Skip to Main Content

buying an aircraft

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Conklin & de Decker Webinar: What You Need to Know and Consider When Acquiring an Aircraft see more

    NAFA had the privilege of sponsoring the recent Conklin & de Decker webinar,  “What You Need to Know and Consider When Acquiring an Aircraft.” This webinar can now be found on our website and provides insightful information regarding tax planning, insurance and how to determine the right aircraft for you.

    Click here to watch the full webinar.

     September 13, 2021
  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member JSSI Advisory Services shares what you need to know about aircraft appraisals. see more

    NAFA member JSSI Advisory Services shares what you need to know about aircraft appraisals. 

    What is an aircraft appraisal?

    Appraisals are used across the board to determine the value of assets. You may have encountered an appraisal while securing your home mortgage, for example, and they are also used to determine the worth of your business aircraft. The American Society of Appraisers (ASA), the governing body for appraisal accreditation, defines the process as “an unbiased, third-party opinion of value.”

    When you own and operate an aircraft, you may need to keep a finger on the pulse of your asset’s current value for tax and depreciation purposes, but it’s also important to be informed if you wish to refinance or sell your jet, turboprop or helicopter. Aircraft appraisals are often a required condition from many lenders and lessors prior to entering a financial transaction.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by JSSI Advisory Services on July 19, 2021.

     

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Adam Meredith, AOPA Aviation Finance, answers your aviation finance questions. see more

    NAFA member Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your aviation finance questions.

    Question: I see on AOPA Finance that I can potentially finance an engine overhaul with sufficient equity in the plane. What are my options for financing a plane that will need an EO almost immediately after purchase? I am willing to put enough down on the note so that there is sufficient equity in the plane for an EO loan if I can roll that in. To be explicit, the plane is $37,500, and the EO estimate for that engine is $24,000. I am not sure what the equity requirement is, but let's say it is 40%. So, what I would hope is that I can get a loan  for $46,500 by putting down $15,000 on the plane, with the loan then completing the purchase price with $22,500, leaving $24K in the note for the EO. If the EO goes over that, I would just eat that cost myself.

    Answer: Rolling an overhaul into a purchase is a fairly simple process. As part of our internal review and the lenders’ underwriting, two values for the aircraft will be determined. One as-is for the purchase and a second with a zero-time engine. Financing can be up to 85% of the final value with the overhaul included. In your example, assuming value is roughly equal to cost, financing would look like $31,875 towards the purchase (85% of $37,500) and $20,400 towards the engine for a total loan of $52,275. The initial $31,875 would be disbursed at the time of purchase with the remaining $20,400 disbursed once the engine has been installed and signed off by the A&P. We would be happy to discuss the details further if you would like. Just give us a call at 800.627.5263.

    Read more.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on July 7, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Aircraft registration numbers: Selecting a new registration number and waiting! see more

    NAFA member Amanda Applegate, Partner at Aerlex Law Group, discusses aircraft registration numbers.

    First-time aircraft buyers looking at a potential acquisition may not realize that the registration number painted on the fuselage or vertical stabilizer of the aircraft can be changed and personalized by the new owner. “Tail numbers” – the name often used when referring to aircraft registration numbers – can be chosen by an owner in much the same way as a “vanity” license plate for an automobile. When selecting a registration number for a U S. registered aircraft, the following rules apply:

    AN N-NUMBER CAN BE IN ANY OF THESE FORMATS:
    · One to five numbers (N12345)
    · One to four numbers followed by one letter (N1234Z)
    · One to three numbers followed by two letters (N123AZ) N-Numbers do not have:
    · A zero as the first number
    · The letters “I” or “0”

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by Aerlex Law Group on June 14, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your aviation finance questions. see more

    NAFA member Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your aviation finance questions.

    Question: I'm in the process of buying my first airplane. I'm planning to pay for it without financing. Do I need title insurance?  If so, where can I get it?

    Answer: While title insurance may not be necessary, it does help with peace of mind. Especially when purchasing an older aircraft that may have gone through several ownership changes. Title insurance will protect you in the event a prior registration or bill of sale was filed incorrectly. AIC can assist in acquiring title insurance if you wish to purchase it. At the very least a thorough title search should be conducted prior to purchase through one of the aircraft title an escrow companies in Oklahoma City. AOPA members receive a discount through our strategic partner, Aero-Space Reports, for using their title and escrow services. Please feel free to reach back out to us if any other questions should arise during your purchase, we’d be happy to help.

    Question: I have an Experimental GlaStar that I built and have flown for 20 years, can I get an appraisal on that from AOPA?  Let me know what information on the plane you need if you can do it. 

    Answer: AOPA does not offer in house appraisal services. We utilize tools such as VREF and Aircraft Blue Book to determine value. Experimental aircraft, however, do not have book values. VREF offers certified desktop appraisal services but an appraisal can be obtained from any appraiser licensed with the Professional Aircraft Appraisal Organization (https://appraiseaplane.org/) or American Society of Appraisers (https://www.appraisers.org/Home).

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on July 6, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Essex Aviation's Michael J. Moore discusses increase in charter demand and aircraft acquisition. see more

    NAFA member Michael J. Moore, Executive Vice President of Essex Aviation, discusses high charter demand and aircraft acquisition.

    It’s been over a year since the World Health Organization formally declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The private aviation industry has been through some significant changes in that time period, with demand coming to an almost complete standstill in the early months of the pandemic. This steep decline in demand can be attributed to a number of factors, including domestic and international travel restrictions and personal safety concerns.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation on June 25, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member Chris Hollingsworth, Sales Director at Jetcraft, discusses finding your perfect jet. see more

    NAFA member Chris Hollingsworth, Sales Director at Jetcraft, discusses tips to finding your perfect jet.

    Our industry is experiencing a worldwide shortage of pre-owned inventory. According to the latest data from AMSTAT, 5.2% of the world’s business aircraft are for sale, the lowest rate for decades. The United States is seeing a particular increase in demand for pre-owned aircraft, fueled by pent up demand for leisure travel, and a surge in new users entering the business aviation industry through charter, jet-card and fractional platforms. At Jetcraft, we’re also witnessing first-time buyers heading straight to aircraft ownership, fueled by the disruption of airline schedules and a desire to protect the health of their ‘bubble’ during Covid-19.

    Although the current climate is challenging, there are still opportunities for buyers. Here are our top recommendations.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by Jetcraft on June 16, 2021.

     

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member, Asset Insight, shares their Season 2 Episode 7 Podcast: Consultants - Who Needs Them? see more

    This article was authored by NAFA member, David Wyndham, Vice President – Consulting Services, Asset Insight, LLC, and originally published in the December 2016 edition of AvBuyer Magazine.

    Subjects covered include:

    • The value brought by a Consultant to the decision-making process.
    • Why a Consultant may be viewed as an “aircraft therapist”.
    • What to consider when selecting a Consultant.
    • Why a Consultant should not be viewed as a decision-maker.
    • How to identify the right Consultant for an assignment.
    • Making sure the Consultant understands your expectations.
    • Compensation strategies when hiring a Consultant.

    Listen to Full Podcast here.

     

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Member Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses aircraft loans. see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses loan lengths in Adam Answers May edition.

    Question: What determines the length of loan say between 15 and 20 years. I’m looking at a 1997 aircraft to finance 45k. What term might I expect to get?

    Answer: Generally speaking the amount financed,  usage and age are what limits length of term. In this case age is not the issue, however, loan amount at $45k would likely limit you to 15 years. The reason being, after 3 years on this amortization schedule you will have only paid the loan by less than $4k. This doesn’t leave much room for surprise expenses like an engine overhaul and therefore benefits neither the owner nor the lender.

    Question: Can I get a loan to finish off a project aircraft? I would need less than 20k to purchase the avionics. Everything else (engine and Airframe) are done. I could get a conditional Airworthiness inspection if needed. Thanks.

    Answer: Thanks for the question. It really would depend on the specific aircraft and how much work (time) it will take to get it airworthy. We’d be happy to discuss further, please contact us directly so we can review your specific situation.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on April 30, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member, VREF, shares 6 major red flags to avoid when buying an aircraft. see more

    NAFA member Jason Zilberbrand, President & CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference shares what to watch out for when buying an aircraft.

    When it comes to selling an aircraft, most people are above board, fully transparent, and open about the condition and pedigree of the plane. But with a super hot market, many owners with problematic aircraft find the perfect environment to get rid of the "lemon." So what can you do to protect yourself when no one else will? What do unscrupulous sellers do to lure you into a purchase? Keep reading to find out.

    Anyone that has been actively looking for an aircraft in a market like the one we have today can all share similar stories of frustration, false starts, lack of communication, ghost listings, and my all-time favorite, the unicorn. After spending three decades buying and selling aircraft, I can share more horror stories than you would believe. So here are some tips and tricks to keep you one step ahead of the scammers.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by VREF on April 29, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Beware - Hack Attack! Preventing aviation transaction fraud see more

    Cyber fraud, already at an all-time high, continues to rise. In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 792,000 reports of cyber crime (a 69% increase from 2019), with losses exceeding $4.1 billion. 

    Why do aircraft transactions present outsized opportunities for fraud, and what can you do to detect and prevent it? 

    Billions of dollars are exchanged on aircraft transactions each year, from title and escrow companies to law firms. Coupled with the fact that most communication takes place via email, you get the perfect combination for cyber criminals: lucrative opportunities and an easy target. 

    In the pre-digital age, fraud came in the form of check scams. Scammers would issue counterfeit checks with a name that wasn’t identical to that of your company, but close enough to be missed easily. They would then use the codes on the check to issue money for the payment and acquisition of goods and services. 

    Today, fraud looks a bit different, but no less dangerous. Cyber criminals can hack into emails to monitor communication between transaction parties (e.g. escrow agents and either sellers or lenders). They can set up a fake email address that’s one or two characters off from yours to provide false wiring instructions and divert funds. 

    First-time buyers and sellers of aircraft are most at risk since they’re less familiar with the process. Seasoned industry professionals, who’ve been doing things the same way for the past 20 years, also are at risk if they haven’t yet invested in upgrading systems and security processes. Perhaps you’re storing wiring information on an unprotected iPhone, or you haven’t gotten around to installing malware software. These types of oversights put you at risk. 

    How To Prevent Fraud

    • “Know Your Customer” (KYC). Originally implemented in the financial industry, KYC has expanded to non-financial institutions and the process by which stakeholders identify and verify the companies and persons they do business with, to prevent fraud and mitigate financial crimes (e.g., money laundering and terrorist financing). Most KYC processes today start with an extensive online restricted party screening to rule out companies placed on a government list due to their involvement with organized crime, history of corrupt business practices, or threat to national security. Sometimes, just a simple Google search can be valuable.
    • Invest in updated technology. Ensure your computer has a proper security system with updated firewalls that will flag suspicious emails.
    • When you see an update alert on your phone, do it! Those iPhone/Android updates often entail security fixes in response to hacking attempts, so it’s worth taking the time to process the update in a timely manner.
    • Don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed. When it comes to classified documents such as wiring instructions (or any changes thereto), a layered verification system is essential. One person drafts, another proofs, and a third verifies.

    How To Detect Fraud

    • Triple check email addresses. Sometimes it’s just one character off, making it difficult to spot.
    • Be wary of Gmail or Yahoo accounts. In the corporate aviation world, email addresses from those servers may be a red flag.
    • Question any eleventh-hour changes, especially when it comes to wiring instructions.
    • Trust your gut. If something feels “off,” pump the breaks. It’s better to delay a transaction than to risk losing a large sum of money. 

    What To Do If You Suspect Fraud

    • Immediately hit pause. This is a fast-paced industry, but sometimes you need to stop, do additional due diligence, and verify information so you’re comfortable proceeding. Don’t give way to pressure to close a transaction.
    • Report it to the FBI via its Internet Crime Complaint Center: www.ic3.gov

    Scammers will always pose a threat. As the industry evolves, so do they. However, these techniques are effective at preventing and detecting fraud in order to mitigate risk for all parties involved. 

    This article by Tracey Cheek originally appeared in Business Aviation Advisor on July 1, 2021.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, VREF, discusses aircraft corrosion and how to prevent it. see more

    NAFA member, Jason Zilberbrand, President and CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference and Appraisal Services, discusses aircraft corrosion and how to find and prevent it.

    Let’s talk about one of the most significant aspects that can depreciate an aircraft immensely. We call it aircraft corrosion, and it can stop a potential buyer from ever closing a deal.

    Any corrosion on a plane is severe and can cause an aircraft to fail during flight. Various levels of decay have caused fatal and non-fatal crashes, including an England Airbus A330 in 2013, a Georgia ASA Embraer in 1995, and a Netherlands Boeing 747 in 1992 that claimed 43 lives. We see more corrosion now than ever before, and impacted airframes run the gamut from single-engine piston through commercial aircraft.

    The thing about aircraft corrosion is when an aircraft owner is told they have it, they sometimes find it hard to believe. But any pilot, mechanic, or aircraft owner with experience can tell when an aircraft is compromised because of corrosion.

    How do you keep an eye out for aircraft corrosion, treat it, and prevent it from happening in the future? Keep on reading.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference and Appraisal Services on April 28, 2021.

     

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Aerlex Law Group's Amanda Applegate discusses necessary steps in aircraft escrow closing process. see more

    NAFA member, Amanda Applegate, Partner at Aerlex Law Group discusses taking the necessary steps in the aircraft escrow closing process.

    When closing an aircraft transaction, just like any other major purchase, an escrow agent should be used to hold documents and funds until both parties are ready to close. Because the FAA Registry is located in Oklahoma City, the escrow agents used for closing aircraft transactions are also in Oklahoma City. The FAA Registry has a filing window (although it has been closed with COVID precautions and is now currently just a filing bin) where the closing documents, including, the FAA Bill of Sale, FAA Registration Application, lender documents, and other relevant documents can be filed by the escrow agent as part of the aircraft closing process. The escrow agent will also hold and release upon closing non-FAA closing documents, such as the warranty bill of sale, assignment of warranties, and delivery receipt.

    In addition to filing the documents with the FAA Registry, the escrow agent also handles the title searches at both the FAA Registry and on the International Registry. The title searches should be run immediately upon receipt of the deposit into escrow so that if there are any title issues they can be resolved so that the issues don’t impact the closing timeline. Finally, the escrow agent handles the funds associated with the closing. Typically, a letter of intent is signed and a deposit is required under the letter of intent. Then the purchase agreement is executed which outlines the terms of the sale, including the payment terms. The escrow agent receives a copy of the purchase agreement which should outline the closing process and distribution of funds process.

    Read full article here.

    This Aerlex Law Group article was originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, April 2021, Volume 31, No. 4.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Adam Meredith, AOPA Finance, shares the benefits of an using an aircraft broker. see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses the benefits of using an aircraft broker.

    We’re often asked, “If there’s no licensing requirement for an aircraft broker, why bother? After all, I’m a pretty good negotiator.”

    Two words: market knowledge. A good broker not only will have good inventory but should also know who else has good inventory, and they’ll have knowledge about the market. Market knowledge extends to understanding the correct set of aircraft for your specific mission.

    A broker can be useful in helping you evaluate whether the make and model you’re looking at is truly the best one for you, or whether there are alternatives you should be contemplating. For example, you might be interested in a Mustang, but perhaps the Phenom 100 is better because the payload, range and avionics make it a better choice for your mission, or vice versa.

    Another benefit is specialization. A lot of brokers specialize and become quite expert in one area, such as Mooneys or TBMs or very light jets. As a result, a broker can advise on what to look for in the specific make and model you’re considering.

    Specialization also leads to off-market or pocket listing options. In pocket listings, sellers will use brokers to sell their planes without listing them. Brokers rely on their relationships to connect you with sellers and planes you would otherwise not know about.

    You may be a great negotiator on your own, but why not add someone to your team who brings extra knowledge and insight to the table and who can be your advocate in the negotiation process? International Aircraft Dealers Association brokers must go through initial certification training, a competitive process adhering to rigorous standards that ensure only the most respected and experienced dealers become IADA members.

    Bottom line: Spend some time choosing a good broker. While having a broker isn't required, adding one to your team only puts you in a better position overall.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Finance on April 27, 2021.

     

     

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    VREF's Jason Zilberbrand discusses what you need to know about annual airplane inspections. see more

    NAFA member Jason Zilberbrand, President & CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, discusses annual airplane inspections.

    Is your aircraft due for its annual inspection? What do you actually know about this critical part of airplane ownership?

    Annual inspections keep your aircraft in safe, airworthy condition. You can address any issues before they cause an accident.

    Your inspection records are important when you sell your plane too. Good record-keeping and a history of making any necessary repairs can increase the resale value of your aircraft.

    Find out more about required aircraft inspections. You'll be able to make more informed decisions about the maintenance of your aircraft.

    Types of Required Aircraft Inspections

    Federal regulations require several types of aircraft inspections depending on how the airplane is used. The three main types are:

    • Annual inspections
    • 100-hour inspections
    • Progressive inspections

    Annual inspections apply to most aircraft. Any aircraft that carries passengers for hire needs 100-hour inspections as well.

    Progressive inspections are only available for certain applicants. High-usage fleets like flight schools often use progressive inspections to minimize downtime. Checks of aircraft components happen at fixed intervals.

    For example, if your plane would normally need a 100-hour inspection, you could do an inspection every 25 hours that would cover part of what the 100-hour inspection includes. After four such inspections, the 100-hour inspection would be considered complete.

    In addition to these three types of inspections, a plane must pass a preflight inspection before it can fly. Every pilot must make a preflight inspection before each flight.

    Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines the inspection standards. People often refer to these regulations as the FARs.

    Read full article here

    This article was originally published by VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services on April 13, 2021.