There is no such thing as a perfect airplane when it comes to buying or selling one. This also includes a brand new jet that has just come off the production line, passed flying tests, and issued airworthiness certification. It's the job of maintenance, repair, and overhaul MRO engineers to find any potential problems with an aircraft before it is sold.
What Is Included In The Aircraft Appraisal Report
Most of the airplane appraisers develop an opinion related to an aircraft's value based on its condition, upgrades, compliance, and maintenance status during the sale transactions. This usually happens before closing the deal and on behalf of the lending bank, which finances the deal.
Usually, upgrades, upgrade refurbishments, or modifications like engine overhauls, paint, and interior work are part of the buyer's financing. In such cases, the appraisal report may be produced with a hypothetical condition. These conditions are contrary to facts about economic, physical, and legal features of specific aircraft or market conditions and trends.
During an aircraft's pre-buy performance, the appraiser may also notice some particular squawks or malfunctions, which are rarely mentioned in the appraisal report. This is mainly done due to an assumption that the airplane is airworthy condition-wise, or at least it will be airworthy before the deal closes.
An aircraft seller may also engage an appraiser before putting the airplane on the market. In such cases, the appraisal report should include some desirable features, undesirable features, recommended asking price, and forecasted sale price of the aircraft for sale.
Consider Performing A Mock Pre-Purchase Inspection
The majority of the appraisers may not remove inspection covers or carry out any conditional tasks on an aircraft. Most of the observations made by them are visual or through logbooks and record analyses. Any aircraft value-detracting conditions or squawks may remain untold unless an airplane undergoes a 'pre' pre-purchase inspection.
An aircraft pre-buy inspection will help save time and money and prevent possible buyer rejection once the plane makes it to the actual pre-purchase check, as sponsored by the aircraft buyer.
Frequent Squawks Found During A Pre-Buy Inspection
Some of the squawks found during an aircraft pre-purchase inspection or appraisal audits, such as failed components or systems and malfunctioning parts, get reported. These indicate a mock pre-buy inspection's value before the aircraft gets placed on the market for sale.
The following are some significant squawks that are typically found during a pre-purchase check:
- Low-quality math, handwriting or reporting of time and cycle tracking over time
- Maintenance tracking program doesn't match the plane's records
- Serial numbers of significant components don't match the plane's records
- Loaner parts such as the engine, landing gear, or APU are installed instead of the actual components
- Component overhauls are missed or overlooked
- The airplane is being operated using AOC-approved aircraft inspection program or non-transferable OEM extension letter
- Recommended and mandatory Service Bulletins are not complied with (Depends upon the negotiated purchase agreement terms)
- Missing paperwork such as reports and interior burn certificates
- Outdated equipment list, new items not listed, and listed items been removed
- The aircraft flight manual AFM missing the required supporting documentation
- An unapproved interior configuration following modifications and changes
- Fly-away kit items missing
- Undisclosed or unknown damage history
- Some logbook notes are recorded in a foreign language
- Supplemental type certificate STC modifications not conforming to the concerned aviation authority
- Unofficial components installed
- Corrosion exists
- Current damage like dents or scratches not reviewed for airworthiness compliance
- Recorded parameters in the flight data recorder not sufficient to meet the regulatory requirements applicable to future flight operations (Depends upon the negotiated purchase agreement terms)
- Not getting an import certification using a foreign registry (Depends upon the negotiated purchase agreement terms)
In a nutshell, it's wise to arrange a mock pre-purchase check before undergoing an actual pre-buy inspection on your plane. Also, don't forget to engage an aircraft appraiser before putting your airplane on the market.