Rent or Own before IFR?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Alex Batista, Dec 11, 2018.

?

If you’re currently going for your IFR rating is it more cost effective to:

  1. Own the airplane you train on?

    77.8%
  2. Rent the airplane you train on?

    22.2%
  1. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So it’s been said that an Instrument rating will lower an Airplane Owner’s Insurance cost which is why some people advice to be Instrument rated before buying. But Owning an airplane may reduce the training cost while going for your IFR rating. So, comparing apples to apples, would it make more sense to buy the airplane first and train in it, or is it cheaper to rent while you get your IFR rating before you buy?
     
  2. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I always said I would do my IR if and when I owned, otherwise it was gonna be VFR all day long.
     
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  3. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you own the airplane it’s always available. You get to practice on your own time. Got my IFR in my 172.
     
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  4. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

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    My wife made me finish my IR before we purchased. Having said that, I was pretty dialed in to the airplane I wasn’t going to be flying. I had to learn *my* plane when I bought it
     
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  5. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    It was just a happy coincidence that I had an opportunity to buy the right plane around the same time I was seriously starting my instrument rating. When I got the rating, I was already very confident in the plane, having flown a bunch of solo cross country time as well as a bunch of hood time with an instructor in it. I don’t know how the dollars (rental vs. insurance costs) work out, but I do know that what I did worked great for me.
     
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  6. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    You know for certain you want to be an owner? Because you are only a few maintenance issues away from being cheaper to rent. But if you know you will own might as well train in the aircraft you will be flying in.

    As for insurance im not 100% certain the IR changes much in insurance. Mine didn't change much and actually what does change it a good bit is time in type and total time. My lowly cherokee starting off with my IR was right around $700. 4 years later it's under $500. What would it have been starting if I didn't have my IR already is unknown but surely it couldn't have been much more. Now a complex..pfft even with my IR I was looking at almost $3k as of this year. But would drop with more time and no claims.

    My advice, buy what you want to fly and train in it. As time builds insurance will drop anyway and now you have your IR and more time in type.
     
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  7. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    I can only speak to what I’m doing. Part of 5 person club finishing my IFR. I enjoyed training in the plane I will be flying for awhile (until I go for a multi rating). By training in what I’m flying I think it helps you get to really know the in’s and out’s of your plane. Our club plane has a decent setup for IFR flight.
    What’s your standard mission?
     
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  8. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    My insurance fell by ~30% after passing my Instrument checkride. Or about 5-6 hours of 172 rental time. But I'm busy flying a not-172, further, faster and on less fuel. IA requires 40 hours; even the full first year's insurance on a complex plane with zero complex time and 62 hours in my logbook would not have paid for 40 hours' aircraft rental.

    Do you expect to get your Instrument Rating in 40 hours? How did that work for you with your PPL? I found, even with three years in my Mooney, that there was more to learn than for the PPL.

    Happy shopping! And fly safe . . . . .
     
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  9. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    I owned my pa32 prior to the instrument. Insurance went down maybe 10-20%, so honestly a pretty negligible difference.

    To me the bigger factor is learning in the plane you plan to fly actual IFR in. If the plane that you want is available to buy I wouldn’t hesitate to buy.
     
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  10. Blatham489

    Blatham489 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Your question was what’s more cost effective, not what’s preferable. Renting is generally preferable cost wise, long term unless you’re flying lots of hours, mainly because of the risk of the unexpected repair. But owning is preferable for lots of reasons besides cost.
     
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  11. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    To many variables.
     
  12. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Here's an idea...

    Buy a fully IFR C-150/152 or other two seat trainer. Own it long enough to complete your instrument training and checkride. Get the rating, sell the airplane and upgrade to something you can fit in comfortably.

    I flew my IFR C-150 in IMC all over my local area to stay current. I ended up making a big profit on the sale...
     
  13. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Depends upon what you want to buy; as others have also stated. If you want a 172 or Piper 140/160/180, then the IR probably won't change your insurance much. Buy when you find the plane you want; before, after or even during your IR training.

    If you want a "traveling" plane, then the IR will drop the cost of your insurance. The reason seems to be that one is more likely to fly farther from home and therefore cross other weather systems in a faster plane. Having an IR helps make that safer.

    If you are looking to buy a Mooney, Bo, Cirrus, or some other fast single engine plane, then the IR will help reduce your insurance costs. The other thing is time in type. If you are buying a type you haven't flown in before the cost will be high the first year or so, depending upon how much you fly and your other flying experience. Buying the plane and doing a bunch of IR training will help build those hours and get your IR, so it can be a good way to go.
     
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  14. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Since you already have your PPL and some hours, if you want a plane might as well get one now and train in your own airframe.
     
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  15. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    When it comes to cost, it's a coin flip. It all depends on how much you pay for a plane, how much you sell it for, and what maintenance you'll have to do.

    If you're considering buying anyway, definitely buy and train in your plane.

    I look at it as in my own plane, it costs me $40/hr for an instructor. The other costs don't matter because I would be flying it anyway. If I have to rent, then it will be over $100/hr and I probably wouldn't fly as many hours.

    From a safety aspect, it's my opinion that you would be much safer learning in the plane that you plan on flying through the soup.
     
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  16. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What are you planning on owning?

    I say train for the plane you plan on owning. Insurance is a small part of the total cost of ownership; the portion attributable to not holding an IR is even smaller.
     
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  17. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m looking into buying a Piper Arrow.
     
  18. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, good question. I’m am certain I want to own my own airplane. In fact, I have a thread in this website asking for opinions of different versions of the model I’ve decided to buy

     
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  19. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good advice! It just doesn’t work for me. My main reason to buy is because of my 4-6 600nm cross countries I’m doing every year plus the increased amount of family I have in dofferent cities. If my sole purpose was the instrument rating, that would make PERFECT sense. I do appreciate the input though. :)
     
  20. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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  21. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Do you have your complex endorsement? Any retract time? Any Arrow time?

    If not, your first year's insurance will be a bit high, but if you plan on getting your IR in that year you'll get a lot of hours. Plan to knock out the IR, do some other flying and you can bring that insurance rate significantly down in year two. Plus you'll get to know your plane's avionics quite well.

    The Arrow is a decent plane. On the slow end for a traveling plane, but decent. We were climbing to 9,000' on a trip in summer (yup, hot and humid) and I thought we'd never get there. :oops: With only 48 gallons the fuel doesn't take much out of the useful load.
     
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  22. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nope, none of the above. All of my flight time has been logged on C172 and PA28’s. My research was based on my current and future missions.
     
  23. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    True! This is why I’m leaning towards the Arrow III which holds >70gal of usable fuel. Of course that comes with the compromise of a slower climb (ouch) and a bit of a smaller pay load.

    I truly appreciate the info. Thanks!!
     
  24. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    You don't have to fill the tanks. One of the benefits of being a solo owner. Rentals and co-owned planes are often left "topped off", which limits your payload. It's a simple way to deal with billing and knowing how much fuel is there, but can be limiting with planes that have a significant portion of their useful load in full fuel.

    Big tanks give you options. Cheap fuel available and you're flying solo? Tanker some. Got family, friends or stuff onboard? Carry less fuel. That's much easier (from a financial pain perspective) if your home field has low priced fuel. Leave the tanks low and only add what you need before each flight. Not as financial painless if your home field has high priced fuel.

    Climb rate is one of the reason I like more horsepower; although it's really horsepower to weight ratio. Climb up quick to the cooler smoother air, and get to your cruise speed sooner too. Then you get a higher cruise speed too. But, that comes at a cost. Higher priced engines and higher fuel burn.
     
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  25. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s so true!! I feel dumb I didn’t even think about that!! :confused:

    Thanks for your input!!
     
  26. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I bought an S35 Bonanza as a VFR pilot. First year insurance was $3,200 (75K hull value). The second year I had my IFR rating, and it dropped to $1,800. Not huge savings relative to the costs of plane ownership.

    I got the IFR after about 3 months of owning the plane. Frankly, I should've just re-insured it right after the checkride and cheezed off my broker. Probably could've saved a grand.

    There is value to learning in the plane you'll be flying in IFR. There is procedure, flow, and muscle memory that can make the flying easier. If you're planning to buy a plane not commonly available on a rental line, I think it absolutely makes sense to buy first, and get IFR second. If you rent through your IFR, you will spend part of your insurance savings on transition training in the new plane. At least, I hope you will before tackling actual with passengers. :)

    $0.02
     
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  27. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Don't worry about how many gallons of fuel the plane holds, look at how many hours it will let you fly. Then check flightaware and look at the actual groundspeeds that they are showing to see how far you can expect to go.

    My plane only holds 52 gallons [312 lb, less than a third of total payload], but the book says it will fly 5½ hours at my normal power settings and travel altitudes. I have made two fairly heavy flights that lasted 4:45, and going by the fuel receipts, both times I had another 1:15 remaining. No, I don't want to fly that long without a stop!

    Have a good time shopping! And buy something fun.
     
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  28. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    It is definitely advantageous to train in the airplane you plan to fly. You develop a flow pattern, the feel of it, buttonology, etc. As others have said though, you are once hiccup from being upside down vs renting.
     
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  29. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, this whole thread has totally opened my eyes! I was pleasantly surprised with everyone’s response. I was convinced that everyone was going to advice the complete opposite. Thank You!!
     
  30. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And this is another aspect of owning I never thought of that everyone is also in agreement with.
     
  31. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s another great point. Thank You!!
     
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would say that the general answer to the question is, it depends what kind of airplane you're looking to buy, and whether insurance will be prohibitively expensive or even obtainable at all in that type of aircraft if you don't have an instrument rating.

    Since you said you're looking to get an Arrow - You should easily be able to insure that with zero time in type and no instrument rating, so in that case, I would go ahead and buy it now.
     
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  33. Alex Batista

    Alex Batista Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank You @flyingcheesehead ! It’s ironic, because the purchase of my Arrow is in the budget towards the end of 2020. The (original) idea was to make my Instrument Rating 2019’s goal and the Arrow 2020’s. So I’m not sure that I’ll be able to purchase it on 2019. But what I think I’m going to do is get all the “groundschool” out of the way (understanding I may have to re-touch on it again) and then buy the airplane and do my hours then.

    Unlike most other pilots I’ve met, my GF (who’s definitely the person I’m going to marry in the next couple of years) is totally on board with the idea and supports the A/C ownership 100% :D so prioritizing shouldn’t be an issue.

    I’m definitely posting my progress here. This community is filled with some amazing people!! :)
     
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  34. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Buy the plane. Then get 50 hours or so in it. Then go to a weekend ground school for the written. Then do the flight training and you'll be done before you know it.

    My friend bought his PA28R-180 when he had Zero time. Did his PPL and IR in the first year.
     
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  35. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    You've got the PPL and are now pusuing an IR. IMO, you're passed the point of others you get their PPL and seldom fly. Unless your primary plane is a king air (lol), I'd find the plane I want and get my IR in it. Of course, that's not written in stone. I wouldn't rush into a plane purchase just to have one for IR training.
     
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  36. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Not huge, but about 300 gallons off 100LL; plus or minus depending the price.

    The cost of the IR is more, but that's $1,400/year, so the savings keep on going. :)

    While it's beneficial to do it in your plane, it's not a requirement. If it works better financially to put off the purchase, then that's the better route for you.
     
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  37. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Learning in your own plane has advantages, but:

    Tangent: When I was in my 20's people were buying Macintosh because "that's what they are using at school."

    I asked, "Do you drive the same car they use for driver's ed?"

    Crickets

    "Can they read books not provided by the school?"

    That's when the crickets stopped and the f-bombs flew.
     
  38. scottfromboston

    scottfromboston Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't recall the exact numbers, but I got my complex (and started my IR) in a pretty nice Arrow III that a friend owned - the insurance cost increases over the Cherokee 180 we had before that were incremental in terms of total cost of ownership.

    The advice about not worrying about full fuel payload is apt - but I'd add that even co-owned planes (within reason; no more than 4/5 people) have ways of addressing this issue. Namely, "leave at tabs" on dry-rate planes (probably the most common approach) or wet-rate and "we try to leave it near tabs; NEVER FULL!". We're doing the latter option, and it's working decently so far.

    Scott
     
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  39. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    I'm no insurance agent but I'd suspect you'll find that getting 100 hours of time in type/retract time will have as much impact on your insurance rates as an instrument ticket would if not more.
     
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  40. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    If you have the money for it I would buy and do my training in that.. otherwise, the cost of an IR ticket isn't crazy, certainly less than owning a plane.. so if there's a good club near you I wouldn't withhold my training for IR. It still makes you a better pilot, and when you do eventually buy a plane you'll already have your ticket

    The vast majority of my pilot friends don't own planes, however all but one of them has their IR.. so...
     
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