Techniques to Complete an Aircraft Appraisal

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aviation and Aerospace Management

Committee Chair

Mary E. Johnson

Committee Member 1

Denver Lopp

Committee Member 2

Michael Suckow


The industry of buying and selling aircraft has experienced financial volatility in demand and supply, but the current industry trends show major gains and very lucrative margins (Leverage Finance, 2012). With an airline industry experiencing more buying and selling of

aircraft, the use of aircraft appraisals accelerates. This study is a qualitative exploratory study. The purpose is to understand the information and steps that are used by aircraft appraisers to complete desktop, extended desktop and full appraisals. Each appraisal determines a slightly different financial value that is beneficial to the client. This study determined the impact new technology has on the steps and information used to complete an aircraft appraisal. Phone interviews with four experienced appraisers were transcribed, and then used as the data used to form the conclusions of the study. Grounded Theory was the basis of the framework of the study; Truth and Reality Testing was also used as a secondary theoretical framework. The assertions made in the study suggest that a desktop appraisal is completed with heavy weight put on the appraiser's network and industry knowledge, as well as acquired market data. An extended desktop appraisal is completed by using an appraisers industry network and market data, plus maintenance information about a specific aircraft. A full appraisal is completed by using market data, maintenance data, plus data acquired during a physical inspection of the aircraft. The data also suggests that new aircraft technology, such as that on the Boeing 787, does not affect the techniques to complete an aircraft appraisal.


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