The Key to an Effective Records Review

The Key to an Effective Records Review

November 4, 2019

A records review by the buyer’s team of advisors is a common part of the transaction process. The records are a comprehensive maintenance history of the aircraft including everything that has happened to it throughout its life and all work performed on it.

However, when someone is reviewing maintenance documents from past inspections that are out of context, certain perceptions can be made that may or may not be true.

The most obvious example of this is when an entry notes corrosion was found on the aircraft and subsequently fixed. It can often happen that the reviewer assumes the aircraft now has a corrosion problem, when actually the corrosion was removed and fixed. Because all aircraft have corrosion at some point in their lives, seeing the word “corrosion” in a records review should not be a reason for the entire transaction to be called off. The event should be investigated and questions should be asked, but it does not mean that the aircraft has a corrosion problem.

When we are representing a client in selling their aircraft, we find it very important to do a records review ourselves, so we are aware of possible “red flags” or perception issues that may occur when the buyer does a review. If we can find out the whole story around maintenance documents that pose possible issues, we can know up front what we need to educate potential buyers on.

Perception issues are especially common with first-time buyers. They often expect a pristine, like-new aircraft, but all aircraft have maintenance findings that needed repairing over the years. It is all a standard part of aircraft ownership.

Keeping an open and inquisitive mind when it comes to the records review is key in finding the best aircraft for you and not ruling out a great aircraft for something that was normal, immaterial and resolved. You may realize a certain jet is not the right one for you, or you could find an aircraft that will provide an exceptional ownership experience.