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Aircraft Pre-purchase

Peace of Mind

Conducting a pre-purchase evaluation is a vital step in buying or acquiring an aircraft. This evaluation differs from regulatory inspections and can vary between aircraft maintenance providers. Pre-purchase evaluations should be as detailed as possible to give an aircraft owner peace of mind. Double M Aviation conducts detailed pre-purchase evaluations, which include examinations of an aircraft as well as its documents.

Pre-purchase evaluations at Double M Aviation examine all of the following and more:

  • Maintenance records and airworthiness directive compliance
  • Damage history
  • Corrosion
  • Engine condition
  • Previous repairs and alterations

It is also important to note that a typical pre-purchase evaluation does not include a review of the avionics equipment or a flight review of the aircraft. These evaluations are typically arranged by the buyer, independent of the maintenance review.

Comprehensive Assessment

Double M Aviation provides aircraft buyers with a comprehensive report of the pre-purchase evaluation, which allows the buyer to make an educated decision about purchase price and if the aircraft is right for them. Finding an aircraft in this way and passing a pre-purchase evaluation can more than pay for itself by identifying and addressing potential repair and maintenance costs.

Commitment to Quality

During the pre-purchase evaluation, the log books are also reviewed. Discrepancies in maintenance records could signal maintenance issues or other problems that should be reviewed further. Total times are also verified during a pre-purchase. There are two types of time that should be calculated. Hourly and calendar time. Some components have mandatory overhaul or replacement times based on calendar time. Others are based on the total hours of operation. Hourly time is then broken down into total time and time since major overhaul.

  1. Total time is the time elapsed since an aircraft or component was manufactured or has been remanufactured (zero-timed) by the aircraft manufacturer. A complete rebuild ensures all parts are taken back to new tolerances.
  2. Time since major overhaul is the time elapsed since the component was disassembled and had parts inspected and measured for minimum acceptable limits. Overhauls are most commonly used on engines, propellers, and certain components on the aircraft.
  3. Calendar time is the number of months or years elapsed since a component has been manufactured or overhauled.

All of these numbers should be as low as possible when buying an aircraft.

Additionally, a thorough review of required aircraft documents should be completed. Always make sure that the company providing a pre-purchase evaluation verifies the following documents are up to date and in good order:

  • Valid airworthiness certificate
  • Current registration
  • Weight and balance with a current equipment list
  • The pilot’s operating handbook

In Capable Hands

It is wise to have a title company run the aircraft through the registry to ensure there are no outstanding liens that could affect future aircraft marketability. While this is not specifically part of the pre-purchase evaluation, we can assist in providing recommended title companies to perform this vital step.

Remember, too, that there is no replacement for experience, and when it comes to maintaining and inspecting aircraft, you can be sure that at Double M, your aircraft is in the most capable hands.

Look nowhere else than Double M Aviation and Mike Naab’s team for your aviation maintenance needs. He and his team have been servicing my aircraft for many years now. He has been through the test and has emerged as a very talented survivor. My operation would not have had the success it has had without Mike and his efforts. If you stop by his shop and shake his hand you will have started a lifetime of great maintenance that will still be there many years down the road. Quality maintenance with no excuses and no BS. Because he is the real deal.
– Mark Peterson, Aerial Cartographics of America, pilot & flight department manager
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