Have a plane I want to buy. What do I do next?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by kicktireslightfires, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. kicktireslightfires

    kicktireslightfires Pre-Flight

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    This would be my first airplane. I went to see it. But couldn't fly it because the PFD has a fault and is being serviced by Dynon so they pulled it out and are in the process of fixing that. Visually, it looks good overall. Some things that I would need to fix that I would work into the amount I offer for it. But my real question is:

    I, of course, need to have a pre-buy inspection done. The owner has no issue with that and even said they would take all the panels off for the inspector to save them the work. But I don't even know where to begin in terms of selecting someone to do the pre-buy. Any recommendations? It's a Tecnam. The plane is based near Orlando. Second of all, how do I "reserve" the plane until the pre-buy is complete? Do I make an offer now contingent upon a clean pre-buy inspection and pay them a small deposit now to take it off the market for me until the pre-buy is complete? It seems like COVID has pushed everything back and my guess is it will probably be a couple of weeks before a pre-buy can even be done. What's a normal deposit amount on a plane, and I'm assuming it's customary that it's fully refundable if the pre-buy then reveals any surprises?

    Any guidance on next steps would be appreciated. It seems like there's going to be a huge amount of time between now and all the boxes being checked/ready to handover the check and I'm wondering what the prudent steps are to ensure that another buyer doesn't swoop in and either beat me to completing all of this due-diligence (or perhaps another buyer just forgoes all of the due-diligence entirely). Pre-buy inspection needs to be done primarily, then if they accept my offered price I would go there again to fly it, and assuming I love how it flies (I'm confident I will so long as everything functions nominally), I would begin escrow on it.

    That brings up another question: during the pre-buy inspector, does the inspector take the plane for a test flight? I would hope so because I'd want confirmation that the avionics and AP work 100%. Just like during a ground inspection there are probably a dozen things I wouldn't even know to look for, there are almost certainly functions and features of the avionics that I wouldn't immediately go to use during my first flight and wouldn't want the surprise of something not working later on. So I'm hoping a pre-buy normally includes the inspector taking a test flight and testing 100% of the functions of all of the avionics.

    Again, brand new to this so be gentle. Appreciate any and all suggestions. I'm learning here!

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. iamtheari

    iamtheari Pattern Altitude

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    I don’t know if there are any standard answers to your questions. But I do know that most conflicts between people arise from the people not having shared expectations. So, whatever advice you get here, I would add to it: Make sure, by communicating with the seller, that you are both on the same page about things like other offers being made on the plane, refundability of the deposit if you make one, etc.

    Also, remember that the forum rules require you to post pictures if you buy the plane. I think you can lose your license for violating that one.
     
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  3. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    first, what type of aircraft is it, that will determine how you find a A&P to do a pre-buy. the best way is to have the A&P that will be working on it do the pre-buy which is not to hard if its a cessna or piper. if its something a bit more niche, then you need to have and expert in that type to do the pre-buy. some types, like the PA-24,PA-30/39 have a couple of things on them that will bite you big time if if you do not know about them and what to look for.
    the process is normally, to put a deposit down pending pre-buy. you need have the purchase price settled pending any items. a written agreement as to what constitutes a reason to back out, how to address problem items, and how that will affect price. a deposit is generally placed on the aircraft at that time. if there is a penalty for backing out of the deal that needs to be in writing and the basis for that penalty. IE if someone backs out because of a bad tire, that may be a reason to loose some of the deposit, but if the engine is trashed, you get your deposit back if you cannot agree on a adjusted price for what is found.
    I do not make an offer on an aircraft without flying it. I have no problem with the owner in the right seat, and would expect them to ride along. at that time a quick check of all radios and equipment can be checked. On the test flight of my twin, I found a radio that was not working properly, we agreed to split the cost of fixing that radio.
    the time span will depend on a lot of factors, I have done deals in 1 day, some took weeks. Pre-buy, financing, repairs, title searches ect will determine the time frame. don't be surprised if something comes up on a title search. old finance leans can be cleaned up but sometimes takes time to track down the right person to sign the right forms to get to the FAA. there are companies that will do that for you for a price, along with escrow. I don't normally escrow planes, but I also do not finance them. I normally show up with a cashiers check drawn on a national bank such as BOFA and we sign the papers and I hand over the check. (want to get the IRS worried, do it in cash, that will get them interested real quick)
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Write the check. Done.
     
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  5. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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  6. kicktireslightfires

    kicktireslightfires Pre-Flight

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    Thanks! All makes sense. It's a Tecnam Astore. The A&P that would probably be working on it is the same one the previous owner used and I'm keen not to use the same A&P who has maintained it for the pre-buy as I want someone with no prejudice. Hope that makes sense.
     
  7. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would ask around trying to find a recommended light sport repairman-maintenance certificated mechanic or Light Sport familiar A&P that's within a reasonable distance of Orlando who is also a factory trained Rotax mechanic. Central Florida is a hotbed of LSA activity, so it shouldn't be a problem finding somebody who can do a competent pre-purchase inspection. Just an observation from my own experience, but a lot of A&Ps don't know how to write a correct condition inspection log entry for an LSA; most mechanics with an LSRM certificate do.
     
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    It doesn't make any difference who does the inspection, as they are the most knowledgeable in the aircraft.
    I've seen pilots and owners that know a lot of more than many A&PS.
     
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  9. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    stan hit it. being that it has a rotax what I said about anything other than a piper/cessna well know model applies. I am a A&P IA but know very little about rotax. I would bet stan knows that engine a lot better than I do. I do know there are some specific things about them, the gear box being one that has to be maintained per the book exactly or it could bite you big time. so get someone that knows rotax well. you may ask the guys at lockwood in sebring to suggest someone. they know rotax and probably know someone who knows that aircraft and engine in the area.
     
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  10. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    thats a wise choice.
     
  11. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Not sure I agree it’s necessarily a bad thing to use the same A&P. If I’m going to trust a guy to Inspect it properly in the future, why wouldn’t I trust him now to inspect it? Now if I didn’t trust the guy yet, having someone else look at it would give me a better feeling about using this guy in the future.
     
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  12. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    The best airplane buys are never advertised, never have "pre-buys," and are snapped up by wise buyers.

    He who hesitates loses.
     
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  13. kicktireslightfires

    kicktireslightfires Pre-Flight

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    Unless you personally know and trust the owner and/or are extremely intelligent about planes and taking care of them, I don't know how it would be intelligent for anyone to buy an airplane without a pre-buy. Isn't that like buying a house without a home inspection?
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Why not try to learn all about the aircraft yourself prior to buying?
     
  15. kicktireslightfires

    kicktireslightfires Pre-Flight

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    Because that comes from years of ownership and experience, in my experience as it pertains to automobiles.
     
  16. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    i JUST did buy a house without a home inspection, a month ago. Let's see......

    I've bought.........
    PA-18
    Cessna 185
    PA-18
    Taylorcraft BC-12D
    Cessna 180 floatplane
    Mooney 201
    Cessna 206 floatplane
    Cessna 185
    Cessna 150
    Piper PA-28-180

    None had inspections.

    Wait.......there's a Cessna 140 in there too.

    Edit.........Almost forgot, a 35,000 hour Cessna 207
     
  17. kicktireslightfires

    kicktireslightfires Pre-Flight

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    I guess you're a genius then! I'm not nearly that smart to be able to fully check out an airplane or a house myself.
     
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  18. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Threadjacking here. It's "He who hesitates is lost"

    And this wonderful old story:
    This all reminds me of the unfortunate story of the British entrepreneur John Tate and his compasses. Sometime back in the mid-1800s a small-time British manufacturer named John Tate decided to go into the business of making compasses. He set up a factory, installed the machinery, hired some workers, and began turning out his first compasses. He had just completed his first batch of 500 compasses when someone finally pointed out that he had forgotten to mark which end of the compass was north. The compasses worked fine; you just didn’t know which way was north and which was south. Needless to say poor Mr. Tate’s compasses didn’t sell; Tate went bankrupt, the factory closed, and the workers were laid off. But his memory lives on, since that time any compass where you’re not sure which end is north and which is south has been known as a ‘Tate’s compass’.

    The moral of the story, of course, is that he who has a Tate’s is lost.
     
  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    You'll want someone to do the prebuy who is familiar with Tecnams and Rotax engines. The folks at First Landings in Apopka have several Tecnams in their training fleet, and Adam and Jose both work on them regularly. I know Adam has his A&P and IA; not sure about Jose. You might give them a call. https://www.firstlandings.com/ 407-886-7612

    Another alternative would be Savvy Aviation. https://www.savvyaviation.com/savvyprebuy/

    The Astore is a beautiful planes. Post some pics for us!
     
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  20. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    This forum REALLY needs a groan button....
     
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  21. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The tecnam office is located at Sebring airport, they can probably give you some recommendations .
     
  22. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Pattern Altitude

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    Tell the mechanic to turn the pre-buy into an annual if you buy it. You'll save yourself some $ in the process, and the inspection will be more detailed.
     
  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Not true..
     
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  24. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Get a contract and both parties execute it.

    Include a deposit clause in the contract, and send it to escrow.

    The sale doesn’t get completed until the contract terms are met, which includes your satisfaction with prebuy. Buyer would likely have “outs” as well.