How can I make money with my own plane?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Jared Smith, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Jared Smith

    Jared Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    ive always been into aviation all my life but it’s really just hit me in the last 3 years or so. I’ve been flying since 2017 and have a piper arrow that I fly for recreation, Hopefully this spring I will have my ifr behind me as well. I’m self employed and enjoy what I do however I just have this itch that says start up a flying business! That all sounds good and well but I’m running short on ways to make flying pay! My plan would be to sell my arrow and buy a TBM 700 and fly lease out to a couple businesses and fly employees but I’m just not seeing this cash flowing. I’m not resourceful enough to know anything about the freight world. My history is in agriculture which says buy an at502 but my wife says NO to crop dusting. I have enough capital I should be able to buy a nice used tbm or something of that nature if I have good solid business plan of how to make GOOD money doing it.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I’d recommend you fly for a company who does what you’re wanting to do for a few years first, do you have a CPL?
     
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  3. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Leasing yourself and your airplane out will require an air carrier operating certificate, as far as I can tell.
     
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  4. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Airplanes that make money are a piece of equipment. Like an espresso machine at Starbucks or backhoe on a construction site. Those things are typically leased and then used hard.

    Either but the AT 502 and lease it to a spray company, or buy the TBM and make up a long list of excuses for your wife why you aren't making money "yet".

    By the way, I haven't seen TBMs hauling rubber dog crap. Pilatus PC-12s, yes.
     
  5. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is what I would do:
    1. flightseeing tours (get a high wing) if you live near a scenic area
    1a. move to a beautiful area first, then offer flightseeing tours
    2. fly skydivers
    3. become a CFI
     
  6. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yup, stay part 91 would be waaaay easier, also depending on the area I’ve seen some folks get stearmans and the like and do tons of quick scenic flights at a couple hundred a pop.
     
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  7. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    The old rule of thumb on aviation is if you want to start a $1M aviation company you need to start with $2M. If single seat flying is really your passion then forget the 502 and ag spraying and buy yourself a 802F and hit the fire scene. The 802F will only set you back around $1.4 new.
     
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As they say, the way to make a small pile of money in aviation is to start with a large pile of money...

    But you are looking at a difficult road in front of you if doing anything besides part 91. But it is possible..
     
  9. Jared Smith

    Jared Smith Filing Flight Plan

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    I looked into this bout a year ago needless to say my wife wasn’t impressed with my version of enjoying what you do. Is the mortality rate any better on the fire side vs Ag?
     
  10. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Theres about 134 and a half reasons the most desirable options run past your wife won't.....

    wait for it.....

    wait for it.....

    ..."DARY!!"
     
  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    How can I make money with my own plane?

    Sell it. ;)
     
  12. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was just thinking that before I clicked in.
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    FIFY

    OTOH, I hear overnight runs south of the border can be rather profitable... :eek:
     
  14. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    there's always a short career running drugs.....;)
     
  15. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Drug smuggling. Make your own rules.
     
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  16. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I second the opinion that says leasing is probably the most solid way to make a profit on aviation equipment. Find an existing company that is reasonably solid and has a good track record. Find out what they could use for new equipment, buy it and do a net/net lease with them. They get the equipment they need for no capital outlay. They maintain it and incur any headaches that go with it, you get a check every month. Its a beautiful thing.

    But of course, it doesn't involve any flying by you. If you're looking for something where you own the business and fly the plane, head to Battle Creek and buy yourself a Waco Sightseer, move to an active tourist destination and set up shop. Do it with a Waco or something similar that can hold two in the front seat i.e. not a Steerman. You lose too many potential customers if you can't put two in the front seat because lots of people want to try it, but they're afraid to go without someone they know going along with them. Also hang cameras everywhere (wing tips looking out, wing tips looking in, tail, belly, closeups of both front seats, group shot of both front seats etc) Sell the ride for $150 for 15 minutes, sell the video cut and edited with music for $150. Pure profit.

    Either that or buy a twin, put a bed in the back and sell mile high club flights. Same deal with the video.o_O
     
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  17. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    If I could afford a TBM from working my current job, I'd probably buy something 1/4 of the price of a TBM and fly Angel Flights while keeping my current job. I don't have any aspirations to be a commercial pilot though. To what JH said, there is a company that does Mile High club flights near me, in a King Air I believe, but I'm not sure how busy that particular venture is: https://www.airreldan.com/rides_rentals.html @ $1000 a pop.
     
  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    What they don't tell you is how the go pros are mounted in that aircraft.
     
  19. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I've seen where a few individuals have tried to make a go of it in the past. I don't think any of them end up being too successful. Its something sounds good on paper but doesn't translate well in practice most of the time I think.

    With any of these novelty type aviation businesses, word of mouth is going to be your best source of new customers.

    Tell your friends you took a sight seeing flight in a biplane and show them the video and they'll think you're an adventurous person who is living a good life.

    Tell your friends you paid $500 or $1000 so you could have sex in an airplane and they'll think you're creepy and stop inviting you to their BBQ's.
     
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  20. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    If you have the means to purchase a TBM, I doubt there is any situation that'll qualify from your perspective as making GOOD money. Everyone I know in aviation that's hung out a shingle does so at least partly from a 'labor of love' standpoint.
     
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  21. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Those people are probably more suited for construction work.
     
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  22. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I see what you did there.
     
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  23. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As is true in a lot of fields, you can easily make a small fortune, if you start with a large fortune.
     
  24. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    They have a 201 for rent! First time I've seen that in years!

    To the OP, forget it. If you have sufficient capital to start a business invest in something you know. There have got to be fifteen million mundane things that will make a more sound investment than aviation.
     
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  25. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was thinking of just selling a few parts off of it ... you know the things that aren't needed right now. :D
     
  26. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Note that while you don't need a part 135 certificate for local sightseeing flights, you do need approval from the FAA and have to implement a drug testing program.
     
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  27. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    ....where you have to randomly drug test yourself. :D
     
  28. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    Hook up with a real estate company or two and take aerial photos.
     
  29. Ryan A

    Ryan A Filing Flight Plan

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    You'll even get a movie made about you
     
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  30. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Why would all of us aviation millionaires just give away the secrets of our fortune? :D
     
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  31. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    You're much better off getting your ratings and working for someone who has risked their capital to start a flying business. When things go pear shaped, all you lose is your job, vs losing your job and all your money.
     
  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Um, I know that was supposed to be a joke, but before someone takes you seriously, no.
    My old AME made more money doing drug testing programs than he ever got for doing medical exams.
     
  33. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    They are using drones for that now. Sad the operators are not following the rules.
     
  34. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    It was, but I also have to give myself annual TSA security awareness training. Here's my TSA training syllabus:

    Chapter One
    Is the TSA worthless? Yes.
    The End
     
  35. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When we got one of our government contracts we were required to develop a "Drugs in the workplace policy." After reading the federal guidance this was pretty much it:

    "We do not condone drugs in the workplace. If you get arrested for having drugs in the workplace, please let management know at once."
     
  36. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    Sell it?
     
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I know you're talking about real estate companies, but changing the subject slightly, I think Apple probably did it right when they were building their new headquarters. I know a pilot that they hired as a drone operator, and he has commercial pilot and remote pilot ratings.
     
  38. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    After a tornado went through our area I called the TV station and they sent out a reporter to fly with me and take video. When the young lady arrived I told her the TSA requires that I frisk her before we took off. The look on her face was priceless and we laughed about it throughout the flight.
     
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  39. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Got a Hero? You can be a You Tube Hero.

    [ravioli runs for cover]
     
  40. Sierra_Hotel

    Sierra_Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    :lol: That's where I fly. I've never actually heard of anyone doing the MHC flight, just regular charter stuff.