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Cost of owning a plane

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21 hours ago, Orbit said:

Also what types are you looking at getting?

I've been looking at Bonanzas, Mooneys, and the like. I've done many XC trips in a rented Bonanza and loved flying it. I'm still very early on in my research on what airframes are pitfalls/nonstarters and how to tell market value for certified a/c. Something like this looks awesome but I have no idea if it's worth 60k and how it would hold up value: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/122535405/1959-beechcraft-k35-bonanza

Everything about RVs from what I've read is appealing to me but I wonder if you need a buddy mechanic that's good with them. Dream is to build one eventually but won't have the time in the foreseeable future.

Market fall or not, sounds like better to wait till after the summer to buy.

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Bobsan said:

I've been looking at Bonanzas, Mooneys, and the like. I've done many XC trips in a rented Bonanza and loved flying it. I'm still very early on in my research on what airframes are pitfalls/nonstarters and how to tell market value for certified a/c. Something like this looks awesome but I have no idea if it's worth 60k and how it would hold up value: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/122535405/1959-beechcraft-k35-bonanza

Everything about RVs from what I've read is appealing to me but I wonder if you need a buddy mechanic that's good with them. Dream is to build one eventually but won't have the time in the foreseeable future.

Market fall or not, sounds like better to wait till after the summer to buy.

You're looking at early model 35s like that orphaned K model, but think/ponder/worry an all-metal riveted fixed gear Lycoming powered experimental rules 2-seater is gonna represent an inflection point on a mx and qualified mx-personnel accessibility basis? 

You got it backwards.

 

 

Edited by hindsight2020
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bobsan said:

I've been looking at Bonanzas, Mooneys, and the like. I've done many XC trips in a rented Bonanza and loved flying it. I'm still very early on in my research on what airframes are pitfalls/nonstarters and how to tell market value for certified a/c. Something like this looks awesome but I have no idea if it's worth 60k and how it would hold up value: https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/122535405/1959-beechcraft-k35-bonanza

Everything about RVs from what I've read is appealing to me but I wonder if you need a buddy mechanic that's good with them. Dream is to build one eventually but won't have the time in the foreseeable future.

Market fall or not, sounds like better to wait till after the summer to buy.

How many people are you going to fly with 75% of the time? I know a few air force pilot's with Mooneys and they enjoy them (economical for a certified retract, long legs, good TAS cruise).  I have a RV-6 and RVs are some of the best flying and cost economical airplanes ever.  The best part about the RV is there are so many of them you can easily find someone that is an expert nearby.  Like hindsight was saying, the experimental world has all of the benefits right now with little drawbacks (Eg. you cant use an experimental for hire/compensation) but you can change just about whatever you want. Want all glass or an autopilot?  it's "cheap" and you can do it yourself. If you make a major change like a different propeller the FSDO just signs off on it and you fly a few hours of test flying.  

 

PM me if you have any questions but www.vansairforce.com forums is your friend.

Edited by Orbit
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3 hours ago, Bobsan said:

 

Everything about RVs from what I've read is appealing to me but I wonder if you need a buddy mechanic that's good with them. Dream is to build one eventually but won't have the time in the foreseeable future.

I built my RV-10, so I have the Repairman’s certificate.  With that said, anyone can do maintenance on any EAB aircraft like a RV.  You only need an A&P for the Condition Inspection if you don’t have the Repairman’s certificate.

mine has been flying for seven years.   Oil changes and brake pads have been my primary maintenance expense. Mine has been pretty maintenance free.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Bobsan said:

Everything about RVs from what I've read is appealing to me but I wonder if you need a buddy mechanic that's good with them. Dream is to build one eventually but won't have the time in the foreseeable future.

Market fall or not, sounds like better to wait till after the summer to buy.

I had an '88 RV-4 for 20 years and was always tinkering. Purchased a 2010 RV-8 5 years ago and it has been pretty much gas and go.  Newer RV's seem to be set up better.  Define your mission.  RV's are not as solid as a spam can.  Flew mine MN---> AZ in one day and I was still vibrating when I went to bed but would never trade it.  My -8 is the last plane I will ever fly.

 

image.png.0af4e60bad01deba8ed0f4c108a0f477.png

 

Edited by Springer
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1 hour ago, Duck said:

A buddy showed me this. Haven’t seen any updates lately but I was seriously going to throw down to get one.


http://raptor-aircraft.com


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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyEqCPjfEG1Cwt8-YEAOxbg

This is another cool prototype, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPUZCBNrduwUsw_MTW-sDxw

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Posted (edited)

I've flown with a few guys who have deposits down on the Raptor.  The numbers they were quoting seemed a bit of a pipe dream, but who knows.  I hope it works the numbers actually happen.  

I heavily researched the idea of buying a Bonanza/Mooney or similar. Hindsight is right, you'll run into some serious personalities, and experimental is the way to go to save costs.  All I can say is be honest with yourself on what your "mission" is and how often you'll actually use it.  After joining a club with a Cherokee-6, I found I didn't use it nearly as much as I thought I would.  If it wasn't bad weather, it was personal scheduling conflicts, rarely was it because of aircraft availability.  This drives up the cost/hr significantly.   As someone who was a CFII before UPT, and once very proficient in small plane IMC ops, I realize I will not fly nearly enough to be comfortable in single pilot IMC ops in a light GA aircraft.  I also looked at fractional ownership with a few squadron mates and let's just say, do LOTS of research and soul searching if you go that route...especially if you're particular about your stuff.  Tons of good information out there about doing this, so study up and know the pitfalls.  I found the type specific forums (beechtalk, mooneyspace, etc...) to be the most informative places to hang out.

In the end, I went to the opposite end of the spectrum and now fly around at 500 feet, 85mph, radio off (out of the pattern), door open in a tailwheel aircraft and couldn't be happier.  I fly it WAY more than most fly their BO's/Mooneys and it's ridiculously cheap flying.  I may not fly more hours, but I'm probably flying more often.  If you have a good airport community, half the fun is just being out there and hanging out.  Plus, you get to know people who may let you fly their planes lol.  

If I ever decide I want something with some speed, I'm likely getting an RV-7. 

 

 

Edited by SocialD
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Why is the 4-place market largely untapped by exp? I would go that route in a heart beat, but my primary family mission keeps me out of the exp world. Now if someone would make an exp similar to a 180/185, I imagine there’d be a lot of folks all over that. 

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1 hour ago, brabus said:

Why is the 4-place market largely untapped by exp? I would go that route in a heart beat, but my primary family mission keeps me out of the exp world. Now if someone would make an exp similar to a 180/185, I imagine there’d be a lot of folks all over that. 

A few reasons:

1) The cost to build a modern experimental doesn't pencil out on a resale basis compared to the fully discounted acquisition price of a 40+ year old legacy spam can 4/6 seater. Which is why I was so hot after the primary non-commercial category (and of course the FAA snuffed it). RV-10s on a resale basis make no sense compared to a used up SR-22, Saratoga SP or F33C. Granted, I'd take the RV-10 any day based on the maintenance and parts allowances alone.... but not for housing money, which is where both the RV-10 and the SR-22/Toga/F33C live. 

Builders are of course, generally insensitive to that argument. I personally don't like that litmus test, which is why I have a bone to pick with the 51% rule, but that's for another day. In a perfect world (and that's where MOSAIC comes into play), EAB resale owners would have the legal ability to inspect their personally-owned experimental in the same way they are allowed to do so with a repairman-inspection certificate in the E-LSA realm. But that's a tangent, it still doesn't address the acquisition price non-starter between the few 4-seaters in EXAB land and old certified 4 seaters. As much as I detest the certified rules, and have my seasonal bouts with wanting to chuck the thing, the reality is that I'm orders of magnitude of money ahead with the spam can on a total yearly outlay than attempting to capitalize an RV-10. Not even close. That's unfortunately the way the cookie crumbles in my world where cost is an object. It is what it is. It is certainly no small part of why the hobby is dying with the younger generation, and I digress.

1a) To be clear, the cost delta to assemble a 4 seater and a 2-seater fixed gear airplane is trivial. The engine choice cost is also trivial. Yes a 4-seater would call for a bigger engine to be competitive, but a Lycoming 540 is no more expensive to overhaul in its parallel valve variant than a Lyco 360 of angle valve variant. Hell, a 540 is cheaper to overhaul than a Lyco 390, with insanely priced jugs. BL, it's not a materials or engine cost. It's merely a CAPEX one because of the prevailing depreciated price of certified 4-seaters.

1b) Very few builders are interested in assembling the equivalent of an experimental grumman Tiger (essentially a 4-seater RV, aka putting a 4 banger on and RV-10 and making it a 3-seater like all sub-200hp certified 4-seaters are and why they're priced the way they are). Nobody in builder land does that, which is why there's no affordable 4-seaters in EAB. The only other options are oddball Velocities with T-38 runway requirements, equally horrid high DA performance specs and family unfriendly cabin volumetrics, or hen's teeth fiberglass constructed offerings in the orphan "plans-built" market I wouldn't strap in on if the choices were that or get COVID-19.

2) Demographics. Good bad or indifferent, the preponderance of the experimental market is empty nester boomers, or childless couples. The heads of household who do partake do so where the decision was made the spouse was not interested in flying, or there was never going to be a willingness to travel with the children. As such, the market essentially settled on 2-seaters, for those without the aptitude, inclination and/or time to build in order to escape certified hell. See 1b for the feedback loop of why demographics feed the outcome of the offerings. Everybody else with flying-friendly families is stuck in certified land, myself included.  Conversely, the few heads of household with young children have no interest in building outright as a function of life stage financials and time, which makes it a catch-22.

That's a good initial crack as to why there's no affordable options for 4-seaters. The current trend in certified is the loss of airframe OEM support until it becomes uneconomical to maintain. I won't mention specific make/models as that just triggers the type cults. The fixed gear trainer-lineage airplanes like C1xx and non-retract PA-28s will endure for a long time because of the sheer number of salvage samples and active flight training market that still enjoys 3rd party vendor support. But the antiquey retracts and twins are in a world of hurt already, and maintaining them under certified rules going forward will continue to be an exercise in watching a terminal patient decay without having someone mercy kill it already. To each their own on that.

It's always been a lone-wolf hobby in practice, and current rules don't help the cause. I have my theory as to why the FAA doesn't want to release certified cans into primary non-commercial, but that's my conspiracy theory and for another thread.

Edited by hindsight2020
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I'm over fifty and still have the dream of getting a PPL to add on with my A&P. Came across this video which he breaks it down. 

 

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3 hours ago, Prosuper said:

I'm over fifty and still have the dream of getting a PPL to add on with my A&P. Came across this video which he breaks it down. 

 

Re the vid:  Friends don't let friends buy 150hp Cardinals.

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I'm over fifty and still have the dream of getting a PPL to add on with my A&P. Came across this video which he breaks it down. 
 

I’m not 50 but on my way. How do you get your A&P if already a pilot?

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Wow. They have made some significant changes to those King Air props since I flew the MC-12. 

Technology. Amazing stuff

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5 hours ago, Guardian said:


I’m not 50 but on my way. How do you get your A&P if already a pilot?

I'm a A&P but would someday like to have my pilots license. 

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Where in general is the break point on renting vs owning, interns of hours flown per year? 

I know there is some wiggle room there depending on how much you value the flexibility of going when and where you want and what airplane you fly.  

But is there a rough hours per year where you should keep renting vs deciding to own? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kaputt said:

Where in general is the break point on renting vs owning, interns of hours flown per year? 

I know there is some wiggle room there depending on how much you value the flexibility of going when and where you want and what airplane you fly.  

But is there a rough hours per year where you should keep renting vs deciding to own? 

Really depends on your locale man, plus what your mission is as has been mentioned. Rent a two seater once or twice a month to build some hours or work towards rating? Rent. 
 

Trying to fly something aerobatic and don’t have a friend with one? Probably time to really look at buying. You can use AOPA tools to figure out potential insurance yearly rates. Yearly dry operating costs take into account annual inspection costs, putting money towards overhaul, and budgeting for things like biannual transponder sign off. And those all vary based on type. If you have something particular in mind, search forums for that type or find someone locally to get an idea. 
 

Edit: my locale comment is with respect to local FBO rates. Where I’m at, they’re super expensive. 

Edited by SurelySerious

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1 hour ago, kaputt said:

Where in general is the break point on renting vs owning, interns of hours flown per year? 

I know there is some wiggle room there depending on how much you value the flexibility of going when and where you want and what airplane you fly.  

But is there a rough hours per year where you should keep renting vs deciding to own? 

Most people use 100-125 hours, but in reality there are just too many variables.   It’s going to be different for each category of aircraft.  

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Where in general is the break point on renting vs owning, interns of hours flown per year? 
I know there is some wiggle room there depending on how much you value the flexibility of going when and where you want and what airplane you fly.  
But is there a rough hours per year where you should keep renting vs deciding to own? 

A lot of it depends on type of flying. If you like to go XC for days on end, those hours pay off quicker because you can park the plane and not pay a min time.

There is a big difference between the 1.5 local flight pilots and the trip-takers.


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9 hours ago, di1630 said:


Damn, if you were in AZ I’d trade flying lessons for an annual.


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I am in AZ and need a Flight Review.  Can pay with toilet paper, masks, and/or Purell.

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I can't imagine the average pilot will fly enough per year to justify owning their own plane.  Couple reasons I own.  For one, I love flying tailwheel aircraft and there isn't one for rent within 100 miles of me. There is one place that has tons of tailwheel aircraft, but it's a 2.5 hour drive and their insurance restrictions are ridiculous (still a cool place).  With my own aircraft, I can fly it anytime and anywhere I want.  I like knowing what's going on with the plane...I've seen videos of guys doing some pretty stupid shit in rental planes.  Finally, I enjoy the "community" out at the airport, our airfield has Cubs, N3Ns, L-5s, a chipmunk, a Meridian and everything in-between.  We have a good group that loves to share rides and have beers at the end of the day. 

 

It's a bit extreme and you really have to have a passion for aviation, but I hope to move to a fly-in type community when I get out of the Guard.  I've hung out at a few and it's awesome grabbing a coffee in the am and strolling down the road (taxiway) and wondering into hangars.  Guys are always willing to show you their planes, plus there are tons of A&Ps around to learn from...which is always great for airplane ownership.  Not every community is created equal, so you have to choose wisely.  

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52 minutes ago, SocialD said:

I can't imagine the average pilot will fly enough per year to justify owning their own plane.  Couple reasons I own.  For one, I love flying tailwheel aircraft and there isn't one for rent within 100 miles of me. There is one place that has tons of tailwheel aircraft, but it's a 2.5 hour drive and their insurance restrictions are ridiculous (still a cool place).  With my own aircraft, I can fly it anytime and anywhere I want.  I like knowing what's going on with the plane...I've seen videos of guys doing some pretty stupid shit in rental planes.  Finally, I enjoy the "community" out at the airport, our airfield has Cubs, N3Ns, L-5s, a chipmunk, a Meridian and everything in-between.  We have a good group that loves to share rides and have beers at the end of the day. 

 

It's a bit extreme and you really have to have a passion for aviation, but I hope to move to a fly-in type community when I get out of the Guard.  I've hung out at a few and it's awesome grabbing a coffee in the am and strolling down the road (taxiway) and wondering into hangars.  Guys are always willing to show you their planes, plus there are tons of A&Ps around to learn from...which is always great for airplane ownership.  Not every community is created equal, so you have to choose wisely.  

This. Tailwheel clubs are hard to find. Not an owner yet, but hopefully one day. That and being able to have the luxury to say, "Weather's good, I'm going flying" is enough for me. Dealing with a club takes that away. Which is where I'm at. Thankfully my club is ridiculously cheap and no overnight min, but the freedom of owning cant be beat. 

 

Fly-in communities look awesome. They are few and far between here in MI from what I can tell. I'm hoping to get a piece of land and stick a half-mile strip on it when I'm able someday. Hopefully pair it with a nice Stearman or N3N. Gotta have dreams right! I have a buddy who has a Stearman with a grass strip at home and nothing beats turning into the driveway to see a Stearman or the Supercub sitting in the front yard. 

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27 minutes ago, ryleypav said:

Fly-in communities look awesome. They are few and far between here in MI from what I can tell. I'm hoping to get a piece of land and stick a half-mile strip on it when I'm able someday. Hopefully pair it with a nice Stearman or N3N. Gotta have dreams right! I have a buddy who has a Stearman with a grass strip at home and nothing beats turning into the driveway to see a Stearman or the Supercub sitting in the front yard. 

PM inbound.

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