OK, here's how I'd do what you need to do:
1) The IRS says that on any charitable donations valued at less than $5000, the donor sets the value based on his fair estimate. Anything over $5000 has to be appraised by a gold-plated muckety-muck licensed and official-like appraiser.
2) If you donate a vehicle
(including car or airplane), the IRS says that if you claimed a donation value of X (whether appraised or not), and the charity turns around and sells (dumps) the vehicle for 1/4X to make a quick buck, the IRS comes back at YOU, the donor (not the charity) and retroactively slashes your "donation" value down to 1/4X. The charity has to keep the donated item for 2 years before it can be sold off without the IRS reducing your write-off like that.
3) WHEN COMPLETED AND FLYABLE, your Weedhopper is, by FAA Part 103 definition, an "ultralight air vehicle" not an "aircraft". So even though it has no N number, they can interpret it to be a vehicle, even if the FAA says it's not an "aircraft".
4) So..... I would advise you to not donate your $5,000 ultralight air vehicle to a charity. Sorry, I was mistaken to have inadvertently suggested something so problematic... so fraught with headaches and suffering... as that. I was wrong and I'm so sorry. Disregard my previous posts.
5) On another unrelated
note, I was out in your neighborhood the other day (wherever that was), and I stopped by that hangar you mentioned to see if you were there and say hello to a fellow BCP member. I happened to notice that you had a lot of miscellaneous parts around there. You had a lot of unrelated parts, like a BRS ballistic parachute from one of those slick Cirrus planes for doctors and lawyers, some sort of a 2 stroke snowmobile-type engine, a bunch of wheels and skis and some box of dials and gauges. I also saw you had some sort of propeller for one of those air-boats they have in Florida. And over in a separate corner of the hangar, I saw you had some sort of a half-completed project for one of those experimental type airplanes. Too bad it was only half of the parts... there isn't even the outside of the cockpit, only the inside skeleton! I knew it was only a bunch of airplane parts and not
any sort of a complete vehicle
, because it didn't even have those FAA "letter N" license plates on it that shows it's an actual airplane.
6) Well, what you might want to do is take those TWO of THREE SEPARATE collections of junk and donate them to charity (over the course of six months or so). The engine, propeller and engine gauges are certainly worth three or four thousand, heck you even have the magazine ads for what that stuff costs.. The wheels, skis and that mysterious ballistic chute are probably worth a few thousand as well, maybe you can check the catalogs to see what they cost, and give the charity a copy of the page from the catalog showing the price... it's probably not like that parachute was used or anything. That half-complete airplane project that never got finished enough to be considered an airplane must be worth four thousand or so... you might look at what similar replacement airplanes cost (Quicksilver MX, Be-Lite 103, CGS Hawk 103), and then figure it's worth a little less than half that amount.
7) So four thousand or so for the experimental project donation "lot", four thousand for another "lot" consisting of an engine, propeller and a bunch of gauges, and a few thousand for the ballistic chute like the one you saw in the cirrus advertisement... what's that, about ten or eleven thousand dollars worth of donations?
8 ) Now when your tax accountant figures all this in, the total amount of your donations is DEDUCTED from your taxable income. So if you make $60,000 at your job, and you donate $10,000 to charity, you get taxed on only $50,000 income. To calculate it another way, if you are in the 33% tax bracket, and you donated $10,000 (in three un-appraised, non-vehicle lots), your actual monetary "gain" is 33% of $10,000. That may or may not be more than the $900 you had figured on