A few friends and I are thinking about buying a used and fairly inexpensive (as far as planes go) airplane. In doing so, I've been trying to find all the on-line aircraft classifieds--at least those that seem to matter. I've found that there's no shortage of sites offering classified airplane listings.

This seems like a market ripe for a search engine to aggregate all the listings. Anyway, here's what I've discoverd so far. I've listed the sites in order based on the amount I've used each.

Trade-A-Plane.com seems to be the most heavily used. You get basic access for free, or can sign up for a subscription that provides more data, the ability to bookmark listings, and so on. The only feature I found myself wishing they had is email alerting. I'd like to defined the criteria we're using and get an alert when a matching listing is posted or changed. They have alerts available but they're not integrated where I'd expect.

Aircraft Shopper Online (ASO.com) is an easy to use site that has a smaller inventory. They advertise e-mail alerts right on their home page. ASO seems to have listings for more new or nearly new aircraft than Trade-A-Plane does.

Pilot Market has an old-school "directory" feel to it. But it doesn't offer a search feature.

AirplaneTrader.com seems to have a reasonable selection, but the search is somewhat primitive. I'd like to be able to narrow my searches using fields they haven't exposed.

Aero Trader Online also has a decent inventory but similarly lacking search feature.

So far, Trade-A-Plane is the site I've used most. It has a good sized inventory and search that lets me select multiple manufacturers at once. That's important because some airplane models have changed hands over the years, so you're never sure which of the 2 or 3 possible names they'll be listed under.

Do you know of other good sites for locaing used aircraft?

Posted by jzawodn at October 23, 2005 12:50 PM

Reader Comments
# Steve said:

The entire aviation industry is ripe for advancement from techies like yourself….;) It won’t be too long until you’re bloging about one of your low-orbit flights during your lunch hour.

www.controller.com has some nice listings.

on October 23, 2005 01:22 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Surprisignly, none of the listings on controller.com have pictures. Several are duplicates I've seen on other sites, all of which made pictures available. Why would you not provide a way to inclue photos of an aicraft you're selling?

on October 23, 2005 01:27 PM
# Tom said:

What plane are you thinking of buying?

on October 23, 2005 02:10 PM
# Daniel said:

Wow I didn't think they'd have that many airplane-buying websites. It'll be interesting to hear what plane you'll be buying.

on October 23, 2005 03:15 PM
# Adam said:

What about ebay? Other Vehicles->Aircraft has ~200 listings.

on October 24, 2005 08:27 AM
# Shivering Timbers said:

When I sold my plane about six months ago, it was pretty clear that the Trade-A-Plane was the place to go.

Whether you're a buyer or a seller, you want the same thing: the biggest market. For good or for bad, TAP is far and away the biggest market for used airplanes.

But you may need to plan on some work. Good planes can sell very quickly, and my 1979 Archer sold in well under a week. You may want to seriously consider hiring a broker or an agent, since there's a lot of legwork and potential traps for the unwary. We hired an agent when we bought our plane, and it was money well spent.

Plus, as a seller, it is much easier to deal with someone who knows the ropes and has been through the process a few times. You wouldn't believe the number of clueless yahoos^h^h^h^h^h^hbozos who called and asked me to do the impossible (i.e. "Can you fly it to Michigan so I can have my mechanic look at it?" No, nimrod, if I had the time to fly down to Michigan on a moment's notice, I wouldn't be selling the plane!).

Also, if you haven't already, check out AOPA's advice for buying planes.

One last piece of advice: unless you are a mechanic and enjoy tinkering, go for a relatively common make and model. It may be a bit more expensive in the short run, but you don't want to be paying a mechanic to learn the quirks of your Super Mixmaster 300.

on October 24, 2005 10:57 AM
# Nick Arnett said:

Have you checked into the cost of insurance? It's very ugly until you've built up significant hours in the same type of aircraft. Not that I mean to discourage you...!

on October 24, 2005 01:31 PM
# Wilfredo Sánchez said:

I bought my plane (N18529) on Trade-A-Plane, and it worked out nicely. I'd use them again.

If youa re doing the partnership thing, spend a lot of time working out your partnership agreement *before* you buy the plane. It's a big deal.

Choosing partners is like choosing a roommate, but financially, not is at stake. It really helps if you trust each other and, just as important, each others' Pilot Skillz, but it's important to write down an agreement and get very detailed; it's the best way to ensure you are all on the same page.

We formed an LLC., and I recommend that for a number of reasons, including money management.

on October 25, 2005 01:43 PM
# Aircraft Joe said:

www.aircraftdealer.com has very current inventory and pictures. You can search for sale by owner aircraft as well as dealer/broker aircraft.

on October 28, 2005 04:53 AM
# Marc@Skymachines said:

I second the comment about partnerships: Put it in an LLC. But I add one twise: Put it in a MANAGER-MANAGED LLC, and then appoint one of you to be the manager of the whole thing, and pay him a small stipend for doing the bookkeeping, cleaning the airplane, etc.

Marc Coan

on November 7, 2005 08:25 AM
# Marc C said:

Jeremy: you only list a few of the for sale sites. There are tons more. I worked on a list this weekend. It's at:
http://www.skymachines.com/for-sale-sites.html. Feel free to steal from it, but if you do, I ask that you link back to it or to my site on some other page, such as the inventory page. (Google page rank loves links!)

on November 7, 2005 09:00 AM
# Paul Pencikowski said:

Jeremy... New to your blog, awesome...

Planes: Owned 2 so far. Flown dozens of models, huge flight time.

Planes are a lot like horses, NOBODY SELLS A GOOD ONE.

Points: "Buy the body". Perfect exterior/interior (look for corrosion). *Forget* "low engine time". MAJOR IT YOURSELF ie run the engine until it just wears-out (a year at least, you'll not get much more for high-time). Buy *only* "annual with sale". If you can't get that, WALK!

Solo = best. Partner = OK. "Huge club" not-so-good, "3" members suck as "somehow" 2 of you will turn on the 3rd.

I had a "20-minute rule" for airplanes... If you live more than 20 minutes from it, you'll never fly it (well, after the "new" wears off). I used to fly my plane to work (work was located right on the airfield) which was way-cool. Interestingly, here in Los Angeles my observation was "chicks hate planes" but surprisingly *all* seem to want a glider ride. Hmmm...

on November 29, 2005 06:36 PM
# Stephen Caunce said:

Just a bit surprising to find a forum/blog about "Finding Used Aircraft For Sale and Classified Listings" that doesn't mention http://globalplanesearch.com

Honest truth, not (just) self-promotion....


on May 2, 2006 01:55 PM
# Aircraft enthusiast said:

www.aeroclassifieds.co.uk has a very up-to-date listing of used aircraft for sale in the UK, Europe and globally. It's free to place listings there, so there are always plenty of new classified adverts appearing there.

on September 6, 2007 02:35 PM
# Henrik Krag said:


Check out the new online aviation trading site www.aerosales.aero - for selling aircrafts and aviation related equipment. Thats is a nice site.

on April 28, 2008 03:07 PM
# stephen said:


One site for your list



on June 14, 2009 01:07 AM
# said:

Anyone thinking of buying a used plane should visit Plane Fax Reports first and obtain a history report, then a title search before closing the deal on a purchase.


on July 22, 2009 04:25 PM
# Private Jet said:

Did you try emtjets? I am sure you will be satisfied here only.

on September 23, 2009 02:03 AM
# said:

My husband sold his plane on PlanesGalore.com. It took awhile and he had to lower his price. But, I guess there isn't such a great market for kitfox's right now. Anyhow, the site was great, very helpful, free, and we got lots of views and eventually sold the plane.

on November 14, 2009 02:53 PM
# said:

Although we aren't the biggest brokerage out there, we do have a decent sized inventory. We've got a variety of planes you can look at, but if you are looking for a pre-owned certified Cirrus...that's our specialty.

on January 21, 2010 02:52 PM
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