At this point, you have a set of criteria for your plane such as speed, range, useful load, cost, and aesthetics. Now you need to find some planes that meet that criteria! Thanks to the internet, this step is easy and fun. Simply check sites like,, and It doesn’t hurt to ask around your network just in case, but realistically any serious seller will list their plane on at least one of those sites.

Every few days, log on to each of those sites and scroll through the listings. The used plane market is large, but not so large that you can’t realistically keep abreast of all the planes for sale that match your criteria.

After a few weeks of doing this, you’ll start to develop an intuition for realistic price points, common avionics packages, and so on. Whenever you see a plane that seems like a good fit, contact the seller to request logbook scans and information about the plane’s background. It’s free and easy for everyone to provide this information remotely. It’s much better for everyone involved to verify as much as possible remotely; you don’t want to travel to view the plane only to find it has major damage history or incomplete logs.

Throughout this phase, it’s easy to get stuck agonizing about finding the perfect plane. Remember that you don’t need to find the perfect plane; you just need to find one that meets your requirements. After watching the market for a few weeks you’ll have a good sense of realistic prices. If you see a plane that meets your needs and is priced reasonably, just buy that plane. It’s unlikely you’ll find another plane that’s just as good but significantly cheaper, and you’ll incur the opportunity cost of not having a plane yet. If this approach seems too radical, you can also apply a crude heuristic to solving the “fussy suitors problem”: keep looking until you find a plane that would meet your needs. Then buy the next plane that is better. This provides a reasonable compromise between settling too early and wasting too much time waiting for the perfect plane.