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We would like to share some of the questions we receive here at the Aircraft Bluebook. If you have any questions about aircraft valuations, don’t hesitate to call the editorial staff at The Aircraft Bluebook-Price Digest® at 1-800-654-6776.

How much does the Bluebook deduct for missing or incomplete logbooks?

This question is one of the most frequently asked and is similar to questions regarding the impact of damage history.

The answer is very subjective and depends on many things such as: the extent of the missing logs, amount of time the aircraft has flown since the missing history, and the cost to reconstruct the logs (if possible). This is why there is not a one-size-fits-all deduction, because each case is unique, making  a standard answer inappropriate. Missing logs can cast a negative shadow over an aircraft and should initiate pause in the buyer’s thought process. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t extenuating circumstances why a log book might not be available, but as a buyer you should proceed with caution when considering an aircraft with lost or incomplete logs. The absence of logbooks prevent potential buyers from learning the aircraft’s complete history including any damage incidents, component removal/installation, weight and balance changes, or maintenance lapses that may have occurred. As a seller, an attempt to reconstruct the logbooks can show good faith to the prospective buyer and might not be as difficult as one might think. A good place to start is the Aircraft Registration Branch of the FAA’s Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. They can provide copies of an aircraft’s airworthiness data, including any Form 337 reports of damage, for a small fee.

How is the Add for – low engine hourly rate in the Bluebook calculated?

The hourly rate listed for the majority of Aircraft in the Bluebook is calculated by dividing the average overhaul cost by the engine TBO hours. For example, a 1997 Cessna 172R with a 160 hp Lycoming IO-360-L2A has an average overhaul cost of $25,000 dollars and the TBO for the engine is 2,000 hours. Dividing $25,000 dollars by 2,000 hours results in $12.50 for the hourly engine rate. Next, this number is used to calculate any credit or deduction for low or high engine time.

Why doesn’t the Bluebook give credit for the entire amount of an Engine Overhaul?

The short answer is, it does. The average retail figure of piston-powered aircraft in the Aircraft Bluebook is reported with mid-time engines or fifty percent remaining useful life. Fifty percent of the cost of the overhaul is part of this average retail amount. The Aircraft Bluebook user can then adjust the remaining fifty percent to represent the aircraft being valued using the Aircraft Bluebook low engine hourly rate. In the case of a freshly overhauled engine this adjustment would be a credit totaling half of the overhaul cost listed in the Bluebook.

Are there any gliders in the Aircraft Bluebook?

No. The Aircraft Bluebook does not value, gliders, gyrocopters, balloons, experimental, home-built/kits, warbirds, or military aircraft.

Chris Reynolds  
Aircraft Bluebook-Price Digest®
9800 Metcalf Avenue
Overland Park, KS 66212

Light Aviation Edition August 2011

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