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Things To Do Before You Buy an Aircraft

Buying a helicopter is a huge decision. But with so many makes and models on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. The experienced aircraft technicians at Helicopter Services Inc. put together a list of the top six things you need to do before you buy an aircraft.

1. Calculate the Cost

There are many hidden costs associated with owning an aircraft. Owning a helicopter can quickly add up from operating costs such as fuel and oil changes to often-overlooked expenses such as insurance, maintenance, and hangar and tie-down fees. Create a budget and stick to it when shopping for an aircraft to avoid buying a model that’s more than you can afford long-term. 

2. Decide If You Want to Buy New or Used

Red helicopter in the sky.

While a used helicopter will cost less than a new helicopter upfront, older aircraft often require refurbishment and more frequent maintenance.

3. Test Fly 

Don’t forget to request a test flight of any helicopter you want. But don’t do it alone – bring along an aircraft maintenance technician to ensure everything works in-flight and there aren’t signs of neglect, maintenance, or faulty parts.

4. Determine the Helicopter’s Value

If you are buying a used aircraft, it’s important to make a checklist of things such as engine hours, equipment list, Airworthiness Directives, damage history, and paint/interior condition to ensure that you’re paying the true value of the helicopter. Some sellers will try to charge more for an aircraft than its market value, but recording the details above and researching the items you evaluate can ensure you’re paying a fair price.

5. Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Before signing on the dotted line for an aircraft, have the helicopter and its records/paperwork inspected by a trusted aircraft mechanic. A thorough review of the aircraft records/paperwork is the most critical and overlooked process when evaluating an aircraft. 

An experienced aircraft mechanic will assess the mechanical and physical elements of the helicopter you’re purchasing and provide you with a list of things that are wrong with the aircraft and an estimate of how much it may cost to fix. The pre-purchase inspection is extremely important and can result in costly repairs and delays.

Having a list of things that are wrong with the aircraft before purchasing the helicopter can help you negotiate with the seller:

  • They can fix it before you purchase it;
  • They can reduce the selling price; or
  • You can walk away from a bad deal.

black and silver chopper on the runway

6. Purchasing an Aircraft

Helicopter Service Inc. is the place for you if you want to buy a new or used Robinson, Bell, MD, or Airbus helicopter. We are a full-service helicopter repair center and can help you with any helicopter services you might require. Our

Airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics and FAA Inspection Authorization (IA) mechanics provide safe and reliable helicopter inspection, repair and maintenance, and painting services for private, commercial, and government helicopters.