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Information for Buyers

Perhaps you enjoy the process of searching and shopping. But when it comes right down to purchase time, what are you missing? Are there any surprises in store in the airplane you've found? An A&P inspection is the traditional way to learn about a potential aircraft for sale, but most A&Ps don't really know the Cardinal.

Keith offers an in-depth inspection of your potential purchase, resulting in a list of all the Cardinal specific items that you should be considering (and negotiating) before you buy. This inspection requires 5-7 hours with the airplane, usually at the seller's location, and results in a list of 30-200 issues or items, even on airplanes deemed "excellent with no issues" by an A&P inspection.

This inspection provides a Cardinal-specific expert analysis of how this Cardinal stacks up on the usual failure points. In addition you'll learn much more than the usual mechanic's goal of answering "Is it airworthy?" You'll learn what is unique about this airplane, what's new or worn and generally what it will be like to own this airplane for the next several years.

Keith is not an A&P, but he is a mechanical engineer, has owned his Cardinal since 1987, has inspected hundreds of Cardinals to some extent since 1985, co-founded CFO in 1999 and has performed hundreds of pre-purchase Cardinal inspections in the last few years. His inspection frequently identifies airworthiness issues missed by mechanics and always documents dozens of issues you'll want to know about.

Many people shopping for a Cardinal have never owned an airplane, or at least an airplane of this type. After spending this time with Keith and the airplane you'll know a great deal more about Cardinals and this airplane in particular. You will be much more comfortable with the care and feeding of this particular Cardinal and have a very good idea whether you should buy it.

While the outcome can never be foreseen, often the items found in inspection will result in a price adjustment which more than covers the costs.

If you can't attend the inspection (and even if you do) Keith can create a web page report of his findings and observations for your later reference. Examples of these inspections can be see here and here.


I had never purchased a plane before so I thought it would be prudent to spend some money upfront on some sound consulting. I considered Keith to be one of just a handful of experts available for this kind of work. After helping me narrow down my search, Keith went to the seller's home airport to go over the plane for a very reasonable price. Keith took 157 pictures and posted them online with notes on each picture. It was a staggering amount of information and it took several days for my mechanic and me to process. We have been delighted with our Cardinal and while it is not perfect it is perfect for us and more importantly there were no big $ surprises. This would have been a much more difficult and frightening process without Keith's help. Rex from Idaho.

When considering spending a ton of cash on an aircraft which I know next to nothing about, I thought, "Who better to look it over than Keith? Keith flew to CA (of course I paid him a reasonable fee and covered his travel expenses), rented a car and drove a couple of hours, spent the night where the airplane was and gave her a full look-over. He was able to give me a good overall sense of the quality and solidness of the airplane and what kind of overall shape she was in. He looked her over very well and it made me very comfortable in negotiating a price and buying my first airplane, which has been great. If you're considering buying a Cardinal, you'd do yourself a great service to talk with Keith Peterson. Pete from Texas.