What is "Damage History" Pre-Buy Advice


I was hoping to get some advice on a pre-buy I’m doing. A bit about me, I recently joined as a new member a month ago, I’m a new pilot with less than 100 hours under my belt. I have been in the process of searching for an aircraft to own and I’ve determined that an SR20 will do well for my mission after many SR20 vs SR22 discussions. I’m currently in the process of doing a pre-buy inspection, with the help of SavvyMX for N789RH.

My main question is what does “damage history” consist of and what should I expect be disclosed to me the buyer? The ad and the broker both have told me about the CAPS event for this aircraft and the repairs done at the cirrus factory are all well documented in the logs. You can view the ad here:

However, the plane has a new engine with just ~80hrs on it and in doing my due diligence savvy recommended I pull a planefax which also revealed the following:

The plane fax was the first time I found about this incident, had I not followed their advice I might not have known. Should this raise any red flags? I’m completely new to aircraft purchasing so I really don’t know if maybe its normal not to disclose this.

  1. Is this considered “damage history” or an “accident” in the aviation world? Should I have expected them to disclose this to me in the ad and upon inquiring about the aircraft (a dozen or so emails, reviewing logs, conversations with the broker etc).

  2. The incident report states the nose gear collapsed but I’m unable to find any maintenance records of the nose gear issue so its unclear to me if the nose gear was repaired/inspected or not. Should I be looking for something to cover this?

  3. With the CAPS incident and the prop strike/nose gear incident should I be considering this as two accidents for the aircraft? What considerations should I make for this as a buyer?

Any other advice or help would be appreciated.


First off, you posted in “Guest Discussion”. Since many members don’t even bother to look at this Forum, you would do much better to post on the Member’s side. If you want I can try to move the post over for you.

Second, a prop strike with landing gear damage most certainly should be noted on a for sale ad because it constitutes substantial damage. Certainly it can be repaired, but, personally, unless you got a very very good price I would tend to stay clear of this plane, in part because of the damage, and in part because it wasn’t disclosed.

If you do decide to pursue it, be certain all the repairs are thoroughly documented in the logs and the work inspected by a disinterested third party.

There are plenty of good planes out there. You can be picky.

I’d have a real problem with it not being disclosed, My recommendation is to look elsewhere. Id wonder what else isn’t being disclosed to you…there are plenty of clean 20’s out there. Don’t get emotionally ginned up chasing a plane. And join this forum so you can access all it has to offer…there’s a lot of knowledge here…welcome, and good luck…you’ll find the right one! good luck.

That would be two separate incidents. Aerista is a broker with a good reputation. I would ask why it was not disclosed. I would also verify it was properly repaired, the logs should make that clear enough before any additional consideration. The broker can only list what they know, no excuses it is material and should have been disclosed. The new engine solves what is the biggest deal about a prop strike. I presume a new prop was also installed. What was done to the fuselage? Get a great deal on the plane. You will have to pass on the savings to the next buyer with that history.

Prop strikes happen more often than they should. Frankly the first CAPS incident is orders of magnitude more serious to valuation, IMO. That was repaired at Cirrus so I tend to have high faith in that.

This question really should be asked of the buyer, not the broker. Brokers only know what sellers tell them, and have no legal obligation to ask the seller for an aircraft’s history.

A prop strike may command a discount, but not a ridiculous number. Assuming a new engine / prop and no other major damage other than the lower cowl and the nose gear, I would not hesitate to buy this plane if the price was right.

I tend to agree Scott. But I haven’t seen it and don’t know the price. The incidents would not scare me off if the price was right. It is a well equipped G1 SR20 so that makes it attractive. Most are not so upgraded.



You seem like a smart guy, taking your time to look things over, getting help from some smart people at Savvy.

The plane is probably fine.

One of the cool things about aviation is how many people are really decent, show an interest in you, help you out. COPA is like that in a big way, most type clubs are.

It’s not heaven- not everybody is that way. But the comraderie is real, and probably dates to early aviation when big chances were taken daily to advance a shared hobby/business/obsession.

But somebody didn’t get the memo.

Someone lied to you about this plane.

This wasn’t random forgetfulness, they tried to steal from you.

So the spell is broken.

You’ll never fly it with serene confidence. did they overstress the airframe, do barrel rolls and poorly executed aileron rolls?

Who knows? Would they tell you?

Should they be rewarded with a sale? I dont care who’s lying- fire the seller and broker both, and tell them why.

Tell them WE know. Help out the next guy, he may not be as Savvy as you.

Within another 100 hours you’ll find a plane and a seller you can trust.

Take your time.

Almost any airworthy Cirrus is a good deal at some price. The question is, what price would make this particular one a good deal?

Any major damage history is a red flag that warrants a price discount. This discount will never go away, but it does diminish with the passage of time. So buying an airplane with damage history can be a very good deal for you if (and only if) you can satisfy all three of these conditions:

  • You are really CONFIDENT that the repairs were made correctly and documented correctly.
  • Your purchase price is discounted significantly, commensurate with the significance and age of the repairs (more recent = bigger discount).
  • You are quite certain you will own the airplane for a long time (10+ years, for example).
    If any one of the three conditions cannot be met, it will not be a good deal.


First, if you have Savvy doing the pre-buy your in good hands. As other have said, the question is why wasn’t it disclosed, and the broker should have the answer. Secondly, Now, I differ from others, this may be a blessing in disguise. If you have a new/rebuilt engine and prop even an overhauled engine and prop by a reputable shop and all the other damage was properly repaired or replaced with new parts, your getting a better plane than one with same hours and no damage history. If you get a discount on top that’s even better. Some “experts” just reject a plane because of “damage history” because they really aren’t expert enough to dig into the details and know the real status of the airplane. As I said Savvy should be able to advise you on the real value.


I have a 22that was heavily damaged ($380k repair)and repaired 5 yrs ago. It has been completely trouble free and zero issues. It was done by the book (Cirrus engineering and the shop did good work). It is lighter now and faster than before. So in my mind it is better than new, but it is worth less than if untouched. Some consider it a Frankenstein… most have no idea.

This plane has two events and only one disclosed. That is problematic and doesn’t show well for the broker. Get to the bottom of that! Are both events in the logs? Any attempt to hide stuff? Lots of 20s have prop strikes.

This could be a great plane with low entry cost or it could be an Eclipse money sucker (humor Eclipse dudes).

It’s hard to hide damage in a Cirrus … structural stuff is obvious to a trained eye. Good shop do the repairs and engine work ? Probably ok. Super due diligence and may be a bargain. If you are uneasy walk away but savings is real money as long as you consider the next guy gets some savings too.

Thank you everyone for your responses. Richard said it right, when it comes to aviation people really go out of their way to help each other out. I really appreciate that!

What I’m picking up on is that it is considered damage and should have been disclosed assuming everyone was aware of it. It’s hard for me to know the reason it wasn’t. Every interaction I’ve had with Aerista has been great and they’ve really been generous with their time in explaining everything to me, a novice.

In doing more research it would appear that the logs indicate that the front strut was replaced. At first glance I thought this entry wasn’t sufficient to repair what the accident narrative stated since it’s just the strut and tire but I believe this is where the repair was performed.

It sounds like a few have had experience with purchasing damage history planes, any ideas on how much of a discount it should command? The aircraft’s asking price is 175k, what do you guys think?

Wow that is a deceptive log entry. Probably totally legal but I’d expect it to say something about prop strike inspection and repairs … not just put in new engine and prop and strut and have a nice day.

It’s possible nobody connected that as “real damage” and maybe overlooked it. A careful buyer would want to know why a 700h engine and prop was replaced. If there were lies about it no joy … perhaps the owner downplayed and the broker didn’t dig enough.

It seems you are being a smart buyer.

Prop strike 2 years ago is a small if any value hit (10% if you throw a fit)… but in reality it’s a newer engine. CAPS repair maybe 25-40% discount to other similar non pulled planes. But hey you get an early repack :slight_smile:

I have nothing to add to others’ comments. I would buy it at a big discount, but I also half agree that you should not reward bad behavior on their parts.

The reason for my post is because when I saw the price, I wanted to encourage you to rethink the 20 vs 22 decision. I do not know the market well, but I believe a similar vintage 22 sells for $175k, right? I have a 2003 Avidyne/DFC90 22 I bought new. Mine is not for sale, but I perceive that’s about what it is worth. It is significantly more functional, and lots of people here learned how to fly on a 22. I am pretty sure the accident history does not bear out that they do worse than people who learned on other planes.


Very interesting topic you raised.

First of all, it is not a bad thing to have parts replaced in an aircraft (as some members have already pointed out), in fact if you think about it, the more parts changed for new, the closer the aircraft will get to its original new condition!! Of course that depends on the rest of the aircraft not been abused. If an aircraft is maintained to manufacturer’s recommended standard, then in theory it should be very acceptable.

I have purchased in the past an aircraft with a prop strike (N997SR) in UK and used it for training, to be honest I was more comfortable with it as it had a new nose gear, brand new prop and its engine was inspected and rebuilt with some new parts i.e. magnetos (sounds like a new plane to me!).

Your problem is how to find out what work has actually been carried out to the aircraft and what has been changed.

In the UK any components that is changed in an aircraft has to be recorded with the relevant part number, origin of the part etc, so they are always traceable, we also have 3 logbooks, one for fuselage, one for engine and one for the prop, so any work that has been carried out in the aircraft, must be recorded in the relevant logbook.

The paperwork related to the engine and nose gear you have published doesn’t even mention the status of the prop! Within the nose gear assembly, there are other parts too that can get affected by the impact i.e. those 5 Pucks or various hardware (at movable points), so have you inquired about the break down of parts changed?

If the paperwork is genuine and you can work out what has been changed then any reduction in the market value of the aircraft is a bonus.

I generally wouldn’t worry too much about mechanical side of Cirrus Aircraft, our company’s biggest and most concerns from experience are with the manufacturer of the analogue instruments (Rochester) and of course the PFD (luckily you don’t have this one), the MFD with their intermittent faults that just come and go.

So happy flying…

Kevin - I do think it’s entirely possible that the prop strike was overlooked, especially if a planefax wasn’t ran. 1) because i agree with other commentators here that pilots have been the nicest people I’ve met. 2) because of the log entry details and 3) because it occurred with a previous owner.

It’s very possible that the prior owner downplayed the issue and that’s why nobody knew. I’m really glad I brought this topic up though because it’s pretty clear that a prop strike is not that big a deal which is something I didn’t know.

I do think the current price isn’t right for me personally. Partially due to the circumstances I arrived here and partially due to prices of SR22’s.

Some things I learned in this process that may be helpful for other viewers later on:

  1. Get someone to help like Savvy if you’re not familiar with in depth evaluation of aircraft logs and systems. Savvy helped educate me and tolerated my dumb questions until I knew better. Money well spent.

  2. Get a PlaneFax, its only $100 and its money well spent as well. They also do a title search for a few more dollars which tells you what every person bought the plane for! Very helpful in determining value as you can easily add in upgrades made during ownership to arrive at what they are invested.
    2a) I was told that avionics get a 50% value credit and that the engine/prop combo gets a $25/hr cost/credit.

  3. Pay special attention to lower overhaul times or prop overhaul mismatches to learn the reasons why from the seller. Ask why! It’s the first question my wife asks me when I tell her about a plane “why are they selling it?” Ask why the engine/prop was overhauled, why this X large part was replaced, why upgrades were made. If nothing else you get to learn about airplanes which is why we all do this right? :slight_smile:

  4. Post your questions to COPA! Because a dozen nice people will offer their guidance and help.

I’m sure I have lots more to learn, I’ve only experienced the first part of buying a plane. I’ll post back when I’ve sealed a deal.

So I know you’re passing on this plane, but as someone who owns a 20 that has had both a prop and bird strike I can say that when I sell the plane I’ll disclose it for a few reasons:

  1. I want the buyer to feel completely comfortable in the way the aircraft was repaired. I carry my family in the plane and would have it no other way.

  2. The logs tend to be very factual and leave out details of what happened, why repair decisions were made etc.

  3. I believe the plane flies better now than it did before both those incidents and enough other people fly my plane (in a club) that I feel confident that it’s not just my opinion that it flies well.

Good luck in finding a new aircraft.

Hey, Adam - just saw your post. you should get the NTSB report on this A/C. It was not minor, but may have been adequately repaired? It’s all about resale numbers.

All the best