By Aron van Ziel
An airplane sale or acquisition involves large amounts of money, this is for some people a reason to act unethically and try to get a piece of it. As everybody knows, buying an airplane is often a complicated process and there are many factors you need to consider. We always recommend to hire a professional with experience in airplane sales and acquisitions, who will guide you to the whole proces.
If you don’t want to hire a professional and purchase an aircraft by yourself, be aware of the following pitfalls.
Registration and fantasy listing
On worldwide aircraft sales websites you see several aircraft being presented without a registration. Be careful when sellers or brokers do not supply a registration, most of the time they don’t have an exclusive contract with the registered owner of the aircraft. Some even use this “traction aircraft” to get in touch with you, so that they can show you another aircraft. In many of these cases you will find the perfect aircraft and when you call the broker they will tell you that they just sold the aircraft. Then they will offer you another airplane from their inventory.
As we all know the registration of an aircraft is very important. Always check whether the seller, named in the purchase agreement, is also the registered owner of the aircraft. If this does not match, ask why the contract is not on the name of the registered owner.
Back to back transactions
A back to back transaction usually happens with a broker or a trusted aircraft adviser. The person places himself in the middle of the transaction between the buyer and seller. The broker or adviser, then purchases the aircraft from the real seller for too little and sells it to the buyer for too much. He then pockets the difference and also gets a fee for being the middleman. This strategy can get the broker a lot of money that you are paying him. So always be careful when you know the deal is going to be a back to back transaction.
The easiest way to get scammed is by a deposit scam. The “broker” will ask you specific questions about the aircraft you are looking for. After a while they will call back and tell you that they have found the perfect airplane for you. And in addition, the current owner is willing to sell it for an amount that is below its market value. The current owner is in financial problems. However, this requires the transaction to proceed quickly. The broker will ask you to pay a deposit to reserve the aircraft while arranging a ferry flight to an inspection facility.
After you have made the payment, there is a chance that the “broker” may disappear at some point.
Always be carefull
The above items are just a few of the items that need to be considered, of course there are many more, check our blog section for more interesting tips on an airplane sale or acquisition.
If you would like to purchase an aircraft, then always be careful. Make sure you know with who you are doing business with and what you can expect from a broker, also control all actions before you pay anything.
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