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The Canadian dollar peaked out at $1.61 in early 2002. In 2009 it is at about $1.09. That means that airplanes were about 33% cheaper in Canada than they were in January 2002, while Americans haven’t noticed any difference in their prices. It also means that aircraft parts and hull insurance are cheaper, since you don’t have to buy as much hull insurance.

August 2014, our dollar has been oscillation in the past 12 months between $0.977 and $0.889 against the green back.

Let’s look at some examples from the Aircraft Blue Book. Here are some sample values for aircraft in the fall of 2009 & summer 2014 with half time engines and average

paint, interiors and avionics:


1967 Cessna 182


1977 Cessna 150


1963 Piper PA-28-180


2001 Cirrus SR-22


2014 Cdn$44,700 Cdn$20,700 Cdn$30,500 Cdn$130,900

A recent validation showed that the Blue Book values are very accurate for aircraft prices in the US. Other factors may be just starting to emerge that will affect prices in the near future.

With the recent launch of the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) and Sport Pilot Licence in the US there seems to be a growing demand for existing used aircraft that can be flown in that category. That means that two seaters that have a 1320 lb or lower gross weight and a maximum 52 mph stall will be in demand in the near future. This includes aircraft that are registered in categories other than LSA, but can be flown under LSA rules, such as amateur-builts and certified aircraft. This will probably drive up prices on those aircraft over time.

This also means that the US market demand for two seat aircraft that do not fit the LSA criteria will be reduced and prices will fall on these non-LSA compliant aircraft. This includes Cessna 150s, 152, Piper PA-38 Tomahawks, Beech 77 Skippers and other two seaters over 1320 lbs.

A similar effect is starting to emerge in the North American four seater market where there is a strong and growing demand for later model aircraft that have glass cockpits. This is starting to depress the value of later model aircraft that have older style gauge instruments, especially with aircraft like the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 and the Cessna 182.

If you are selling an aircraft you have to accept that it is worth a lot less than it was a year or two ago, or else decide to keep it and not sell it at the present time.

Economics being what they are, the future of used aircraft prices will depend on what happens with many factors, including the strength or weakness of the Canadian dollar.

COPA Guide to Certified Aircraft 54

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