Mooney Aircraft for sale

What to keep in mind when buying a Mooney aircraft
or call us 830-315-2222

So you are thinking about purchasing a Mooney or another aircraft brand

The purchase of an aircraft can be one of life’s greatest experiences.

However, if not done correctly, it could also be a financial and emotional nightmare.

Purchasing an aircraft is a major commitment that should be carefully planned. While there are many aspects of an aircraft purchase, we will focus mainly on the maintenance side of the consideration.

Here are some tips to help avoid any unwanted surprises:

MISSION

There is lots of information out there to help you choose the best aircraft for your mission.  Spend some time sole searching and researching your primary needs.  Many struggle with number of seats and payload of a particular aircraft, only to find out most flights primarily fill one or two seats anyway.  Do some research on insurance cost and requirements for that high performance single or multi-engine aircraft you’ve always wanted.  You may find the insurance requirements and premiums for that aircraft may be more than your willing to take on.  Do you have a maintenance facility reasonably close who is familiar with that particular brand of aircraft?  Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few candidates, it’s time to become more serious and thorough on your final selection.   

MISSION

Which aircraft to buy?

There is lots of information out there to help you choose the best aircraft for your mission.  Spend some time sole searching and researching your primary needs. Many struggle with number of seats and payload of a particular aircraft, only to find out most flights primarily fill one or two seats anyway. Do some research on insurance cost and requirements for that high performance single or multi-engine aircraft you’ve always wanted. You may find the insurance requirements and premiums for that aircraft may be more than your willing to take on. Do you have a maintenance facility reasonably close who is familiar with that particular brand of aircraft? Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few candidates, it’s time to become more serious and thorough on your final selection.   

VALUE

Value of the aircraft you are buying!

A Vref should be done to ensure the aircraft is reasonably priced. Although few aircraft are equipped the same or have comparable airframe or engine hours, you can get a sense of value for a particular model by scouring ads like Controller, Trade-A-Plane, AeroTrader, and Barnstormers. You can also enlist the help of a broker to establish value and assist with your search. Just ensure the broker is working for you and not the seller.  

FLY IT

Fly it before you buy it!

Always fly the aircraft before you consider a prepurchase inspection and making an offer. Ideally, unless you have a fair amount of time in that particular model aircraft, it’s a good idea to bring along a pilot who does. They can quickly give you a great assessment of how the aircraft performs. During the flight, carefully check all equipment and systems to ensure they function correctly.

LOGBOOKS

Check the aircraft logbooks!

Before you get too emotionally attached, check out those aircraft records and logbooks!   You can learn a lot about the history of the aircraft and how it was maintained by reading its logbooks.  If the aircraft is not close and accessible to personally inspect them, have the seller or broker email you a digital copy of the logbooks. Search for any damage history, gaps in dates and unusual entries.   This first pass at inspecting logbooks can help determine if the aircraft is being accurately represented.   

INSPECTION

Pre-Purchase Inspection!

Once you’ve found the aircraft you feel is “the one”, find an impartial third party with no financial interest to perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection. It’s a wise idea to seek out an A&P who has intimate knowledge of this particular make and model. This can save you some time and money down the road...

 

 “I’d rather be lucky than good.”  Leave that old saying for the golf course and not for purchasing an aircraft. Do your homework. You wouldn’t purchase a home without an inspection; don’t skip this step, it can save you headaches and heartaches.

 

A pre-purchase inspection is not an annual inspection, however the buyer and seller could agree to such an arrangement. With this in mind, discuss your intentions with the seller and what you expect with your mechanic before starting. The objective is to closely examine the aircraft for damage and wear that might not be evident to an untrained eye. Generally speaking, you and your mechanic are looking for the general condition of the engine and propeller, airframe, common trouble areas, corrosion, and quality of past maintenance, which can give you a sense of future maintenance needs.  

 

It’s common to see ads with airplanes sold with a “fresh annual”.  That “fresh annual” could be a great inspection. It could also be one that was pencil whipped. Stick to your guns and get an impartial party to inspect the aircraft.  

 

It’s a wise idea to have a written agreement with the seller stating who is responsible for major squawks. This can eliminate any surprises and keep the negotiations and purchase moving along.  

 

The outcome of a prepurchase inspection can possibly affect the price. If a mechanic discovers a serious problem, you may feel it necessary for a reduction in price to offset the repair.   

DOCUMENTATION

Aircraft Documentation!

A good pre-purchase begins with the paperwork. A great first step is to have an aircraft title search done. This will reveal any liens or title issues on record with the FAA.

 

Ideally, all the airframe and engine logbooks will be present at time of inspection. Be cautious of airplanes with unexplained gaps in the logbook coverage; reconstructing logs can be a tedious and an expensive process.  Unexplained gaps can and do impact the selling price of the aircraft.  

 

Logbooks also should show up-to-date airworthiness directive and service bulletin compliance, FAA Form 337 (Report of Major Repair or Alteration), and aircraft/component serial numbers. While service bulletins are not considered mandatory for Part 91 airplanes, compliance to many SBs makes good sense with regard to a long and healthy life of an airplane.  

 

Check the records for the status of major engine accessories and avionics. You should see green or yellow tags for any of the accessories or instruments that have been overhauled or replaced since the airplane was new. The exception is for airplanes with new or factory-remanufactured engines; the accessories that came with it are considered new or in overhauled condition. In addition, all of the paperwork for the avionics should be present. Make sure that the pitot-static and transponder inspections are up-to-date, too.

 

Missing documents, pages or entries from aircraft logbooks may cause significant problems for the purchaser and can reduce the value of the aircraft.  

Make sure the following are available and in proper order for the aircraft:

  • Airworthiness certificate

  • Engine and airframe logbooks

  • Aircraft equipment list

  • Weight and balance data

  • Placards

  • FAA-approved aircraft flight manual or owner's handbook

CORROSION

Corrosion Inspection!

Corrosion is something that needs to be thoroughly inspected for. Most slight corrosion is concealed by paint and is not always obvious to the naked eye. While surface corrosion can be relatively easily repaired, more severe corrosion that has be undetected or untreated can eventually cause structural failure. Airplanes living most of their lives around coastal cities should earn a closer inspection for corrosion. 

TIME

Aircraft Engine Time!

It’s important to understand the terminology used to describe engine condition. A top overhaul involves the repair of engine components outside of the crankcase. A major overhaul involves the complete disassembly, inspection, repair and reassembly of an engine to specified limits. If an engine has had a top or major overhaul, the logbooks must still show the total time on the engine, if known, and its prior maintenance history. A "zero-time" engine is one that has been overhauled to factory new limits by the original manufacturer and is issued a new logbook without previous operating history.

 

What is the engine logbook telling you? A supposedly low time engine since new or an overhaul that has low compression and high oil consumption may be trying to tell you something.  You could be looking at a poorly maintained engine or a poorly performed overhaul. Engine hours have a significant impact on an aircrafts resale value.  An engine close to TBO (time before overhaul) will have less value than an engine 200 hours into a TBO. But be careful, hours aren’t everything either. It’s better to have record of frequent use than a history of inactivity.

DAMAGE

Aircraft Structural Damage!

Documented and properly repaired damage will have less of a negative value impact than the mystery or undocumented repairs.  Look for evidence of structural repairs that are undocumented.  This can give you a sense of other potential hidden surprises.  Any aircraft with damage history should be closely inspected to ensure it has been correctly repaired in accordance with the applicable FAA regulations.  

 

 

EQUIPMENT

Installed Equipment!

Check to ensure avionics, interior equipment, air conditioning, deicing gear is working correctly. All of the paperwork for the avionics should be present.

 

QUESTIONS? 

A few questions to ask!

  • Who performed the last couple of annual inspections?

  • Are all ADs complied with?

  • Are the Mandatory Service Bulletins complied with?

  • If an overhaul was performed, who performed it and are they reputable?

  • Is there any damage history?  If so, was it properly repaired?

  • Does all the equipment work correctly?

  • Is the aircraft being represented appropriately?

  • Is the aircraft priced appropriately?          

 

CONTACT

Dugosh Aviation

830-315-2222

1875 Airport Loop, Suite105

Kerrville, TX 78028

Email: service@dugosh.com

             parts@dugosh.com

© 2015 copyright Dugosh Aviation. Created by Unleash Design

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