Buy an airplane ASAP ( no we’re not crazy )

By beststuff  

All content copyright Paul Smyres, Living Being Media, all rights reserved.

You could own and fly an airplane like this

Current aviation situation favors owning your own aircraft :

large inventory, long life of maintained aircraft, tax breaks, lower prices, crowded airports, parking, etc……

Believe it or not, NOW is a great time to buy an airplane. CLICK ON LINK TO SEE ARTICLE, PHOTOS

Okay, so maybe flying isn’t your thing, but if it IS, than take a good look at what’s going on in aviation.

In 2008 and 2009, there were some very attractive incentives to buy and maintain aircraft in the 2 stimulus bills.

But, that doesn’t mean it won’t make sense for you. Go down to a local general aviation airport, even a fairly small one, and look at all the airplanes there.   In almost every case, for each of those planes there is an owner who knows it makes economic sense, to THEM, to own an airplane.   Why not for you ?     You don’t even have to own the whole airplane because it’s common for a small group of people to own and maintain an airplane.    You can own a small airplane and lease it back to a flight school that will maintain it for you in exchange for use.

Prices on used aircraft have fallen in the last 2 years, so prices now are great.   There’s a good supply available, too, because new planes are being produced and many current owners are eager to upgrade if they can sell their other plane.

Planes last a very long time if cared for ( and they usually are ).   Overall, a well maintained aircraft holds value very well over time.   Many aircraft flying regularly today are 20 to 30 years old, sometimes much older.

Why does owning a plane make sense?

If it’s economic sense you mean, how valuable is your time ?   Is it worth hundreds of dollars per hour sometimes ?   Could you make more sales if you flew to see customers?   Could you deliver a product or service faster if you had access to a plane?

There is also savings on travel if a small group is involved.  Think about how much time is spent going to a major airport, checking in, waiting, parking expenses, etc.  Then, you travel an hour or two, and ANOTHER ride in a taxi, bus, etc.

Families can own an aircraft that gets used by multiple members, for vacations or reunions, or medical situations.

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If airplanes were did not make economic sense there wouldn’t be so many of them.

Here’s one simple example

I often go to Columbus Ohio for family and business.   To do that, I have to drive 90 minutes, park, go through screening  60 minutes in advance, wait, fly to Baltimore, wait again, sometimes over 2 hours, then fly another 75 minutes to Columbus, and another 30 minutes to my destination.    That takes me total of over 7 hours door to door.    Ticket price is around 250 USD plus parking.    about 300 total.

If I owned a small plane like a Cessna 172, or 182, I could drive only 30 minutes to the airport, park for free, fly directly to Columbus in 4 hours, and ride only 15 minutes to my destination.   That takes 5 hours door to door.   It would cost me about 200 dollars in fuel, plus around 160 dollars in aircraft maintenance / insurance overhead.    BUT, I could take at least one other person plus luggage AND save over 2 hours of my time, not to mention the convenience of traveling on my own schedule, weather permitting.

So you see, at some point, it’s cheaper and much more convenient to own a plane, if you plan it out carefully.  Plus, there is a category of plane called LSA, or Light Sport Aircraft, that is growing rapidly with strong, lightweight engines and materials, able to carry two people quite far.   You can earn a recreational pilot license quite easily these days.   Recreational pilots can’t fly at night.

There are some other good reasons to learn to fly and own a plane.

Here in the United States, slowly infrastructure is decaying, especially roads and bridges, and with the state of the current economy and political situation, it’s very likely that traditional ways of going places will shift.     Large airports are getting so congested, full of chaos, ticket prices are rising, and security is getting more and more bizarre.

Time to take another look at private aviation.

Before we had our national highway system, and as trains started to fade, small planes were very important.    In many countries today, they are extremely important, and in places like Alaska, a necessity.

OKAY, so how much does it cost?

Good question.   Plane ownership comes down to a number per hour of operation.  You have fixed costs that occur if the plane is used or not.  And, you have the variable costs like fuel, maintenance, inspections, etc.

You can keep a small plane like a Cessna 172 running and legal for around 5,000 or so a year ( BIG variables, age of plane, time used, where used, etc ).   But let’s say 750 dollars per month, for example.   How many business owners could justify $ 750  to 1,000 a month if it saved them 20 to 30 hours per month of time  ?    Remember, you could share ownership of a plane like this with several people, so your share would be less.  Flying clubs usually let you have a number of days during the year where you can park it overnight in a distant location ( vacation spot ).      You can fly small planes into places that are much more time consuming to get to by car, such as wilderness, lakes, and islands.

Learning to fly is a very rewarding process

You learn to navigate, communicate, watch the weather, and be very careful.   You must use checklists and follow procedures.  It’s a great mental discipline.   Start young, if you can.    There are many young pilots.   check out www.bestpilotguide.com for more info.

It's amazing what you can learn in a modern flight simulator