June 1998 Issue

Logbook Secrets

If you glossed over a pre-purchase logbook review, the buyer of your airplane probably won’t. Here’s how to avoid surprises.

Sometimes it’s called due diligence. Some brokers consider it “research” or “homework.” To most would-be buyers, it’s little more than paging through a stack of records and notations that may, at times, be incomprehensible.

Whatever you call it, an exhaustive review of an airplane’s logbooks is the only way you have to separate the seller’s tall claims and promises from reality. This should be obvious.

Yet time and again, anxious buyers gloss over this task or skip it entirely. Nine times out of 10, they’re lucky; no undue surprises develop. But more than a few owners could have avoided buying uneconomic wrecks if they’d just examined the logs more carefully and asked a few question...

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