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5 Steps to Take Before Buying an Aeroplane

5 Steps to Take Before Buying an Aeroplane

Owning an aeroplane is a dream of many, and luckily, you don’t have to be a millionaire to do it. As fun as it may seem, though, it’s crucial to follow a few steps to take before buying an aeroplane so you make good on your investment.

It’s far from a simple transaction as you need to put several factors into consideration. For example, aeroplane ownership entails scheduled maintenance, which equates to an added cost and responsibility.

But before you buy an aeroplane, you’d be wise to take a few actions to make sure you get a quality machine at a good price.

Next, we discuss 5 crucial steps to take before buying an aeroplane.

Determine Your Purpose for Buying an Aeroplane

Why are you buying an aeroplane?

The answer to this question determines the type of aeroplane, its size, number of seats, and capabilities.

Buying an aeroplane to fly on weekends differs from buying one to build hours towards an airline job, for instance.

Additionally, other factors come into play such as how fast and how high the aeroplane can fly. You should also think about the type of equipment on the aircraft because flying in certain airspaces requires specific instruments.

Knowing the “Why” decides your choice of aircraft and how much you’ll pay for it, which leads us to the next point.

Know Your Budget

What’s the cost of owning an aeroplane?

It’s definitely not just the price you pay when you purchase it. Aircraft ownership means having to make recurring payments for fuel, oil, maintenance, hangarage, and insurance.

It’s imperative to take all of these costs into account before establishing a budget. Moreover, and because of wear and tear, you may have to replace equipment. Evidently, aeroplane parts don’t come cheap.

Choosing whether you want to buy a new or an old aeroplane constitutes an important element of aircraft purchase. On the surface, buying an old bird seems like the best choice as it saves you a considerable amount of cash.

However, manufacturers provide attractive deals to prospective buyers in an attempt to sell brand new aircraft. Your maintenance cost of a new aeroplane makes up a fraction of an old one’s.

In most cases, though, used aeroplanes make for a better deal as their value depreciates at a far lower rate than new aircraft.

Clearly, knowing what you can afford accounts for one of the most crucial steps to take before buying an aeroplane.

Search for an Aeroplane

Figuring out your purpose gives you a clear idea of what type of aeroplane that meets your needs. Determining your budget helps you further narrow down your options.

Now it’s time to find that aircraft.

The internet should make the search simple, effortless and convenient, however many websites posting aircraft adverts are dated, hard to search and contain mostly out-of-date listings. You find that perfect aircraft, ring up only to discover it was sold months ago.

There is a solution, the search facility on allows you to search all listings on all websites simultaneously! This makes it easy to search the entire market in one go and the results take you directly to the listings no matter what site it is posted on. Also, an effort is taken to ensure all the listings it directs you to are current and active.

These listings feature a diverse array of aircraft, along with prices, performance details, and pertinent information. You could choose between an old, but sturdy Cessna 172, a well-maintained Piper Archer, or even a small jet like the Falcon 50.

Falling in love with an aeroplane is not unheard of, so make sure you detach yourself from aircraft you view online as emotions will probably influence your decision.

Furthermore, it is prudent to compare aircraft types, prices, and features on several websites.

Check the Aeroplane Prior to Purchasing

You need to be confident in knowing the true market value of the aircraft and the projected depreciation over time. With so many variations in aircraft, how can you be sure the price asked is a fair price?

The solution is to consider others of the same make and model that have sold with similar age and airframe hours. Gathering this information is not easy if not impossible for some of the rarer aircraft. Luckily Find Aircraft For Sale have data going back over 10 years. At request, we can use the database to find sales of the same make and model and provide you with an estimated market value and depreciation with age and usage. Knowledge is power and armed with this information you are in a position to negotiate to buy the aircraft at the right price potentially saving you a sizable chunk of cash.

Once you’ve found one that has piqued your interest remember; an aeroplane might look great on paper, but sometimes, the spec sheet is only false advertising.

It’s worthwhile to go through the maintenance log to verify the aeroplane has received proper care in the past. Soon after, you need to thoroughly inspect the exterior and interior for damage.

More importantly, you should absolutely invest in hiring an aircraft mechanic to inspect the aeroplane to make sure it’s airworthy.

If possible, bring the mechanic on a test flight too, he or she can find out if the aircraft suffers from any technical issues such as engine snags, electrical problems, or worn-out instruments.

But before you buy an aeroplane, you might want to look into a cost-effective alternative to paying for it on your own.

Consider Shared Ownership

Buying an aeroplane requires a small fortune.

No doubt.

But are you going to fly that aircraft daily? No, most probably.

While you may be able to afford it by yourself, why not look for a co-owner? Sharing aeroplane ownership with one, or even several individuals will dramatically cut the cost.

Joint ownership lets you connect with fellow aviation enthusiasts as well. A flight club of sorts, which could lead to favourable opportunities in the future.


Failing to plan is planning to fail.

It’s vital to take several steps before buying an aeroplane. Figuring out your purpose, budget, and aeroplane type provides you with a shortlist of suitable aircraft. Selecting an aeroplane then becomes a much easier task.

When you find it, take a moment to make sure it’s airworthy. Once you’re certain the craft is up to scratch, it’s judicious to entertain the idea of joint ownership.


Talal is a Jordanian airline transport pilot and aviation blogger with +2,400 flight hours logged flying in the Middle East, North Africa, and East Europe.

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