The information below explains the paperwork steps necessary in selling an aircraft. Included are tips from AOPA experts on avoiding legal entanglements and making the whole sales process run smoothly. All of this information used as a checklist is the secret to a successful sale. The checklist includes logical sections such as the bill of sale, the moment of fund transfer, aircraft transfer, registration, and general information. These sections each include the necessary steps for that section in checklist format.
AOPA recommends having the purchaser arrange for a pre-purchase inspection of the aircraft. It can be as little as an hour or two of a mechanic’s time all the way to a full annual inspection signed off by a mechanic with inspection authorization.
If another person is needed to sign for a person listed on a current registration, the document authorizing that signature will be needed by the FAA. For example: executor of an estate, trustee, or heir at law. AOPA provides additional information related to aircraft ownership online.
Knowing how to properly sell an aircraft is very important. There have been countless cases where individuals selling an aircraft were unaware of certain important procedures and subsequently got tied up in a legal hairball. Following the steps outlined in this subject report can help make selling your aircraft simple and hassle free. The federal regulations that apply to selling an aircraft are outlined in this subject report, as well as additional helpful information such as selling to a buyer who is a foreign national, and N- number removal techniques.
Please call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center with questions – 800.USA.AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 6:00 ET