From Aircraft Renter to Owner: Is It Time to Take the Leap?

As a private pilot, you’ve been renting aircraft for some time now—and you’ve given quite a few a test flight. You’ve probably narrowed down what you like, what you don’t like and have a good idea of how many passengers (if any) you’ll typically carry. You likely know if any further certifications are in your near future, and have a preference for state of the art, brand new aircrafts vs. classics that make you really feel in control. By now, the thought of buying your own aircraft is probably starting to take hold.

Whether you’re more of a budget shopper who’s considering something like a Piper, or you’re looking for a luxury model like a Cessna 182, there really is an aircraft for every private pilot—assuming you’re ready to take the leap. You need to know what fits your needs and wants, a price comparison and to be realistic when it comes to storage, maintenance and how often you’ll really be able to take flight. Get ready: You’re about to embark on the most exciting investment of your life.

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Breaking Down the Costs

You can literally pay as much, or as little, as you like (within reason) depending on whether you’re after a budget, average or luxury aircraft. For those who are financing, assuming a six percent interest rate (you may be able to get a lower rate), you just need to see that the payment, storage and maintenance fees work with your monthly budget. If you are looking at a smaller plane, it can actually be right on par with financing a car—dreams of aircraft ownership are often much more in reach than people think.

Luxury aircraft start in the six figures and go up from there. It all depends on the size, age, engine, and don’t forget the bells and whistles! There are plenty of aircraft that boast all the luxuries of home and, of course, an unparalleled 360 degree view.

More Considerations

Don’t forget to factor in gas, especially since different aircrafts burn at very different rates. Fuel cost per gallon, or per hour, can shift with the economy, and engine overhaul cost is also a consideration. Just like any machine, there will also be maintenance costs, oil changes and the routine repairs and fixes. It’s easy to see how ownership costs can quickly add up, but (depending on how much you fly) it might actually be better for your pocketbook to own rather than rent. Consider that a typical rental per hour starts at $100 for a small plane, and it’s easy to rack up an impressive bill.

For those who prefer to fly luxury aircrafts, they can save up to significant moolah per year assuming they fly a moderate amount and usually rent a $300 per hour aircraft. Even a budget pilot who pays $100 per hour can save quite a few thousand per year. However, only you can decide if you fly enough to warrant an aircraft of your own. On the other hand, a price can’t be put on pride of ownership, the ability to customize an aircraft and the luxury of never making reservations. At CB Aviation, we have an airplane to suit your needs. Take a look at our inventory and give us a call today!