Thinking about purchasing an aircraft?
Here are a few ideas that might make buying your first airplane or even your 10th, a more enjoyable experience.
Insurance – This is an important expense that many new buyers overlook. It is very important to speak with 2 to 3 experienced aircraft insurance companies. Rates can very dramatically depending on the aircraft purchased and experience of the pilot.
Finance – Several companies specialize in aircraft financing. We have found it is best to deal with a reputable broker that works with several financial institutions. It is important to know your credit history, credit score and what your budgetary limits are. A good broker will work with you to meet your specific needs. Remember that your sales representative might know of a local flight school that would be interested in assisting with some of the cost of your new aircraft for its use during training.
Service Centers – Don't forget to visit with 2 or 3 local aircraft service centers that specialize in Diamond Aircraft. Your flight instructor or flight school might be able to give you some recommendations. Keeping your new aircraft in top working condition with all of the latest service bulletins up to date is a vital part of being a happy aircraft owner.
Other involved parties – We all like to think we can make large financial decisions on our own, but most of the time that isn't true. It is a good idea to involve your spouse or financial partner early in the buying process. This will allow you to utilize the professional service of your service and sales team. It will also make it easier to schedule important things like the demonstration flight and closing of financial documents.
Safety records of the aircraft – Most new aircraft purchasers are unaware of the wealth of information on the FAA website (www.faa.gov). On this web site you can search such important information as the number of fatal accidents by aircraft type.
History of companies – Knowing who you are doing business with is always an important step. Ask your sales representative for a list of extremely satisfied customers that you can feel free to call and visit with.
Your flight experience and mission – One of the most important factors in successfully purchasing an aircraft is to be honest with yourself on your experience and comfort level, and the mission you will be using the aircraft for. For example do you plan on flying over rough terrain or at night? Who do you plan on taking with you? What about the airports that you will be visiting? How comfortable do you feel flying the aircraft in an emergency?
The demo flight – This is a very important step that can easily be taken lightly. It is critical that all of the important parties participate in the demonstration. It is equally important that you understand what your key mission will be so the demonstration flight can be setup to demonstrate how this aircraft will meet your mission. How does the aircraft look and feel? What are the key options that you will be using? Based on your experience level is the aircraft as forgiving as you think it should be? Are you capable to stay mentally ahead of the aircraft or is the aircraft "flying you"? These are some questions that you should be asking yourself before a demonstration flight that will maximize this important step.