Aircraft Ratings

What's my plane worth?  There are several ways to determine an aircrafts value.  Most buyers and sellers use the Aircraft Blue Book Digest. The Bluebook value is generally lower than the asking price you'll find in Trade-A-Plane because it is based on the sales prices reported to Bluebook. Most finance companies use a combination of sources and usually arrive at a value below the Bluebook and then loan up to 90% of that. It is important to know what 'add-ons' really add to an airplanes value and what doesn't.   Of course, the condition of the plane plays a part too.   Here is where the 1 to 10 scale comes in.


1.  Aircraft is new.

2.  Paint is new.  Airframe and paint are in excellent condtion with no scratches or dents.

3.  Paint and airframe are in near new condition. Minor scratches (shallow and less than 1 or 2 per square foot) are detectable only on close examination (inspecting aircraft while standing at less than arm's length from it). Paint on often used fasteners and screws may be chipped.

4.  Paint has high gloss. Small number (less than 3 or 4 per square foot) of scratches are apparent, mostly on leading edges due to abrasion. Close inspection reveals only a few small dents or chip (less than 1 or 2 per square foot) Windows are clear with no crazing or discoloring.

5.  Paint is shiny. Several small scratches, chips, or dents (4 to 6 per square foot) can be found, mostly around high use areas (fuel caps, doors, struts). Some crazing or small stress cracks (less than 2 or 3 hairline cracks per square foot) are visible in fibreglass or plastic structures. Several windows may be milky at the edges.

6.  Paint is sound (no corrosion apparent). Slight oxidation can be easily polished out leaving paint shiny again. Two or three small areas (corner of cowling, part of leading edge) of crazing can be found in paint. Paint on leading edges is rough from abrasion. Touched up or repaired areas may be seen in close inspection. Small number (3 or 4 per square foot) of short cracks can be found in fibreglass wing tips and cowlings due to normal wear or hanger rash. Cowling seals are faded. Many (less than half) windows have milky edges. Several windows may be crazed or slightly scratched. Aircraft looks attractive to most people during walk around.

7.  Paint is generally sound. Small areas require special attention (touch up or repair by trained individual) due to oxidation, peeling, chipping, corrosion, or crazing. Paint is dull in many (less than half) areas. Most windows are crazed and scratched.

8.  Paint is not shiny and has peeled in many areas. Most leading edges and upper surfaces are crazed and oxidized. Moderate number of ( 5 or 6 per square foot) of chips, cracks, dents, can be found. All window surfaces are scratched. Even after touch up and polishing, aircraft still looks unsightly.

9.  Aircraft looks terrible. Paint is badly oxidized, peeled and blemished. It is well beyond the touch up and polish stage. Corrosion, dents, and cracks require extensive work.

10.  Exterior is so full of corrosion, heavy dents, or tears that it will not pass an annual without repairs. Heavy dents are not HAIL.


1.  Aircraft is new.

2.  Interior is new. There are no scratches, cracks, crazing, or other evidence of use.

3.  Interior is near new condition. Any smell, dirt, or matting, can be removed by simple cleaning. Some evidence of use can be found only upon close inspection.

4.  A small amount of wear is apparent. Small shallow, scratches and or stains (1 or 2 per seat) can be found on seats, carpet, or woodwork. Stain remover and shampooing removes almost all stains.. Headliner is clean with no stains. There are no nicks in the woodwork.

5.  Headliner may have a couple of dirty spots that can be removed almost completely with cleaning. Matting in high use areas does not vacuum out completely. Steaming or shampooing improves interior considerably, but a couple of small, limited areas (doorway, beneath rudder pedals remain looking worn or stained. No frayed or torn fabric is apparent. Leather, vinyl, or woodwork has no cracks, but small scratches or creases (4 to 6 per seat are obvious). Seats and drawers operate smoothly. Scratches in scuff plates around doorways are obvious. Interior still looks attractive when cleaned thoroughly.

6.  High use areas (doorway, beneath rudder pedals) still look worn (fibres appear shorter than surrounding carpet) after thorough shampooing. Headliner may have several stains but is not torn. Minor (2 or 3 instances per seat) fraying, staining or cracking is apparent on less than half the seats. Small nicks are visible in woodwork. About one third of the seats and drawers do not operate smoothly. Interior can be made to look clean, but it lacks sparkle in many areas.

7.  Scratches, stains, and frayed fabric are seen on most seats. More than half of the leather or vinyl seats may have small cracks. Carpet is matted along the aisle. Carpet also has numerous stains, snags or other irregularities. Interior has two or three tears. About half of the seats and drawers do not operate smoothly. Wood laminates may be peeling slightly. Several cracks in scuff plates around doorways are obvious. Interior cannot be made to look clean or smell fresh.

8.  Tears, snags, and stains are clearly visible in many areas. Several cigarette burns can be found. Most seats and drawers do not operate smoothly. Interior looks and smells dirty even after cleaning.

9.  Cracks, stains, tears, and snags are the norm.  Seats have exposed foam.  Interior is dirty and foul smelling even after thorough cleaning.

10.  Interior is so dirty and worn that most people would be hesitant about sitting down for fear of damaging clothing.