Purchasing a plane for training

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JSPANN99, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    My brother and I currently both have a private pilots license. We both graduated from uni a little under 3 years ago now. 3 for me and 2 for him. Neither of us have college debt (yay honours scholarships) and currently have jobs working in a pharmaceutical lab setting. (We were both biochem majors) Problem is we like flying.
    We took up flying as a hobby and want to make a career out of it. We can afford to buy a plane between the two of us. As in, money is not an issue here. Our goals include the following. Buy a low time plane with a budget of 65-80k. We also have an ownership budget of 80k for the next two years. So nearly 160k and 30k each for further training/tests/fees for ratings. (220k). We wanna do things right. Take our time and have a good time doing it. Eventually landing some sort of job. Also nothing is financed everything is cash only.
    We plan to build hours with it even once we are done with training. We are hoping that somewhere along 500-1500 hrs that we would get a low time job and be able to go from their, in terms of our career. Please give me an honest opinion about this. Be as ruthless as possible. Of course people around us say go for it but idk. I even have a couple of A & P mechanics that I have been close friends with since high school that are willing to help me find the right plane.
    I have done lots of research on aircraft ownership and one of my goals is just that, aircraft ownership. I also have concluded that in total it would be nearly 110k for each of us in total in terms of total costs. But we can afford it. We have made good investments over the years and even worked part time in college to invest every penny we could. We live in indianapolis and our cost of living is very low. We aren’t taking on too much financial risk spending this much. At least I don’t think so.
     
  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you want an airplane, buy an airplane.

    If you want to make a financially sound decision, don't be a pilot.
     
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  3. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I’d buy something IFR ready that you can earn you your instrument ticket. Then fly the wings off it. It sounds like you want to be a pro pilot of some sort so your commercial ticket is a must. Lots of threads on flying jobs on this board.
     
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  4. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Owning a plane with two flyers can make more sense than just one. One can find negatives with owning just about anything, an RV, camp property, motorcycle, even a dog. If something makes sense for you & the brother, do it.
     
  5. GaryM

    GaryM Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your plan sounds reasonable, but the pro pilots on the board will likely weigh in with more detailed feedback. I agree, you should get an IFR platform to build hours.

    Your income will take a hit, probably a big one at first, when you leave the pharma sector, but that doesn't mean it's the wrong decision if your dream is to fly professionally. But get as far along in your plan as you can, and have a first-class medical in hand--before quitting your day job.
     
  6. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    To be honest, both my brother and I have always wanted to be pilots or get into aviation. We chose the stem pathway because we wanted job security and financial security. I could leave my job today and it would still be there in 2,3, or even 5 years from now. Nobody can take away my credentials and experience. But after doing it for a couple years I’m kind of fed up with it all. It’s not really what I’m passionate about. I know for some people jobs are jobs and their passion is there hobby. But I think I’m stupid enough to try and make them both. Why not? (Although I can see why it’s not very fiscally responsible)
    In terms of planes I’m looking at. I’m looking to get into a piper Cherokee 140/160 that is IFR rated. I’ve been looking at a couple nice ones on trade a plane around the 45-80k mark. All with good documentation and sub 400 hr engines. Also in terms first class medical they are a check for both of us.
     
  7. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    I appreciate your honesty.
     
  8. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Then there's the perspective that money isn't everything, and you can't take it, or the plane with you! If the plane makes sense, if it opens up relationship opportunities, or life experiences, it may be worth more than the money you sink into it.
     
  9. Bathman

    Bathman Pre-Flight

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    PA28-140
     
  10. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes.
     
  11. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I recently got my first job, I spent much less than that, rotor wing.

    I’ve seen 2 seat aircraft for sale for 1/4 of your price, I also don’t understand why you would want to pay to get to 1500hrs, I think that’s money you are spending compared to making. Why not get a plane, get your commercial and go find a job?

    In my case, I recently got my commercial, I’m flying my first job and at this rate I should make over 40k my first year, once I hit 1000hrs I should be able to transition to the turbine and a increase in pay, after some time in that I’ll have a good choice of jobs all paying twice or more.
     
  12. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, if I can get a job as soon as I get my commercial I will. But I don’t want to wait around not being able to find a job and in turn not being able to build hours. I’m still a little skeptical about how difficult it will be to get a job after a commercial rating. That’s why I have set such a large range for 600-1500 hrs. It is also why I have made my maintenance costs so high as well. It’s not like I’m gonna spend it all in one go. The repairs will come as they do and fixed ownership costs are unavoidable. (Parking, insurance, hrly maintenance) Also I’m trying to be a little realistic in purchasing a plane. I don’t want to buy a plane and realise it’s got issues. Repairs aren’t the issue. It’s more of the down time and responsibility of making sure all repairs get done to my taste. I’d rather get one that’s been well looked into and is ready to fly. If we can get jobs around 400-800 hrs then that’s great. I won’t have expended my total ownership budget yet. The nicer the plane I get the easier it will be to sell. I’m planning on at least retaining 60 percent of the purchase price of the plane in terms of its selling price. So I can sell and still be building hours. IF and that’s a big if, that I get a flying position in that allotted time.
     
  13. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    what is priority #1?

    Having your own plane, or becoming a professional pilot?

    I think as long you are friendly and outgoing, and don’t mind moving, you will not have a hard time getting a job.
     
  14. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Having your own plane makes some sense on a number of levels. Since you are working full time your time off is limited, so you want the airplane when you want it. Moreover, you control the maintenance so you don't have to wait for it to be fixed at whatever rate from someone else pranging it. I think the biggest is when you own an airplane you have a very big incentive to go fly. When you're renting there's a disincentive. My only comment would be to look at Cherokee 180s, which are more likely to be IFR equipped than their junior siblings.
     
  15. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    In today's market, "low time", IFR equipped, and your stated budget may not go together in the same sentence.
     
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  16. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, priority 1 is becoming a professional pilot. We just thought it would make more sense to just buy our own plane and do it this way. Especially because the cost is being split amongst 2 people. But that’s what is really bothering me. I mean I can easily just spend 50k at my current school and get my ratings. But what if I have difficulty finding a job and building time? It wouldn’t make sense to go out and rent or buy a plane at that point. If I wanna go down the plane ownership route it makes the most sense to do it now. But then I think to myself is it really worth all that time and effort? If job outlooks are really good for low time pilots like you say then it really changes things. But I like to plan for the worst. Also, I don’t mind moving and I’d like to think myself pretty friendly and outgoing. Lol. I know this is not a decision that somebody else can make for me. But I appreciate any and all input.
     
  17. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would at least wait until you get your private to get a plane, what if you don’t like flying and are not good at it, that would be the biggest what if I could see.

    The others who finished their commercials before me all end up finding jobs, many like me had to move, if you know how to find success where you can spend that much on a plane never having flown before, I think you should be able to find a job after you get your hours.
     
  18. Robert Gee

    Robert Gee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do it! Before you get any older.
    You're better off buying a plane in hopes of becoming a pro pilot than buying a Porsche and hoping the be a pro race car driver.
     
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  19. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, we both currently have our ppl and are sure about flying professionally. I think that we are just afraid of uncertainty more than anything and that’s why we want to get our own plane. But maybe that’s being unrealistic. I mean I would like to own my own plane. But it’s not a priority. The goal is to make flying a career. So maybe getting a plane is not the best way to get there.
     
  20. JSPANN99

    JSPANN99 Filing Flight Plan

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    I like the way you think!!
     
  21. Robert Gee

    Robert Gee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wisdom. I had 3 different Porsches before I was 30, impressing your boss might be considered career advancement...the only money they ever made was when I sold them, not always then. Now Im just another old guy that "used to..."
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  22. thito01

    thito01 Pre-Flight

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    Sold my Porsche 928 to buy my first aircraft, a C-182. What good is a Porsche when the speed limit was 55 (yes, back then, 1987)? Nothing compared to popping though clouds at 150mph?
     
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  23. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So go do it, no guarantee in life, you might even choke on your food at dinner and not make it to tomorrow.


     
  24. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Certainly,
     
  25. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I was just reading along until you said you both had your private. Yeah, assuming you and your brother are on good terms, and you can afford it w/ all the required extras, do it. Make sure you can afford the plane, insurance, inspection, repairs, etc, before you go in. You don't want to be stuck with a broken aircraft and no cash to repair it. I'd maybe consider something that you could make money training in, for when you get your commercial and CFI. Maybe. That might not be great income, but you can build time that way. Agree IFR capable, fixed gear. I'd lean toward a 180hp PA-28, if you live where it's flat. No idea what to suggest if you're in the mountains.
     
  26. thito01

    thito01 Pre-Flight

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    If your goals are ATP ratings and flying for the airlines, you might want to consider how you will need to upgrade to HP and/or retract and then a twin over time. There is something to be said for getting a twin aircraft with old radios and higher time engines. The engines can be watched and taken past TBO. The radios can be replaced with better IFR later. The lost cost of just selling and replacing an aircraft could easily be $20K.
    On the flip side, don't end up with an aircraft that will eat up your flying money in repairs.
     
  27. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Don’t think too hard, just go buy a plane and shred all receipts. Hash tag winning dot com