No bill of sale

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Hephaestus

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I have an opportunity of picking up a previously flying RV that was abandoned in a hangar, of course the plane does not come with a bill of sale signed off by the previous registered owner. Are there any ways around that or would it be doomed to never fly again?
Who says it was Court ordered sale?
Well OP kind of points that way - for a vehicle to transfer due to abandonment - I'd assume they filed a lien then got title transferred to themselves after the proper paperwork. Isn't that how these things are supposed to work?
 

Wolfen1176

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Apr 10, 2021
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Thanks everyone for the input. I dug a little more into it and found the owner had passed away and everything is held up right now as there are a couple family members fighting for the aircraft but the hangar rent is being paid and is up to date.

I asked the airport authority if they had any kind of court document showing they had the rights to sell the plane, I was met with blank stares and a lot of "well its been left here untouched for x many years and we have people waiting for hangars."

I have decided for the sake of my wallet and sanity to have absolutely nothing to do with it.
 

rv7charlie

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Sounds like your next (much more lofty) mission is to get yourself on the airport authority, so it will have at least one member who *wasn't* somebody's brother-in-law's sister's boyfriend who donated to a political campaign.
 

TFF

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If hangar rent is being payed, dumping it out means they got a friend that wants a hangar all thing equal. Services being payed for, their hanger space like it or not to the airport board. Pretty easy to sue the airport board and manager if they got caught with that one.
 

Topaz

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Thanks everyone for the input. I dug a little more into it and found the owner had passed away and everything is held up right now as there are a couple family members fighting for the aircraft but the hangar rent is being paid and is up to date.

I asked the airport authority if they had any kind of court document showing they had the rights to sell the plane, I was met with blank stares and a lot of "well its been left here untouched for x many years and we have people waiting for hangars."

I have decided for the sake of my wallet and sanity to have absolutely nothing to do with it.
Okay, that's critical information. Thanks. Having been the administrator for an estate (that's what they call an executor when there's no will) just a very few years ago, I can speak to this.

No, the airport authority does not have the authority to sell the airplane (or any of the other contents of the hangar) unless the hangar rent is so far in arrears that his rental contract would allow him to seize and sell the property for payment of back rents. With the rent is still in good standing, none of that property belongs to him. It belongs to the estate of the deceased. The only person who has the authority to sell any property of the estate is the court-appointed/approved executor/administrator. This is usually either the attorney of the deceased or a family member. Nobody can sell anything until probate is opened by the court and letters of administration (I think they're called "letters testamentary" for estates with a will) are issued to the administrator/executor by the court. Those "letters" (it's usually a one-page form, filled out and stamped with the court's seal) give the actual authority for the person named on them to act on behalf of the estate.

The airport authority selling this property without instruction from the administrator/executor would amount to theft, plain and simple.

If you really want this airplane, find a way to contact the administrator/executor and make them an offer they can't refuse. Before you do the sale, make sure to get copies of their letters of administrator/testamentary, so you know they have the authority to do the sale.

But it sounds like you've changed your mind, and that's probably the right thing to do if the family is fighting over the plane.
 

Bill-Higdon

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Thanks everyone for the input. I dug a little more into it and found the owner had passed away and everything is held up right now as there are a couple family members fighting for the aircraft but the hangar rent is being paid and is up to date.

I asked the airport authority if they had any kind of court document showing they had the rights to sell the plane, I was met with blank stares and a lot of "well its been left here untouched for x many years and we have people waiting for hangars."

I have decided for the sake of my wallet and sanity to have absolutely nothing to do with it.
Sounds like the Airport Authority is trying to commit out and out Fraud here
 

rv7charlie

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'Never assume a conspiracy when incompetence will do.'

See post #24. Much more likely that the airport authority is staffed by people who have no knowledge of either aircraft or legal matters. We pilots would be much better off if we were proactive in policy making & day-to-day operations of all things aviation.
 

Fiberglassworker

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I had a problem like that several years ago . A guy called out of the blue and asked me if I owned an aircraft registration number so and so. I told him I did. He then explained that he had bought it on the tiedown from the airport owner for non payment of rent. I telephoned the airport owner and pointed out to him that I was current on the tiedown fee and gave him the number. The airport owner says oh it was not your aircraft I sold, it was some other number. I called back the guy that telephoned and he said "The airport owner called me today and told me your aircraft is not for sale." , I then went up to the airport and had a conversation with the airport owner who explained that it was a case of mistaken identity, I was not really happy with his explanation but I let it go at that.
 
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Thanks everyone for the input. I dug a little more into it and found the owner had passed away and everything is held up right now as there are a couple family members fighting for the aircraft but the hangar rent is being paid and is up to date.
I bought a plane like that, it sat in a hangar paying rent and taxes for over 10 yrs while the family fought about "it's value" (Dad was the only pilot in the family). Finally the spouse needed to liquidate to go into a nursing home and I happened to be the lucky one who called about the plane that month. I gave them the fair market value for it's current state at the time and after a $5,000 annual inspection it was airworthy again.
 
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