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GIVE WINGS: DONATE YOUR AIRCRAFT

HOW THE AOPA FOUNDATION AIRCRAFT DONATION PROGRAM WORKS

The Give Wings aircraft donation program is a quick, easy and beneficial way to find a new home for your aircraft while supporting general aviation through the work of the AOPA Foundation. The Give Wings program can allow aircraft donors to enjoy significant tax benefits by claiming a tax deduction equal to the gross proceeds of the sale. In addition to the tax advantages, donors can take pride knowing their aircraft donation supports a variety of programs such as the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s safety seminars, courses, and video production and the You Can Fly program’s initiatives that are getting and keeping more pilots flying. In short, your aircraft donation can help build a stronger, safer pilot community for the future.

The process is quick, simple and straightforward. Here’s how it works in 5 easy steps!

Step 1 – AOPA will work with you to determine if the aircraft meets some basic donation criteria, such as its airworthiness and adherence to regulatory maintenance such as airworthiness directives (ADs).

Step 2 – We gather information about the aircraft to determine its approximate market value (Vref) and inspect the aircraft as necessary.

Step 3 – Once a mutual decision is made to move forward with the donation, we send two simple documents for you to sign – a bill of sale and letter of agreement.

Step 4 – Once these documents are signed and returned, the AOPA Foundation assumes all the financial responsibilities for the aircraft, including insurance. Then we work with a local broker to sell the aircraft to a happy new pilot.

Step 5 – Lastly, the AOPA Foundation provides you with all the needed IRS tax documentation.

For more information or to discuss donating your aircraft to the AOPA Foundation, please complete our contact form or call 301.695.2274.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine what my plane is worth?

One of our Pilot Information Center specialists will work with you to determine the aircraft’s fair market value. Depending on where the aircraft is located, we may request photographs of the aircraft’s paint and interior and with your assistance complete the aircraft’s specification sheet which includes: aircraft total time, engine and prop times since last overhaul, as well as 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 both you and the AOPA Foundation have a mutual understanding of what the plane may actually sell for and there are no surprises.

How long does the process take?

Assuming the aircraft meets some basic donation requirements, the actual donation process can take less than a week. Once the aircraft is donated, it typically takes 1-3 months to market and sell, though this timeframe can vary.

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 insurance, hanger, tie down, maintenance, and transportation costs.

Who prepares the IRS paperwork for the tax deduction?

Upon completion of the sale, the 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 and in compliance with regulatory maintenance such as airworthiness directives (ADs). Any candidate aircraft must be “in annual” and in flyable condition without the need for remedial maintenance, 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 AOPA Foundation will accept all LSA aircraft and will accept most experimental aircraft, especially if the aircraft is common and with a large fleet of aircraft flying.

DOES THE AOPA FOUNDATION ALWAYS SELL THE DONATED AIRCRAFT?

Not always! Sometimes donated aircraft are added to AOPA’s fleet for training purposes or business travel. We have also accepted aircraft that are given away through the AOPA Sweepstakes. If AOPA does keep your aircraft, your charitable tax deduction will be based on the fair market value of the aircraft,

What does the AOPA Foundation do with the proceeds?

Proceeds from the sale of donated aircraft are used to support a variety of programs such as the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s safety seminars, courses, and video production and the You Can Fly program’s initiatives that are getting and keeping more pilots flying. In short, your aircraft donation can help build a stronger, safer pilot community for the future.

How is my tax deduction determined?

Generally, you are entitled to receive a tax deduction equal to the gross proceeds of the aircraft (the amount the aircraft is sold for) if you itemize your deductions. As with all charitable contributions, there are limits on the amount you can deduct in a given year. 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.