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What Do Aircraft Appraisers Do?

Aircraft appraisers closely examine aircraft to determine their current value, checking the condition of the engine and other vital systems.
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  • Written By: Jodee Redmond
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
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Aircraft appraisers are experts hired to closely examine an aircraft to determine its current value. They can be an important part of the buying process, since they can examine a plane’s physical condition and maintenance records before deciding how much it is worth. Once this information has been gathered, the airplane appraiser will evaluate his or her findings to determine the value of the aircraft and prepare an appraisal certificate assigning it a specific number. The appraiser can provide this valuable information to the prospective buyer, the aircraft’s current owner and the lender who will be financing the transaction. These professionals may also work with insurance companies to determine the value of a loss when a claim has been filed against a policy.

A person who is interested in determining the value of a plane has undergone a training program to learn the steps involved in making this determination. Aircraft appraisers are not new to the industry. The individual working in this capacity will either hold a commercial pilot’s license or have worked in the aviation field for a number of years.

When a request for a value of an aircraft is received, the airplane appraiser will inspect it in detail. The plane’s physical condition is carefully noted. Aircraft appraisers will look at the fuselage, wings and tail of the machine. The inspection process will also involve examining the aircraft’s engine, propeller and electrical system.

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Aircraft appraisers also need to see all maintenance records for the plane being evaluated. This information is used to gather information about how often the plane was serviced and which parts were repaired or replaced. An aircraft which has been well maintained will be appraised at a higher amount than one for whom the owner has not been as diligent about these issues.

The task of determining the value of an aircraft is based on the information gathered by the expert, but aircraft appraisers use computer programs to help them in their work. Software programs are used to provide detailed information about the particular model of the aircraft being appraised. This information helps aircraft appraisers to determine the plane’s current value.

When aircraft appraisers work with insurance companies, they are asked to inspect a plane to determine its value following a loss. Part of this job involves determining how much it would cost to fix the aircraft to restore it to the same condition it was in before the loss occurred. This information is provided to the insurance company, which would then determine whether the plane can be repaired or if it should be written off as a total loss.

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