In every pre-owned aircraft contract, you will have a statement that says something to the effect of: “This aircraft is being purchased at the time of closing in an as is, where is condition.” This statement is often misinterpreted. It basically means that from the moment you take delivery of your aircraft, any problem or defect that arises is your problem. You have no recourse against the seller at that point. Even if a defect may have been present before the purchase, once you have closed on the plane, it is your problem to fix.
“As Is, Where Is” does not mean you are purchasing the aircraft sight unseen. It does not mean you cannot ask for certain things to be done during the Pre-Purchase Inspection. The buyer and seller will agree to a condition the aircraft needs to be in for closing and state this in the contract. During the Pre-Purchase Inspection, the seller will repair and bring the aircraft into the condition stated. But once you accept the aircraft at closing, it is yours and you accept any issues or defects that come with it with no warranty from the seller.
Your broker should be very involved in the Pre-Purchase Inspection to make sure repairs are being made and the aircraft is being put into the agreed condition. “As Is, Where Is” sounds harsh, but it is the only way pre-owned transactions can work. A seller cannot be held eternally liable for an aircraft’s condition.
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