I'm thinking of buying my first airplane!

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Well, I found this one about a week ago sitting on the ramp. Just a little 150M,but hey, a guy has gotta start somewhere. Anyhow, I'm requesting copies of the logs and what not, but the guy only wants 16500 for it, so by the immaculate condition it looks to be in, this could be a steal. Little 8.50 tires on it, so it could be a gravel bar baby. And at 5.5gph, this could be a good deal all around! Wish me luck.

-pat
 

Boris Badenov

Let's get this thing on the hump!
I wish you way more than luck. You're gonna need it. I owned an AA-1 for about a heartbeat long, long ago. Insofar as my experience is any metric, airplane ownership is for overachieving doctors and lawyers, not everyday schlubs like us. Just when you think you can't possibly spend any more money, something comes up.

That said, I'd love to be wrong. It was a great feeling to have a little airplane that was mine. I hope you get that feeling without the attendant headaches that turn you in to a bitter old man like me. ;)
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Good luck. A good friend of mine offered a beautiful 150 for $18,000 last week (it Vrefs for $29,00). I got really excited about it for a few seconds until I really thought about it. I have the cash in the bank to buy it, but if anything serious happened (say it needed a new engine) I would be pretty screwed. I also could not figure out how I would use a 95 knot, two seat airplane. The 150s mission is pretty limited. The killer for me was having access to many similar airplanes. Why buy one when I have so many I can use for free or rent cheaply? I don't mean to piss in your Cheerios, just something to think about.

Alex.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I've done a lot of research on this. I've decided that asking someone if you should buy an airplane is like asking someone if you should get married.

There are lots of practical reasons not to, but if you have the tools and wherewithal and you're committed, it can be a very rewarding experience for you.

Alex and Boris both make good points - Boris has anecdotal experience which is nonetheless a very common story in ownership. Alex's situation (Alex - please forgive me for being a little presumptuous here) is a little unique with respect to experience and position to own.

So all that said, the only person who can make the determination is you. The costs of ownership are pretty clearly spelled out in terms of worst-case scenarios, and it's a matter of balancing risk/financial exposure against your resources to see if the risk is worth it. Sorta like marriage. :)

I still would like to own an airplane. I'm not in a position right now to do it, but I will be at some point. I've determined what the comfort level is, cost-wise, on owning a very used 4-seat piston single. And when my numbers meet in the middle with a possible candidate, then I'll pull the trigger. Make sense?
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Good luck. A good friend of mine offered a beautiful 150 for $18,000 last week (it Vrefs for $29,00). I got really excited about it for a few seconds until I really thought about it. I have the cash in the bank to buy it, but if anything serious happened (say it needed a new engine) I would be pretty screwed. I also could not figure out how I would use a 95 knot, two seat airplane. The 150s mission is pretty limited. The killer for me was having access to many similar airplanes. Why buy one when I have so many I can use for free or rent cheaply? I don't mean to piss in your Cheerios, just something to think about.

Alex.

Not up here, its over $100/hr solo up here.


As for limited mission you do make a very good point, which is to put it frankly, that you can't really do a damn thing with it accept go and screw around. Additionally, I think I would be equally screwed if anything went wrong. I'm still thinking I'm going to be willing to try. I figure I could part it out for at least 12k up here, so at very worst I'd be out 4 grand.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Not up here, its over $100/hr solo up here.
I figured the operating cost on a 150 to be around $70 an hour at 120 hours per year. That was figuring $100 per month for insurance (which would be pretty high), $50 per month tie down, $36 per hour in gas, and $200 a month in MX. That does not include loan payments.

I actually just found this site:

http://www.cessna150152.com/faqs/cost.htm

It has a great spreadsheet in the fixed cost paragraph.

Alex.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
My club recently purchased an aircraft after nearly 7-months of searching. A pre-buy inspection is critical - you wouldn't believe the things sellers will be dishonest about, or try to hide. When it comes to aviation, don't give people the benefit of the doubt.

My advice would be to sell fractional ownership shares in it after you purchase it. Will make that annual inspection and other things that pop up much more affordable.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
I've done a lot of research on this. I've decided that asking someone if you should buy an airplane is like asking someone if you should get married.
:yeahthat:

So true...

I owned an AA-1B for 6 yrs and loved every minute of it. I'd still own the airplane today if I hadn't got an offer from Uncle Sam to move half way around the world.

For me, owning an airplane was something I always wanted to do. The luxury of knowing my airplane was at the airport waiting for me was priceless. When I finally sold it, I computed the cost of flying ~475 hrs vs. every dime I spent on the airplane (excluding the profit I made on the sale) and it worked out to ~$21/hr. Of couse, that was in the days of using $1.19/gal MoGas, so I'm sure the cost per hour would have gone up if I still had it today.

The most important thing to consider before buying an airplane is your mission statement. What do you want it to do and what do you need it to do? (Two completely different things.) I highly recommend you read Ron Wanttaja's book, Airplane Ownership. You might be in danger of falling in love with the first available airplane, when if you really thought about it, there might be a better deal out there if you figure out what you want & need, and then go look for it. GA planes are a buyer's market right now, so if you looking for one it's a good time to do so.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
I have just recently purchased my first airplane. I say first because I am pretty sure I will purchase others in the future. For me, I spent HOURS running numbers trying to figure out if it was cheaper to rent or own. For ME and ME only in this case...it worked out cheaper to own. Now my plan is to get the tickets and do the freelance instructor thing when I retire from the AF. It's a low-time Cherokee that is IFR. Sure, it's not the sexiest plane out there, but it will suit me great for time building and in the future...instructing. There is a "breaking point" where owning is cheaper, but usually it's higher for those who fly less than about 12 hours a month.

I have had the plane for about a week and am LOVING it. It's great not worrying about scheduling a plane for a trip, or just doing a last minute "jaunt to the airport" for a couple laps around the pattern. Of course, when a radio burns up or something else, ask me again and I just might be cussing the thing. Time will tell, I guess.

You know best what your goals are and if buying will help you meet those goals. I will also agree that this is a good time to buy...it is a buyer's market, but there is a reason for that...pricey avgas!!! If I was in the position to do a partnership, I would have done that but since I am on the hook with Uncle Sam and could be sent anywhere at the drop of a dime, that isn't a smart thing for me. Selling a house with little notice sucks, selling a plane with little notice would REALLY suck!

And as always, ymmv.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
I've owned two airplanes. The first was an AA-5A which when I was moved from the lovely PacNorwest to FL I didn't see the need for it and so I flew it across country and sold it to a gentleman in NC. Then with my new job, moving back to NorCal, and my fiancee living in the PACNORWEST I bought another AA-5A. I would use it to commute up and see her on the weekends. It was quicker than driving two hours to the airport and then going through security... etc etc. I'm using it right now to get my CFII. I also use it to go visit the crews that work for me when they are in the western US. That being said, once I get my II, I'm selling this one too. Here what it costs annually. Payments $4900, Insurance $900, Maintenance (this year) $4000, Fuel $2400. So if I fly over 80 hours this year, I break even from renting an airplane. My fiancee is now my wife and living with me, so there goes that bene.... Just some food for thought. If you hanger it add in $4800 or so.
 

Dmitri Ivanov

New Member
I am also thinking of buying a airplane! If you do this you shall let me know how hard it is! I am thinking of C-150 or C-152 also!
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
I bought a 1970 cessna 150 aerobat about 15 months ago and so far in insurance, parking and maintenance I have spent about 7000.00 dollars. But this year it shouldn't be as bad I have worked out just about all of the mechanical problems as long as nothing big goes down:(. It makes sense to buy a plane if your using it for time building to lower your costs or if you have the money and it doesn't effect you. But if your only flying about 60 hours or less a year it doesn't make sense to buy one it is cheaper to rent.
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
So many of the flying clubs/schools/FBOs in a decent driving distance of where I live have ditched all of their $80-90/hr aircraft (hell, I remember paying $50-60/hr for a 150 back in 2003) in favor of new to 5-6 year old aircraft, going for $120/hr+. In light of that, ownership becomes more attractive even if you don't fly but 60-70 hours a year. I think insurance and fuel have forced most of the "old fashioned" flying clubs from rental with a couple of CFI's doing some work on the side to schools to keep the planes in the air as much as possible. Sucks, but that's reality I guess.

Taking my uncle's advice when he owned a Cherokee 235 and later an Arrow, have a maintenance fund set aside for the inevitable big repair. While he got lucky and never had any huge (engine overhauls, major airframe repair, etc) issues arise, he did have a couple of $2000-3000 repair bills crop up and it was reassuring to know the money was available, instead of having to scramble for cash.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
What for? Honestly, If I had that kind of money to plop down on an airplane, I'd be putting more money away for the future and/or a rainy day(i.e. ROTH IRA, etc). I read somewhere that if you max out a ROTH IRA from ages 20-25, by retirement that's an equivalent nest egg that you'd get if you wait until 35 and max out until you're 50. My point--time's on your side if you spend money wisely. Don't you have enough single engine time? Don't you get to fly enough with that new gig in Alaska while you're starting school? Besides, why is the plane going for that cheap; is the engine right at overhaul?
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Besides, why is the plane going for that cheap; is the engine right at overhaul?
Right now with the economy and price of gas, aircraft are a steal. Normally buying an airplane is like a house, it only goes up if you maintain it, however, just like housing that is no longer the case. My AA-5A was 55K two years ago, and I'd be lucky to get 50K.

Also, there are some tax advantages if you use your airplane for work, or to commute, etc. Like I said earlier, I flew 119 hours last year in my Cheetah, so it made sense owning. This year I'm using it for maybe 100, next year, probably only 50, so that is why come winter, it will be on the market.
 

b3181981

Well-Known Member
I am also thinking of buying a airplane! If you do this you shall let me know how hard it is! I am thinking of C-150 or C-152 also!
i believe you have to be an american citizen or permanent residence or the aircraft has to be registered to an american corporation to have a N number on it.
 
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