How do I get my new (to me) airplane home?
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Joined 09/28/2019 - 5 Posts
Open
I am in the market for a used airplane. In all likelihood, whatever airplane I decide to buy will be in another state. Can someone tell me (emphatically) how I go about getting that aircraft back to my home state after purchase? If I perform the pre-buy inspection, flight test it, and "ink the deal" all in a matter of a couple days, can I fly it home under some special permit similar to a ferry permit?  This presumes my insurance is in order and its a cash transaction.
Thanks, all.
6 Replies
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Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
The issue here is having a valid registration, which is covered by 14 CFR 47.31.  When ownership transfers, the existing registration becomes invalid. The seller retains the old registration certificate, fills out the back, and sends it back to the FAA.  The buyer fills out a registration application (FAA Form AC 8050-1).  The buyer sends the original of the application to the FAA along with the original of the completed Bill of Sale (FAA Form 8050-2), keeping copies of both documents.  The copy of the registration application serves as the temporary registration certificate for up to 90 days until the FAA processes the application and sends the permanent registration certificate to the new owner.

A special flight ("ferry") permit would be required only if the aircraft isn't airworthy, and that's an entirely different issue.

BTW, when the day comes that you sell your plane, make sure you retain the registration certificate, fill out the back, and send it back to the FAA.  Do not under any circumstances let the buyer have it.  A buddy of mine let the seller talk him into taking the registration certificate one time, saying he didn't have the application form and needed the old certificate to use until he got home and filled out an application.  About six months later, my buddy was visited by the DEA who wanted to know what HIS airplane (according to FAA records) was doing in the New Mexico desert full of cocaine.  Kenny was able to convince them he'd  sold the plane, but it was a scary experience he now knows how to prevent.
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Joined 09/28/2019 - 5 Posts
Thanks, Ron. I appreciate the info on the process. Seems quite reasonable.
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Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
You're welcome.  And remember there's a ton about buying, owning, and selling airplanes which isn't part of any Private Pilot curriculum.  You'd do well to find someone around your airport you know and trust who's been there/done that a few times to mentor you through the process -- lots of rocks and shoals on which to run aground.
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Joined 09/19/2019 - 61 Posts
I would also point out that the subsidiary issue is the ACTUAL (not paper) airworthiness of the aircraft. In 30 years of owning seven aircraft, I have never trusted the first flight under ownership to myself.  I'd hire a known ferry pilot.  Of have the owner deliver and pay him to do so.  If he won't do so you have learened something as to what he thinks about the aircraft's airworthiness.....
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Joined 09/10/2019 - 10 Posts
Here is a link to the FAA web page that should provide you with all of the information that you need. 

https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/
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Joined 09/28/2019 - 5 Posts
Thanks for the input. But, regarding your last statement, "I'd hire a known ferry pilot.  Of have the owner deliver and pay him to do so.  If he won't do so you have learened something as to what he thinks about the aircraft's airworthiness....." well, that's a bit of a reach, isn't it?
There are a LOT of reasons owners sell their airplanes and/or decline to deliver them. Loss of medical, upgraded to a new aircraft, loss of hangar, dissolution of partnership, limited time or funds. It certainly is a reach to say them not flying it indicates a problem with the airworthiness.
I, for one, am way too busy to take the time out of my schedule to deliver a plane to someone that they just bought from me. Not to mention the liability if something happens to me or the plane outside of my control or fault. Now I've wrecked someone else's perfectly good airplane.
But the ferry pilot idea is worth me looking into. Especially if the aircraft is clear across the country.