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Economy... or, at what point....?


ayavner

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Just doing a bit of math (I know, I should leave that to the professionals!) and it occurs to me...

 

Aside from the 20+ hours required to get my RAA cert, at close to $200 a go (less for solo), it would be downright uneconomical for me to fly any more than a couple times a month, tops - not realistic if I want to keep gaining the experience that comes with more hours. And more endos, etc.

 

At what point, or is there such a thing, does it become apparent that it will be cheaper in the long run to purchase an aeroplane as opposed to hiring? I mean crikey, even at just 200 hours you'll have spent $40,000... more than enough to make a dent in a decent little plane.

 

So it seems your choices are to either a) remain a low-hour pilot, just barely maintaining the hours required to keep active, b) get the cert and solo, tick that off the bucket list, then find a cheaper hobby, or c) purchase a plane and keep yourself active in the air and the community.

 

So I guess its more a discussion point than a question (hey, it IS a forum), but I'd like to hear from everyone as to which path they have chosen/ended up on and why?

 

 

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Consider the cost of building your own #19 plane and using that for flying lessons.

 

Tornado Super Sport kit $20.500

 

Jab 2200 Engine $15000

 

Freight $3500

 

GST $2350

 

Instruments $2500

 

Paint $2000

 

Prop $1200

 

At the end of your lessons you still have a $45k asset :)

 

 

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You are correct...buy a plane, that is what RAA is all about, affordable aviation.

 

Nominally and ADDED fudge factor:

 

Purchase aircraft $15000 (582 Drifter 022_wink.gif.2137519eeebfc3acb3315da062b6b1c1.gif)

 

50 hours $100p/h instruction including endorsements $5000

 

another 150hours solo and XC flying @ $50p\h (fuel and maintenance) $7500

 

Total $27500 with $15000 equity...

 

 

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Hi Ayavner,

 

Depending on how many hours you envisaged flying you could consider just buying a share in a plane - it would be lower cost and obviously you could sell that share a while later if you wished to move on....

 

There are pros and cons - you would need some agreement wrt who flies when, shared cost of maintenance, hangar fees etc but it might enable you to get in the air for less than buying on your own.....

 

Cheers

 

Neil

 

 

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It's a bit like buying a car instead of hiring taxis. It will create the illusion of greater economy.

 

Besides, "I've got a plane in my garage" is guaranteed to make you the centre of attention at parties.

 

rgmwa

 

 

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Also factor in the cost of hangarage. Building a hangar may cost as much as the aircraft. Folding wings save a lot of space in hangars and may allow you to trailer the craft home and work on it there... and stay married!

 

 

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Consider the number of hours you intend to fly each year. A reasonable annual estimate would be 25 hours. At $200/hr that's $5000. Allow that an average price for a two place plane is $35,000. That is equal to seven years' flying.

 

If you look at the fixed and variable costs of owning and operating a plane, you could need to set aside $1-2,000 per year.

 

If you always rented an airplane, you could invest $35,000 at 5% per annum, that gives you $1750. Plus, say $1750 from fixed/variable expenses you would not have to pay. That comes to $3,500. Another $1500 (or $30 per week) and you've got your 25 hours' flying AND your capital as well.**

 

You should also remember that when you first get into flying, you want to get in the air as much as possible, but unfortunately, Life has its ways of getting your feet stuck on the ground. When that happens, you end up with a depreciating asset costing you money, and a bitter heart. So, unless you are footloose, fancy free, and independently wealthy, stay away from purchasing a plane on your own. And unless you can have a all-encompassing partnership agreement drawn up, beware of syndicates. It is a sad truism that if you want to make a small fortune in aviation, start out with a big one.

 

Having said that, geez I wish I owned my own plane!

 

Old Man Emu

 

** That's a bit of a falsehood. If you didn't own the plane, you still have to set aside $3250, or $62.50 per week, to add to the $1750 p.a. interest to make up the $5000 for 200 hours' flying.

 

 

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have you hear about pilot syndrome? Pilots have dreamed about flying for millions, so we got pretty good at dreaming and only 100+ years actual flying. Of course, we dreamed about for flying for free.

 

 

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and when you are old you can tell your grand kids about all the things you didn't do because you where sensible.

That's the crux of the matter, isn't it? Are we going to choose to be steady and sensible, live to a ripe old age and die having done nothing, or are we going to be reckless, devil-may-care, still live to a ripe old age, and be able to tell St Peter that we took the gift of life; shook the stuffing out of it and are ready to spend Eternity thanking the Good Lord for the gift?

 

The answer to the question: "At what point, or is there such a thing, does it become apparent that it will be cheaper in the long run to purchase an aeroplane as opposed to hiring? ", there is no correct answer. There is a logical, mathematical solution to the question, but there is no spiritual answer to it.

 

All you can do is acknowledge your addiction, but try to manage the financial side of supporting it so that you keep your house and family, and don't have to resort to breaking into houses and stealing plasma TVs to get those highs you need.

 

Old Man Emu

 

 

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My financial advisor is very sensible and for many years at each of our regular meetings he would tell me that it was not sensible for me to own an aeroplane. He understands now - he recently bought a share in a group which owns two neat tourers - very sensible I told him.

 

 

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Not easy to do the maths because not everyone wants the same thing and everyones situation is different.

 

For example: For someone who buys an aircraft, uses it then sells it, getting back some of the money that they have spent, the cost will be completely different to someone who buys an aircraft, intending never to sell it.

 

One way of looking at is!... If the aircraft cost $50,000 and for the first year 25 hours are flown, then for that year the cost has been $2000 per hour, plus all the other expenses associated with it.

 

Then there`s flying off your own property....If you own the property, the cost per hour will be far different than someone who has to buy property but in both of these cases, land is required... In most cases a strip has to be built...A hangar or shed has to be built and maintained to house the aircraft...The strip needs to be mowed regularly, therefore, some form of mowing device is needed... Then there`s the cost of maintenance on the mowing gear...If travel to the place where the AC is housed and flown from is required, then that cost needs to be added.......Bugger it! Too difficult to do acurate costings! I`ll stop there.

 

Frank.

 

 

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Has anyone ever tried to justify the cost of owning a boat??? You will potentially lose less money buying a low cost aeroplane.

 

Why do we argue the merits of owning an aeroplane in so much detail? Do we do that when we buy a fishing boat with the enormous costs of ownership? Do we do that when we decide to buy a Landcruisr or Nissan Patrol when maybe a Falcon or holden would do?

 

If you want one bad enough buy it ... what the hell ... If you can cost offset the ownership God bless you and go and maximise the benefit.

 

I have for years argued the merits of NOT owning an aircraft and here I sit at 58 years of age having learnt to fly at age 16 and finally said bugger it and bought one, an historic one mind you, but cheap to buy and low cost to own, I have private land to keep it on which will also help in due course.

 

Who wants to be old, boring, mediocre and sensible at the end of their life? I don't mind the old or the sensible, but I wont stand for boring and mediocre. LOL

 

 

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So I guess its more a discussion point than a question (hey, it IS a forum), but I'd like to hear from everyone as to which path they have chosen/ended up on and why?

Well, here's an answer (of sorts) to the original question...

 

Frankly, I can see no financial sense at all in owning an aeroplane, or learning to fly for that matter. Yet, here I am with a fairly recently stamped licence, a half-built aeroplane in the shed, and a retirement plan that is on the back-burner. But so what? I'm having heaps of fun, acquiring practical skills, learning about a whole range of subjects that I would never have done otherwise, finding new challenges and meeting so many interesting people and new friends along the way. There seems to be a sense of adventure and a certain outlook on life that pilots have that is a bit unique.

 

After getting my licence a couple of years ago, I thought "Well, now what? Do I keep renting for ever? Build? Buy? Call it a day and buy a caravan instead?

 

After thinking it over, and having followed other people's build logs on the internet before I ever thought about flying myself, I decided to build. Not because it was a smart financial move because it wasn't, but simply because it really appealed to me. I like building things, I liked the idea of having my own plane, of becoming a better pilot, travelling around Australia by air, and generally doing something a bit out of the ordinary, so that one day when I'm much older, greyer and poorer, I can look back and say, "Well, at least I did it!".

 

rgmwa

 

 

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Wow thanks guys, some great food for thought here. No easy decision or cut and dried logic, I imagine its like so many things I have gotten myself into over time, albeit on a much greater scale - motorcycles, guitars, tools... hell, picking up and moving to Australia! But I do tend to agree with the sentiment that it is often the things you didn't do that you regret rather than the ones you did... presuming its not immoral or illegal, of course.

 

Much to think on, I imagine it will stay in the realm of pipe dream, unless i miraculously manage to pay everything off and hit lotto or some other kind of windfall. My first love is always the guitar, so selling those to finance an airplane would be out of the question. Perhaps the best compromise until I get rich is to go through some sort of aero club. Then again the idea of buying a single seater, and just renting a 2-seater when the need arises sounds like a good one too.

 

Love the discussion, please keep it up!

 

oh, Gnu - never tried a powered parachute or similar, would love to try sometime. I do like having a bit of structure around me though...

 

 

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How to justify owning an airplane:

 

Go ask your friends and colleagues how much they spend on their pastimes.

 

The motto of the Baby Boomers: "You earned it, so you spend it. Leave nothing more than it costs to bury you.

 

OME

 

 

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David Isaac, in post #18 has put it pretty good.

 

Owning a boat: About 35 years ago, someone did a fairly accurate costing on how much it cost a Sugar Cane famer, for the fish that they caught from their own boat then published it in the magazine all cane farmers received! Turned out that the fish would cost $450.00 a kg. so what would the cost be today?

 

I can tell you that it hasn`t cost me $450.00 a kg and I can still go boating because I still have the 5.6 mts Swift Craft that I bought 35 years ago, second hand, for $4,250, so that I could take my family boating!.. It`s taken me reef fishing that many times that I couldn`t remember if I tried and now I take my Grandchildren... That`s it in the photo and that`s my Dad on the right.

 

Kerylee.jpg.a6f9d0f5d5722fd12a5dd08a43f7b83a.jpg

 

Merits of owning an aircraft: There are numerous, however, there has always been and always will be, the haves and the have nots! The haves, don`t need to justify what they want and the have nots always do.

 

I was able to start flying because I built my own Ultralight aircraft, I certainly couldn`t afford to buy one!

 

Weather permiting, I get to fly when I want because at the age of 64, a hell of a lot of blood, sweat, tears, effort and $$$$ have gone into trying to hang on to this property where we live and I fly from ... I ran my own flying school for 12 years with the WB Drifter that I still fly today, so it`s paid it`s way and now I get to fly at a reasonable rate per hour.

 

If I were to be able to calculate the exact cost per hour of my flying, it would be enormous.

 

Forget about trying to cost it out exactly because you will never be able to come to the correct figure. Either you can afford it or you can`t.

 

Frank.

 

 

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The opportunity cost of owning an aircraft: what else you could have bought with the money.

 

We could drink more, travel OS, live it up, or give money to the kids so that they don't have to learn to value what they have...

 

Or you could achieve a lifelong dream: own and fly your own plane, for about the cost of a new car. That's a bargain.

 

 

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