Following the successful introduction of the TurboMedical® interactive medical form just over a year ago, AOPA announced at AOPA Expo 2002 in Palm Springs, California, the addition of three new interactive forms to help members through the dizzying process of buying an aircraft.
Buying an aircraft, especially a used aircraft, is more like buying a house than buying a car. There are financing issues, inspections, title searches, and escrow accounts. AOPA's interactive tools can ease some of that burden.
The first is "Aircraft Ownership—An AOPA Guide to buying an aircraft," an online, interactive version of AOPA's highly regarded buyer's guide booklet. It can be found on AOPA Online. At the Certified Services page, pull down the "Aircraft Ownership" menu and select the Ownership Guide.
The online guide will walk a buyer through the entire process, from the aircraft selection to the inspection and final sale. Along the way, it offers links to additional information on topics ranging from multiple ownership (partnerships, flying clubs, etc.), to financing options, to title and escrow services. There's also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page and a reference page listing other AOPA resources available.
Once the buyer has found a plane, put it through a prepurchase inspection, and is just about ready to close the deal, AOPA Online is once again the place to go. Two new interactive forms, the Bill of Sale and the Aircraft Registration Application form, help with the final steps of an aircraft purchase.
The interactive forms ask questions about the plane, the buyer, and the seller, and plug the information into the appropriate blanks. Because the two forms share so much information, they are linked, meaning that entering something in one form will automatically transfer it to the other.
In addition, the interactive forms check for errors, saving the buyer time that might be lost when incorrect forms have to be returned, corrected, resubmitted, and reprocessed.
The Interactive Bill of Sale can be printed out once completed and submitted directly to the FAA for processing. The Interactive Aircraft Registration Application may also be printed out, but because the FAA only allows submission of its official application form, the interactive application may only be used as a guide to filling out the official form by hand.
In the very near future, AOPA Online will add an hourly operating cost calculator, to figure out how much it's going to actually cost to use the newly purchased aircraft. And before the year is out, look for interactive versions of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System form and the Airman Certification and/or Rating Application form.
With some 387,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization, working to protect the interests of general aviation. Nearly two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of AOPA.