How to 'buy and fly' cheap in 2022?

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Dana

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For many if not most of us it's not just about the money, we own airplanes because we want to own airplanes, even if renting is cheaper. Or because one simply can't rent the kind of airplane one wants. Or because it's like being a member of an exclusive club, higher status than a lowly renter. Or maybe a bit of all those things.

I know I'd save a lot of money renting... because I wouldn't fly much, it's hard for me to get excited about a beat up rental 150 or 172.
 

BJC

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For many if not most of us it's not just about the money, we own airplanes because we want to own airplanes, even if renting is cheaper. Or because one simply can't rent the kind of airplane one wants.
Yup, there is great satisfaction in knowing what has happened / is happening to one’s airplane, and to caring for one’s airplane the way one wants.


BJC
 

Pops

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Yup, there is great satisfaction in knowing what has happened / is happening to one’s airplane, and to caring for one’s airplane the way one wants.


BJC
That is for sure and I have never rented an airplane that I was happy with.
 
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blane.c

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I have issues with renting. The plane is only available when I don't need or want to use it, and if it is available and I want to go somewhere and spend a day or two it isn't allowed because I would deny someone else (and the company renting it) it's availability.
 

mgmorden

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I have issues with renting. The plane is only available when I don't need or want to use it, and if it is available and I want to go somewhere and spend a day or two it isn't allowed because I would deny someone else (and the company renting it) it's availability.

Yeah that was what eventually made me stop flying (I got my ticket back around 2007 but haven't flown in over 10 years). If I wanted to just put around in the sky for a few hours it was fine, but I don't have any intention of flying for a career so I have no need to "build time". I want to be able to take a plane on a trip, or to a fly-in, Oshkosh, etc. And even if I could it's not much fun showing up and saying "Here's the boring C-150 I rented and flew here in " :).

I've basically decided that I want to get back into flying but I want to own a plane. I'm still relatively young-ish (40) and figure I'll be able to afford it more easily now than after I get into my retirement. Something like a used Sonex looks nice, but heck even something like a Pober Pixie or a Baby Ace might be worth looking at.
 

pfarber

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Your total cost per hour goes down the more you fly it.
How i hate to hear this.

It does not get cheaper to fly per hour as a real metric. If i fly enlugh it can only Cost me $1 an hour!

You have to have that money to start with. Making up some mythical division problem doesn't solve anything.
 

Dana

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How i hate to hear this.

It does not get cheaper to fly per hour as a real metric. If i fly enlugh it can only Cost me $1 an hour!
No. It does get cheaper per hour as you fly more, because the fixed costs (hangar, insurance, etc.) are amortized over more hours. But that doesn't mean that y-intercept on the curve is at zero.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Without sorting out too much thought for me it is a matter of wanting to own vs cost analysis. I'm fortunate in the fact that I can afford to own. That comes at a price with other things that most folks do but I'm content with that. The convenience of having it there or even smiling when I go into the hanger not intending to fly to me ads value that renting or flying clubs just can't compete with.
 

Lois

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How i hate to hear this.

It does not get cheaper to fly per hour as a real metric. If i fly enlugh it can only Cost me $1 an hour!

You have to have that money to start with. Making up some mythical division problem doesn't solve anything.
With all due respect your fixed costs are constants. Insurance (unless you are rich), Annuals (if you fly it at all), Hangar or Tie Down Costs (unless you have a big back yard), Debt Service (if you borrowed) are all the same regardless of how much you fly.

Numbers can be argued. I spent two minutes on-line to find these (from an insurance company) and can do a lot better but I'm old, experienced, and have an airframe mechanic certificate. The site says $14,000 per year in fixed costs on an older CE172. They also say $40.00 per hour in variable costs (including maintenance reserves)...
So IF you break it down by flight hour, the pilot in the example really pays a lot less, the more she flies...

35 hours $ 15,400 / 35 = $ 440.00 hour
70 hours $ 16,800 / 35 = $ 240.00 hour
105 hours $ 18,200 / 105 = $ 173.33 hour
140 hours $ 19600 / 140 = $ 140.00 hour
175 hours $ 21,000 /210 = $ 120.00 hour

No, it will never get down to a dollar an hour. In the highly unlikely event that you could actually fly 10 hours every day for a year it would only drop to $ 43.86 per hour. (Not counting your ensuing divorce, attorneys fees and alimony are I believe variable costs. :) )

Sure there are limitations... There are limitations on everything in life.
From my owners manual: "The fact that your air bag did not inflate in a collision does not mean something is wrong with the air bag system."
 
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rv7charlie

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And I'll bet you wish you had that C172 available to sell, today. ;-)

What's the T-hangar rent in southern CA today? One of the well-known aviation writers wrote an article several years ago about selling his Citabria, because he could no longer justify the hangar rent, which, IIRC, was in excess of $1k/month. If one is in that position, that $14k estimate might be on the low side for fixed costs.

Those numbers obviously don't apply to everyone; tiedown for my 1st plane back in the early 1990s was something like $15/mo. The plane quickly started paying a premium for being tied down outside, though, and in the years since, several friend's planes that have been tied down have been repeatedly damaged by hailstorms (fairly common in my area).

None of that changes Lois' & others' point; flying more reduces your cost per hour. I've only been able to fly 10-15 hrs/year for the past several years; at that rate, my full coverage insurance alone costs me about $100/hr. If I flew twice as much, that per hour cost would be cut in half.
 

Victor Bravo

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And I'll bet you wish you had that C172 available to sell, today. ;-)

What's the T-hangar rent in southern CA today?

I do happen to have that 172 available for sale today.... just bring all the gold in Fort Knox with you :)

At KWHP, which is about three miles north of Burbank airport, the cheap "port-a-port" small T-hangar is about $365 a month. The 42x36 "large T- hangar" I'm in is $525 (but I only pay 3/4 of it). Our 50x60 2-story EAA chapter hangar, on a nice slab, with a running-water bathroom and a really nice large bi-fold hangar door, is about 1150.
 

Doran Jaffas

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I do happen to have that 172 available for sale today.... just bring all the gold in Fort Knox with you :)

At KWHP, which is about three miles north of Burbank airport, the cheap "port-a-port" small T-hangar is about $365 a month. The 42x36 "large T- hangar" I'm in is $525 (but I only pay 3/4 of it). Our 50x60 2-story EAA chapter hangar, on a nice slab, with a running-water bathroom and a really nice large bi-fold hangar door, is about 1150.

Y70..Ionia County...$200.00 electric included...40' x 30' T-Hangar..bifold doors
 

fretman_2

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No. It does get cheaper per hour as you fly more, because the fixed costs (hangar, insurance, etc.) are amortized over more hours. But that doesn't mean that y-intercept on the curve is at zero.

When we're talking about cost per hour I think it's important to consider that for some people the cost per hour is a major consideration or the major consideration in the debate on renting vs owning. I fly for enjoyment primarily. For some, flying may be for business and the cost per hour has to be a factor.

My wife enjoys flying with me. But if she did not, she's an accountant and I know she'd be asking me about cost per hour owning vs rental. I'd need to justify it with her...thank goodness I don't.
 

Doran Jaffas

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When we're talking about cost per hour I think it's important to consider that for some people the cost per hour is a major consideration or the major consideration in the debate on renting vs owning. I fly for enjoyment primarily. For some, flying may be for business and the cost per hour has to be a factor.

My wife enjoys flying with me. But if she did not, she's an accountant and I know she'd be asking me about cost per hour owning vs rental. I'd need to justify it with her...thank goodness I don't.

Adding another 2 cents of mine..most of us that aviate and own do it regardless of the cost per hour. We don't have other interests that take priority so our money for multiple hobbies goes into our singular passion. The feeling one gets from doing something that one is passionate about cannot have a price and is therefore not justifiable. Unless one is taking from their families well being, or their own then spend the money, look at it as an investment in life and sanity and ENJOY the pleasures that are unique to what we as Aviators and Pilots call living.
 

pfarber

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My airplane is insured for $40K and my insurance is less than $800. I'm 65 years old and I flew 65 hours last year. The number of hours I flew got the price down! I'm a member of EAA and my insurance is through them.

Most hull ins is 1-2% of insured value then add on pilot qualifications (hours etc).

$40k hull is not a lot. Could you replace your current AC for $40k??
 
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