel tanks– (79 US gallons)

Really appreciate your opinions about this aircraft.

ESGT/ESGP, Sweden

Is you need some information on the DA42 or a good mechanic to do the prebuy sent me a PM.
I know the right guy for that.

Romain

LFPT Pontoise, LFPB

Can they really call it an NG with the KAP140? (i.e. w/o the GFC700)

LFPT, LFPN

ABCD the AAIB link is for a training aircraft which doesn’t have some of the specs you mention (long range tanks and traffic service), are you sure you are dealing with a bona fide seller?

Also please note that you mention an accident in 2016 but your link is to 2012. The aircraft in the link is used for integrated ATP training and averages a lot of annual hours, so your 1075TT is also incorrect.

Last Edited by RobertL18C at 13 Jan 11:01
Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)
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