October 16, 2019

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Private Jet

Purchasing a luxury jet is no small task. There are innumerable steps in the process with multiple parties working simultaneously toward the same goal. Walking into a purchase without a knowledgeable Aircraft Sales & Acquisition team can be a risky financial move.

Instead of allowing a seller to control the conversation about the prospective aircraft, consider some of these questions to steer the conversation into your favor. As a buyer, there are certain things you need to know about the aircraft, and the seller may try to lead the narrative in a way that washes over important information. Instead, the buyer should lead the narrative by asking these questions, putting yourself in a more advantageous position.

  1. First things first – verify the airplane make, model, and serial number. A surprising number of aircraft aren’t the same make and model as they appear to be. Nextant Aerospace commonly remanufactures Beechjet aircraft, but they don’t resell them as Beechjet airplanes. This is all reflected in the data plate, but it’s also something a buyer should know prior to purchasing. The only way to find this information is if the seller can provide you with it.
  2. Ask why they are selling the aircraft. Although there are numerous reasons to sell private aircraft, you don’t want to inherit someone else’s problem.
  3. Inquire about the registration number as well. This is another way to confirm aircraft identity and can be valuable for title research. The registration number, sometimes referred to as the ‘N’ number, can sometimes be incorrectly displayed on sales sheets.
  4. No matter how slight, ask for the damage history. You want to know what occurred, when it occurred, and who fixed the aircraft.
  5. This might go without saying, but verify total time on the airframe, total time on the engines, and the amount of time passed since a major overhaul. With any major overhaul, you need to know when and who did the work.
  6. Ask the seller for a complete listing of avionics by make and model number, and when they were installed. Sellers often cannot identify what they have in their planes, and if everything is working. This is something they will likely not want to discuss, but as a buyer, it is critical that you ask.
  7. Find out when the most recent annual inspection occurred, and who performed the inspection.
  8. Ask about the storage history of the aircraft. You need to know in what kind of conditions the aircraft was stored, as well as where it has been based previously.
  9. Get a complete listing of all additional installed equipment, such as strobes, engine monitors, oxygen, special performance enhancing kits, articulating seats, or anything else that may affect the jet’s performance.
  10. Are the maintenance records complete from the manufacture date? Missing logs are a red flag. The issue can often be successfully navigated, but it opens up many additional pre-buy procedures.

As a buyer you have to be meticulous about a prospective jet. Jet Linx Aircraft Sales & Acquisition experts can help to navigate the sales process, even when somewhat turbulent – they also know when to call off a mission and look at another aircraft.

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