If you are in the market for a previously owned experimental helicopter you need to become thoroughly educated on the make and model that you are considering. If you are not familiar with that particluar model then it is wise to hire someone who is, to perform a pre-purchase inspection of the particular helicopter before you squander your hard-earned money on a piece of junk.

This past year I was called by a potential student who had just placed a $5,000.00 non-refundable deposit on an experimental helicopter that he was intending to purchase. He called me to schedule flight instruction once he had his new machine at his home. I asked him a series of questions about the helicopter and when he provided the answers I determined that he had purchased a very old and worn out ship that was in need of virtually every upgrade that had been made available over the years since the kit was first sold.

It had single ignition, the engine was ready for over-haul, and all of the rubber components needed replacing. This helicopter was worth no more than $25,000.00 as it sat. I asked him how much he was paying for it and he told me that the sale price was $85,000.00! I nearly lost it! I told him that he had made a poor decision and that he would need to invest a substantial amount of money and time into the ship to bring it up to airworthy standards. He eventually decided to walk away from his $5,000.00 deposit and purchased a very nice ship for around $60,000.00 that was ready to fly.

The story above is only one of many that I encounter every year. Sho-Me Helicopters provides a Pre-Purchase Inspection Service for anyone who is considering the purchase of a used experimental helicopter. If you are considering such a purchase it may save you many thousands of dollars to have us give it a thorough inspection to determine if it is truely a fair representation by the seller and a fair purchase for the buyer.

Several times over the past few years I have seen experimental helicopters listed on an on-line auction service and others advertised in on-line and printed aircraft sales flyers that were being listed by someone other that their owners. In one case I knew the helicopter that was on listed on the auction and I knew the owner who was advertising it elsewhere on line. Someone mentioned to me that they saw this helicopter on the auction site and that the price was really a steal. When I looked into the auction it was obvious that someone had copied the photos from one site and listed the helicopter on the auction hoping to sell it and get a deposit before the real owner or buyer knew what had happened. In this case the owner of the helicopter notified the auction service of the fraud and the listing was removed from their site.

There are a number of un-scrupulous people in any industry and this one is no different. Check out the stories in the SELLER BEWARE THREAD for some examples.

If you are ready to commit thousands of dollars on your helicopter dream, be pro-active and thoroughly check it out or hire an expert to do that for you. The money you save will definitely be your own.


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