Buying 1st Plane vs. Flying Club?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Chesapeaketechie, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm looking at regaining proficiency after not flying for a number of years and rental rates in my area (MD / DC / VA) seem quite steep. LSA's are renting for $130/hr. I currently have my PPL but will be flying under Sport Pilot rules due to some prior medical issues that are resolved but may cause my 3rd class medical to be very expensive. Thus I'm looking into an LSA for the time being.

    I'm thinking I'll fly anywhere between 60-80 hours annually and would like to get advice on my options for either joining a flying club, or buying an airplane and putting it on leaseback.
    Most of my flying would be local training flights and the occasional cross country.

    Option 1: Rent
    Rental Rate: $130/hr wet
    Insurance: $1200/yr

    Cost @ 60 hrs = $130 x 60 = $7800 + $1200 = $9000

    Option 2: Flying Club
    Rental Rate: $55/hr wet
    Buy In: $5000
    Monthly Dues: $300

    Year 1 Cost @ 60 hrs = $55 x 60 = $3300 + $5000 + $3600 = $11900
    Year 2 + Cost @ 60 hrs = $3300 + $3600 = $6900

    Option 3: Buy Plane / Leaseback
    Purchase Price = $60k / $650/mo for 10 years

    Gross Rev = $120/hr
    FBO Cut = $24/hr
    Fuel = $25/hr
    Reserve = $20/hr
    Net Rev = $51/hr
    Annual Insurance = $4500
    Tiedown = $1200

    Low Estimate 250 hrs/yr
    $51/hr * 250 = $12750 - $4500 - $1200 = $7050 annual net proceeds
    $7050 - $7800 = $-750 annual cash flow

    Mid Estimate 350 hrs/yr
    $17850 - $4500 - $1200 - $7800 = $4350 annual net proceeds

    High Estimate 500 hrs/yr
    $25500 - $4500 - $1200 - $7800 = $12000 annual net proceeds
     
  2. whereisrandall

    whereisrandall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Welcome!

    If I may suggest a 4th option, what about buying then renting to several people you know well who will take good care of your plane? That way, you always get first dibs, you know who has the bird and when, and you may make more money than a leaseback and have less maintenance hassle.

    My non-commercial insurance allows me to rent to up to three people, with subrogation for each.

    It can get a little nutty in here, but we're mostly okay. Ignore the red handle jokes and you'll be fine.
     
  3. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    How about buying and just flying it yourself. If money is a factor get a cheaper airplane. It is not as expensive to own a plane as some people make it out to be. Get a personal loan if you don't have the cash to buy one. Get cheap liability insurance or none at all. I will not give my money to insurance companies unless I absolutely have to. They charge tiedown fee's? Find a different airport. My planes are hangared buy there is no cost to park outside here.
     
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  4. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    I bought into a club just after I got my PPL. Sounds similar to yours. Big buy in and good hourly rates. After a year and a half, I can say this: When everything is going well, it all works pretty well. I never had trouble getting access to the airplane until it went down for 3 months for annual and paint. Then I was sitting on my thumb, paying dues, with nothing to fly. Earlier this year however, some sh%t went sideways, and it has been a very contentious situation. Its still sideways and I'm looking for the door. As soon as everything settles down (which it looks like it may), my share will likely be up for sale and I will be in the market for my own. Hey pigpen, got anything for sale?
     
  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Welcome to PoA!

    Where in DC/MD/VA are you renting LSAs for $130/hr? I put a lot of hours on Freeway's 162 at $101/Hobbs. TSS also has an RV12 for $90/tach. I think there's an Ercoupe for rent at Shannon as well.
     
  6. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Cleared for Takeoff

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    No direct experience here, but all the horror stories about trying to buy and leaseback to lower your own flying cost mean I wouldn't try that. You can read about the guy in SF bay that looses a ton every month.
     
  7. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Typically this conversation includes:
    1) Your Club numbers are wrong because the buy in is not a year one cost. It's a cost of the life of your membership and it could be a profit when you sell.
    2) Maintenance is higher if you operate a lease back but you didn't provision for that in your calculations.
    3) Most of the replies won't be what you should do, they will be what someone else did. In that spirit I'll submit that I did Club first and Purchase Second. No leaseback.
     
  8. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    If you want to own an airplane, and defray the costs a bit, consider renting it out to another pilot or two, who will take good care of it.

    I do a similar deal with an airplane owner and I think its a win/win. We split the hangar/insurance and I pay him a dry hourly rate for the Aircraft. I'm named insured on his insurance policy.
     
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  9. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That.

    And if it's a money thing you can get some really nice 2 seaters for 25k
    Some 4 seaters like a tripacer for that price too.
     
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  10. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Find another pilot (or two) and buy a plane as a partnership. Split the cost of owning and operating two or three ways. And buy an E-LSA or Experimental, so you don't have the high maintenance cost of a certified plane.
     
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  11. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Depends on the plane.

    I haven't had any crazy expenses on the last certified plane I owned or my current one

    I also have seen some exp, well the fun ones, which rang up some high MX bills, a glasair with a turbo 550 comes to mind.
     
  12. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Well... yeah, buying something with a big turbocharged Lyc or Continental, or with a turbine, is going to be expensive. But the OP is talking about LSA, and I'm not personally aware of any LSA that uses any of those.

    Maintenance will be expensive on anything if you just hand it over to your local shop and tell them to call you when it's ready and you'll write the check. With an E-LSA or E/AB you at least have the option of performing your own maintenance and repairs to the degree you're able, with or without the assistance of a certified aircraft mechanic.
     
  13. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm looking into finding a partner or two, that would be ideal. If anyone on here is interested PM me :)

    Hangars are hard to come by in this area it seems, so a fabric plane may be an issue if it needs to be stored outside.

    Regarding ELSA vs SLSA, since I have basically no experience with aircraft maintenance most of the involved work would still need to be done by a competent technician.

    Here are the aircraft that I've considered so far:
    -1946 Ercoupe Model C / CD (Concerns include corrosion issues, parts availability for the C85 engine)
    -Tecnam Eaglet (based on flying club issues they seem to be doing a lot of maintenance)
    -Tecnam Sierra
    -Vans RV12
    -Rans S-12 (fabric so could need a hanger)
    -Rans S-6 Coyote II (Tricycle) (fabric so could need a hangar)

    @GeorgeC - I've looked at CSP and also have talked with the folks at Freeway. I think their 162 is up for sale but it seems there may be concerns with parts availability.

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and responses so far!!
     
  14. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    @JCranford - How many members are in the club? The one I'm looking at currently has 6 and I'd be the 7th. The plane right now flies maybe 15 hours a month so essentially there would be no scheduling issues right now.
    ADSB Out (Garmin GTX 345) was recently installed so that's a plus as well. The club is paying monthly for the plane so there is still a note on it.
     
  15. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Like the others said, doing your own Mx is huge, certified or exp.

    Out of your list

    Obviously the RV is a no brain required choice

    The coupe would be fun if it had the rudder pedal mod, I really like those planes.

    The coyote is a fun plane from what I heard, but why on earth are you limiting yourself to trikes?


    Also don't worry about modern fabric planes, as long as the actual fabric isn't exposured (no holes in the paint) you'll be fine, lots of fabric planes live outside.

    Hangars, well that depends on how assertive you are and who you know, someone just moved out of my ideal airport, there was a waiting list, I knew people who knew the guy moving out, the town is less than organized, I managed to snag the hangar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  16. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    I don't think fabric necessarily implies the need for a hangar. You could also go the Luscombe 8A route, add a wind alternator/radio/transponder and you're in business. Base it at Freeway and I'll split it with you :)
     
  17. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    16 members on two airplanes. Pretty nicely equipped 182P and a Bonanza
     
  18. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    @George - Do you primarily fly out of there? Someone on the forums said all 8A's had probably been ground looped ;)
    They do look very cool! Have you flown one?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    Are you flying out of Bay Bridge?

    At 60 hours a year, a flying club is probably the most cost effective option. Personally I'm not a fan of lease-backs; particularly if the entity you're making your leaseback with is also the one selling you the airplane.
     
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  20. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    As far as maintenance goes, doing your own maintenance is something the average person can learn. You may be able to find a friendly A&P to help you learn, and joining a local EAA chapter can get you a lot of help from builders and tech counselors (some of whom may hold A&P certificates too). You definitely would not want to just jump in and do everything from the start, but you could at least learn as you go with help from people who do know what they're doing.

    If you're not looking to go anywhere in a hurry, there are good deals to be had on Champs and smoking deals on Chiefs -- though you'll be stuck with A&Ps as long as your bank account holds out, and you'll want to get a REALLY GOOD pre-buy inspection done by someone who knows what to look for in a 70 year old airframe. On the Experimental side, don't forget Kitfox or or the Zeniths either.

    I have a personal preference for the RV-12. There's really not much it doesn't do really well, and if you shop around you CAN find really good deals on "less pretty" examples. You'd be surprised at what I paid for a five year old plane with less than 175 hours TT on it.
     
  21. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Yep, Zenith 750s are also nice all-metal LSAs.
     
  22. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yeah, I'm going to have to toss a flag on that play.

    For one, I can do nearly all my MX on my certified plane, my APIA just goes over it and he also likes to do the compression check himself, not a big deal/expense. 2 seat 150hp certified vs 2 seat 150hp exp, if you can turn most of your own wrenches it's going to run you about the same, if you hold both aircraft to the same standards.

    Two, even if I got a super cyclone instead of my skywagon, I'd still want to pay someone who wrenches aircraft for a living to do a one over every year, I'm mechanically inclined, but my career is as a pilot not a wrench, and I'd like someone who eats, sleeps and breathes this stuff to do a annual inspection regardless, after all it's me and mine who are saddling up into this plane, a grand a year ain't no thing.

    Three, be sure to get a really good prebuy on a 70yr old certified?, yeah, same stuff on a new exp, or anything else.
    I've see some wacky crap done on some pretty RVs before
    Seen some late model certified aircraft beat to crap
    Seen some 40s era aircraft that were probably in better shape than when they rolled off the factory line
    And seen every possible combination of the above.

    Don't give a crap what it is, when it was built, or what the airworthness cert says, it's scrap value till my prebuy says different.
     
  23. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I prefer single ownership,but would be in favor of a partnership ,if money was tight.
     
  24. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    If you're just looking for things to argue about, then by all means knock yourself out.

    There's a big difference between having to buy PMA/TSO parts for your certified plane and having to have an A&P sign off on any repair, and what's required on an experimental to maintain it to the same standards. Get something Rotax powered and your operating and maintenance costs go down dramatically as well. And yes, anything you buy would need a thorough prebuy inspection - as any reasonable person would expect. My point was that old airplanes with steel tube frames might need someone with a little more experience and expertise due to the numerous issues that might affect them after 70 years of unknown use, maintenance, damage and repairs. You can inspect a monocoque aluminum fuselage for damage and substandard workmanship (build or repair) pretty easily. Inspecting a steel tube frame requires a bit more knowledge and care.

    But you know that, I'm sure. You're looking for things to argue about, so have fun. The OP can make up his own mind.
     
  25. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Freeway is 2400 feet. How many hours do you have? Any taildragger time? Ive owned a luscombe 8a back in the days. It's 65 hp. , slow to climb and in summer, with two people , very very slow to gain altitude. I also owned an F model, 90 hp which is much much better and lot of fun. The 8a has no starter , so you must prop it. Any of these small aircraft, being sixty, seventy years old have probably been ground looped or worse. One taylorcraft, a trophy winner, rebuilt by a real pro was probably better than new. It never sat outside overnight unless at the Piper flyin in pa. Buy what you can afford and buy a nice one and hangar it. Leaving any of them out side with fabric or metal is asking to lose money . They go downhill quickly. A nice champ would be a good choice with an 85 hp engine and electrical system. Personally I'd fly at Easton. Lots of room to screw up.most of these ...that are in nice condition and hangared, sell for 24-30 grand . That's the type I bought, usually broke even when I sold it. It's always pay me now or pay me later . Lease backs can be big trouble!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  26. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Not looking to argue, just you're blowing things out of reality.

    Non TSOed stuff is cheaper, but HP to HP wise, normal MX, it ain't much of a difference. The only big difference is avionics, and that's even starting to slowly change. Again normal wear and tear stuff, and yearly MX costs, it's not much of a difference, sorry, and before you say it I like exp just the same as standard.

    As far as steel tube and fabric, you kidding me? That's the easiest to check and the strongest stuff, you want worries, look at fiberglass and composite exp aircraft.
     
  27. charheep

    charheep Line Up and Wait

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    My input-
    A club is nice when its going smoothly. When it doesnt, you feel helpless since you dont own the plane and can only complain up the ladder. A club is nice since you shoot off a squawk email to maintenance and go home and sleep. If you own, its either your time or your money for repairs.


    I like the club approach, but dip your toe in carefully. Find one that fits you. Upgrades, maintenance standards, rules, and availability. Then once you figure out better what hours you will fly and what type of plane fits your needs, then decide about owning.

    Its super nice to know the plane is getting enough time and not rusting away if you cant fly for a month or so, and just paying the dues. But I hear its even nicer to walk out to your own plane.
     
  28. dautio

    dautio Filing Flight Plan

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    I agree with the Club approach.
    Our Club has a $500 by in and dues are $45 a month. We have 5 planes ( Sundowner, Warrior, 172, Citabria and an Arrow) and 85 members. Our rates are all "WET" and are less then the local flight schools. Each plane is self supporting and if not they would be sold. We have no scheduling issues due to the number of planes. very seleWe always have a waiting list of at least 10-15.
    We are very selective on who we let Join.
     
  29. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    So the general consensus is that leasebacks don't seem to be the preferred method of owning and keeping your plane nice :)

    I'm talking some more with the flying club this week. It seems like they have a pretty rigorous maintenance standard and keep up the aircraft well.

    @DaleB - Can you elaborate on the Rotax maintenance and costs being less than say an O-200 or a C-85?

    @GeorgeC - Have you ever flown a Zenith? They looked nice when I saw one up close.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  30. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Rotax: auto gas, auto spark plugs, and IIRC for an ELSA you can take a short course and do your own mx if so inclined. Even the full LSA repairman course does not appear to be too onerous.
    I haven't flown a Zenith, but I spoke with a couple of builders and saw a couple at W18. If I had the space/time, I'd build a Cruzer right now.
    If W29 is convenient to you then CSP would be a great choice. They are very active in the local aviation community.
     
  31. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And that seems like a good idea, zero experience in the aviation, and a selling point is how short the course is to be able to do your own mx?

    Even if I could do all my own mx on my certified plane, I wouldn't until I basically had enough experience to get my AP anyways.

    It's funny, someone with zero experience wrenching on on aircraft, and being LEGALLY able to wrench on their own plane is a selling point on POA, but you show a photo of a icon buzzing over a lake low level, and everyone looses their minds lol
     
  32. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    Usually when you buy into a club, you get at least some of that money back on exit. The OP original calculation had that money just disappearing. For someone not doing a lot of traveling, the club just makes sense here
     
  33. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    The two-day LSA repairman course is called "Light Sport Repairman - Inspection" and allows you to obtain the repairman's cert so you can do the condition inspection on an E-LSA airplane that you own. Nothing more. If you have an S-LSA you're still very limited on what you're allowed to do. You would need the 120 hour course AND Rotax engine training, for example, to be able to do all of the maintenance and annual inspection on an S-LSA RV-12. You can still do all of the allowed owner maintenance, of course, but that's pretty much limited to preventive maintenance.

    For an E-LSA, experimental rules apply. You, or anyone else, can do any repairs, maintenance or modifications you want. You just need either the 16 hour course or an A&P to do the condition inspection once a year. The only real difference between an E-LSA and E/AB is that you can get the repairman certificate for an E-LSA that you own, even if you didn't build it. You can't do that with an airplane with an E/AB airworthiness certificate, even if it's LSA legal. That's one reason most people build an RV-12 as E-LSA and then modify it, rather than building it E/AB from the start.

    Obviously, if you have no mechanical experience and have no idea what you're doing it would be a pretty bad idea to just blindly dive in and do all of your own maintenance and repairs without any assistance. Of course if you can read and have more experienced friends, it's not quite so crazy. The Rotax maintenance manuals are readily available, and written in passable English. It's a small engine, there's nothing magical about it. The most exotic thing you'll need is metric tools and a torque wrench, along with a few readily available special tools. The most important thing you would need would be the knowledge to do the maintenance and repairs, or a qualified person to do the work or help you do it.

    I fly an RV-12; all of the construction and maintenance documentation for the airframe is readily available. AC43.13 is a very good resource, as is your local EAA tech counselor. A&Ps are not difficult to find, and many will help you out while you do the work so you know it's done right. If you're lucky enough to fly an RV, Van's Air Force is chock full of really knowledgeable people who are more than willing to help out. In my case, I've got a lot of experience maintaining and repairing mechanical things, including an awful lot of engines. Most of that knowledge and experience transfers to the Rotax, and the documentation is all right there on line. I also spent three years building an RV-7, so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with how "airplane-y" things work. And again, documentation like the Standard Aircraft Handbook for Mechanics and Technicians, AC43.13-1B and tons of others is readily available.

    You don't need an A&P certificate or a tall pointy hat with stars and moons on it to be able to safely maintain and repair your own airplane. You do need to be able to read, understand and follow directions, and you need to know when to call someone for help. Most of us are grown up enough to figure out what our limitations are. I know I am.

    As for costs... @Chesapeaketechie, I don't know for sure about the long term costs including major overhaul. I do know the routine maintenance is pretty cheap. My spark plugs cost me less than three bucks each. The engine takes 3 liters of oil, and oil consumption between oil changes is close to zero. There are no mags to overhaul. The cylinders will make it to TBO and probably live on after that. I don't know what the fuel consumption is for an O-200 at cruise power, but I'm burning $2.69/gallon gas from the corner gas station. Of course if I had an O-200 on an experimental it would be pretty cheap to maintain too.

    If you're not going to own outright, then a club can be a good deal. If you can't find a club to suit, you can find a couple of like minded pilots and a suitable airplane and start your own.
     
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  34. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    i'm with @James331 on this one. Legally I only need 1 signature a year (purchased experimental). In reality, I don't do anything without discussing with my my A&P first, and then discussing with the "old" RV guys on the field, and once I start there is usually a question or 40, and when I'm done the A&P takes a last look.

    I'm saving some money, it takes longer, I'm learning a lot, but I wouldn't change it.
     
  35. Flyhound

    Flyhound Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flyhound
    Buying your own plane rarely makes financial sense. I've owned 4 and all of them cost more than any of my spreadsheets predicted. Routine costs can be captured, but unexpected/unplanned costs are the real killer. One of my planes needed an engine overhaul after 600 hrs. total time. That was a whopper of a cost that was not predicted by the thorough pre-buy inspection, or by the plane's operating history. Another plane required a top job shortly after I bought it. Even that cost $12,000! My current plane has to be upgraded to meet the ADS-B mandate and that cost was not in the wind when I bought it. So, costs are always likely to be higher than planned for ownership. I also found that it is tough to consistently fly as many hours per year as I target. Life is full of competing demands and flying often takes a back seat to other family issues. So, if cost is your main concern, I would advise against ownership in favor of either of your other options.

    Cost isn't the only factor to consider though. Despite higher costs, I wouldn't change any of the purchases I've made. The kind of flying I enjoy is often prohibited by flying clubs or rental aircraft, or I just couldn't find the kind of plane I wanted for rent anywhere. One of my planes was a Pitts S2A, and there is no way you're going to find one of those for rent solo in the mid-Atlantic region. The plane I have now is a Maule tail dragger that I use for back-country flying and camping. Finding a tailwheel aircraft for rent is difficult, finding one you can fly to the backcountry and land off-airport is explicitly prohibited by most clubs and virtually all FBOs I've ever seen. For me, doing the kind of flying I've enjoyed has required me to buy a plane.

    If you are happy flying tricycle gear aircraft, are willing to keep the plane right side up, and are content to only visit paved runways, then there is no good reason to buy a plane unless you just want to say you own one. Decide what your mission is, how much you are willing to spend in a worse case scenario and then decide whether to buy or rent. I see lots of ramp mummies as I travel around the country. Most of those are planes someone wanted once upon a time, but they ran into financial difficulties along the way and the planes slowly rot on the tarmac as a result. Don't do that to an airplane. If you buy, make sure you are in a position to keep the plane flyable, no matter what comes your way.
     
  36. Chesapeaketechie

    Chesapeaketechie Filing Flight Plan

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    Chesapeaketechie
    @Flyhound - great points thank you for that.
    I've got about 125 hours and need some dual instruction before I feel comfortable soloing again.
    Another concern I have is the feasibility of selling the aircraft if I need to down the road. It seems like a lot of aircraft I've been looking at have seen up for sale for months or longer.
    My leaseback calculations seem to be forecasting the rental revenue to just cover maintenance and reserves without covering much of a principal payment unless it really starts flying a lot also.

    @TheGolfPilot - Yes the buy in should be recalculated out of expenses and more of a capital contribution. I'll make that adjustment.
    Does $300/mo seem decent for club dues with 6-7 members? This includes insurance and the plane payment as well as tie down and a fee to the fbo for coordinating scheduling, fuel reconciliation from other airports, maintenance etc.
    The aircraft (Eaglet) also just had a GTX 345 ADSB installed.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  37. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    James331
    Same here, but certified, well I need 100hr inspections for the occasional odd job too, but I have yet to get near >100hr between annuals. I do most my own MX, but shy of the simple owner MX, which I first did with highly experienced APIAs, I do everything with my mechanic, I have near zero margin for error (see Toms posts), I ain't going to end up wrecking my plane and getting a ride in the back of my work plane, nope.


    Thing is most folks don't get much time in a Maule or Skywagon, or in the backcountry/water before they buy, for me, I wouldn't have much interest in owning if I had to stick to trainer trikes and paved "official" runways, actually I wouldnt have gotten into flying in the first place.

    I've been around airplane my whole life, but it was this story that made me pull the trigger on flight school

    http://www.claytor.com/archive/
     
    exncsurfer likes this.
  38. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    arnoha
    Am I that guy? Yeah, it hasn't been great, though I'm moving clubs to see if I can't make things better. I will note that it's been getting better. This, the eleventh month of lease-back, and the last full month before I change clubs, I saw my first profit. $600, so it barely dents the hole, but I'll take it. It puts my average loss per month at $580, so a bit better than the last time I posted at over $1200. Factoring in my own flying, the value to me is a negative $400 per month over renting the same hours.

    I still have ADS-B to do, so that hasn't been figured in yet. I may do a complete avionics update at the same time, which will, of course, shatter any chance of a profit any time soon. The siren song of LPV approaches...

    The renters have treated my aircraft with the utmost respect. I've heard horror stories about that, but with about 100 pilots and students renting, only once incident regarding a blown tire on landing was a problem. The interior has held up nicely with no apparent wear or damage in about 400 hours.

    I recommend renting unless you're really attached the ownership experience. Even at $130/hour, you'll come out ahead most of the time. I'll also note that most of the rental outfits around me have had terrible times with the LSA. They all complain that they're not built for the heavy use heaped on them by students and renters. My current outfit has one that's been down at least 25% of the time for all sorts of crap. My previous two clubs also had endless trouble with their LSA. The best performer has been the 162, though it's highly weight limited if you want to stay legal. The club I'm going to will only take 162 on the line; no other LSA is welcome due to their experiences.
     
  39. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    CC268
    Honestly if I had to rent again I don't think I would fly much at all. Renting was a PITA for me. Maybe it is better in other parts of the country that aren't as busy, but it was/is a pain here (at least at the airports that are close to me). Between having to schedule a solid week in advance and the high rates I was tired of it. Try to go somewhere else, well you gotta get checked out in the airplane...rinse and repeat. I am glad to own an airplane with my dad.

    Not to mention I fly frequently now, which I think in turn makes me a safer/more prepared pilot (I am a low time pilot). After I got my checkride I was flying maybe once a month if that. Now I fly 2-3 times a week and I am planning on starting my Instrument Rating in about a year.

    If I couldn't own I would look at a club...but ohhh the horrorrrrr of renting (you can tell I hate renting) lol
     
  40. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    It definitely matters where you are. I never had an issue getting a plane around here, but the there are so many aircraft for rent in the SF Bay Area. With 47 aircraft at the club I did most of my renting from, finding a plane wasn't a big problem. I routinely booked the plane on my phone's browser on the way to the airport on a whim. It did help that I like lots of different types, so I had checkouts for at least half the fleet (currency was a separate problem, though).

    Now, if there were only two or three aircraft available, I'd probably have been losing my mind and been right where you are.