Factory Warranty vs depreciated cost of an LSA

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Factory Warranty vs depreciated cost of an LSA

Postby JAM_MAN » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:06 pm

I know LSAs take a significant depreciation hit in years 01-03. I have the option of a "loaded" (for good and bad, i.e. weight) factory demo Evektor with less than 50hr total time at approximately $50k off new list. No manufacturers warranty. "As is - where is." Rotax 912 ULS so not too concerned about Rotax issues. Interested in thoughts of others who have pondered this. There are no real used examples out there save for Flight Design, which seem to retain value well.

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Re: Factory Warranty vs depreciated cost of an LSA

Postby MrMorden » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:37 pm

$50k will pay for a LOT of maintenance. Unless you just want and can afford "new airplane smell" I think buying used is the smart play.

My airplane was 7 years old when I bought it, no warranty. It has cost me some money in maintenance in the four years I've owned it, but most of that would not be warranty work anyway, and probably less than $10k total.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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Re: Factory Warranty vs depreciated cost of an LSA

Postby Warmi » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:58 pm

Same here.
I actually listened to folks like MrMorden and bought what was essentially a dealer demo plane with about 150 hours for 2/3 of the price of a new plane.
I had the option of buying a warranty from the dealer for additional cost but I skipped - I would rather spend this money on Rotax (and general) LSA training - better investment long time.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Factory Warranty vs depreciated cost of an LSA

Postby drseti » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Both of the SportStars I bought for my flight school were used. The first was from another flight school, 600 Hobbs hours, for about $40k less than new. Noticeabe wear and tear, but no major maintenance issues or expenses during the 1200 additional hours I operated it, other than Rotax rubber, new tires, prop blades at mid-time, an exaust system replacement, and having to do a bit of gearbox work at 1200 hours (including new gears).

The second one was at 300 Hobbs hours, and was a dealer's demo, very well maintained, never used for flight instruction, and amazingly well equipped (dealers load up their demos with all the goodies). It was also about $40k below the list price of a new one similarly equipped, has had Rotax rubber, new tires, plus some brake work, and also needed a new gear set. None of this work would have been covered by a new-plane warranty, so buying used was definitely the right move.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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