Why Buy An Airplane?
I started talking about buying an airplane in the middle of last year. I didn’t know for sure what it would take to buy one, I just knew why I wanted to buy one. People out there have a number of reasons that they go with buying an airplane, and my reasons are probably pretty similar. Here are my reasons for buying an airplane.
I love to fly and to share it with other people.
When I first decided to go and get my license middle of 2010, I did it because it sounded amazing and I wanted a new challenge. Soon after, I realized that as much as I love to fly myself, I love to share it with my friends and family even more. Having my own airplane will allow me to share it with even more people than I can now by just renting.
I have more training and therefore more renting to do so why not rent from myself.
I have just over 140 hours in the cockpit with getting my private pilot license and flying friends left and right all of last year. All those 140 hours were in a rental from either Twin Oaks or Gorge Winds. On average, each hour was around $120. So, if you do the math, ~$16,500 was spent on rental fees (including fuel). Wow! Sure, the last thirty hours or so I was able to split the cost with my friends and family, but that still means that I spent around $14,000 or more out of my own pocket renting planes. Ouch!
There’s more to come. I’m just starting down the path to go and get my instrument rating which is going to require around 60 hours for me to finish it up. Along with working on that, I’m planning to fly numerous flights with my friends and family over the next year or two. Along with getting my instrument, I’m planning to eventually get my commercial license which requires 250+ hours (inclusive). So that means between my instrument and commercial, I’ve got at least 100+ hours to go.
Let’s do some math. First off, if I rent the plane like I have, at the cheapest, I’m looking at $12,000 for those 100 hours over the next couple years. $12,000 that I will never see again because it was in a plane that I was renting.
Now, let’s say that I rented from myself. Let’s say that I rented from myself for the same amount. $120 an hour. I’m still looking at $12,000 over the next couple years, but instead, I get to take part of that money and put it back into my plane.
Fuel runs around $5 an hour out of Troutdale. The Cessna 172 burns on average around 10 per gallon, so $50 goes into fuel every hour. Add in maintenance, and other costs, and we’re looking at around $80 an hour. So that leaves $40 an hour to go into the plane itself. That puts $4,000 into the plane over the next year or two. Almost a third of the money I’m going to spend will go back into my asset which I could resell later. Sweet!
I can go fly when and where I want.
Renting a plane comes with limitations. One of those big ones is being able to have the plane when I want it. Say the day is just lovely, and I want to go for a joy flight in the middle of the day, more than likely at such a short notice the planes are all booked and I’m left watching everyone else enjoy the skies. No good.
Having a plane gives me the freedom to go when I want to go (as long as my partners aren’t flying that day). Along with this is the ability to go where ever I want for as long as I want. If I chose to go fly into burning man for a week, I don’t have to worry about someone getting upset cause I took it to the desert and had it for a whole week. It is between me and my partners to make those arrangements and that is much easier than trying to convince a rental company with students to let me take it. I currently have done any overnight trips with a rental as there is a requirement that if I take it over 24 hours, I have to pay for 4 hours (whether I fly for 30 minutes or the full 4 hours). So, I have avoided making those trips happen for the time being. With my own plane, I can go when and wherever I want. Perfect!
If I fly it enough, it eventually becomes cheaper.
It’s true that owning an airplane will always cost me money. However, if I fly throughout the year (and a lot), then it becomes much more affordable.
I already have someone to partner up with to buy one.
One great reason of buying the plane is that it won’t just be me buying it. I’ll be buying it with my friend Jeffrey which will significantly cut the costs I will be paying every year as I’ll have someone to split the big things like maintenance and overhauls. There is no way that I will be flying it enough to justify purchasing one on my own, but having someone to split it with makes it reasonable. He’s in the works to finish his license pretty shortly which means we’ll be doing a lot of flying together in the next few months.
There are a lack of people I know who own an airplane, so I might as well be that guy.
Personally, I don’t know anyone who owns an airplane so for that matter, I might as well be the person to own one. It gives me a sense of pride to be working on something I’m so passionate about and having an airplane puts me on a different level. Owning a home has never been something I really cared to do, so I might as well own an airplane.
Another plus is that I can customize it the way me and my partners want. If I want a racing stripe, I can add one. If we want a new color, we can repaint. If we want to rename the plane so that it has W in it (Whiskey), then we can do that. So great!
It’s freaking awesome!
Seriously, how cool is it going to be when I tell me that I own an airplane. It’s freaking amazing to do something like this and I’m so excited for it.
February 10, 2016 / Jason /
Categories: Buying An Airplane
- Total Flight Time: 218.5 Hours
- Pilot In Command Time: 125.7 Hours
- Solo Time: 100.8 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time: 60.5 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time (Solo): 27.8 Hours
- Night Time: 7.1 Hours
- Simulated Instrument Time: 4.8 Hours
- Landings (Day/Night): 521 (499/22)
- Flight Training Received: 92.8 Hours
- Ground Training Received: 30.8 Hours