If you work on small planes or provide fuel and other such services, you know well that there is some risk involved here. You are providing a very valuable service, and a customer who is unwilling to pay promptly can cost you a lot. One way you can combat this is by using a lien on that person’s aircraft as a way to get them to pay.
When choosing to do this, one thing to consider is the price of the aircraft in question. Fortunately for you, these tend to be very expensive. Outside of ultralight options, even the smallest two-person planes typically come in at a minimum of $15,000. They can cost as much as $100,000, and it’s safe to assume that the vast majority cost well over that $15,000 mark. Your lien is going to be tied to an expensive vehicle and that gives it the clout you need to recoup that debt.
And the numbers listed above are just for the smallest planes, which generally have one engine. But what if the person you worked for has a multi-engine plane that can carry eight people or even a dozen? For these types of planes, the minimum is around $75,000. You can find many of them that cost around $300,000 and above. Many business owners and others who are worried about the image that comes along with owning a private plane also want to own brand-new planes, so those values are going to be much higher than used options.
In any case, if you haven’t been paid, you can see why it’s so important to think about liens and other legal options.