This flying seems awfully expensive...

4RNB

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4RNB
Monthly expenses
Storage: $300
Insurance $300
Fish Finder $30
Garmin ???
Fuel $50/hr
Plus more for annuals.

We've had a major life event and have been questioning priorities. I'm wondering if this flying thing and plane ownership ought to be passed on to someone else. For the past couple days I've been ready to sell, will likely wait for a year. But just how do people justify this recreational flying?
 
Justification is in the eyes of the beholder. Since it’s not a necessity, it is a discretionary expense.

As for timing, it’s like anything else…the market is a spot market and who knows where prices will be year from now. But the expenses will continue to accrue during ownership.
 
Aviation is expensive but not uniquely so. People spend comparable amounts of money on other hobbies, from amateur car racing (SCCA etc.), to golf, to skiing, etc. I find that I can occasionally incorporate flying into family activities, like flying somewhere for weekends or vacations. I also like the fact that no matter how much you know, there is always something new to learn. For those who love flying and can afford it, it's worth it. For others, it's not.
For those who love flying but have less money, there are ways to reduce costs, like ownership clubs or ultralights.
 
How does one "justify" any hobby? We RVed across the country numerous times in 34, 35 years. Cheaper than a motel you say? Not for us. No kids, just us. Campgrounds and RV parks ARE less expensive than a hotel/motel as are meals, but a 5-7 mpg fuel "economy" really bites the wallet. We enjoyed it and we set aside $X every month for that purpose. We're currently trying to sell our MH but the market, both new and used, is very soft. I mis-timed it by about a year. But that's OK...we own it outright and if it doesn't sell soon, we will donate it to charity.

I've always wanted to fly recreationally. I started lessons in 1982 but had to stop when my wife racked up her knee on a ski trip. She was off work for 6-mos...no sick pay other than a week or so. Finally attained my dream...SPL...in 2012. Now, I've self-grounded myself due to a series of kidney stones. But we set aside $X a month for that dream just like we did for the RV. If I can stop producing kidney stones for a couple of years, I'd very much like to get back into the left seat but I'm at peace with that if it never happens.

I'm also into amateur radio. Lots of equipment that, these days doesn't get used as much. As with the RV and flying I set aside $X each month for that. Buddies ask me where the $ come from for all of this. Simple...no debt and living beneath your means.

I wish you and your family well.
 
Simple...no debt and living beneath your means.
I drive an old car so I can fly an old airplane.

About 7 years ago I was driving a 27 year old Jeep with 270,000 miles on it, and flying a 40 year old Sailplane.(in the profile photo). The Jeep was my daily driver for 23 years. I owned the Sailplane for about 20 years and put nearly a 1000 hours of flight time on it.

I paid off my house about then and upgraded to now I am driving a 23 year old Corolla with 180,000 miles on it, and flying a 34 year old sailplane.

Got CFI about 26 year ago and have been teaching part time ever since so I get about 300-400hrs of flying per year and the CFI income supports the Sailplane.

Brian
CFIIG/ASEL
 
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Those are just normal operating expenses. Wait til you have something like an unexpected engine overhaul. Or like me, a $6,500 nose gear up landing expense. Then you’ll start to wonder if this hobby is truly worth it.
 
It’s the cost of entertainment.

What else am I going to do with my income that I will enjoy more?

Sell my plane and retire earlier? Then what?

My intelligence is questioned by myself when we have a month where property taxes, license plate fees, income tax filing, airplane insurance, and annual all happen close to each other and we need a new appliance, new tires, and a vacation. Add in the kids’ college, and it’s easy to say WTF am I flying for? Just thought this over Christmas ($$$).

That’s my view.
 
Are you still enjoying it? If so, then yes it’s worth it.

If you find yourself feeling less enthusiastic about it, than it’s probably time to re-evaluate it.
 
Word of advice. Don't trade flying hobby for horses. Flying will seem cheap.

Truer words have seldom been typed.

I have a plane. Wife has a horse. If the plane gets sick, it can wait until I have the money to fix it. If the horse gets sick, you get the vet to come out right now. (Had a Thoroughbred colic on Christmas Eve one year and the closest vet was over an hour's drive away. $$$$$$)
 
Thank you for this advice.
My wife wants a horse.

I'm sorry for your loss. I know divorces can be painful, but in time you'll find a more reasonable woman, and if not at least you'll have your airplane.

(A horse is the most efficient thing God ever created for converting money into manure. Trust me.)
 
But just how do people justify this recreational flying?

Justify? How do people justify having children? Or getting married? Airplane ownership is not subject to mathematical analysis any more than owning a dog.

And as hobbies go,.... Have you priced a bass boat? Or sports car racing? Or an Everest expedition? Heck, I've run across people who have more money tied up in a slide rule collection than I do in my airplane.
 
Monthly expenses
Storage: $300
Insurance $300
Fish Finder $30
Garmin ???
Fuel $50/hr
Plus more for annuals.

We've had a major life event and have been questioning priorities. I'm wondering if this flying thing and plane ownership ought to be passed on to someone else. For the past couple days I've been ready to sell, will likely wait for a year. But just how do people justify this recreational flying?
Because I want to and currently have the money to do so. I have not always and things may change but for now I will keep flying. If you are going to sell, sell. What will waiting accomplish.
 
It is expensive. I bought a light sport and love it. I use to have an offshore boat and that hobby was even more expensive.
I pay for the plane by sacrificing in other areas. I drive an older car, don't eat out much and I maintain the plane myself.
As far as justification, I can't sit at my house all weekend and do nothing. All work and no play.......
 
All hobbies are expensive. At least with flying, I can make it a family activity since my wife prefers flying over driving to places anyways.

Example, before we had the plane, we would do a weekend trip per month by car. Going for a weekend trip by car also costs money. Usually a 3 hour drive can be a 1 hour flight. So, gas wise (our car uses lots of gas) it's almost a wash. Depending on the destination, the only added expense is airport parking.

Before we had a plane, we would go to Florida for part of the winter. Never by commercial airline because we have pets who I will not put into cargo. So, we drove. 20+ hours one way. Now with the plane, we fly. 7 hours one way. Again, gas is about a wash.

Once every quarter, I have to go see my employer. He reimburses me travel cost as if I was driving, a flat rate per mile. He doesn't care how I get there, he'll just give me miles x $$$. Driving is about 7 hours. Flying is just over 2 hours.

So, the only actual added cost is hangar, insurance, maintenance, upgrades. The last one is on me. I can spend on it or not. If I have the money, I do. If I don't, I don't. Hangar and insurance isn't all that much in my opinion compared to other hobbies.

Maintenance is the big wildcard. If all that's needed are oil changes and standard annuals and standard ADs I knew about prior to having bought the plane, I still think flying is a cheap hobby compared to some other hobbies. If something breaks, it can be expensive obviously and I guess one will have to know for him/herself what that threshold is.

Lastly, CapEx is obviously on the higher side for planes. I own the plane, no loan or anything on it and I would argue it's holding its value so I'm not too worried about the CapEx.
 
All hobbies are expensive. At least with flying, I can make it a family activity since my wife prefers flying over driving to places anyways.
Same. We both love going places but hate driving, and commercial requires either driving 3 hours to the big airport and all the crap that entails, or paying double to get a regional flight from our local airport to the big city. Having our own plane has greatly increased our QOL by allowing us to travel.

OTOH, for the money I spend on our little piston single I could probably get a jet card, but the satisfaction I get from flying myself and going on a whim is priceless. Also, our little airplane is capable of getting into little airports with 3000' runways, or grass strips that the big iron can't.

I feel for those whose families won't fly with them. I've had a number of hobbies that I got pretty deep into, but nothing the family was interested in. They don't really care about flying either, but they love to travel and the speed and ease of going in dad's airplane. I don't know if I'd stick with it if all my flights were solo.

Generally the cost is pretty comparable to commercial flying, or even substantially less if I'm taking kids and going into smaller non-hub airports. Of course that doesn't include the money spent to upgrade the plane or keep myself proficient, but that's the hobby side of it I suppose.
 
Word of advice. Don't trade flying hobby for horses. Flying will seem cheap.
From God's mouth to yours, indeed. Especially if you have a teen aged daughter who is... eventing... yeah maybe that Bonanza isn't so bad.
 
You can't really justify it as anything other than a waste of money. But if you have money to waste, might as well waste it on something that makes you happy. Some people take a cruise every year. Some people collect memorabilia. Some people want a new luxury car. Some people fly.

The good news is there are levels of wastage to fit most budgets. Ultralight, rental, clubs, partnership, EAB, sole ownership, complex, multi, turbine, jet.
 
I'm sorry for your loss. I know divorces can be painful, but in time you'll find a more reasonable woman, and if not at least you'll have your airplane.

(A horse is the most efficient thing God ever created for converting money into manure. Trust me.)
In high school my daughter played polo. In addition to our two horses, we would occasionally need to rent horses for a tournament. $150 to $250 per chukker, 7.5 minutes. when she went off to college we sold the horses and I could suddenly afford to start flying again regularly.
 
Now well into my 40's.....not having kids, and never wanting them was the best decision I ever made! Very easy to afford flying without having that expense.

 
We've had a major life event and have been questioning priorities. I'm wondering if this flying thing and plane ownership ought to be passed on to someone else. For the past couple days I've been ready to sell, will likely wait for a year. But just how do people justify this recreational flying?
Say type aircraft & location?

I'm in an expensive area and my numbers are less than half that.
 
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In high school my daughter played polo. In addition to our two horses, we would occasionally need to rent horses for a tournament. $150 to $250 per chukker, 7.5 minutes. when she went off to college we sold the horses and I could suddenly afford to start flying again regularly.

even with the cost of college? wow.
 
I'm sorry for your loss. I know divorces can be painful, but in time you'll find a more reasonable woman, and if not at least you'll have your airplane.

(A horse is the most efficient thing God ever created for converting money into manure. Trust me.)
Include "Must be allergic to horses" in your dating profile
I like horses. Is it too soon to start hitting on Mrs Bryan?
 
Hobbies are about passion, not justification.
:yeahthat:
An A&P friend got a 195. He complained about how much maintenance it required. He sold it.
Not long thereafter, he bought another one.
I asked, "Why'd you buy another one? I thought you said it was a a PITA."
He dryly replied, "A benefit of aging is the triumph of romance over practicality."
 
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