Aircraft and Ownership

plane in hangar

Buying an aircraft?

We can help you. Give us a call.

AOPA Pilot Information Center
Phone: 800/USA-AOPA
E-mail: pilotassist@aopa.org

Video: The Prepurchase Inspection

A pre-buy inspection on an aircraft is your chance to research and investigate every aspect of your potential investment. The prebuy should include a thorough inspection of the mechanical as well as cosmetic condition of the aircraft. In addition, the legal status of the aircraft needs to be looked at. This includes ensuring that the FAA records on the aircraft are up to date. An often overlooked step of the pre-buy is investigating which STC’s are legally installed on the aircraft. This video discusses what to do if STC paperwork is missing.

Podcast: Buying an aircraft - the purchasing process

In this episode, we share a few clips from our recent hour long webinar on aircraft purchasing. Listen in to hear Tom Haines, AOPA Sr. Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, AOPA Pilot, along with Rodney Martz, Sr. Aviation Technical Specialist, AOPA Pilot Information Center, discuss aircraft purchasing details.

Podcast: Financing your aircraft

Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance, discusses the basics of obtaining financing for your dream aircraft.

Resources for buying an Aircraft

buying an aircraft

Vref—Know the Value

Use AOPA's aircraft valuation service, provided by Vref, to perform an aircraft valuation online. Find out about:

Tips on Buying Used Aircraft

The purchase of an aircraft is a major commitment that should be carefully considered. This is especially important when buying a used aircraft. Before considering a purchase, read these tips on buying a used aircraft.

Financing an Aircraft

Whether you’re purchasing one for your business or for personal travel, AOPA Aviation Finance Company, LLC is available to help members find the right financing for new and used general aviation aircraft.

Insurance

After over 70 years as advocates for pilots, we have a pretty good idea what makes aircraft owners tick. AOPA Insurance Services offers a choice of quality, comprehensive insurance policies from “A” rated companies with coverage options to fit all your aircraft insurance needs.

Aircraft Fact Sheets

This comprehensive database of aircraft contains information for nearly 100 aircraft. Each short report includes an overview of the aircraft, a table of specifications, and a list of additional resources.

Pilots Guide to Co-Ownership

coownership

Table of Contents

Importance to Members

An aircraft purchase, new or used, is always a significant investment.  A common and simple way to diffuse this cost is by sharing the expense with other purchasers. A co-ownership agreement can halve, or even quarter the cost of ownership. This subject report provides information on how to properly set up a tenancy in common or a joint tenancy. The Q & A section provides answers to commonly asked questions, but if there is information you still need, don’t hesitate to call the Pilot Information Center at 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 6:00 ET. AOPA’s aviation technical specialists would be happy to help you.

Overview

The Co-Ownership Concept

The concept of co-ownership is very simple. It is nothing more than two or more individuals sharing the responsibilities of owning an aircraft. Obviously, when you spread the costs of aircraft ownership among multiple owners, your costs decrease. The apparent simplicity of this arrangement is what attracts a number of aircraft owners to a co-ownership arrangement.

In a co-ownership arrangement, you have the opportunity to select the co-owners, choosing people whose aircraft needs and flying habits complement your own. The term "co-ownership" is often used interchangeably with "partnership." However, these two arrangements are not technically the same. A partnership involves an association of two or more persons who carry on as co-owners of a business for profit. Therefore, a partnership involves something far more complex than simple shared ownership. The objective of a partnership is to make a profit. So, if all you want to do is share the ownership of an aircraft with another person, you will be co-owners, not partners.

There are different types of co-ownership arrangements. The most common is called tenancy in common. The other general type of co-ownership is called a joint tenancy. In a tenancy in common, the co-owners are called tenants in common or co-tenants. In a joint tenancy, they are called joint tenants.

The most important distinction between these two forms of ownership has to do with the disposition of each co-owner's interest when he or she dies. The interest of a tenant in common passes to a person's heirs according to his or her will, or according to state statute if there is no will. The heirs and the surviving co-owner(s) then become tenants in common. The joint tenancy, on the other hand, is characterized by a right of survivorship, which means that the interest of a deceased joint tenant passes to the surviving joint tenant or tenants. In the context of aircraft co-ownership, this would mean that if you die, your share of the aircraft would go directly to your co-owner and not to your heirs.

In most states, a co-ownership arrangement is presumed to be a tenancy in common and will only be considered a joint tenancy if that provision is explicitly created. Even the use of the term joint tenancy or joint tenants is not a clear enough expression to create a joint tenancy in most states because people often use such terms in a non-technical sense to refer to a tenancy in common. Therefore, if for some reason you wish to create a joint tenancy, you should expressly refer to the right of survivorship in addition to using the terms joint tenants or joint tenancy.

Once you have made your decision to enter into a co-ownership arrangement, your next important step will be to sort out the obligations of each of the co-owners. We strongly suggest that you take the time to draw up a list of "ground rules" for each co-owner to abide by. The next step is to take this list to an attorney who can draft a co-ownership agreement that will bind all the co-owners. The extra time and the relatively small additional expense involved in doing this will far outweigh the risks of disagreements and misunderstandings that are bound to occur down the road.

Co-Ownership Agreement Checklist

To help you and your attorney put together a co-ownership agreement, here's a checklist of some essential matters you should include in your agreement:

  • Identity of the Parties and Aircraft: It may seem obvious, but don't forget to list the full name and address of each co-owner along with the date of your agreement. It's also a good idea to spell out the make and model of your aircraft along with its registration and serial numbers.
  • Title to the Aircraft: Specify how the aircraft will be held by the co-owners - joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or other arrangements.
  • Financing: In many cases, each co-owner will personally finance his or her own share of the aircraft's cost. If this is not the case, the details of financing arrangements should be spelled out in the agreement. AOPA's Aircraft Financing Program can help you obtain pre-approval and financing with a quick turnaround. For more information call 1-800-62-PLANE (627-5263).
  • Insurance: The co-owners should agree on the type and amount of liability insurance they want to carry. Consideration should also be given to hull insurance, deductibles, and whether you will get "in-motion" or "not-in-motion" coverage. You must make it clear that all aircraft operations must be in accordance with the terms of the co-owners' insurance coverage. For instance, allowing no commercial operations and limiting aircraft use to pilots with certain ratings or minimum hours. You will also want to decide who is responsible for deductibles in case of an accident. AOPA's Aircraft Insurance Program can provide you with a free quote. To get your free quote and get answers to your insurance questions, call us at 1-800-622-AOPA (2672).
  • Basing: Where will your aircraft be based? You might consider limiting the number of days your aircraft can be taken from its home base without special permission from the other co-owners.
  • Authorized Pilots: You should decide who you want flying your aircraft. After you've decided, put your restrictions in the agreement.
  • Aircraft Scheduling: Depending on your aircraft usage, it may be necessary to create a formal system for scheduling your aircraft. A flexible, but carefully spelled out set of guidelines can save a lot of headaches in the future.
  • Fixed Expenses: There should be some procedure spelled out for the payment of fixed expenses, including insurance, tie-down fees, annuals, and hangar fees. Will these expenses be paid based on equal shares by all co-owners or adjusted based on hours flown? Perhaps a fund can be maintained at a fixed level and be replenished by the co-owners on a regular basis.
  • Operating Expenses: These are expenses like fuel, oil, and maintenance which generally increase with aircraft use. You may decide to bear these costs equally or in proportion to hours flown.
  • Overhaul Fund: Some co-owners like to set up a fund which will be used at a later date to pay for the inevitable engine overhaul. If you think an overhaul fund is a good idea, you must decide how much should be contributed and how often contributions must be made. It may also be necessary to decide whether you want to refund any portion of the contributions to co-owners who sell their share of the aircraft.
  • Aircraft Improvements: Procedures should be put in place in case some or all of the co-owners want to improve the aircraft in some way, such as by adding equipment. Do all co-owners have to agree before making any new improvements? How will improvements be paid for? Perhaps an adjustment will have to be made for each co-owner's share of the aircraft if they pay for improvements.
  • Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs): This should go without saying, but you still may want to specify that all operations will be in accordance with the FARs. If there is a violation of the FARs and the FAA decides to impose a civil penalty against the co-owners as the "operator" of the aircraft, rather than against the individual pilots, you should decide on who will be responsible for paying the fine.
  • Co-owners Responsibilities: It might be a good idea to delegate specific duties to each co-owner. These duties might include bookkeeping, scheduling, and maintenance.
  • Timely Payments: The success of your co-ownership will depend in great part on how conscientious each co-owner is in meeting his or her financial obligations. Set deadlines for payment and penalties for delinquencies. If delinquencies reach a specified point, you may want to trigger a forced sale of the defaulting co-owner's share of the aircraft.
  • Life Insurance: Co-owners may want to maintain life insurance policies naming the other co-owners as beneficiaries. This will allow the other co-owners to buy out the interest of a deceased co-owner.
  • Sale of Aircraft: Decide how funds will be distributed when and if all the co-owners make a decision to sell the aircraft. Be sure to call our experts at the Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672) or visit our Web site www.aopa.org/members/vref/for help in valuing your aircraft.
  • Voluntary Sale of Co-Owner's Interest: This may be one of the most important considerations in drafting your agreement. Thought should be given to valuation of the co-owner's interest and notifying the remaining co-owners of the decision to sell. You must also determine whether remaining co-owners should be given a first shot at buying the selling co-owner's interest in the aircraft. Perhaps you will want to restrict the selling co-owner's ability to transfer his or her interest to third parties.
  • Forced Sale of a Co-Owner's Interest: Provisions should also be made for those difficult situations where a co-owner fails to meet his or her obligations under your agreement. Decide on what deficiencies or defaults will trigger a forced sale. How will the expelled co-owner's share of the aircraft by valued? How will adjustments be calculated for amounts owed to remaining co-owners?
  • Death of a Co-Owner: This situation must be addressed with the understanding that, in most cases, the deceased co-owner's family is the new co-owner of the aircraft. In many cases, it would be wise to provide for a sale in accordance with the rules you have drawn up for voluntary sale of a co-owner's interest.
  • Arbitration: It may be a good idea to provide in advance for arbitration of disputes in lieu of litigation, which can be more costly and time-consuming. Be careful to follow any special requirements your state may have for arbitration clauses.
  • State Law: Decide which state law you want to govern your agreement in case of disputes.

Again, this checklist is designed as a guideline for drafting your co-ownership agreement. Remember, a professionally drafted agreement can save you a lot of anguish in the future.

Now that we have covered some of the basics of co-ownership and co-ownership agreements, let's take a look at some specific questions we frequently hear from members.

coownership

Frequently Asked Questions About Co-Ownership

Q: When an aircraft is transferred to or from a co-ownership arrangement, whose name(s) should appear on the FAA Bill of Sale (AC Form 8050-2)?
A: If a group of co-owners are buying an aircraft, all of their names must appear in the "Purchasers" block of the FAA bill of sale. Likewise, if a group of co-owners sell an aircraft, they must all sign as "Sellers" on the bill of sale.

Q: How should co-owners fill out the FAA Registration form (AC Form 8050-1)?
A: First, the form block titled "Type of Registration" must be checked at the box labeled "Co-owner." Then all of the co-owners names must appear in the block titled "Name of Applicant." If co-owners are added or deleted, the registration must be amended to reflect the names of the new aircraft owners. The FAA fee for issuing a certificate of registration is $5. (See the  sample aircraft registration application.) The FAA will also need a supporting bill of sale showing the transfer from the previous co-ownership to the new co-ownership.

Q: If co-owners change the mailing address listed on their certificate of registration, who do they notify?
A: Notification must be given to the FAA Aircraft Registry, P.O. Box 25504, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73115 within 30 days after a change in the issuers' permanent mailing address. The FAA will then issue a revised certificate of registration without charge.

Q: Can a corporation be a co-owner?
A: Yes. Under the FARs governing registration (see FAR section 47.2), co-owners can be corporations who are citizens of the United States or one of its possessions. A corporation is considered to be a citizen of the United States when its president and two-thirds or more of the board of directors and other managing officers are individuals who are United States citizens. In addition, at least 75 percent of the voting interest in the corporation must be owned or controlled by persons who are United States citizens.

Q: If a co-owner dies, who should sign the bill of sale if the deceased co-owner's share of the aircraft is sold or transferred?
A: The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased co-owner must sign the bill of sale and submit a certified copy of letters testamentary or letter of administration appointing him or her as the executor or administrator of the estate. If a co-owner dies without a will, the FAA will accept an "Heir at Law" affidavit which affirms that: 1. No will exists; 2. There is no court appointed administrator and to the best of the affiant's knowledge there will not be; and 3. That he or she is the person who has the right to dispose of the aircraft under applicable state law.

Q: When co-owners purchase an aircraft, what tax consequences can they anticipate?
A: Probably the most significant tax consequence will be a sales or use tax on the purchase of the aircraft. Most states have sales or use taxes and they are becoming more and more aggressive in collecting these taxes. (See AOPA's Aviation Services booklet titled  Pilot's Guide to Taxes: Income, Personal Property, Sales, and Use ). Please keep in mind that if a new co-owner comes on board, he or she will also be responsible for a sales or use tax based on the amount he or she paid to be a part owner of the aircraft.

Q: Can a co-owner be held liable for damages if another co-owner is involved in a mishap?
A: Generally, yes. As an aircraft owner, you may be held liable for any aircraft operations regardless of who is flying the aircraft. In some states, there is even a presumption of liability on the part of the aircraft owner. (This is one of the questions that should be broached with a local attorney.)  Considering purchasing  AOPA's Legal Services Plan.  Just $33 a year puts the aviation legal assistance you need on your side all year long.  Apply online or call toll-free: 1-800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Q: How should co-owners insure their aircraft?
A: The aircraft should be insured under one policy and all co-owners should be identified in that policy as policy holders.

Q: How does a co-ownership group apply for an aircraft radio station license?
A:  It should be noted that the Radio Station License is no longer required by FCC for US-registered aircraft. However, there is an ICAO requirement for the license for international travel. You will need a Radio Station License only when travelling in another country. When applying for the license, be certain to include a notice "For International Travel," otherwise your application may be returned unprocessed.

Co-owners planning to fly outside the United States should complete Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  Form 605 (see the  sample form) and submit the $115 fee to the FCC at Aviation Aircraft Radio Service, PO Box 358280, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5280. To get FCC Form 605 call 888/225-5322. Note that the form does not have a special box for a co-ownership application under item 12. The FCC has indicated that a co-ownership should apply as a "partnership." In addition, if new co-owners are added or old ones leave, there is no need to apply for a new radio station license. Co-owners must also fill out and submit FCC Form 159, Remittance Advice, with the application.

Sample Co-Ownership Agreement

A sample agreement was drafted by Duane J. Higbee. This agreement has been reviewed by the author with only minor substantive and editorial changes being made for the purpose of this report. Mr. Higbee has found success with this agreement in his aircraft co-ownership, and we believe that a careful review of his agreement will benefit you and your attorney when you draft your own co- ownership agreement. We urge you not to copy this agreement and "fill in the blanks." You'll be investing a substantial amount of your money in your co-ownership arrangement. Having a qualified attorney draft your agreement will be well worth the cost. To view this sample agreement, please follow this link.

 

Additional Resources

From the AOPA Archives

 

Selling an Aircraft

selling

Table of Contents

Importance to Members

Knowing how to properly sell an aircraft is very important. There have been countless cases where individuals selling an aircraft were unaware of certain important procedures and subsequently got tied up in a legal hairball. Following the steps outlined in this subject report can help make selling your aircraft simple and hassle free. The federal regulations that apply to selling an aircraft are outlined in this subject report, as well as additional helpful information such as selling to a buyer who is a foreign national, and N- number removal techniques.

Please call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center with questions – 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 6:00 ET

logsOverview

The information below explains the paperwork steps necessary in selling an aircraft. Included are tips from AOPA experts on avoiding legal entanglements and making the whole sales process run smoothly. All of this information used as a checklist is the secret to a successful sale. The checklist includes logical sections such as the bill of sale, the moment of fund transfer, aircraft transfer, registration, and general information. These sections each include the necessary steps for that section in checklist format. For example, the bill of sale section specifies that original signatures are required on both copies of the 8050-2.

General information

AOPA recommends having the purchaser arrange for a pre-purchase inspection of the aircraft. It can be as little as an hour or two of a mechanic’s time all the way to a full annual inspection signed off by a mechanic with inspection authorization.

If another person is needed to sign for a person listed on a current registration, the document authorizing that signature will be needed by the FAA. For example: executor of an estate, trustee, or heir at law. AOPA provides additional information related to aircraft ownership online.

Technical Information

Bill of Sale

  •  Seller completes a "Bill of Sale" (preferably the standard FAA form, currently Form 8050-2, available from AOPA, most FAA FSDO offices, or a dealer at your nearest airport). The standard form is not required, but highly recommended. 

Cautions:

  • Seller name(s) should be EXACTLY as it is on the current registration. Watch out for shortened names such as William changed to Bill, the suffix Jr. or Sr., and the middle initial.
  • An ORIGINAL signature is required on both copies of the 8050-2 (watch the carbon paper; it doesn't extend full length of the form).
  • Both copies go to buyer. One copy will be paired with the registration to go to the FAA. The seller should make himself a photocopy, if desired, to keep a record.
  • A faxed or photocopied FAA form "Bill of Sale" can be used IF there are original signatures on both copies. Mark them: "original 1 of 2," "original 2 of 2," etc.
  • Yes, you could write your own bill of sale on a luncheon napkin if the exact same FAA-accepted contract wording is used — but why risk the review and probable resentment of 37 overworked FAA examiners?
  • Certainly, an attorney can be hired to write a contract for you, as well.

Moment of Fund Transfer

  • The actual moment of aircraft transfer occurs when the Bill of Sale is signed. To ensure a smooth transfer:
    • The seller must assure him/herself that the payment is truly legitimate. Cash is universally acceptable, of course, although cash transactions may be risky to handle and amounts over $10,000 require your bank to report to the IRS. A certified or cashier’s check from a bank is a common mode of payment- but be aware of the occasional check scam. A safer choice would be a bank wire transfer. It is quite normal and appropriate for the seller to telephone a bank officer at either the issuing bank, or his own bank, for help in verification of funds. For example: A seller could avoid being burned by asking, on a Friday, which bank will be issuing the buyers funds for the transaction planned for a non-business Saturday!  An escrow account can also simplify this process and protect both parties. You may want to use AOPA's partner: Aircraft Title and Escrow Services provided by Aero-space Reports to handle the transfer of funds.
    • The smart buyer (and surely his bank!) will make any purchase funds payable jointly to the registered owner or co-owners AND any lien holder. This avoids the possibility that an unscrupulous seller would take the buyer's money and head straight for the Las Vegas gaming tables.
  • If you are the seller and are working through a broker/dealer, make sure:
    • You have a written agreement with the broker/dealer, and
    • The written agreement clearly requires that any buyer pay you directly- then you pay the dealer/broker afterward.
  • Your insurance on the aircraft may terminate with the completed bill of sale transfer, depending on how your policy is written. Some policies may remain for an additional 30 days after the sale. Don't forget to call your insurance company to let them know of the sale. Assuming you've been paid properly, it's then the buyer's responsibility to arrange coverage. The buyer can both establish and activate his new coverage by phone.
  • Be careful regarding any delivery: Verify both your insurance and the buyer's insurance if you ever consider delivery after the sale. The seller’s insurance may not be valid after a Bill of Sale has been signed. The buyer can indeed complete his own temporary registration and fly away legally.

Aircraft Transfer

  • At transfer of the aircraft from your (the sellers) exclusive possession, and before the seller hands over the keys and Bill of Sale:
    • Remove the original aircraft registration certificate, with owner’s name on it, from the aircraft. Complete the sale information on the back side of that certificate and mail it back to the FAA registry in Oklahoma City. Doing so protects you. (Important Note: this requirement is now law under FAR 47.41(b) effective March 31, 2008.)
    • Remove any FCC radio station license with your name on it (if there is one).
    • Provide all logbooks and records on the aircraft (as agreed upon) to the buyer.
    • If you know the buyer is a foreign national and the N number cannot be maintained, you are required by the FARs to remove the N number (FAR 45.33). You can paint it over or strip it off, as long as it is removed.

Registration

  • It is the purchaser's responsibility to fill in the Aircraft Registration Form AC Form 8050-1. The name should match the purchaser information from the Bill of Sale. There may be other forms to show the transfer of ownership, but most include a court order. The Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1, is not available for download. You must use an original Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1. FAA does not accept photocopies or computer-generated copies of this form. Aircraft Registration Applications may be obtained from the Aircraft Registration Branch or your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

Cautions:

  • The applicant for registration needs to show a chain of ownership from the last registered owner of the aircraft to themselves. This can be done with one bill of sale or multiple bills of sale from one name to the next.

Additional Resources

The following are articles published by either AOPA Pilot or AOPA Flight Training pertaining to selling an aircraft.

Aircraft Maintenance and Inspections

corrosion

Aircraft owners are responsible for keeping their aircraft airworthy. Find ways to save some money by doing the routine preventive maintenance on your own aircraft. Access general aviation maintenance alerts here, or browse through a variety of AOPA articles on maintenance-related topics.

Pilot's Guide to Preventive Maintenance
By performing routine maintenance on their own aircraft pilots not only become better educated about the equipment they fly, but might also save a substantial percentage of their annual maintenance costs.

FAA’s Airworthiness Directives database

FAA's database of Advisory Circulars (ACs)

AOPA Pilot articles

FAA's Supplemental Type Certificate Database
Shop for a modification or conversion upgrade for your aircraft.

FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIBs)
SAIBs are an information tool designed to alert, educate, and make recommendations to the aviation community about ways to improve the safety of a product. A SAIB contains non-regulatory information and guidance and, therefore, is not mandatory.

Best Practices Guide for Maintaining Aging General Aviation Airplanes
This document provides owners of aging single-engine airplanes guidance about maintaining the airworthiness of their airplanes. The general aviation (GA) fleet is aging. In 2000, the average age of the nation's 150,000 single-engine fleet was more than 30 years. By 2020, the average age could approach 50 years. This guide for maintaining older airplanes consists of "best practices" that go beyond normal inspection requirements.

Aircraft Corrosion
An aircraft, like any metal object, is inherently prone to corrosion. There is a lot of time spent painting an aircraft to help delay corrosion, but inevitably, nature will prevail. Usually the development of corrosion will depend on how old the aircraft is, what type of environment it is based in, whether or not it is hangared, and how often it is cleaned. This subject report discusses the different types of corrosion, and how to recognize them.

Guide to Aircraft Inspections
In order to provide a reasonable assurance that aircraft are functioning properly, the FAA requires a series of aircraft inspections; somewhat similar to the many currency requirements for airman. This report outlines the basic inspection requirements for aircraft.

Finding an Aviation Mechanic
Having trouble finding a good AMT? Read these tips to help you in your search.

Aircraft Airworthiness

Is your aircraft—or the one you'd like to buy—really airworthy? Learn how to find out and what to look out for.

airworthinessAirworthiness Directives
Airworthiness directives (ADs) are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, usually as a result of factors arising from accidents and/or service difficulty reports. An AD may require inspection, replacement, or modification of a part; prohibit a type of operation; or mandate some other action. The aircraft owner/operator is responsible for AD compliance. ADs are numbered in chronological order.

AOPA's Guide to Aircraft Airworthiness
The regulations (FARs) prohibit any person from taking off in an "unairworthy" aircraft. FAR 91.7 is very clear in prohibiting operations of aircraft that are not in airworthy condition. What is unclear is the definition of airworthy and who is responsible for determining airworthiness. The sources compiled on this page will help you to determine whether your aircraft is legal to fly.

FAA's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIBs)
SAIBs are an information tool designed to alert, educate, and make recommendations to the aviation community about ways to improve the safety of a product. A SAIB contains non-regulatory information and guidance and, therefore, is not mandatory.

FAA's Supplemental Type Certificate Database
Shop for a modification or conversion upgrade for your aircraft.

Forms for Buying and Selling Aircraft

  • Aircraft Bill of Sale (AC Form 8050-2) 
  • Sample Aircraft Purchase/Sales Agreement
  • Aircraft Registration (AC Form 8050-1) - The Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1, is not available for download. You must use an original Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1. FAA will not accept photocopies or computer-generated copies of this form. Aircraft Registration Applications may be obtained from the Aircraft Registration Branch or your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
  • Application for U.S Airworthiness Certificate (Form FAA 8130-6) 
    An airworthiness certificate usually is transferred with an airplane when it is sold, but the certificate alone does not fulfill the regulatory requirement. A buyer must ensure that the airworthiness certificate is, as the regulation specifies, current. A Standard Airworthiness Certificate ( FAA Form 8130-6) remains current as long as the airplane is maintained according to regulations and is properly registered, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

More Resources for Aircraft Purchasing

Vref - Use AOPA's aircraft evaluation service, provided by Vref, to perform an aircraft evaluation online. Find out about aircraft value, typical add-on equipment, performance and specs, and engine data.

Operating Costs Calculator - intended to help AOPA members complete an estimated operating cost calculation for a broadly defined group of aircraft. You will be asked a series of questions to guide you in the process of calculating operating costs for the aircraft you choose. When complete, you will be shown a detailed breakdown of operating expenses on an annual and per flight hour basis.

FAA N-Number Search

Aircraft Registration - The latest guidance on registering your aircraft and keeping its registration valid

Flying Clubs - Starting a flying club, finding members, what's involved in managing a club, information related to insurance, safety, promotion and challenges

AOPA Classifieds - Search or add your own listing for aircraft, parts, accessories, services, and more. (Only AOPA members may post ads.)