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Purchasing a Helicopter


sam_iam
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I am looking into purchasing my first aircraft and I was told I should ask for copies of the log books. Is it a pretty standard practice to do this and why would somebody refuse? I have had four different people send me all the info I asked for except for one last night, he said he was advised not to send copies of the logbooks and full component sheet by a couple different mechanics. It makes me think something might be wrong with them but he has to know I will have to see them eventually and I will see if there is a problem. The only thing I can think of is he wants to make sure I am really interested before gives them to me but I don't know how to be anymore interested except to go see it but I hate to drive 15 hours away before seeing the logbooks to make sure it is kept up and legal.

Edited by sam_iam
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Dear Sam_Jam, it is not normal to send copies of log books and component tracking sheets just on a request. Owners are not hiding anything by not doing this but protecting their info/records and privacy. My EC120 is for sale. If someone was interested they could talk to me about the aircraft. If they were seriously interested they could look at the aircraft and logs at my hangar office. With a signed Purchase agreement and deposit (20%) they could do a pre-buy inspection(which normally means an A&P(team) opens things up for inspection plus a thorough Inspection of all Logs, Historical Records) after which if the aircraft is found to be airworthy and as originally represented, the sale proceeds to closing. This is an Industry Standard for aircraft sales. Imagine if everyone here asked the one owner to send copies. I have been approached by a few "Scammers" recently and they asked for all records and such. I have sold 2 Long Rangers and a Bell 407 and no one complains about proper purchasing procedures & deposits/inspections/sale.

Those owners that sent you copies of ALL logs, etc. are making themselves available to be victimized. The FAA does not recommend duplicating/copying records and distributing them on just a request. Find an AI/A&P that has helped in purchases before and talk to him. Research must be done not only on Logs, Historical records but about outstanding, not completed AD's, SB's and other items that could be due if a component has to be removed for work. This is usually in a Gear Box (Engine or Xmission) once opened and could be very costly!!!!!

 

Good Luck, Mike

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You are correct. You will see them sooner or later.

 

Many times the sellers have not taken the time to scan them and have to now hurry and do it. May be just that.

 

I would never go 5 hours drive without first seeing the logs so my A&P can give his opinion first. After that then I can decide if I will drive the distance.

 

Good luck,

 

edspilot

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Dear Sam_Iam, it would not be prudent for me to state on a forum how owners could be vicitmized. Kind of like telling a terrorist about possible weak points to attack!

 

I understand that it is a long distance away. I would suggest that you get an AI/A&P that is familiar with the type/model of aircraft that you are interested in to call(conference call with you) the owner and discuss the history of the aircraft, who operates it (how many pilots fly it)and for what purpose, who maintains it(service center, 135 operator, private A&P), ask what is the next time life component that would be due either by hours or calendar life? Does the sale included a current 100hr/annual at the time of purchase? Can you choose who performs that Inspection? Ask what Service Bullentins have not been complied with? A knowledgeable AI/A&P that has assisted in purchasing aircraft of this model needs to be the person making the call. Many good A&P's do not get invloved in aircraft pre-buys and hisotrical record searches. Also, call the Service Center that maintains the aircraft if it is maintained this way. talk to the director of Maintenance there and get his input on the overall condition of the aircraft. A lot can be established about the aircraft before driving to see it. Log books only show what someone has written, not what was truly performed to Manufacturers requirements/standards! Let me know if can assist you further. Tell me the make and model, year, etc and i may be able to help. Mike

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Sam,

 

There are way too many scam artists out there will send a spreadsheet with component times and the phone number for my mechanic so you could talk directly with him. But you will not get copies of my logbooks. I have bought and sold many aircraft and found you still have to look at the aircraft. I have found falsified records, BS records, lack of records, records that don't match the aircraft and so on. I have seen 'perfect' records and found an aircraft that is a total piece of junk. So I have found that the records in and of themselves are no guarantee.

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exactly, what is the big deal about logbooks? They have what was done, when, how many hours, and a&p. What scamming or victimizing can be done with that?

 

 

Sam, if my ship was for sale I wouldnt go to all the work of copying and sending out all records to every guy that called me and asked. Its just part of the search process. Find a couple ships you are really sincerely interested in. Talk to the owners, have them send pictures, and then you just have to go look for yourself.

 

I have never had an owner refuse to openly show me all records once I showed up to look at the aircraft. If you know what you are looking at, like an R22, you can easily build a list of AD's that you can confirm have been entered in the maintenance logs.

 

In any case, before you close the deal, you have to have a mechanic you trust go take a look at everything......usually at that point you would already have a deposit on the ship.

 

However, just look at the different responses this post has received. Everyone has a different opinion of what they would do or expect. Thats fine, just goes to show everyone does it differently.

 

Good luck in your search,..

 

Goldy

Edited by Goldy
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Sam, if my ship was for sale I wouldnt go to all the work of copying and sending out all records to every guy that called me and asked. Its just part of the search process. Find a couple ships you are really sincerely interested in. Talk to the owners, have them send pictures, and then you just have to go look for yourself.

 

I have never had an owner refuse to openly show me all records once I showed up to look at the aircraft. If you know what you are looking at, like an R22, you can easily build a list of AD's that you can confirm have been entered in the maintenance logs.

 

In any case, before you close the deal, you have to have a mechanic you trust go take a look at everything......usually at that point you would already have a deposit on the ship.

 

However, just look at the different responses this post has received. Everyone has a different opinion of what they would do or expect. Thats fine, just goes to show everyone does it differently.

 

Good luck in your search,..

 

Goldy

 

 

You wouldn't even send the component time sheet? Why would I go on a road trip to look at a bird that when I get there I find out it only has 20hrs left on the blades...?

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Sorry- I'm mostly a Robbie guy, so yes, you would already know TTSN, TSO numbers...

 

BTW, I aint selling nothing ! But I am looking for a nice timed out Beta.

 

Goldy

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I just want to make sure the ship is worth taking two days of my life to go look at. He would only have to scan it once, and save it. But can you tell me why they would be scared to release them if they weren't hiding anything? I really doubt that it is just too much work to copy them, anyway. I have had three others send me theirs with no questions asked and the ship really reflect their logbooks.

thanks for the input

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I just want to make sure the ship is worth taking two days of my life to go look at. He would only have to scan it once, and save it. But can you tell me why they would be scared to release them if they weren't hiding anything? I really doubt that it is just too much work to copy them, anyway. I have had three others send me theirs with no questions asked and the ship really reflect their logbooks.

thanks for the input

 

Are you asking for the component time sheet or the actual maintenance logs? All you need is the time sheet as first, then check the rest when your looking at the ship.

 

I just figured you were asking for the component time sheet...

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I was just having a similar conversation with a guy locally trying to sell an aircraft currently.

 

There are ALOT of tire kicker/ skid kickers out there that want to call and talk about the aircraft and ask questions and on and on and on. As a seller I can understand trying to be restrictive to every request out there. If you are truly serious about buying an aircraft NOW and not 6 months or next year from now you will be there to see the aircraft. Why don't you fly there...?? Personally I want to see component sheets and most sellers have that part ready for advertising.... the price of the aircraft will usually tell me alot about the aircraft with the models I usually purchase and will reflect the components... sure there is some leeway and sometimes people are just shooting for the stars. It may seem funny but the log books don't mean squat to me. Sure they can tell you this and that and alot of "this aircraft is approved for return to service" and "I certify this aircraft is in an airworthy condition" etc.... crap crap crap. If I am truly interested in a particular helicopter (which I assume you are considering your continued responses) I will be there.... it is such a small part of the purchase costs and such a huge part of the equation..... the rest is luck that the ship is as good as it looks.

 

Unless you're buying a new helicopter with a warranty...

 

You'll never know the true condition of a helicopter until you've gone thru each component and system.

Edited by apiaguy
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Dear Sam, we have chatted thru PM and I know the model & age of the aircraft which I will not disclose. Not everyone has/uses a component tracking sheet. Newer aircraft/operators sometimes do but older aircraft(pre-computers) were not always on a tracking program. You and your A&P should know thru research the time life of the components that are life limited and those that are not. Records can be altered, data plates and components switched and various other illegal things like taking serial and part numbers from records and using them towards other aircraft and parts with histories. You should not be so concerned with what crooks can do with records but understand that it is not good procedure to send records on every request! They should/must be available to serious buyers that show up to inspect an aircraft! Best to you, Mike

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Sam,

 

I have no problem sending a component time sheet(s) to a prospective buyer. But I will never send copies of logbook pages. When I first started buying and selling aircraft, I did that once and had one guy come back to me stating he had sold my aircraft but at a lower price than I was asking. We had NO agreement and when he originally asked for the information, he stated that he was the purchaser and made no mention of being a broker. Needless to say, I told him where to go. I have heard of some people getting copies of logbooks to cover up their less than sterling aircraft records.

 

As for computer component time sheets, I have made one for my current helicopter. It took a few days to get all the times and formulas correct, but Excel works fine.

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Aopa's website has a lot of good information about aircraft purchases including sample purchase agreements, escrow services and title searches. I read everything aopa had and used their title search and escrow services. I also received a lot of information from my insurance broker at Sutton James. There is a lot to the process when its your first purchase so take your time and do it right. Good luck and make sure you have your mechanic do a thorough pre-buy inspection or it could cost you big bucks later. Before I bought my helicopter I was told "if you have a weak heart don't buy a helicopter" because everything is so expensive. Now I can concur with that statement.

 

ironranger

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Sam,

 

I have no problem sending a component time sheet(s) to a prospective buyer. But I will never send copies of logbook pages. When I first started buying and selling aircraft, I did that once and had one guy come back to me stating he had sold my aircraft but at a lower price than I was asking. We had NO agreement and when he originally asked for the information, he stated that he was the purchaser and made no mention of being a broker. Needless to say, I told him where to go. I have heard of some people getting copies of logbooks to cover up their less than sterling aircraft records.

 

As for computer component time sheets, I have made one for my current helicopter. It took a few days to get all the times and formulas correct, but Excel works fine.

 

 

Rick,

thanks for the info, you are the first to give a reason not to send logbooks.

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Aopa's website has a lot of good information about aircraft purchases including sample purchase agreements, escrow services and title searches. I read everything aopa had and used their title search and escrow services. I also received a lot of information from my insurance broker at Sutton James. There is a lot to the process when its your first purchase so take your time and do it right. Good luck and make sure you have your mechanic do a thorough pre-buy inspection or it could cost you big bucks later. Before I bought my helicopter I was told "if you have a weak heart don't buy a helicopter" because everything is so expensive. Now I can concur with that statement.

 

ironranger

thanks, I'll check it out.

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Dear Sam, I gave you a few reasons from experience in the last post on page one. You seem to be stuck on how people can alter and use records incorrectly rather than using all of the great advice on how to inspect and buy an aircraft! Mike

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