How do you fund your flying "hobby"?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Matthew K, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Joshuajayg

    Joshuajayg Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    901
    Location:
    'Merica
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Joshua
    I would disagree that there is a pilot shortage. I think they keep saying that so there isn't a shortage. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see the evidence. If they were short on pilots, they would pay them better.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,782
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    Exactly. There is no pilot shortage, there is a pay shortage. I know a number of pilots who don't go to the airlines because of the significant pay cut they'd take.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    42,665
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    My DPE yesterday was pretty funny. After all the paperwork was done he said, "Okay and now you get my advice to all new Commercial pilots. If someone offers you a job flying, don't take it. There's a reason they're offering it to a brand new Commercial pilot, and it's probably not good."

    Hahaha. It was good for a chuckle in the office afterward anyway... Haha.
     
    Matthew K and Joshuajayg like this.
  4. jbDC9

    jbDC9 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Messages:
    121
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John B
    Yep, that's nothing new; back in '92 I was a freight dog hauling canceled checks in a C-310R, made $28K/year. I thought I was rich! Then came the next step up the career ladder, hired on at Mesa Airlines as a Beech 1900 FO. $12K/year. Ouch.
     
    denverpilot and Matthew K like this.
  5. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    labbadabba
    I build money into our household budget. Usually about $400 a month just to stay current. If I'm doing a rating (like now I'm working on my IR), I got a Credit Card with 21 month no interest balance. Made a big block time purchase and will pay down the balance little by little over the next two years.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  6. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    Exactly. Those businesses I mentioned just want to make as much profit as possible by trying to keep a large supply of pilots.
     
  7. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midcap
    which card is that if you don;t mind me asking?
     
  8. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    labbadabba
    Citi Simplicity MasterCard currently has a 21 mo 0% APR. It doesn't have much else for perks but I see it as a short term zero interest loan and will use it just to finance my rating. I'll probably cancel the card when it's paid off.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  9. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,265
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midcap
    thanks!
     
  10. Soldier64

    Soldier64 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Fort Rucker, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill H.
    I fly to pay for flying. Maybe I'm doing it wrong...
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  11. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    $400 a month seems fair. I might set a similar budget in order to stay current once I have my license until I buy a plane.
     
  12. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Location:
    Eclectic, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hank
    I pay for my flying addiction the old fashioned way: I'm cheap, and have a job! I'm a firm believer in owner maintenance and owner-assisted annuals. Thankfully my wife supports me. When I was finishing up my lifelong dream of a PPL in my early 40s, I was debating buying a truck or a plane, and she encouraged me to get the plane instead. Good wife!

    So I bought the plane. After I handed over the check, we were talking about it and the seler realized that my wife hadn't seen it. So we went out to the hangar for the introduction . . . Fortunately she approved, likes going places in it, and further supported me when working in my Instrument Rating. It's been nine busy, fun, interesting years since then!

    P.S.--did I say I worked my butt off in college, and was working full time as an engineer and going to night school for my Masters while getting my PPL? This stuff ain't cheap . . .
     
  13. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    Sounds like you picked the right wife! If you don't mind me asking how much did it cost for you to get your Instrument rating? I'm wanting it get it after my Private license.
     
  14. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Location:
    Eclectic, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hank
    I'd tell you if I knew, but that's one if those things I'm afraid to add up . . . I generally cruise at 9 gph, but flying lots of approaches is less, call it ~7 gph. Think I flew about 50-55 hours, plus the written test (2-1/2 hour dive each way), plus the checkride (a little over 2 hours including getting to the DPE and home again, plus his fee). Man, I hate writing all of this out! It sounds expensive.
     
    denverpilot and Cajun_Flyer like this.
  15. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    Haha, that's understandable. Me personally though, I keep a detailed account of all flying expenses probably more as a motivation to get my license in less time than anything.
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    42,665
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Side note: If you don't have any problem with available credit vs income ratio, and the card doesn't have an annual fee, DON'T cancel it.

    I'm no big fan of chasing a credit score, at all, nor of debt, but...

    Cancellation knocks your credit score. As does closing older accounts (length of credit).

    Stuff the thing in a safe or safety deposit box or whatever it takes to leave it totally alone and forget about it after it's paid off.

    If it has an annual fee, try hard to get them to "convert" it to whatever card they offer that doesn't have one. The "account" shows up as having been open since the start of the first card, at almost all banks, and therefore doesn't harm your score in any way.

    The only reason I care is that many companies (especially insurers) love to use your credit score as one of their many ways to determine your "insurability" so even a small bump in insurance rates adds up over time.

    I refuse to chase a score. In fact, all the calculators whine at me that I need MORE outstanding credit, which is bloody annoying. But I do try to keep it high enough that it's zero change on other things like insurance.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  17. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,441
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SoCal RV Flyer
    Me too. It's a good problem to have!!
     
  18. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    It's been 4 months since the first post, so I've been rereading this thread.
    I was wondering how you went about getting your A&P Certificate? I'd like to get it but you need over 2000 hours of experience before you can be signed off, and since I don't want to do it as my day job, I don't see how I could build that much time within a reasonable span.
     
  19. AKBill

    AKBill Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,290
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    I spent 4 years active Navy working at an overhaul level maintenance facility, then spent 10 years working in the reserves in a P-3B squadron.

    In my Navy carrier I worked on the T-2 Buckeye, A-4 Skyhawk, T-39 Subreliner and the P-3 Orion. All have been retired from active service, except the Sabreliner. I've been involved in aircraft maintenance since I got out of high school. Got my A&P at age 40. The squadron I was in worked with the FAA, we had classes and practical test to complete, this allowed us to take the written and practical test.

    Surely not the fastest or best way to earn an A&P, but I had fun doing it....")
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  20. Jim Case

    Jim Case Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    435
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AceDolphinFlyer
    I've put my entire life's savings into flying. I should add, aviation isn't a hobby for me, my dad's dream is for me to become a pilot, like him. Flying is tied with music, which is a stress relief as my number 1 passion in life. I've put every cent I've ever made into those two. That's how I've afforded it, working two jobs, driving a price of **** car to work, and just doing it. So can you, but if you wanna buy a plane, you're gonna need a solid career.
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  21. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    Yea just about every extra penny I get goes into my flight training as well...Good luck to you man, it's a lot of work but hopefully a lot of fun. A friends son I know just got his first commercial airline flying job about 4-5 months ago, and he enjoys it as well.
     
    Jim Case likes this.
  22. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,359
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    shorty
    I work enough to have the money, but that takes all the time I would have to go fly. :confused:
     
  23. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    :D The idea is to say what you do as far as a job though.
     
  24. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,359
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    shorty
    Oh, OK. Well I... well actually almost (there are some things that even I simply will not do) anything for a buck. You know, foundations, framing, bodywork, auto restoration, hotrods, cabinet maker, aircraft mechanic, avionics installation, anvil repair, Boat detailing, etc. Just pretty much everyday type stuff. And I stay pretty busy, even though I try to price myself out of work. I'm the most expensive company around, but I still get calls that result in me losing more time which could be committed to aviation.
     
  25. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Messages:
    541
    Location:
    Fairview TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rykymus
    I write Sci Fi novels. A lot of them. I bought a 98 Archer III for $85k during PPL training and paid it off in 2 years. Next plane will be a Malibu Mirage, but I'm gonna have to write a lot more books first.
     
  26. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
    If you try to price yourself out and still get hired, you must be pretty good. :)
    Sounds pretty cool. What are some of the books you've wrote?
     
  27. Rahul Padival

    Rahul Padival Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rahul P
  28. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Broke Engineer
  29. Rahul Padival

    Rahul Padival Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rahul P
    Thx for your Advice Mr Mathew . Are you aware of Partial ownership opportunities for CIRRUS 22 in LZU or PDK
     
  30. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,782
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    True, but it was a flight school aircraft, so that's expected. I don't know what SR20s are going for but that strikes me as a pretty low price for one.

    I seem to remember that Cirrus aircraft had a life limit of 20,000 hours, which is still a long ways off even at 7,500. I don't necessarily shy away from high time aircraft as they are often in very good condition due to their high use, however it's worth noting that higher time airplanes are harder to sell, which is why they're cheaper. There's just a smaller market.
     
    Rahul Padival and Matthew K like this.
  31. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    7,619
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SkyDog58
  32. Rahul Padival

    Rahul Padival Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rahul P
     
  33. Rahul Padival

    Rahul Padival Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rahul P
    Thx Ted Thats a good infp on 20K Hrs life Time . Do you have any advice on what to look for when buying such aircraft ?
     
  34. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    21,782
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBanYou
    I do not. I'm not a Cirrus expert.
     
  35. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,688
    Location:
    NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    exncsurfer
  36. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    3,318
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    I have a kid in private school and heading to college, a wife that wants to move but can't decide where or when and a salary cut thanks to H-1B competition. I struggle to find the money to stay current right now. Last flight was almost 45 days ago. I flew a lot around the eclipse and still paying that off. Beautiful weather, maybe I'll try to get up this weekend...

    On an inflation adjusted basis, my salary is up 15% in 15 years. Contracting rates are down 57%, less than half what they were 15 years ago. Good news for business. Bad news for struggling pilots.
     
  37. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    8,710
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    This page intentionally left blank
    Ah, the H-1B, destroyer of engineering as a good career choice.
     
  38. saddletramp

    saddletramp Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Walla Walla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    saddletramp
    My customers pay for most of my flying. This spring, after buying a 182 for a tow plane & a used two place glider I started a small soaring business. I've been a CFI/CFIG forever & decided to put my certificates to work. I'm lucky enough to have a high income at my day job, live debt free, & self funded the business.

    So far our first year has been fairly successful. We haven't made much profit but the business pretty much paid it's own way. As it grows in the future, I hope to retire at my day job, & run the soaring business until I'm unable to fly due to age or medical issues.

    I look forward to working at the soaring business each weekend but it is a lot of hard work. My wife says it will keep me young.

    My wife & I really enjoy having the 182 for our travels too. Another bonus.

    I'm looking forward to doing our income taxes this spring to see the net result of our efforts. I'm tired of paying so much personal income tax. Hopefully, the business will help decrease our tax burden.
     
    Matthew K and denverpilot like this.
  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    42,665
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Anytime it doesn’t, just buy a new crate engine for the 182 before the end of the year. LOL. That’ll take care of any profit you earned! :)
     
    Matthew K likes this.
  40. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,559
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mondtster
    According to the TCDS the life limit on the Cirrus is 12,000 hours. That still leaves more life left than probably 99% of pilot/owners will ever fly. But the 12k hour limit is something to consider when assessing value.

    According to the ad posted, the 10 year parachute repack is being addressed so that shouldn't be a concern for the new owner for another 10 years.