Aircraft Appraisal – Finding the Best Ones


27 Jan

An aircraft appraisal refers to an impartial and independent opinion as to how much is an aircraft's value. It is prepared by certified professionals of the ASA, who are knowledgeable of all the aspects that constitute the existing behavior of the market for new/used aircraft. This opinion is based on the experience along with the repeated analysis of the factors and may be justified and substantiated through definite valuation methodology. The Professional Aircraft Appraiser, which the American Society of Appraisers certifies, must obtain all of the facts relative to the aircraft for appraisal. An appraiser carefully examines the logbooks of the aircraft, inspects the aircraft's exterior as well as interior, and pays particular attention to the aircraft's present condition and its maintenance history.


There exist three types of the aircraft appraisal– the pricing digest like the one that is offered to members of the AOPA through the VREF, the desktop version, and the onsite or else physical appraisal.


Pricing Digest


A VREF/Bluebook analysis serves people's needs by 90 percent. You are going to find that most of the transactions can happen with just the VREF appraisal. The downside for this type of valuation is that data is characteristically somewhat stale by at least a quarter of a year. At the same time, the real value of the upgrades like STCs or avionics will be difficult to establish as well as may not be as precise as the more expensive appraisals.


At the same time, pricing digest does not exactly include such fluid items as existing supply and demand. For instance, an aircraft that was manufactured in short supply or limited quantity can have a much higher, if not lower, value than what the pricing digest possibly indicates, particularly when demand fluctuates. In this case, a desktop appraisal is the better option.


Desktop Appraisal


This is conducted by an appraiser that is certified. Here, the appraiser considers market data and includes what exists on the market at the moment. The appraiser is likewise going to assess market trends and also the average market days, and apply that to find out where it's going. He/She will assess the individual aircraft; for instance, one which engine has been upgraded in order to find out about the maintenance schedule of this aircraft for comparison with other comparable aircraft that are for sale. The value assessment of the desktop aircraft appraisalis considered to be more accurate.


This is the case, especially for light jets and turboprops. Are there any aircraft maintenance costs coming up? It is registered in some program for engine maintenance? The certified appraiser is going to look at the market in general and do a quick inspection of the logbooks as well as specs on the aircraft. However, he/she is not going to physically inspect the aircraft. Desktop appraisals typically cost between $500 and $600.  

Physical Appraisal


This is an inspection that is the most invasive – almost similar to the pre-purchase inspection. It is regarded as the appraisals' gold standard. The appraiser will enter the aircraft, open panels, carefully inspect every engine log and also maintenance log, as well as closely examine the aircraft. Such an appraisal is the one recommended for aircraft that are truly unique and is required on majority of jet aircraft. The disadvantage of the onsite/physical appraisal is its cost, which is normally between $2,000 and $3,000 or even more.

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