Buying the Plane

Here comes the easy part, buying the airplane. All it takes is money.

After Karen and I returned from seeing the airplane, I sent a check for $1,500 to express my interest. Next step was to get it inspected.

Had a interesting thing there: I wanted to do the inspection without making an offer to buy. The pre-buy inspection was going to cost me $600-$800, and I was willing to lose that money. I wanted an inspection before I made an offer with the ability to pull out if something odd came up.

Airworthyness issues can always invalidate an offer, that isn't what I was worried about. I was interested in the general shape of the aircraft as a guage of future, 2-5 year away, problems that would not be considered airworthyness squawks. I had to call the owner of the airplane and explain that yes, I knew that if someone else came along with a written offer I would lose my prebuy inspection money. That's OK.

Prebuy. Nothing out of the ordinary. Many small wear and leak type squawks, nothing to scare me away. BTW, I spent 10 years in the USAF as an airplane mechanic and flight test technician, so evaluating these squawks was pretty strightforward for me. You might want to have two mechanics look at the list.

OK, prebuy is good.

As the prebuy was going on, I got the financing ready. I wanted to finance as much of the airplane as I could. My rule for financing (very personal, your attitude may be different) is when you are buying something that depreciates (like an airplane or a car) use Other People's Money as much as possible. I had built up a cash reserve for downpayment and after-purchase mods, but I wanted that to be used as little as possible on the buy. AOPA, through MBNA, offered me 90% financing at 6.25% for 20 years ($730 per month). Well, I'll take that!

Then insurance. I had a little more treptation there, since I don't have any retractable time. I checked with AOPA and Falcon.

AOPA, through AIG, wins! $2,300 per year ("what? Is that right?" I asked the woman on the phone). Requires 10 hours dual and 10 hours solo before carrying passengers. That's cool. Bought it..

What about Falcon? Took a week to get the first quote back to me, $5,100. 4 days later, sent another quote, $30 higher. Take a hike unresponsive, overpriced, company. In actuality, probably just a poor agent, but tainted the whole company for me.


Put it all together, FedEx all the paperwork around, 2 weeks of time, and I own the airplane!

Then there is Spending More Money

Details of actual operation and Money Money Money spent on Mooney Mooney Mooney will be docuemtned here.

questions or comments: email me