Pre Buy Inspection - Who generally pays for moving the plane?

WDD

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Looking at a plane in Florida, I live in ATL area. Would like to have my local A&P do pre-buy. Are owners open to flying plane to buyer's location for prebuy (would be about 2 hours flight time)? Buyer then pays for fuel and return plane ticket home, etc.?

Or is that rare, and most owners won't move their planes - requiring the buyers to find an A&P to go to the plane?

Simple questions here, but having never done this before, it's best to learn by asking smarter people who have done this before.

Thanks!
 
I would say every case is different so direct these questions to the seller.
Seems like the first thing to happen is get the FAA history for the plane first for you to look at. https://aircraft.faa.gov/e.gov/nd/
If you like what you see then step 2 would to look at logs at home if possible and then for you to see it in person before getting AP and the like involved so not to waste anyone's time.
 
Everything is negotiable. Ask for what you want. Be prepared for a counter offer.

I will say, relocation involves risk and it’s in neither parties interest to assume it in this case.
 
I purchased my plane from a brokerage. They flew the plane from Kentucky to Louisiana for a prebuy. If I refused the airplane, without findings of a significant undisclosed issue, I was responsible for fuel, pilot expenses, return airline tickets. IIRC it amounted to approximately $1500; I accepted the airplane.
 
If a buyer made that request of flying the aircraft to their mechanic I would assume they where a broker and hang-up the phone. Will not sell an aircraft to a broker. Just like lawyers, the 99 percent make the other 1 percent look bad.
 
Looking at a plane in Florida, I live in ATL area. Would like to have my local A&P do pre-buy. Are owners open to flying plane to buyer's location for prebuy (would be about 2 hours flight time)? Buyer then pays for fuel and return plane ticket home, etc.?

Or is that rare, and most owners won't move their planes - requiring the buyers to find an A&P to go to the plane?

Simple questions here, but having never done this before, it's best to learn by asking smarter people who have done this before.

Thanks!
it's got to be a case by case, and probably buyer's nickel. Talk it over with the seller. If a broker probably likely, if an owner selling his own plane, may be not so likely. Bottom line; no harm in asking.
 
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I wouldn't deliver a plane right now for one reason: it's a seller's market. If you walk, another buyer will be along soon. This isn't always the case, but it is right now.
 
I would say every case is different so direct these questions to the seller.
Seems like the first thing to happen is get the FAA history for the plane first for you to look at. https://aircraft.faa.gov/e.gov/nd/
If you like what you see then step 2 would to look at logs at home if possible and then for you to see it in person before getting AP and the like involved so not to waste anyone's time.
Copy that. I've gotten the FAA history, I've read the logs over the weekend, and the A&P has reviewed the logs and given the green light for Pre Buy phase.

I wouldn't deliver a plane right now for one reason: it's a seller's market. If you walk, another buyer will be along soon. This isn't always the case, but it is right now.
Good point. I'll ask, if he says "no", then I'll go ahead and find an A&P do to one at his field where the plane is.
 
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If a buyer made that request of flying the aircraft to their mechanic I would assume they where a broker and hang-up the phone. Will not sell an aircraft to a broker. Just like lawyers, the 99 percent make the other 1 percent look bad.
I had a buyers broker. The aircraft was being represented by a seller's broker. Both were excellent and the transaction went rather smoothly. My broker also runs a maintenance operation/FBO and manages/flies several aircraft for owners and his family has been in aviation for the better part of 50+ years. He had experience with the selling broker and trusted their representation of the aircraft.
 
Copy that. I've gotten the FAA history, I've read the logs over the weekend, and the A&P has reviewed the logs and given the green light for Pre Buy phase.
Good then it sounds like it's time take a trip hopefully in a plane to see it in person. Or I would road trip it if you have the time.
Good luck I hope it works out for you.
 
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Are owners open to flying plane to buyer's location for prebuy (would be about 2 hours flight time)?
As mentioned anything can be possible. However, in my experience with person to person transactions, I would usually recommend you and your A&P travel to the aircraft. It provides a clean division should the prebuy not go as planned or an airworthy disc is noted. And the same recommendation would go for any buyer to keep the aircraft at the home base. I've found brokers are driven by different forces and tend to move aircraft more than private owners. Regardless, it really boils down to how much you want the aircraft or how bad the buyer want to sell.
 
As mentioned anything can be possible. However, in my experience with person to person transactions, I would usually recommend you and your A&P travel to the aircraft. It provides a clean division should the prebuy not go as planned or an airworthy disc is noted. And the same recommendation would go for any buyer to keep the aircraft at the home base. I've found brokers are driven by different forces and tend to move aircraft more than private owners. Regardless, it really boils down to how much you want the aircraft or how bad the buyer want to sell.
Understand. Unfortunately, my local A&P shop doesn't travel for pre buys. If I have to do a pre buy where the plane is located, I'll just have to find an A&P in the area or pay a service like SAVVY to find one and then add their 2 cents worth.
 
I wouldn't fly to you. Added risk for not much reward in a sellers market.
 
Unfortunately, my local A&P shop doesn't travel for pre buys.
FWIW: Then see if he will be involved with the selection and determination of what the prebuy will entitle? I've been involved with prebuys in the same manner where I assisted in the mechanic selection and prebuy list to include pictures. The whole intent is to keep the level of surprise (and cost) down for your mechanic when he performs your first annual.
 
I've done it both ways. Bought one from a broker who flew it to me at no cost so my A&P could inspect it but it was only about 45 minutes away. Bought another from a private individual and flew my A&P to inspect the plane. I sold one plane during Covid and there's no way I'd have flown it somewhere because I had buyers fighting over it. I sold it to a guy who did no inspection and didn't even fly it before transferring the money. What I'll do when selling my current plane will depend on the market.
 
I have bought and sold three airplanes. As a buyer, I did not require a prebuy on the first two since I knew the local owners and how the planes had been flown and maintained. The third one was 35 miles away, and I went there with my A&P for the prebuy. As a seller, the first one went to my brother-in-law, so no prebuy. The second one, an A&P flew from California to Wisconsin to do the prebuy here. The third one went to a student pilot in Kentucky, and using my advice, he hired a local A&P who had not worked on my airplane to do the inspection. I delivered that one and he paid for a commercial flight home.
 
FWIW: Then see if he will be involved with the selection and determination of what the prebuy will entitle? I've been involved with prebuys in the same manner where I assisted in the mechanic selection and prebuy list to include pictures. The whole intent is to keep the level of surprise (and cost) down for your mechanic when he performs your first annual.
Great minds and all of that. Yes - my A&P will see as much as possible remotely, and his opinion will weigh as much as the A&P at the plane will. And FWIW, if I do buy this it goes straight into an early annual with my local A&P.
 
It's negotiable. Generally, but not always, the buyer travels. Distance matters.

What kind of plane is it? If it's a common type, you can find an A&P local to the plane and that should work. If it's a less common plane, more tricky. Type clubs often have a recommendation and can be a real help.
 
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Generally, you’d send your A&P to the airplane, not the other way ‘round.
 
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It's negotiable. Generally, but not always, the buyer travels. Distance matters.

What kind of plane is it? If it's a common type, you can find an A&P local to the plane and that should work. If it's a less common plane, more tricky. Type clubs often have a recommendation and can be a real help.
It's a 182 fixed leg.
 
When I bought my 206 they flew the airplane from NC to MA for prebuy at my A&P. We would have gone to the airplane, but we wanted "homefield" advantage if you will. Everything was acceptable. After a little negotiation on price I paid the ferry pilot and thru him in an uber to the airport. The fuel to get the airplane here was on me, and if I refused the airplane I would pay to get it back to NC
 
I wouldn't fly the plane to the A&P. Let's say something gets damaged during the pre-buy inspection, or an airworthiness issue is discovered. The seller would be stranded away from their home airport with no fast/easy way of getting themselves and the plane home. On top of that, what if you and the seller don't agree on a purchase. The seller has wasted a day of his time, plus four hours of fuel and wear on the engine, for nothing. And even if you, as a the buyer, want to reimburse the seller for the fuel, you have no legal way of doing so.
Tough situation for you, but you'll have to find a good A&P that is willing to travel with you to the plane.
 
I wouldn't fly the plane to the A&P. Let's say something gets damaged during the pre-buy inspection, or an airworthiness issue is discovered.

That was the reason for my comment above. It would be sad if something similar to this below happened two hours from the home field ...

How not to sell an airplane
 
It may be “How not to sell an airplane” but that’s a great way to buy an airplane……….
 
Regardless of cost, I wouldn't fly my airplane to a non-local shop for a pre-buy. If I was just moving it locally (say within 30 miles), I wouldn't charge the buyer for fuel. But I'd also make sure I did my own homework on the local shop I'd be moving it to before I agreed to let them touch it.
 
Too many variables to fly my plane to the buyer .
 
I wouldn't buy an airplane if it wasn't flown to an independent shop and figure an hour distance is fair game. I was looking at Mooney and a brokered airplane was located close to Dan Maxell (known as a top Mooney shop) said flying it there was a non-starter. It was a major red flag and when the broker called my request unreasonable, he didn't have much of an answer when I told him the current owner had his pre-buy done there. My view is that since it's NOT my airplane, I'm not taking the responsibility of moving the airplane. The seller has to provide a PIC and should pay for the cost if it's close by.

The airplane I bought was flown home (almost 3 hours) for the pre-buy because that's the only place I could get to do it that quickly. The seller wanted to sell and I wanted to buy so we worked together; it took us about a week from the first phone call to the transaction being complete. I ended up going there to see the airplane and flew back with the owner. I paid for the cost to move the airplane, expenses, and flight back for the seller while we waited for the pre-buy to be done so we could close. The seller knew I was serious, I wired him some money without signing a contract, in fact, we never signed any paperwork we were closing.

The two owners I talked to seemed to be honest and willing to fly their airplane for a pre-buy.
 
Where is the plane? We have quite a few Florida peeps on this board, so maybe one of us could recommend a local A&P to do the pre-buy for you.

And FWIW, if I do buy this it goes straight into an early annual with my local A&P.

Think carefully about this. I did an early annual a couple of years ago to shift my annual cycle from mid-summer to Feb. Summer in the south can be a miserable time to do an annual in a steel hangar. You might have your guy inspect any areas of special concern, then wait until Oct or so to do the full annual.
 
Where is the plane? We have quite a few Florida peeps on this board, so maybe one of us could recommend a local A&P to do the pre-buy for you.



Think carefully about this. I did an early annual a couple of years ago to shift my annual cycle from mid-summer to Feb. Summer in the south can be a miserable time to do an annual in a steel hangar. You might have your guy inspect any areas of special concern, then wait until Oct or so to do the full annual.
Our shop is busy all year, and I supposed they're used to the heat. That said, they're doing annuals throughout the year - if I progress to the point of owning a plane, shouldn't be a problem.

Great minds think a like. Plane is in Ocala FL, which seems to be south of Gainsville, West of Daytona, and North of Disney World. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I might need to start a new thread.

I had though something like SAVVY would be of help, but the more I read it seems it's a maintenance program where they help with the prebuy by searching for a local A&P and then interpret the report back to you for a fee. On top of what the A&P charges for the Pre Buy. I'm not seeing that I need what they bring to the table - but LMK if I'm missing something.
 
Looking at a plane in Florida, I live in ATL area. Would like to have my local A&P do pre-buy. Are owners open to flying plane to buyer's location for prebuy (would be about 2 hours flight time)? Buyer then pays for fuel and return plane ticket home, etc.?

Or is that rare, and most owners won't move their planes - requiring the buyers to find an A&P to go to the plane?

Simple questions here, but having never done this before, it's best to learn by asking smarter people who have done this before.

Thanks!
You can hire experienced inspectors to travel and do a pre-buy. I used Owen from https://barefootaviation.com/
 
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My vote is to take the A&P to the plane. Not sure many owners want their plane two hours away with someone else taking it apart. That don't work for me ...
If the plane is a complex airplane you as the owner then need to minimally provide a clean, heated, well lit hangar equipped with quality jacks, and an air compressor for a compression test. If it cost you several hundred dollars to provide that, so be it. Remember, you had to be host.
 
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When I bought mine, I found a mechanic maybe 1-2 hours away cannot remember and the seller delivered her there. Given how busy mechanics are, not sure what other options you have, will a mechanic really travel and will they have enough access to tools and repairs at a remote location? Someone might buy it without a look, but I think that’s rare, so sellers should be willing to deliver it an hour or so away, knowing that anything less could be a conflict of interest with that mechanic.

I do also understand the uncertainty and wide spectrum of differences between mechanics and who knows what breaks when the mechanic starts taking off parts, cowling, etc.
 
When I was looking, one plane they would not fly it about 40 minutes for a pre-buy. That one ended up low on the list of possibilities.

The one I bought was through a broker, they flew it to the shop of my choice (maybe 1 - 1.5 flight). Actually flew two planes down, came back in on.

If I were selling and the buyer wanted me to take it to a pre-buy, I would have a written contract that if they don't accept the plane, they are responsible for ALL costs to deliver to pre-buy, doing the pre-buy, and having the airplane returned to my field. If there are any issues with the pre-buy shop not releasing the plane, it is on the buyer. I would also have some time limits.
 
When I was looking, one plane they would not fly it about 40 minutes for a pre-buy. That one ended up low on the list of possibilities.

The one I bought was through a broker, they flew it to the shop of my choice (maybe 1 - 1.5 flight). Actually flew two planes down, came back in on.

If I were selling and the buyer wanted me to take it to a pre-buy, I would have a written contract that if they don't accept the plane, they are responsible for ALL costs to deliver to pre-buy, doing the pre-buy, and having the airplane returned to my field. If there are any issues with the pre-buy shop not releasing the plane, it is on the buyer. I would also have some time limits.
How does that work then with repairs needed? I haven’t heard of that limitation though on other deals.
 
How does that work then with repairs needed? I haven’t heard of that limitation though on other deals.
The way I have seen it is the seller would be responsible for any airworthiness issues discovered on the pre-buy inspection. Otherwise, it is sold "as-is" or buyer and seller could negotiate any desirable but not airworthiness service or repairs.
 
These discussions very much evidence how the "advice" everyone gives on pre-buys (independent mechanic, do this task, do that task, pull a cylinder, etc.) falls apart when put into practice. A lot of owners won't put up with a lot of that (there's a zero percent chance you're pulling a cylinder from my airplane), and if you want to do a pre-buy in my hangar (which I'll happily make available), I'm happy to try to get you whatever tools you want as a courtesy, but that's not my responsibility. You're welcome to call the local shops on the field, etc. and see if you can borrower jacks, etc., but I'm not going to be the guy "responsible" for helping you and your chosen A&P getting yourselves in a position to do the inspection you want to do.
 
These discussions very much evidence how the "advice" everyone gives on pre-buys (independent mechanic, do this task, do that task, pull a cylinder, etc.) falls apart when put into practice
…or indicates the very wide variety of negotiated options. I’ve seen most of them in one form or another.

Bargaining position of the parties, value of the airplane, specialization requirements, and other factors all play a role.

How does it work? The way the contract says it works.
 
The way I have seen it is the seller would be responsible for any airworthiness issues discovered on the pre-buy inspection. Otherwise, it is sold "as-is" or buyer and seller could negotiate any desirable but not airworthiness service or repairs.
Exactly.

The pre-buy found pitted lifters, so the seller paid for new lifters. I covered the hours as the removal was part of the pre-buy, and it had to be put back together.

There were a few small things, I covered.
 
This thread confirms that the answer to all questions in aviation is:

"It depends"
 
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