Selling your aircraft through Mistral Aviation

There may come a time when you will want to sell your beloved Robin.

Why should you use us as a broker? Because:

—we know the product and monitor the market, so we can give a realistic valuation. Overvaluing leads to delays, whilst the aircraft continues to depreciate, and disappointment;

—advertising is very expensive. We get preferential rates because we advertise regularly;

—managing an aircraft sale requires a lot of paperwork, particularly when selling abroad, all of which we handle.

So, stand back and take a good look at it as if you were thinking of buying it. Take a fresh look at the interior, at the perspexes and the panel and ask yourself would you actually buy this plane?

Engine Hours: it is difficult to sell a plane if engine hours are approaching TBO either in hours or time, and extremely difficult if the engine is on extension past its TBO. Remember that engines go 'on condition' at 12 years old, irrespective of hours. Buyers will factor in a £14-£16k  cost to zero hour a Lycoming engine. If engine hours are high then a recent top-end overhaul may help, but the message is that selling when the engine is old or has high hours is to be avoided.

Exterior condition: First impressions count for a lot. Repainting over existing paint adds weight and the finish will crack quickly due to flexing. So, with an older Robin a repaint usually means a re-cover. But an older Robin can be spruced up by careful cleaning and having the leading edges re-painted.

Perspex: A pre-owned aircraft will usually have some scratches in the perspex . Light scratches can be polished out with an electric buffer. Have it done by a professional as enthusiastic over polishing can weaken the perspex. Heavy scratches or cracks are a problem for a buyer, particularly in line of sight in the front perspexes.

Wheel spats and fairings: Simple fibre-glass repairs but can greatly enhance a first impression a buyer gets as he walks toward your plane.

Interior: A dirty interior with worn, damaged and faded fabric or leather creates a bad impression. Have the interior valeted professionally; it does not cost much and often can transform the look.

Avionics: We have rarely sold a plane where the buyer is happy with the existing avionics,  so it is best not to have a comprehensive and expensive avionics upgrade just before selling. It is a good idea to have a Mode S transponder and at least one 8·33 kHz radio fitted and all the other avionics must be working; an avionic unit with a  U/S placard next to it is unsurprisingly off-putting!

Documentation: Make sure that all the aircraft documents are ready for inspection and neatly presented. A list of SB and AD compliance and time-lifed component replacement is essential. Your workshop should be able to print one on request.

As a proud owner you may not think that ALL these things need attending to but just doing some will  increase the prospect of finding a buyer. When you place your plane with us we shall inspect it and advise.

—and remember FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!.

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 Mistral Aviation LLP, Elstree Aerodrome WD6 3AW; +44 (0)7973 691727; sales@mistralaviation.co.uk