The Appraisal Process

Certified aircraft appraisals from Transwest Aero Services begin by obtaining an up-to-date copy of the of the maintenance and registration records on file with the FAA including major repairs, alterations, and Supplemental Type Certificates (STC’s) applicable to the aircraft being appraised. Then we search the FAA and NTSB database for any accident history followed by a thorough reading of all the aircraft, engine, and propeller maintenance records in order to document any upgrades, modifications and repair history. This is followed by a detailed evaluation of the airframe, paint, interior, and avionics. Depending on the age of the aircraft and the organization of the maintenance records, this process typically takes several hours.

Next the appraiser researches the value of any after-market improvements and modifications.

After that the databases from the National Aircraft Appraisers Association (NAAA) and JetNet are used, along with comparable sales data to determine the aircraft value and create a detailed written report. When the report is finished you will have a complete and accurate picture of the airplane and documentation of it’s value. Appraisals are usually emailed to the client and a hard copy is also mailed.

When comparing prices from different appraisers it is important for the appraiser to actually inspect the aircraft and the maintenance records. Anybody can hang out a sign and call themselves an appraiser and some of them will offer to provide a “Desktop Appraisal” without even seeing the aircraft. But banks, judges, and insurance companies will not accept these valuations. At best these valuations can tell you what an average plane might be worth but they are inherently inaccurate since they are only as good as the information provided. Discrepancies of up to 50% are not uncommon when an owner or broker embellishes the condition of the airplane. Always insist on a Senior Certified Appraiser who is a member of the National Aircraft Appraisers Association.