I'm preparing to sell my plane, an IFR-equipped, low-time, C150E, but the annual expires at the end of this month.

What's the best course of action? I know that if I was buying a plane, I would love it if the annual was just expiring - I'd just to a full annual as a pre-buy inspection on the condition that the seller paid for anything non-airworthy. I also know that a lot of people prefer to sell planes with fresh annuals.

What's the best approach here? And what happens if the annual expires? Will that hurt my chances of selling the plane?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if this is a question that fits stack or not. My opinion on the subject is that if I were buying a plane, I would feel more comfortable if the annual were completed just prior to the sale and that all required repairs were made by the seller. I don't think letting the annual lapse will hurt as long as it doesn't go on for some terribly extended period of time that would require the engine to be pickled or something. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 4:05
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    $\begingroup$ Out of annual = can't fly it home = barrier to entry. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 4:47
  • $\begingroup$ You should transform the title in a question (we are in a Q&A website here). $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited your title to be a question; feel free to roll back if you disagree. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


I also know that a lot of people prefer to sell planes with fresh annuals.

I think the reality (from what i have seen) is that a a lot of people end up selling planes with a fresh annual. Essentially any smart buyer is going to want a pre-buy inspection and they are often willing to pay for them. In many cases pre-buy inspections are close to if not the same as an annual so the mechanic will often do the remaining work and sign it off as an annual resetting the clock. Any potential buyers are going to want to test fly the plane so its going to need to be air worthy. I would suspect the soon expiring annual has a small impact on price (in and around the cost of the annual which is comparatively low for a 150).

You may find a buyer fast and unload the plane while its still airworthy, taking a bit of a hit for the soon to expire annual or you may get it done and raise the price close to the cost of the annual.


It's fine. A buyer will make their prebuy an annual. I would negotiate a lower price from you because an annual is necessary in this case where it may not be otherwise.

Realistically, when I look at planes, the annual status is irrelevant. I'm going to get in there and check things to make sure everything is as it should be.


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