Frequently Asked Questions
Following are a number of questions the team is asked on a regular basis. I trust we can answer one or two of yours.... If not we are only a phone call or email away.
1What are the benefits of owning my own aircraft?
There are many associated benefits and some include; guaranteed availability and serviceability, known maintenance history, flexibility, avionics and equipment levels are to your requirements, impress clients, friends and family.
2If I don't see what I want can you source an aircraft from overseas?
Absolutely. With over 32 years experience and contacts worldwide, aircraft procurement and delivery is what we do. Buying an aircraft is no simple task. To find the right plane at the right price, you need to answer important questions about market values, equipment and upgrades, performance, contracts, inspections, and more. Addressing all of these questions is often very frustrating and time-consuming. Thompson Aviation can answer your questions and manage the purchasing process, providing you with a more successful outcome.
3Do aircraft appreciate or depreciate?
Rule of thumb and extremely dependent on popularity, current status, exchange rates, condition and maintenance history aircraft generally appreciate over time. The worldwide demand is for late model, low time and clean aircraft, therefore these types appreciate more. Buying the right aircraft is the key!
4I am thinking of a multi-engine aircraft for company business transport. Do you provide a management service?
Yes, our strategic aviation partnerships can provide a full turn-key contract package including management, crew service and ground support for your aircraft.
5Are you available to meet or telephone out of business hours to discuss the sale or purchase of aircraft?
Most certainly. Feel free to contact Martyn anytime. Alternatively as Martyn is constantly traveling, email is the most efficient means and preferred.
6How can Thompson Aviation help me as a buyer?
As your representative, we will guide and consult with you through the entire purchasing process. We will prepare, present, and negotiate offers on candidate aircraft, evaluating all deals and contracts to represent your best interests. Once a purchase agreement is in place, we will coordinate the pre-purchase inspection and arrange the closing details involved with Escrow and the FAA.
7Who should perform the pre-purchase inspection?
That is entirely up to you. When you purchase the aircraft, you are purchasing it "as is", "where is." What you see (and what you can't see) is what you get. It therefore is to your advantage to be as thorough as you can on evaluating the general health of the aircraft. Note, however, that if you choose to not utilize a licensed FAA mechanic for your inspection, the seller is not required to correct any claimed airworthiness defects, as airworthiness per se can only be determined by a licensed mechanic.
8Who pays for the pre-purchase inspection? What if problems are found which must be repaired?
You, the buyer pay for the pre-purchase inspection, even if you have requested a complete annual inspection. It is customary to negotiate a flat-rate for such an inspection. However, if problems are found which affect the airworthiness of the aircraft (as defined by the Federal Aviation Regulations), and which would incur additional costs beyond the inspection fee, then the Seller is responsible (based upon his agreement with Thompson Aviation) for that portion of the costs required to make the aircraft airworthy. The Seller has the additional option at this point of withdrawing the aircraft from sale, whereupon your deposit will be refunded, and you will not be responsible for any inspection fees. You will not, in this case, be reimbursed for any direct or indirect expenses in setting up the pre-purchase inspection.
9What if problems are found which are not related to airworthiness?
These problems might include minor corrosion which will not become a problem for some time, limited-life components which might have to be replaced in the near future, radios with questionable quality (but still technically legal), paint and or upholstery imperfections, or other items which you or your mechanic might feel are not to your taste. You have the right to fail the airplane during the pre-purchase inspection for whatever reason, however small, and thus be relieved of your obligation to complete the purchase. However, the goal of most Buyers who have come this far is to complete the purchase. A middle ground is for you to seek some accommodation with the Owner, who may elect to correct some of your concerns at his or her expense, or to lower the price. In this event, you should make your proposal to Thompson Aviation, who will handle all discussions with the Owner. Remember that the Owner has the option to reject your proposal just as you have the option to "fail" the pre-purchase inspection, and receive your deposit back.
10What guarantees or warranties are implied or made by the seller?
Used aircraft are uniformly sold on an "as is", "where is" basis. This means that no warranties of any type are made to you. You are personally responsible for assessing the quality and reliability of the aircraft before you complete the transaction. According to the Purchase Order - Sales Agreement that you and a Thompson Aviation representative must execute, your completion of the purchase is your warranty to J&L and to the owner that you understand and fully agree to these terms.
11 What is Thompson Aviation's role in the aircraft transaction?
Thompson Aviation is in business to provide buyers such as yourself a match with excellent value airplanes that meet both your mission and your experience level. We have an excellent understanding of the aircraft marketplace, and take pride in locating for you an aircraft that closely fits your needs. Typically, Thompson Aviation has been contracted by a third-party owner to find a buyer and complete the sales transaction in the owner's behalf.
12What is the typical purchase process for an aircraft?
Normally, there are five steps: 1. You choose an aircraft that suits your needs with the assistance and counsel of Thompson Aviation. If necessary, we will find one which meets your specs. 2. You complete a Purchase Order/Sales Agreement and place a deposit on the aircraft; 3. You apply for any financing that you might require; we can help with this. 4. You perform a pre-purchase inspection on the aircraft, and then decide whether or not to continue with the purchase. 5. You attend a closing meeting, where you pay any balance due on the aircraft and receive title. The aircraft is now yours.
13What is your best price for this aircraft?
The majority of aircraft that you see marketed by Thompson Aviation are brokerage aircraft. Thus, it is not up to us to make that determination on behalf of the Seller. We will relay all reasonable offers to an aircraft´s owner for their consideration. However, an offer not only must be reasonable, it must be in the form of a written Aircraft Purchase Agreement and accompanied by a deposit which will substantiate your real interest. Verbal offers can simply not be considered. Once an offer is properly made, the Seller will have the option of either accepting, declining, or counter-offering it. If we are unable to assist both parties in reaching an accord, your funds will be returned to you as per your Agreement.
14Do you offer financing or will the seller assist in financing this aircraft?
We are simply not in the aircraft financing business and are also not affiliated with any particular aircraft finance company. We will, however, be happy to provide you with contact information for a few known lenders. You should discuss lending terms and rates directly with them since much depends on one´s own credit-worthiness. Seller-financing is generally not a purchasing option. We actually discourage it due to the associated risks involved for all concerned.
15How are the purchase funds handled?
All funds are to be wire-transferred to either an independent Aircraft Escrow and Title company located in the FAA´s hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma or it is similarly handled by us "in-house". Each transaction requires a Title Search and certain registration / deregistration procedures to be completed. The service fee for these services are not included in the purchase price of any aircraft and will usually vary depending on the aircraft´s value. Since there is benefit in these services to both the seller and the buyer in each transaction, its cost is customarily split between both parties. There is usually a cancellation fee charged once the service is begun if your purchase transaction is cancelled which will be subtracted from your deposit funds when they are refunded to you.
16Do I need to use a broker to handle the import or export or could I do it myself?
Anyone is free to handle export / import themselves if they have the experience to do this. However having an experienced professional working with you is money well spent when you consider what export / importing actually involved in both time and cost and the risks involved. Contrary to popular perception there is significantly more to import / exporting in the aviation business.