Defective Airplanes: What To Know Before You Buy

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Just as with new homebuyers and the warning that cautions “let the buyer beware,” so should buyers be aware any time they purchase high ticket items, including planes and luxury vehicles. Many vehicles—old or new—pose risks to the owner if repairs and maintenance have not occurred on a regular basis. At times an owner who wants to sell the vehicle may say that all repairs and maintenance have be kept up. Other times, the purchase option is so enticing that we, as buyers, fail to do our own homework before signing on the dotted line. Doing so and you may find yourself facing an injury you did not expect.

Many aircraft have underlying flaws that are not immediately visible. Prepurchase inspections become very imperative before the wallet is drained. An owner who is selling should be willing to provide a damage history or a repair and maintenance log that documents all activity pertaining to the plane. Any type of accident or damage could affect the ability of the plane to function correctly. What are some signs that a new buyer should know before jumping into the purchase of a new plane or other luxury vehicle?

If you are purchasing a vehicle that has not been maintained in years, there may be several issues that need correcting—many that come at a high price. Some of the items that could cause injury or death if not property maintained on an airplane include:

  • compression checks
  • airframe showing signs of previous or current damage
  • cracked fuselage
  • validity of flight log
  • gear doors and hinges should be free from excessive wear

If you have purchased an airplane, and have been injured due to someone not explaining the full history of the plane, you could have a personal injury or product liability lawsuit in your future. Dealing with entities such as the Federal Aviation Administration or others are best left in the hands of an attorney who can help you settle quickly and effectively.