Owning your own airplane comes with the benefits of flying wherever you want to go and whenever you want to go. But you’re also responsible for the aircraft’s maintenance. Airplane ownership can seem too costly for most, but there are ways to minimize costs. This article will break down the best practices to keep costs low when deciding to enter the world of private plane ownership.
The most expensive part of an aircraft is the engine. If the engine is near or beyond TBO (time between overhaul), an engine overhaul will cost you. Check out the cost of an engine overhaul, and make sure you’ll be able to afford it when it’s time. Look for corrosion on a metal frame. Above all, think simple. A fixed gear, single-engine airplane with basic avionics costs less to maintain and repair.
Consider a Partnership
A quick way to save cash on ownership is a co-ownership agreement with one or more pilots. It’s important to know that the least experienced pilot is used to determine the insurance policy rate. Each partner must have the financial resources to meet the fixed costs, and the partnership must communicate effectively to avoid conflict.
Reduce Your Repair Costs
Maintenance is the most costly part of owning an airplane. If you’re willing to learn about your aircraft and take the time to find ways to cut costs you can save a lot. Use an independent mechanic when you need one. Working with the right mechanic can save you thousands of dollars over the years. Make sure the mechanic has good references from pilots you know. Buying your own parts will save you a lot.
Learn Preventive Maintenance
Performing your own preventative maintenance can save you big bucks. And it will serve you far into the future. At a minimum, you should learn how to change your oil. You can save close to $100 by changing your own oil. You can even change tires, replace batteries, and clean and replace spark plugs.
Clean Your Own Airplane
Similar to preventative maintenance you can clean your own airplane. When you clean the oily belly and dust the wings, you will get more familiar with your aircraft. It will give you an opportunity to catch small problems like cracks in the gear, loose nuts, missing screws, or torn fabric. You can remedy small problems before they become bigger more costly problems.
Fly on a Budget
Flying more can actually be more cost-effective. If your fixed costs are about $3,000 per year, and you only fly 10 hours, you’ll be spending $300 per hour. Yikes. Enjoy your plane and fly 100 hours at $30 per hour. You can take short flights and enjoy a sunset. The more people who fly, the more affordable aviation becomes for everyone.
Ready to Experience Aircraft Ownership?
Aircraft ownership starts with your private pilot’s license. Choosing a qualified flight school makes all the difference in time and money spent. Come visit our Florida campus or Tennessee campus. You can request a tour and see all that CTI has to offer our students.