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-   -   Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune (http://www.aviationbanter.com/showthread.php?t=43513)

Jay Honeck December 23rd 06 02:51 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
I drove around our airport last week, giving a tour to some folks who
are interested in making Iowa City a stop on a future "National Air
Tour"-type event, and was appalled to find...nothing.

No planes moving. One plane on the ramp, going no where. No people,
no vehicles. It was as if someone had set off a neutron bomb nearby,
leaving only the structures. Later, I strolled through the FBOs giant
maintenance hangar. Mid-afternoon, and...nothing. No movement, no
life, no mechanics -- only the shop supervisor, making busy by sorting
microfiche.

I then went to my mechanics shop. He was busy, of course...building
his Hawk replica. (He's got the upper wing on it now...he figures it'll
fly by spring.) There were a couple of customer projects in the shop,
but since they are doing most of the work themselves, his only reward
is having a fuselage that he must work around all the time.

The weather was good, very warm for the season, actually -- but
everyone apparently had Christmas shopping on their mind. There was
just no one flying, or thinking about flyling, or doing much of
anything at the airport. No money of any kind was exchanging hands on
the field...and this appears to be continuing throughout the holidays.

Later, I sat down and chatted with one of the FBO managers, and asked
him how they survived times like this? He smiled, and asked what WE
did when times were slow. (As they are right now, actually. December
has been a VERY quiet month at the inn...) I told him we remodeled
suites, replaced carpet, and basically got the facility caught up from
the year's craziness. And we watch the checkbook dwindle...

But we don't have the overhead you do, I replied. You've got trucks,
and pumps, and tools, and half a dozen mechanics, and line guys, and
desk staff, and...the list goes on and on. How do you PAY for all that
when there is ZERO income?

We both knew the answer. That's why they must charge stupidly high
rates for annual inspections, and five bucks for a quart of oil. In
the summer, when the line is hopping, they must make what they can on
those of us who fly. And even at that, they're barely breaking even
for the year, if they're lucky.

And what other options do they have? You can say that things would
pick up if they were to cut their fees, but that's simply not true when
there are so few flying. Perhaps it would help in the long run, but
the "long run" doesn't keep food on the table in the interim.

Unless and until we can revitalize GA, this inexorable trend will
continue, until there are just three of us left on the field, each
paying $175,000 per year to maintain our Cherokees.
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


Jose[_1_] December 23rd 06 03:44 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
We both knew the answer. That's why they must charge stupidly high
rates for annual inspections, and five bucks for a quart of oil. In
the summer, when the line is hopping, they must make what they can on
those of us who fly. And even at that, they're barely breaking even
for the year, if they're lucky.


How is that different from owning an airplane? If you own one, and you
run into a spell where you don't fly much, you still pay off the loan,
do the annual, pay the tiedown...

It's nice to think that you can just get up and fly at any time for the
cost of the gas, but it ain't so. Just for jollies, over the course of
several years (say, one engine replacement), how much did your
Pathfinder cost you per hour, all costs included?

Jose
--
"There are 3 secrets to the perfect landing. Unfortunately, nobody knows
what they are." - (mike).
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.

Peter R. December 23rd 06 03:51 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
Jose wrote:

How is that different from owning an airplane?


For starters, owning a small airplane is, for many, not a for-profit
business. Expenses to own therefore are irrelevant to the point Jay was
making.

--
Peter

Jose[_1_] December 23rd 06 03:59 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
For starters, owning a small airplane is, for many, not a for-profit
business. Expenses to own therefore are irrelevant to the point Jay was
making.


I don't think that's a significant point, especially since for many,
renting out a small airplane is a small-profit business. I think that
expenses to own are quite enlightening.

I am a member of a flying club, which is operated not-for-profit, and we
pay a rental rate that is comparable to FBOs (though for excellently
maintained aircraft). There is no getting around the fact that aviation
is expensive, and flying an airplane carries many hidden costs.

Now, if you own an airplane, you may be inclined to fly it more because
you only see the incremental costs, and this would tend to reduce cost
per hour. And I agree with Jay's point that the more people who fly
more, the less expensive it is overall. But it's two days before
Christmas, in the middle of winter. Of course it's slow! (n.b., some
years back I flew over Bethlehem on Christmas Eve).

Jose
--
"There are 3 secrets to the perfect landing. Unfortunately, nobody knows
what they are." - (mike).
for Email, make the obvious change in the address.

Peter R. December 23rd 06 06:18 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
Jose wrote:

But it's two days before
Christmas, in the middle of winter. Of course it's slow! (n.b., some
years back I flew over Bethlehem on Christmas Eve).


Ah, I see your point now. I had missed that upon my first read.

--
Peter

Gene Seibel December 23rd 06 06:20 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
Jay Honeck wrote:
I drove around our airport last week, giving a tour to some folks who
are interested in making Iowa City a stop on a future "National Air
Tour"-type event, and was appalled to find...nothing.

Unfortunately, you are preaching to the choir. We did what we could
last weekend by taking a 4 day Christmas trip in which we flew 8 hours,
made landings at 6 airports in 3 states, bought fuel at 3 FBO's,
visited relatives in two states, and transported home a load of items
we had purchased over the internet. We almost drove because the
forecast didn't look great for the last two days, but we took our
chances and were rewarded with great flying all the way. GA rules for
us. Too bad that virtual reality rules for most.
--
Gene Seibel
Tales of Flight - http://pad39a.com/gene/tales.html
Because I fly, I envy no one.


Montblack December 23rd 06 08:05 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
("Jose" wrote)
But it's two days before Christmas, in the middle of winter. Of course
it's slow! (n.b., some years back I flew over Bethlehem on Christmas
Eve).



http://www.answers.com/topic/nota-bene
(n.b. ?) I learned this today g


Montablack



Judah December 23rd 06 08:14 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
"Jay Honeck" wrote in news:[email protected]
48g2000cwx.googlegroups.com:

I drove around our airport last week, giving a tour to some folks who
are interested in making Iowa City a stop on a future "National Air
Tour"-type event, and was appalled to find...nothing.


Note to AOPA - Need more Jewish pilots.

Montblack December 23rd 06 08:27 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
("Jay Honeck" wrote)
We both knew the answer. That's why they must charge stupidly high
rates for annual inspections, and five bucks for a quart of oil. In
the summer, when the line is hopping, they must make what they can on
those of us who fly. And even at that, they're barely breaking even
for the year, if they're lucky.



1. The lawyers are running a mob-type protection racquet. You pay them,
first, for their (ever growing) cut - for protection against, well ...them!

2. All levels of (ever growing) government have got their hand(s) out, too
....or more precisely, in your pocket(s).

3. And the health care syndicate, they want their (ever growing) ....cut.


Montblack-to-basics



Montblack December 23rd 06 08:46 PM

Why FBOs Must Charge a Fortune
 
("Judah" wrote)
Note to AOPA - Need more Jewish pilots.



http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/adam+sa..._20003925.html
Adam Sandler: Hanukkah Song #1 (lyrics)

http://www.ilovewavs.com/Holidays/Ha...Hanukkah01.wav
Adam Sandler: Hanukkah Song #1 (.wav)

http://www.ilovewavs.com/Holidays/Ha...Hanukkah02.wav
Adam Sandler: Hanukkah Song #2 (.wav)

http://www.ilovewavs.com/Holidays/Hanukkah/hanukkah.htm
More Hanukkah songs...

"The don't make Jews like Jesus any more." :-)

BTW, Happy B-Day JC ...and POEGWTM


Montblack-Irish
5 of 7 ...Yup, Catholic family




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