Airplane For Sale:
Tips on buying a used aircraft kit or second-hand plans (blueprints)
Scam Alert: Buyer Beware
|eBay Auctions Alert:
There are sometimes a number of eBay auction listings for Zenair
XL and STOL CH 701 aircraft that are "ready-to-fly with builder
assisntace" in Czechoslovakia (and other eastern European
countries) and that the "complete
aircraft (turn the key and go)... will qualify you for certification
in Experimental category" and that the "aircraft will be
certified in the USA by the winning bidder."
listings (click thumbnail images):
listings are probably fraudulent. The foreign seller,
identifying himself as "balenanida" / "Czech Sportsplanes
factory", is not
associated with Zenith Aircraft Company, and the seller is obviously not familiar with FAA rules and doesn't appear to know the
airplane well (the photo of the Zodiac is not of the XL
model). Even if the advertised aircraft do exist and can be
delivered to you, there is no guarantee of the quality of the
materials and assemblies, and importing an airplane into the US can
be very complex and costly (and would probably not qualify for FAA
registration), and service and spare parts may not be available to
do not bid: By bidding on such items you encourage
fraudulent sellers, and may expose yourself to identity theft, spam,
If you are interested
in purchasing assembled aircraft, please contact AMD
The growing demand for Zenith Aircraft kits
and completed airplanes, combined with the popularity of online auctions (such as
eBay) and web-based classified ads (such as BarnStormers) have made it a
breeding ground for online scams. Be very careful when buying from
online auctions or classified ads. Over the years, a number of scam
kit aircraft projects and blueprint photocopies have come up for auction or sale
online. Some scammers are educated and will appear to be legitimate
sellers. Beware - don't bid or send money unless you know you're dealing
with a legitimate seller.
Hints: Before buying or bidding, obtain the
sellers contact information and call them. Get the seller's full name,
address and phone number, and request the aircraft serial number: Every
Zenith kit and/or plans has a unique serial number issued by Zenith
Aircraft Co. If the seller does not know the serial number, do not proceed.
If the buyer is located outside of your country, be aware that importing
an aircraft or kit can be very complex and very expensive.
If the place the seller wants you to send
payment to is different than the place the auction or ad says is their
location, proceed very carefully. If they request a Western Union wire
transfer there is a very high chance that the deal is fraudulent - do not
proceed. Money transfer services
such as Western Union are not designed to be a payment vehicle when
doing business with a stranger. Be cautious if a seller tells you that
he will only accept money transfer as a payment method. Most legitimate
sellers will accept more than one form of payment. Be suspicious if a
seller tells you how to "safeguard" your purchase by putting a
money transfer transaction in the name of a friend or loved one, or how to
establish a "test question."
Buying Used Plans and/or Kits:
Before buying or bidding, request the
serial number which is located on the first page of the drawings
(blueprints) from the seller: Every Zenith kit and/or plans has a unique
serial number issued by Zenith Aircraft Co. Once you have this
information you can contact Zenith Aircraft Co.
to obtain information about the customer's project.
In addition to exercising "buyer
beware" common sense, look out for the following:
- Age of the drawings/kit: If you
buy an older set of drawings or kit, be aware that it will not include
newer features that may have been introduced since the original
purchase date, and that the parts and plans are not new.
- On occasion, duplicate copies of the
same serial number have been sold numerous times to unsuspecting
buyers. Zenith Aircraft Co. will only support and recognize one
unique serial number.
- Sometimes the age of a project is
misrepresented or overlooked: For example, realize that a kit that was
registered in 2007 may in fact have been purchased (and manufactured) many years earlier.
- Kit vs. Scratch-Built: Sometimes
plans-built parts may be sold by an individual as original
factory-made parts when in fact they are hand-made by a hobbyist.
- Completeness/Condition of Kit:
Used kits may be incomplete or damaged.
- Assembled and Flying Projects: Exercise
"buyer beware" common sense. Realize that the aircraft is
Experimental and that it may have been built incorrectly, and that it
may have been modified, and/or may not conform to aviation standards.
- Copies of Chris Heintz designs are
produced in a number of countries and are often sold as
"improved" designs. Exercise extreme caution with
cheap knock-offs, and realize that Zenith cannot support customers or
builders of copies.
- Zenith Aircraft Company cannot support
builders or aircraft that do not have a valid serial
number, nor can it support aircraft built from parts manufactured by a third
party, and cautions buyers that just because it may "look" like a
"Zenair" it may not be built from parts manufactured to the same
standards, or may be built from parts made from inferior raw materials, and
that modifications are generally not approved by the designer.
EAA is an
excellent resource for info on buying, building, maintaining and operating
a kit aircraft.
It must be noted that the vast majority of
sellers and buyers are honest. However, this usually just makes it
easier for scams to occur online. Remember...If it sounds too good
to be true, it probably is!
If you are the successful buyer of used
plans and/or a kit, contact Zenith Aircraft Co.
with "change of ownership" information. This will be
required to obtain technical support and to register the kit with the FAA.
Series | STOL CH 701 | STOL