Owning a personal aircraft does not only mean freedom, but it all begins with an investment. And that is actually good news ! If you buy smart, you can actually save a substantial amount of money. Specially for europeans, it is a good idea to look into other markets. Traditionally, the U.S. market is known for its vast selection, very competitive prices and high aircraft maintenance standards.
For an aircraft search in the U.S market, we recommend those websites below. All these platforms are well established since over a decade, and every aircraft for sale is listed in at least one of them, if not all. The search can typically be refined my make, model, location, price and other criteria.
To successfully purchase any aircraft, we recommend that the buyer
- inspects the aircraft thoroughly in person
- is conducting test flights with that specific aircraft
- verifies with the respective authorities, that the title is clear and no liens filed
- files ALL for export required paperwork, and verifies that all paperwork is properly completed and received, BEFORE the aircraft is leaving the country.
- verifies all required authorizations for export are in his possession
- is registering the aircraft with authorities. If privacy protection is required, to an Offshore Trust.
ATTENTION: While purchase and use of an aircraft in the U.S. is very straight forward and affordable for a U.S. citizen, it is not so much for a NON-U.S. citizen. Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen and buying an airplane on the U.S. market, needs to be aware, that the rules regarding registration and ownership that apply for the seller, absolutely do not apply for the buyer. Most sellers and dealers are not aware of that, and once the wrong paperwork has been filed, the damage is done. It is utmost important for the buyer to establish, if that specific airplane, with its specific paperwork, can be owned by him and flown and registered internationally.
Finally, Civil Aircraft Registries and Customs Office are usually now known for their generosity: missing documents and certificates, insufficient or wrong applications stop the whole process. The consequences range from
- annoying delays to
- taxation in the highest tariff
- all the way up to a refusal to enter the airspace of the destination country at all
We always recommend professional assistance when purchasing an aircraft. The service fees are quite small for an investment that size, and the benefits are too many not to get assistance. Usually, it’s around 1% of the purchase price while it saves the average European customer around 18%. More information about this subject is available here.
We recommend the following trading platforms
- Trade-A-Plane – most popular marketplace in the U.S. , all makes and models
- Barnstormers – very active platform, primary small and experimental aircraft
- Controller – upclass aircraft, any size
- Ebay USA Aircraft – a quite interesting platform with good deals