mark norman

Mark Norman

CFI | CFII | AGI | A&P | IA

Pre-Purchase Evaluation

The Pre-Purchase evaluation is the best investment anyone interested in purchasing an aircraft can make. The purpose of the Pre-Purchase evaluation is to help the prospective buyer have a better understanding of the history of the aircraft. The purpose of the inspection is to examine the aircraft for damage and wear that might not be evident to the untrained eye.

“Pre-Purchase Evaluation? Don't you mean a Pre-Purchase Inspection?” The answer would be yes and no. In the past it was called a Pre-Purchase inspection and it has caused the buyer to think that the aircraft was getting a complete Annual inspection. I will say right here, this is NOT an Annual inspection. After a series of lawsuits against maintenance providers that performed these “Pre-Buy” inspections for such things like hidden damage due to corrosion or wrong parts put on the aircraft without any logbook entries, the maintenance industry needs to be careful to be very specific in defining what the Pre-Purchase will cover.

I will work with the buyer or buyer's agent to specify what exactly will be looked at and to what standard. As a maintenance provider I can make a recommendation, but it must be the buyer’s call in the end. Nothing is foolproof, but the following steps are in my opinion a must in every pre-purchase evaluation so that the buyer is informed of the aircraft's current condition and potential future maintenance costs.

The Pre-Purchase Evaluation will cover the following areas:

Maintenance records:

  • Logbook chronology – All records are in possession form birth to current.
  • A complete logbook verification for all FAA Airworthiness Directives, including appliance ADs, applicable to the aircraft.
  • Complete logbook verification to find any possible damage to the aircraft that could affect the value (gear up landing, corrosion repair, major skin damage repair, etc.).
  • Proper documentation (FAA form 337), including instruction for continued airworthiness, for every major change to type design (major alteration) or major repair.
  • Verification of all burn certifications for interior components replaced since the aircraft was new.
  • All flight controls removed and balanced following paint.

Visual Inspection:

  • Nose to Tail – Similar to an annual-type inspection.
  • A bore-scope inspection of each engine
  • Check for installation of all interior and exterior placards as required by the type certificate data sheet for the aircraft.
  • ARROW in compliance?
    • Airworthiness Certificate
    • Registration
    • Radio License (if required)
    • Operations Handbook/Manual
    • Weight and Balance

I can come to your location to evaluate the aircraft that you are interested in purchasing. Contact me and we can discuss the details.

© 2020 Norman Aviation, all rights reserved.