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August 15, 2018

Auction fetches top prices for abandoned airplanes

Eric Parris of Warrenton offered the high bid $4,000 for this 1961 Cessna 172C Skyhawk.
Peter Stephany of Florida paid $2,750 for this 1946 ER Coupe 415-C.
Two decaying planes last week sold at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland for more than their appraised value.

Proceeds — $6,750 — from Fauquier County’s auction will be used to cover sale expenses and years of delinquent tie-down an airport maintenance fees the owners failed pay on the abandoned planes.

Missouri-based National Aircraft Appraisers Association valued a 1961 Cessna 172-C Skyhawk $3,600.

On Friday, Eric Parris of Warrenton paid $4,000 for the plane.

NAAA valued a 1946 ER Coupe 415-C $1,950.

Peter Stephany of Florida paid $2,750 for the aircraft.

Both Mr. Stephany and Mr. Parris plan to restore the planes, according to Senior Assistant County Attorney Mary Catherine, who oversaw the auction process.

The new owners couldn’t be reached for comment.

“The auction went well,” Ms. Anderson explained in an email.

About 30 people attended and 14 registered to bid at the Aug. 10 sale, according to the senior assistant county attorney.

The auctions had no reserve and no minimum bid. But, the buyer(s) had to pay cash.

To her knowledge, the Fauquier’s government never has auctioned airplanes, Ms. Anderson said.

Ms. Anderson recently oversaw the auction of 11 pieces of real estate for delinquent taxes. And, years ago, the county sold some vehicles to satisfy long-overdue personal property tax bills. In her research, however, the county attorney found only one other local government in Virginia that had auctioned an airplane to satisfy delinquent fees.

State law requires that fees or taxes must be at least three years overdue before local government can begin the process of conducting an asset auction to satisfy the debt.

Over the years, the owners of the two planes habitually got behind and then caught up on monthly fee payments, according to Ms. Anderson. But, they have stopped responding to notices about their delinquent accounts.

The delinquent plane owners can prevent the sale of their planes by paying the past-due fees, interest and penalties, along with an appraiser’s fee of $375 per aircraft.
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