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Prebuy inspections vital to preowned aircraft purchases

Why many buyers choose factory-owned service facilities

Pre-purchase inspections on pre-owned aircraft allow buyers to anticipate future maintenance needs and also identify service needs that are not immediately evident.

The buyer and seller generally decide the details of the pre-purchase inspection and which facility will perform the work. The service provider and technician should have experience with the aircraft model in question and have a broad understanding of its nuances. It’s why many buyers choose to take the aircraft to a service center owned by the manufacturer.

“It adds a lot of value when the manufacturer does the work,” Jeff Melang, an aircraft manager, said. “It means more confidence on the other end of the transaction.”

Records to inspect before buying a pre-owned aircraft

  • Aircraft and component serial numbers

  • FAA Form 337 for major repairs or alterations

  • Airworthiness Directive compliance

  • Service bulletin/letters status

  • Logbooks

Melang assisted one of his customers in the purchase of a Citation® Excel® which included a pre-buy inspection.

There are other benefits to using a factory-owned facility. Technicians are intimately familiar with specific models, because those are the only models they work on every day. They also adhere to manufacturer standards, which are often more stringent than a third party’s. In addition, service technicians have factory direct access to vital inspection documents and parts.

“Because the condition of an aircraft, its engines and equipment can be a sensitive issue during negotiations between sellers and buyers, we offer our services to make these transactions as smooth as possible. The best way to lessen risk with the purchase of a previously flown aircraft is to know what you are getting into, and conversely, the best way to sell a used aircraft is to demonstrate its value to the buyer. Our service centers’ pre-buy inspection program accomplishes both.” David Cross, General Manager, Textron Aviation Service Center

Once buyers have full reports, they can decide whether to require the current owners to make any repairs before taking final delivery of the aircraft. In certain instances, sellers may be wary of a pre-buy inspection, but buyers should certainly insist on one to avoid unexpected expenses later on. Once deals close, buyers are unlikely to convince previous owners to pay for repairs.

Today, Textron Aviation's Pre-Owned Direct team offers a broad lineup of pre-owned aircraft services. Programs like Market Assist leverage our network of sales experts to help operators sell their aircraft with confidence, and our in-house market analysts provide detailed aircraft valuations backed by fleet information exclusive to the OEM.


To learn more about Pre-Owned Direct and our services, visit our site today.