You’ve identified the ideal aircraft type for you and your business, and now it’s time to begin your hands-on search. You’re aware of the necessity for a licensed maintenance facility to conduct a thorough pre-purchase inspection. However, are there any preliminary indicators you can assess yourself to determine whether the aircraft merits advancing to a more detailed evaluation?

This checklist offers a basic starting point for evaluating business jet ownership.  While these checks can help you identify obvious issues, hiring a licensed maintenance shop for a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection is crucial, as they can assess the aircraft’s condition using specialized tools and expertise, including areas you cannot easily evaluate yourself, such as the aircraft’s structural integrity, engine internal condition, and avionics system health.

  • Exterior Condition – Visual Inspection: Look for any signs of corrosion, damage, or repairs on the aircraft’s exterior, such as dents, scratches, or patchwork. Consistent paint wear is normal, but mismatched paint might indicate repairs.

  • Tire Wear – Condition of Tires and break wear: Check the aircraft’s tires for wear and tear. Excessive wear or flat spots can indicate not just the need for tire replacement but also potential issues with landing gear or brake problems.

  • Windows and Windshields – Inspection for Clarity and Damage: Ensure that the windows and windshields are clear and free of significant scratches, cracks, or crazing (fine cracks), which could compromise visibility and structural integrity. Visual inspections of the heating elements and sensor condition.

  • Fluid Leaks – Check for Stains or Drips: Look under the aircraft for fuel stains and around the engines for any signs of oil or hydraulic fluid leaks. Some residue might be normal, but fresh leaks or significant staining warrants further investigation.

  • Engine and Exhaust – Visual inspection of the fan blades and stator assembly for FOD and condition. Exhaust nozzles and thrust reversers for leaks or corrosion.

  • Cabin and Upholstery – Interior Condition: Check the cabin’s overall condition, including seats, carpets, and panels. Wear is expected, but excessive wear or damage can indicate poor maintenance or heavy use.

  • Avionics and Instrumentation – Functionality Check: While you may not be able to test everything, check that the cockpit displays and key avionics power up and do not show any fault warnings. Non-operational avionics can be very costly to replace or repair.

  • Control Surfaces – Movement and Alignment: Look at the wings, ailerons, elevators, and rudder to ensure they are aligned and appear in good condition. Any misalignment or damage can affect flight safety and performance.

  • Logbooks and Records – Review Documentation: Request to see the aircraft’s logbooks and maintenance records. Look for consistent entries and ensure that major inspections and repairs are documented. Gaps or incomplete records are red flags.

  • Wings/Stabilizers – General visual inspection for dents, scratches’, bleed air leaks, hydraulic leaks and stall strips.

When you're ready for a detailed pre-purchase inspection, contact us. At Banyan, we blend meticulous inspections with professional advice to provide you with the complete insight necessary for an informed decision. Safeguard your investment with Banyan's extensive pre-purchase inspection offerings.