Industry News

April 2009 Issue

Buying Used Glass: Beware the Pitfalls

Great prices abound on used aircraft with glass cockpits, but you need to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. And it’s not easy.

Last month we looked at buys on late-model, four-seat singles ("Late-Model Cruisers: Cessna, Cirrus Are Tops," Aviation Consumer March 2009) and were shocked at how many good deals there were on used aircraft with glass cockpits. How about a 1300-hour 2005 Cessna 172SP with a G1000 and autopilot for $157,000? We found similarly-equipped 2005 and 2004 Diamond DA40s with about 1000 hours on them for $165,000 and $159,000, respectively. Tipping the scales a bit further was a well-kept 2003 Cirrus SR22 with 1251 hours, TKS de-ice, Skywatch, Stormscope, XM-weather, digital charts, TAWS and the latest revision of the PFD software for $210,000. Looking up the food chain to Mooneys, Columbias, Barons and the like, the deals are less dramatic, but they are still huge discounts from the new prices for relatively low-time aircraft. A good example is the 165-hour 2006 Mooney Ovation 2 with a G1000, known ice and most every option for $350,000. With the economy pulling the rug out from more and more people, repossessed aircraft are hitting the market as well. We’re even seeing still-new 2007 models that have been wallflowers waiting for an owner with their sticker price sinking lower and lower.

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