In a recent repairman workshop I was looking up aircraft information for an attendee and was surprised to see the FAA registration was still in the name of the person- who purchased the aircraft two owners prior to the current owner. It is import to know how to properly sell an aircraft and how to handle the paperwork. The following is a brief overview of the steps we recommend you take when selling or buying an aircraft.

First, we recommend arranging for a pre-purchase inspection of the aircraft. A pre-purchase may take as little as an hour or two or as much time as a full annual inspection. With Light Sport Aircraft you may find our map of Light Sport Repairman listed as offering services useful in locating a specialist for the pre-purchase inspection.

Required Paperwork

The Airworthiness Certificate

The airworthiness certificate usually is transferred with an airplane when it is sold, but a buyer must ensure that the airworthiness certificate is current. This is especially important for Experiemental Light Sport, as there were many airworthiness certificates issued during the ultralight transition years- which expired in 2010.

Bill of Sale: 

After the transfer of funds:

The seller completes the “Bill of Sale,” which is FAA Form 8050-2, available for download on FAA’s web site, or from most FAA FSDO offices, or a dealer at your nearest airport.

The Bill of Sale must be filled out in duplicate (two originals-with orginal signatures on both) Both originals of the Bill of Sale go to the buyer – one is paired with the registration to go to the FAA, and the buyer keeps the other. The seller should make a photocopy, if he desires to keep a record.

Seller name(s) should be written EXACTLY as it is on the current registration. This means that even a small change such as Dave rather than David will result in the paperwork being returned.Bill of Sale:

Be careful regarding any delivery: Verify both your insurance and the buyer’s insurance if you ever consider delivery after the sale. The seller’s insurance may not be valid after a Bill of Sale has been signed. The buyer can indeed complete his own temporary registration and fly away legally.

At the time of delievery the aircraft logbooks and records are transfered to the new owner. And the orginal owner removes the registration, with the owner’s name on it, from the aircraft and completes the sales information on the back and mails it to the FAA Registry in Oklahoma City.


  • Form 8050-1 is now available online. After the purchaser completes the form, they should make a photocopy of it and place it in the aircraft. The photocopy of the original will serve as the temporary. This replaces the pink slip that most owners are familiar with.
  • The applicant for registration needs to show a chain of ownership from the last registered owner of the aircraft to themselves. This can be done with one bill of sale or multiple bills of sale from one name to the next.
  • The new owner will mail both the bill of sale and the registration with the required fee to the FAA Registry in Oklahoma City.

Aircraft Purchase/Sales Agreement

Preparing an aircraft purchase/sales agreement to address every issue and contingency is important for boht the buyer and the seller. We recommend a specific agreement for your particular transaction- rather than a fill-in-the-blank generic form. Some folks use generic agreements, but many hire a real attorney, licensed in the state where the transaction will take place, to go over the contract and make sure it’s effective and enforcable. Both the buyer and sell retain a copy- this document does not need ot go with the paperwork to the FAA.