Keeping Pilots Safe.
Safeguarding the future of GA.
The AOPA Foundation’s “Give Wings” aircraft donation program is a quick easy and beneficial way to pass your airplane along to a new owner. The “Give Wings” program allows aircraft donors to enjoy significant tax benefits and claim a tax deduction equal to the gross proceeds of the sale. In addition to the tax advantages, pilots can take pride knowing their donation supports support a variety of programs such as the Air Safety Institute’s safety seminars, courses, and video production. Additionally aircraft donation proceeds also fund other vital programs supporting AOPA’s mission including flying clubs and ambassador programs, AOPA’s high school initiative, and Rusty Pilots seminars.
The process is quick, simple and straightforward. Here’s how it works in 4 simple steps!
Step 1 – We gather information about the aircraft to determine its approximate market value (Vref) and determine if the aircraft meets donation criteria.
Step 2 – Once the decision to donate is made we send two simple documents for the donor to sign (A bill of sale and letter of agreement).
Step 3 – Once signed, the AOPA foundation assumes all the financial responsibilities for the aircraft including insurance. Then we work with a local broker to advertise, market and sell the aircraft to a happy new pilot.
Step 4 – The AOPA Foundation provides the donor with all the needed IRS tax documentation so they are able to get tax credit for the full sales price of the donated aircraft.
We work with the donor to determine the condition of the aircraft’s paint and interior in person or with photographs and with the donors assistance determine the aircraft’s spec sheet which includes: aircraft total time, engine and prop times since overhaul along with a comprehensive equipment and avionics list. Once we have a thorough understanding of the aircraft, we perform a Vref value calculation to determine the aircraft’s fair market value. This way the donor and the AOPA Foundation both have a good idea of what the plane will actually sell for and there are no surprises.
How long does the process take?
Assuming the aircraft meets some basic donation requirements, the process can take less than a week. Once the aircraft is donated, it typically takes 1-3 months to market and sell.
Where will the airplane be located after it’s donated?
The aircraft typically stays at its home airport and is represented by one of our nationwide broker partners. If the aircraft is in a remote location, we may opt to move the plane to a nearby metropolitan area in order to help facilitate the sale.
What expenses are involved and is there anything will I have to pay for?
There are no expenses for the donor. Once the aircraft is donated the AOPA Foundation is responsible for all expenses including hanger, tie down, maintenance, transportation costs etc.
Who prepares the IRS paperwork for the tax deduction?
Upon completion of the sale, AOPA Foundation provides the required tax documents for the donor.
Does my airplane have to be flying and airworthy?
The AOPA Foundation does require the aircraft to be airworthy, in flying condition, and “in” annual. However, if your aircraft does not meet this criteria we will consider the donation on a case by case basis and provide guidance to bring it back to airworthiness.
Does the AOPA Foundation accept LSAs and experimental aircraft?
Yes, the Foundation will accept all LSA aircraft and will accept most experimental aircraft especially if the plane is common and with a large fleet of aircraft flying.
What does the AOPA Foundation do with the proceeds?
All the funds from aircraft donations go directly to the AOPA Foundation and are used to support a variety of programs like the Air Safety Institute’s safety seminars, courses, and video production. Additionally aircraft donation proceeds also fund other vital programs supporting AOPA’s mission including Flying clubs and Ambassador Programs, AOPA’s high school initiative, and Rusty Pilots seminars.
Generally, you are entitled to receive a tax deduction equal to what the aircraft is sold for by AOPA Foundation if you itemize your deductions. IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, provides detailed information on claiming deductions for aircraft donations. Always consult your tax advisor to discuss your specific circumstances and questions.
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