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Aircraft for sale with “no damage history”?

I just saw on aircraft for sale on plane-check, it’s advertised as “NDH”, I know for fact that the logbook clearly show that the landing gear was repaired after it was twisted and engine/prop SB when it landed before threshold…it’s not rocket science, the aircraft is operated on 600m tarmac (aircraft needs 800m to land comfortably but it can takeoff with 400m) with the owner who developed his own unorthodox flying technique (I flew with him), shallow slow approach to touchdown on lot of power and high nose, then flare 50m before runway threshold, so unlikely his first time

My question why on earth one does not disclose things like this in ads for sale, it’s in aircraft papers after all? (it’s not like everything was done in darkness)

Last Edited by Ibra at 03 Jun 12:11
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Why is “No Damage History” so important anyway, assuming the aircraft was properly repaired?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

It does not matter much, if you have documented damage & repair (all aircraft had some of it minor/major) but it’s good to have a “good start” in the ads?

Last Edited by Ibra at 03 Jun 12:15
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Whether damage history was properly repaired requires access to the original work orders, or an engineer pre buy inspection. Clearly the seller in this example is mis representing the history, and possibly, condition of the aircraft.

I got stung on a NDH representation from the usual ‘old airline’ guy, no harm done, just the pre buy cost, but the aircraft had a history of accidents and the repair quality was deplorable.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Airborne_Again wrote:

Why is “No Damage History” so important anyway, assuming the aircraft was properly repaired?

Mostly it is a psychological thing coming from the US markets. DH there means a massive loss of attractiveness = reduction in potential price it can achieve. Therefore the label NDH is often put rather more prominently than it deserves.

In Europe a well repaired and checked out airframe will potentially loose less value due to prior damage, particularly if everything in connection with the damage was replaced. Technically speaking, a prop strike would mean DH, however if everything firewall forward got replaced that makes little sense as in total, the aircraft as it stands has not had damage at all.

My own take on DH is to check out what happened, how it was repaired and what has happened since. A gear up 3 engine overhauls ago is irrelevant, other damage may be reason for concern.

As for declaring it or not: It is a sign of honesty if it is declared rather conservatively. It is a bad sign if it is not and you find a relevant damage in the logs, as you have to ask yourself then what else the seller does not tell you.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

Mostly it is a psychological thing coming from the US markets

Which happens to be the deepest market for GA in the world. Typically the mark down from ‘Prime’ is around 20%, which may make the aircraft quite attractive. Propeller strike not regarded as a mark down if the engine has had an IRAN and there is a new propeller. The mark down is associated with major airframe repairs for semi monocoque structures. Gear up accidents may be regarded as less offensive, if repair records are solid. Tube and rag structures get re built regularly and don’t attract a mark down, if repairs are well documented.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

The use of NDH as a description in advertisements is a kind of joke in many US circles. The ‘issue’ is whether it means the aircraft has never been damaged, or alternately has had damage that’s been repaired without a logbook entry that reveals it, or damage that hasn’t been either acknowledged, repaired or logged!

My current plane had NDH (logged) and both of the two latter categories when I bought it, but nothing too serious. This is typical for old planes, there are few of them that have never had any kind of damage and logbooks only show what’s been written by many different people over many years, each with their own values and style. It’s useful to look for propeller replacements and paint repairs in the logs and consider the implications, as well as looking for unrepaired damage. It’s also a factor that logbook entries decades ago were minimal in comparison to what’s done today, especially on smaller, lower value planes. Caveat emptor.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Jun 15:00

For an old “wood-and-fabric” aircraft a rebuild is good in my opinion. I flew 1,000 hours in a Jodel rebuilt from 2 crashed Jodels.
The wingspar had been repaired, well, we were told when the wing was stripped.

EGPE, United Kingdom

Why is “No Damage History” so important anyway, assuming the aircraft was properly repaired?

Probably because there are not many competent firms doing repairs.

Also, as Silvaire says, a lot of the time “NDH” is false. I often get asked for informal views on some plane and when I see the prop hours being obviously different from the rest, I suggest asking whether there was a prop strike This then leads to often unwelcome questions about which firm did the engine job, and given the disreputable nature of many European engine shops…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

If someone puts NDH in an ad and further research shows there had been damage, I would walk away. Not because I have a problem with a damage history, if the repairs have been done well but because, I no longer trust the seller.
Why put it at all it is unnecessary unless you are trying to con someone.

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