If you have questions on how to purchase/sell an aircraft and then register the aircraft with the new owner, you’ve come to the right place! Paperwork can sometimes be challenging, but hopefully this information helps you with the process.

There are two forms that need to be completed. An aircraft bill of sale and registration. We begin with the bill of sale.


  • The seller completes the “Bill of Sale,” which is FAA Form 8050-2, available for download on FAA’s web site. The Bill of Sale must be filled out in duplicate (two originals). 
  • Both originals of the Bill of Sale go to the buyer – one is paired with the registration to go to the FAA, and the buyer keeps the other. The seller should make a photocopy, if he desires to keep a record.
  • Seller name(s) should be written EXACTLY as it is on the current registration. (Watch out for shortened names, the suffix Jr. or Sr., and the middle initial.)

When do we exchange money?

  • The actual moment of aircraft transfer occurs when the Bill of Sale is signed. To ensure a smooth transfer:
    • The seller must assure him/herself that the payment is truly legitimate. Cash is universally acceptable, of course, although cash transactions may be risky to handle and amounts over $10,000 require your bank to report to the IRS. A certified or cashier’s check from a bank is a common mode of payment- but be aware of the occasional check scam. A safer choice would be a bank wire transfer. It is quite normal and appropriate for the seller to telephone a bank officer at either the issuing bank, or his own bank, for help in verification of funds. For example: A seller could avoid being burned by asking, on a Friday, which bank will be issuing the buyers funds for the transaction planned for a non-business Saturday!
    • A WORD OF CAUTION: The seller’s insurance on the aircraft may terminate with the completed bill of sale transfer, depending on how the policy is written. Some policies may remain for an additional 30 days after the sale. If the buyer already has a balloon insurance policy, typically there is a grace period for any new balloons to be added to the policy. Check with your insurance companies! Assuming you’ve been paid properly, it’s then the buyer’s responsibility to arrange coverage. The buyer can both establish and activate his new coverage by phone.


  • Remove the original aircraft registration certificate with the owner’s name on it from the aircraft. Complete the sale information on the back of that certificate and mail it to the FAA registry in Oklahoma City. Doing so protects you.
  • Provide all logbooks and records on the aircraft (as agreed upon) to the buyer.



  • Form 8050-1 is available online. After the purchaser completes the form, they should make a photocopy of it and place it in the aircraft. The photocopy of the original will serve as the temporary. This replaces the pink slip that most owners are familiar with.


  • The applicant for registration needs to show a chain of ownership from the last registered owner of the aircraft to themselves. This can be done with one bill of sale or multiple bills of sale from one name to the next.
  • Be sure the name on the registration matches the name on the Bill of Sale exactly.
  • If you are registering your balloon into an LLC or Corporation organized in the USA, be sure to also include documentation showing organization from your Secretary of State, as well as a written statement from someone authorized to register the balloon on behalf of the organization – their signature and title. That same title should be used on the registration form.