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Monday, February 1, 2021

Time to trade?

What’s Up

By LeRoy Cook

Now that the interminable month of January is behind us, perhaps flying chances will improve…perhaps. Most likely, it’ll be more of the same old wintertime ups and downs, with slow-moving fronts and cold air needed to bring clearing skies. We had an interesting time on Tuesday, flying over to New Century airport for service. It was 25 degrees F. in the haze under the broken cloud deck at 2200 feet, but when we climbed on top of the clouds it was 35 degrees and severe clear, due to the temperature inversion. Normally, it gets colder with altitude, but not that day.

 Transient arrivals were limited last week, just a couple of Cessnas on the VOR-A instrument approach and a Piper Cherokee shooting a quick landing. Locally, the Beech Bonanza N35 was out, with Roy Conley at the controls, and Dayne Kedigh had a Cessna 150 up. Otherwise, not much coming and going was seen.

 This being the time of year when airplanes often get bought and sold after waiting for the holidays to pass and a new year to arrive,  I frequently get questions about the process. Basically, the registry is maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City, so one registers the transfer of ownership with them, printing out the form online. There must be an acceptable bill of sale supplied with the form, with signatures exactly matching the previous owners’ format on file. 

 It’s important to realize that the FAA registry is just that—only a registry. It does not guarantee a “clear title”, free of liens. If you want such assurance, you have to pay a title search company in Oke City to go through the files and check for encumbrances. The burden is on the purchaser. When it comes to sales taxes and property taxes, you’ll be dealing with state revenue departments and local assessor offices.

 Otherwise, just take precautions to get all the aircraft maintenance records and equipment manuals. It’s never a good idea to deal in personal checks or even certified funds; better to use an escrow arrangement for everyone’s protection. Airplanes are sort of like portable real estate, in that they have an indefinite lifetime and need continuing upkeep.  As one aircraft aficionado put it, “I can sleep in my airplane, but I can’t fly my house.” 

When it comes to last week’s brain-teaser, we wanted to know why there wasn’t a lot of spilled jet fuel dropping out the sky from the aerial refueling that’s practiced by the Air Force along a track leading west from the Butler VORTAC. It’s because the activity takes place four miles or so above the earth, in very dry thin air, and any slopped-over kerosene evaporates long before it reaches the ground. For next week, tell us what bad thing happens if you try to burn 100LL airplane fuel in an automobile.  You can send your answers to