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Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 2:52 pm

I have found three nice airplanes for sale that I would love buying. I was just wondering how cheap it would be to own an airplane if you financed things favorably. Or even better how much a month it would cost to own the airplane disregarding insurance, fuel, maintenance, ect.... Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

I will list the airplanes below

1989 Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza - $280,000

2001 Piper Archer 3 - $198,500

1989 Piper Arrow 4 - $109,553 but need engine overhaul

and please no-body say that if you don't think you have enough money to own an airplane then you really don't have enough money to own an airplane.
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 3:56 pm

If I were you, I'd go to Barnes & Noble where you'll find many useful books on owning an airplane. Be very wary of trying to get something "too cheap". You generally get what you pay for, and I'd rather pay top dollar for an airplane in good shape a resonable distance from TBO than buy a piece of junk way over TBO that someone is just trying to get rid of.
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 11:13 pm


If you are a member of AOPA, their website has a new cost calculator. You can try it out for a ballpark idea of how much it would cost per month to hangar/tiedown and operate your airplane.

I just want to caution you about buying a retractable/complex aircraft if you are currently a student pilot. Your insurance rates are going to be significantly higher than if you go with a fixed gear airplane. Most insurance companies like to see quite a few hours of retractable experience before insuring a complex airplane.

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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Fri Nov 29, 2002 11:53 pm

Hello there
I'd recommend the same as Jhooper, get yourself a good book on the topic to get an idea of some of the issues involved, as buying an airplane is much more complicated than buying a car.

The first question you should ask yourself is why should you buy your own plane as opposed to renting. There are some advantages about owning your very own ship as opposed to renting of course, but unless you fly often enough you'll find that the cost isn't really justified (unless you have a lot of money to burn!)

Now, assuming you'll be using the plane enough, or that at least you're willing to spend the money to have the convenience and flexibility (and satisfaction too) of having your own plane, then you have to decide what to buy. There is a difference between what 'you would like', what you can realistically afford, and what you really need. I can't give you numbers on the planes you listed above, but unless you have got a lot of money to spend, that selection seems very unrealistic to me if you plan to be the sole owner. And again, you have to ask yourself what you want the plane for. If you're planning to do local hops for the most part, with a few cross-countries here and there, you might not need to spend a fortune buying a lot of airplane that you will rarely use. Now if you'll be flying the plane for business let's say, and will be doing frequent cross country flights, then the extra money spent on a more comfortable, faster machine might be well spent. It all depends on your needs.

I realize you were looking perhaps for a shorter answer, but I'm going by the assumption that you haven't done a lot of homework on this and the planes you listed are ones that 'you would like to have' (forgive me if I'm wrong here). Now if you want to talk about a wish list, I wouldn't mine a Mooney Ovation or a Twin Comanche  Smile More realistically though, I'm looking for a Grumman Yankee!

Hope this helped, cheers!

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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:08 am

This is what you would have to do as far as maintenance:

Annual inspection (yearly)
Vor Check (30 days)
Inspection (100 hour)
A Pitot Static Check (I think every 24 months)
Transponder (24 months)
Elt (one half battery life or more than one hour)

As for insurance I bought mine at I think it would be around $200.00 a year if you own a plane.

An I've never purchased fuel but doesn't it cost like twice as much as car gas?
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:10 am

Oh and by the way, Id get the Bonanza  Big thumbs up
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 6:23 am

Insurance is going to cost considerably more than $200. That may cover a month, if the plane has fixed gear. Av-gas is going to run the the neighborhood of $2.50/gal, in the US, depending on geographical location.
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:40 pm

You only have to have a 100 hour inspection if the airplane is used for rent.... and the VOR test can be done during your engine runup typically.

If you do want the airplane to try to pay for itself some though- stick it on a lease back program with a local flight school that you know will take good care of it. One of my students is buying a 2003 Arrow with Garmin 530/430/ S-TEC 55X/ Sandel EHSI/ and just about everythin else- he's putting it on lease back with my company to help pay for some of the stuff and for the maintenance benefits.

mmmm.. bonanza.......
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:03 pm

Someone just brought to my attention Sushka's price quote... that is WAYYY off. Please only talk about something if you know about it!

My student's insurance is going to cost somewhere in the range of 15,000 a year for his bird. This is for a 4 place, non high performance retract airplane.

Insurance is really the bulk of the cost of operating an airplane these days.

Av-gas is between 2.25 and 3 bucks a gallon.
Chicks dig winglets.
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 9:57 pm

So that's $200 a week in insurance instead of $200 a year. Small mistake .

Of those, the Bonanza is sexiest, the Arrow will cost a LOT more than that because of the engine work required (and what else needs fixing/replacing???).
Leaves the Archer, which also happens to be the newest (and therefore likely the cheapest on maintenance).
But for the price of that Archer you could buy a sparkling new Cessna Skyhawk with just about all the extras which is cheaper to operate (even though it may not look as sexy).
I wish I were flying
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RE: Aircraft Owners I Have A Question?

Tue Dec 03, 2002 6:35 pm

OR a mid-timed late 70's or early 80's 182, heck, looking through the aerotrader, they even have ones with the Texas Skyways conversion listed in the low $100's. That gets rid of the plane's one big drawback; that darned O-470 is a bear, wish our club went with one when they had the engine overhauled.

The A36 Bonanza really doesn't belong in that list; it's a LOT more airplane than the others, cost wise, systems wise, INSURENCE wise, flying wise, ect. But if you're looking in that performance and price spectrum, I'd take a look at the Skylane. They'll fly 4+ hours with 4 adults and baggage at 135 knots and not be over weight. They'll get you in and out of a short strip, and make great insturment platforms. I've our club's 182 to Florida for spring break with 3 friends, and up to Oshkosh twice, and let me tell you, if you can close the doors, it will fly; literally; we filled the cabin and still had room W&B wise.

Cost wise, lemme check around for recent maininance records, but barring major mechanical problems (an issue with high-time O-470's I'm told) you're not looking at that much more than a Skyhawk; 2 more jugs, 4 more plugs and a govener is about all there is more on the annual. Well, that and bladders on older models. Fuel burns are around 11-15 gph, which is similar to the high side of an Archer III's.

Other solid airplanes in this price rance/category are the Piper Dakota's, Comanche's (if you MUST have retractable gear) and Grumman Tigers.

Also, might I reccomend taking a look at the newsgroup rec.aviation.owning? You're likely to find a LOT of help there on this subject, as it comes up quite often, if you don't have newsgroup access, just use

I'll see what I can find on my club's financial records as far as aircraft expenses go, granted much of our maintinace is owner assisted, so that helps out a lot.

- Mike
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