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I need some advice on buying my own plane BEFORE training...



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 22nd 04, 04:07 AM
Anthony L
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Posts: n/a
Default I need some advice on buying my own plane BEFORE training...

Hello everyone. Let me give you a little background on my situation. I am
25, married, and my wife's father is a CFI at a local field. He has taken
me on a Discovery Flight, and I am hooked. In short, in the past 4-6
months, I have been reading magazines, posts, the internet, etc... all about
flying, but never really got a good answer about what I am looking at.

So here is my situation. I have two options on how to go about my training:

1. I can buy the 5k'ish training from the local company that my
father-in-law works for, use their planes, their ground school, but be
taught by my father-in-law. When all is said in done, I have paid 5-6k for
my PP license, and I have to start renting a plane. I figure it is
~50-60/month to get a loan on the PP license. Continuing to fly, say at
50/hour for rentals at say 6 hours a month will cost me $360/month.

2. My father-in-law has proposed that I purchase a used plane, something
like a Piper Archer or 172 for my training and initial flight hours after
training is complete. He said that in this case, I can use my own plane,
buy fuel, and he will train me in his own time for free. It is not a
non-competition violation since I am related, and we will be using my plane.
I will have to do my own ground schooling, maybe with Kings or Sporty's
training aids. After all is said and done, I will have my own plane to use
at will, and my own license.

What I was hoping for was some advice from the people that have been through
this before. Is it worth it to be to buy my own plane? Say I spent $35k on
a Piper that is in good shape, and assume it has had a recent overhaul.
What can I expect to pay monthly to own a plane?

Here are some estimates I do know. It is 30/month for a tie down at the
local field. It will run about $100-125/month for insurance on average.
What I don't know is what a plane will cost me to finance. Are they done on
15/20/30 year purchases, even though I obvoiusly wouldn't keep it that long?
Is there a "rule of thumb" that can be used to guestimate a round number
for a monthly payment? For instance, it is a general rule that you will pay
$100 for every $5000 you finance over 5 years on a new car... as an
estimate. Can I get some information along those lines on getting a plane?

Sorry to make this so long... it probably has been answered before, but I
can't seem to locate the right info.

Thanks
Anthony


  #2  
Old April 22nd 04, 04:16 AM
G.R. Patterson III
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default



Anthony L wrote:

What I was hoping for was some advice from the people that have been through
this before. Is it worth it to be to buy my own plane? Say I spent $35k on
a Piper that is in good shape, and assume it has had a recent overhaul.
What can I expect to pay monthly to own a plane?


Expect about $5k/year. That's gas, oil, maintenance, the whole nine yards. Also
expect an extra $500 or so in some years.

What I don't know is what a plane will cost me to finance. Are they done on
15/20/30 year purchases, even though I obvoiusly wouldn't keep it that long?


You can easily get a 15 or 20 year loan.

Is there a "rule of thumb" that can be used to guestimate a round number
for a monthly payment?


At current interest rates, the monthly payment on a 15 year loan will be a little
more than 1% of the amount financed. At 10.5% interest, the monthly payment would be
about 1.3% of the amount financed.

George Patterson
This marriage is off to a shaky start. The groom just asked the band to
play "Your cheatin' heart", and the bride just requested "Don't come home
a'drinkin' with lovin' on your mind".
  #3  
Old April 22nd 04, 01:51 PM
Steve Robertson
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Posts: n/a
Default

Anthony,

Let me disabuse you of the notion that you can buy an Archer or 172 that is in
good shape for $35k. You will be looking at clapped-out junk in that price
range. Don't buy a plane that needs a lot of work for your first bird!

Now, you can get a plenty good plane for $35k or less, but you will have to
settle for something slower or smaller. Like a Piper Cherokee 140, *maybe* a
Piper Warrior, Piper Tomahawk (2-seat), Piper Colt or Tri-Pacer (ragwing),
Grumman AA1/TR2/Lynx (2-seat), Cessna 150/152 (2-seat), Beechcraft Musketeer or
Sport, Beechcraft Skipper (2-seat), and maybe some others.

I'm a big fan of Cherokees and Musketeer/Sport for 4-seaters and Tomahawks for
2-seaters. These planes are all simple, rugged, easy to fly, have good
visibility, and can be bought for thousands less than similarly
equipped/condition Cessnas.

Financing is going to cost you about the same as it would for a used car of the
same values. Maybe a point or so more. Up on my soapbox ... I don't believe in
borrowing money to finance a hobby ... off my soapbox. Insurance probably won't
cost you much more than for a car of the same value.

Maintenance is always a big unknown. Figure around $1k for an annual on any of
the planes mentioned above. But don't be surprised if the bill is $750 or $5k
some years. Figure at least a couple of grand for regular (tires, brakes, oil
changes, transponder checks) and unscheduled maintenance. Note that it doesn't
cost any more to repair and maintaint a 4-seater than it does a 2-seater.

There is no substitute for owning your own plane. You know it's condition, you
know it's there just waiting for you, and it calls to you to come fly it.
However, don't try to justify owning by trying to show a cost savings over
renting. It just can't be done. "If it floats, flys, or flirts, it's cheaper to
rent."

Before you run out and buy a plane or plunk down $5k at the flight school, may I
offer an alternative? Take your first few lessons at your father-in-law's
school (or another one) on a pay-as-you-go basis. Then reassess your situation.
Then you will have a lot more knowledge about what you might like and whether
buying seems to be a good option for you.

Best regards,

Steve Robertson
N4732J 1967 Beechcraft Musketeer
ex-N1151Y 1962 Cessna 150B
ex-N5839C 1952 C35 Bonanza
ex-N33337 1972 Cherokee 140
ex-N5828E 1959 Cessna 150

Anthony L wrote:

Hello everyone. Let me give you a little background on my situation. I am
25, married, and my wife's father is a CFI at a local field. He has taken
me on a Discovery Flight, and I am hooked. In short, in the past 4-6
months, I have been reading magazines, posts, the internet, etc... all about
flying, but never really got a good answer about what I am looking at.

So here is my situation. I have two options on how to go about my training:

1. I can buy the 5k'ish training from the local company that my
father-in-law works for, use their planes, their ground school, but be
taught by my father-in-law. When all is said in done, I have paid 5-6k for
my PP license, and I have to start renting a plane. I figure it is
~50-60/month to get a loan on the PP license. Continuing to fly, say at
50/hour for rentals at say 6 hours a month will cost me $360/month.

2. My father-in-law has proposed that I purchase a used plane, something
like a Piper Archer or 172 for my training and initial flight hours after
training is complete. He said that in this case, I can use my own plane,
buy fuel, and he will train me in his own time for free. It is not a
non-competition violation since I am related, and we will be using my plane.
I will have to do my own ground schooling, maybe with Kings or Sporty's
training aids. After all is said and done, I will have my own plane to use
at will, and my own license.

What I was hoping for was some advice from the people that have been through
this before. Is it worth it to be to buy my own plane? Say I spent $35k on
a Piper that is in good shape, and assume it has had a recent overhaul.
What can I expect to pay monthly to own a plane?

Here are some estimates I do know. It is 30/month for a tie down at the
local field. It will run about $100-125/month for insurance on average.
What I don't know is what a plane will cost me to finance. Are they done on
15/20/30 year purchases, even though I obvoiusly wouldn't keep it that long?
Is there a "rule of thumb" that can be used to guestimate a round number
for a monthly payment? For instance, it is a general rule that you will pay
$100 for every $5000 you finance over 5 years on a new car... as an
estimate. Can I get some information along those lines on getting a plane?

Sorry to make this so long... it probably has been answered before, but I
can't seem to locate the right info.

Thanks
Anthony


  #4  
Old April 22nd 04, 08:26 PM
Captain Wubba
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Steve, I agree with most everything you have said, but I honestly *do*
think that (if done properly) it can indeed be cheaper in the
medium/long run to purchase your own plane than to rent it. We bought
our old (1963) Musketeer for $26,000 3 years ago. We flew it a *ton*
(i.e. over 500 hours the first year, 400 hours the next and it will be
about 400 hours for this last year). When all of the costs have been
factored in (gas, tiedown, all maintenence, insurance...everything but
the opportunity cost on the money) it came to $47 per hour (wet). The
cheapest rental 152 on our field is $67 an hour. Now we are selling
the Mouse at a profit to a club. And I'll probably use my proceeds to
buy another one

But I don't think our situation is unique. I know several other owners
on the field pretty well, and several have been able to keep their
costs below rent-level. One guy (who is *totally* anal about his
financial records...he showed me his bills, the guy keeps everything)
has a old 150 (in very good condition) that he has flown for over 20
years for about $25-$30 per hour wet.

When I talk to the folks who have been able to do this, several things
seem to be common:

1. Buy an older airplane

2. Fly it a lot, even if it means taking on partners (all fly well
over 100 hours per year)

3. Buy a *simple* plane...fixed gear, O-320, O-360, O-300
engine...simple avionics.

4. Change the oil yourself, and *always* on schedule

5. Get a good, reliable mechanic you can trust (even if he charges a
bit more)

6. Never defer maintenence required to keep the plane flying. If it
sits on the ground waiting for repairs, it tends to stay on the
ground, then need *more* repairs, so it sits on the ground more, etc.
This means keeping a fund that has at least $1000 or $1500 in it for
emergency 'big' fixes like a carb.

7. Get a *very* detailed pre-buy inspection, including an extra focus
on expensive ADs (like the Musketeer wing-attach fitting AD), from a
mechanic who knows the type of airplane. Our pre-buy guy knew to
inspect the rubber donuts on the gear...I don't know if all mechanics
would.

8. Watch your insurance costs, and shop around. We got a break on our
insurance wihin 3 months after buying the plane because I got my
instrument rating, and we all had more than 25 hours in type by then.
Had we not talked to the insurance company, we would have kept paying
an extra several hundred dollars per year until the next renewal.

9. Shop around for airports. Within 25 miles of my home, I have one
airport that charges $130 a month for the cheapest tiedown available.
Mine charges $20 a month for a grass tiedown. One field has avgas for
$3.16 a gallon. One has it for (literally) $1.99 a gallon. Flown 10
hours per month @ 8 GPH, the difference between the most expensive and
the least expensive is $19.80 per *hour*, just in tiedown and gas
costs. Yet the airport with the expensive tiedowns and gas has plenty
of planes located there.

10. Become intimately familiar with the type of plane and
type-specific user groups. We needed some part (I can't remember what)
for the Mouse. The Mechanic could find it for $600 or so. A member of
the Yahoo! Musketeer group told me who to call, who had it for under
$200.

Obviously bad things can happen, and not everyone is as fortunate as
we were. But given our experiences, and the experiences of several
others that I know personally, I honestly believe that if one accepts
certain limitations, and owns 'smartly' that it can be cheaper to own
than it is to rent. And, as you said, you have all the wonderful other
benefits of owning your own plane.

Cheers,

Cap








Steve Robertson wrote in message ...
Anthony,

Let me disabuse you of the notion that you can buy an Archer or 172 that is in
good shape for $35k. You will be looking at clapped-out junk in that price
range. Don't buy a plane that needs a lot of work for your first bird!

Now, you can get a plenty good plane for $35k or less, but you will have to
settle for something slower or smaller. Like a Piper Cherokee 140, *maybe* a
Piper Warrior, Piper Tomahawk (2-seat), Piper Colt or Tri-Pacer (ragwing),
Grumman AA1/TR2/Lynx (2-seat), Cessna 150/152 (2-seat), Beechcraft Musketeer or
Sport, Beechcraft Skipper (2-seat), and maybe some others.

I'm a big fan of Cherokees and Musketeer/Sport for 4-seaters and Tomahawks for
2-seaters. These planes are all simple, rugged, easy to fly, have good
visibility, and can be bought for thousands less than similarly
equipped/condition Cessnas.

Financing is going to cost you about the same as it would for a used car of the
same values. Maybe a point or so more. Up on my soapbox ... I don't believe in
borrowing money to finance a hobby ... off my soapbox. Insurance probably won't
cost you much more than for a car of the same value.

Maintenance is always a big unknown. Figure around $1k for an annual on any of
the planes mentioned above. But don't be surprised if the bill is $750 or $5k
some years. Figure at least a couple of grand for regular (tires, brakes, oil
changes, transponder checks) and unscheduled maintenance. Note that it doesn't
cost any more to repair and maintaint a 4-seater than it does a 2-seater.

There is no substitute for owning your own plane. You know it's condition, you
know it's there just waiting for you, and it calls to you to come fly it.
However, don't try to justify owning by trying to show a cost savings over
renting. It just can't be done. "If it floats, flys, or flirts, it's cheaper to
rent."

Before you run out and buy a plane or plunk down $5k at the flight school, may I
offer an alternative? Take your first few lessons at your father-in-law's
school (or another one) on a pay-as-you-go basis. Then reassess your situation.
Then you will have a lot more knowledge about what you might like and whether
buying seems to be a good option for you.

Best regards,

Steve Robertson
N4732J 1967 Beechcraft Musketeer
ex-N1151Y 1962 Cessna 150B
ex-N5839C 1952 C35 Bonanza
ex-N33337 1972 Cherokee 140
ex-N5828E 1959 Cessna 150

Anthony L wrote:

Hello everyone. Let me give you a little background on my situation. I am
25, married, and my wife's father is a CFI at a local field. He has taken
me on a Discovery Flight, and I am hooked. In short, in the past 4-6
months, I have been reading magazines, posts, the internet, etc... all about
flying, but never really got a good answer about what I am looking at.

So here is my situation. I have two options on how to go about my training:

1. I can buy the 5k'ish training from the local company that my
father-in-law works for, use their planes, their ground school, but be
taught by my father-in-law. When all is said in done, I have paid 5-6k for
my PP license, and I have to start renting a plane. I figure it is
~50-60/month to get a loan on the PP license. Continuing to fly, say at
50/hour for rentals at say 6 hours a month will cost me $360/month.

2. My father-in-law has proposed that I purchase a used plane, something
like a Piper Archer or 172 for my training and initial flight hours after
training is complete. He said that in this case, I can use my own plane,
buy fuel, and he will train me in his own time for free. It is not a
non-competition violation since I am related, and we will be using my plane.
I will have to do my own ground schooling, maybe with Kings or Sporty's
training aids. After all is said and done, I will have my own plane to use
at will, and my own license.

What I was hoping for was some advice from the people that have been through
this before. Is it worth it to be to buy my own plane? Say I spent $35k on
a Piper that is in good shape, and assume it has had a recent overhaul.
What can I expect to pay monthly to own a plane?

Here are some estimates I do know. It is 30/month for a tie down at the
local field. It will run about $100-125/month for insurance on average.
What I don't know is what a plane will cost me to finance. Are they done on
15/20/30 year purchases, even though I obvoiusly wouldn't keep it that long?
Is there a "rule of thumb" that can be used to guestimate a round number
for a monthly payment? For instance, it is a general rule that you will pay
$100 for every $5000 you finance over 5 years on a new car... as an
estimate. Can I get some information along those lines on getting a plane?

Sorry to make this so long... it probably has been answered before, but I
can't seem to locate the right info.

Thanks
Anthony

  #5  
Old April 22nd 04, 09:23 PM
gatt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Anthony L" wrote in message
news:WFGhc.753$YP5.129551@attbi_s02...

2. My father-in-law has proposed that I purchase a used plane,


I swear to you brother you oughtta get that in print and signed, frame it
and show it to any of your old bachelor buddies who warned you about getting
married.

"My father-in-law has proposed that I purchase a used plane" he spaketh, and
the pilots and married men gathered in wonder....

What I don't know is what a plane will cost me to finance. Are they done

on
15/20/30 year purchases, even though I obvoiusly wouldn't keep it that

long?

I don't know if they can help you here, but Key Bank financed my instrument
and commercial schooling last September at a fixed 3% and payments are
deferred up to six months after I "graduate." It has to be arranged through
a flight school, but your rather angelic father-in-law might be able to
qualify you. That might also extend to aircraft purchase for training
purposes except there's got to be some universal law of science that says
two things that cool can't possibly happen at the same time.

-c


  #6  
Old April 22nd 04, 11:05 PM
Greg Copeland
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 12:26:20 -0700, Captain Wubba wrote:

Steve, I agree with most everything you have said, but I honestly *do*
think that (if done properly) it can indeed be cheaper in the
medium/long run to purchase your own plane than to rent it. We bought
our old (1963) Musketeer for $26,000 3 years ago. We flew it a *ton*
(i.e. over 500 hours the first year, 400 hours the next and it will be
about 400 hours for this last year). When all of the costs have been
factored in (gas, tiedown, all maintenence, insurance...everything but
the opportunity cost on the money) it came to $47 per hour (wet). The
cheapest rental 152 on our field is $67 an hour. Now we are selling
the Mouse at a profit to a club. And I'll probably use my proceeds to
buy another one


Unlike renting, you are actually building an equity position in an
aircraft. When it's time to step into to another plane, you'll realize
some portion was going back into your pocket as equity. Even if it costs
$90/hr to rent and $110/hr to own, which makes more sense in the long
run? Renting means $90/hr you'll never see again. At $110/hr, you'll be
able to realize some of it as equity and have much more control over when,
where and for how long you fly.

After all that, I do want to say thanks for sharing your information. I
have no idea how common it is, but it's nice to hear that some actually
are able to own cheaper than they could rent. I find the thought of
the possibility to be rather exciting.


  #7  
Old April 22nd 04, 11:13 PM
John Galban
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Anthony L" wrote in message news:WFGhc.753$YP5.129551@attbi_s02...

I figure it is
~50-60/month to get a loan on the PP license.


This was the statement that caught my eye. If your financial
situation is such that you'd need to take out a loan to get your
training, I'm guessing that buying/operating/maintaining a 30+ yr. old
airplane is probably going to be a huge burden. While you don't have
to be rich to own an airplane, you do need to have chunks of available
cash to cover the unexpected. I don't have enough fingers to count
the number of owners I know that have had to do an engine overhaul
when they least expected it (~$15,000). Less drastic problems can
easily dispose of $1K here, or $2K there. This is particularly common
in the first year that you own a plane.

I'm not trying to discourage you from airplane ownership. On the
contrary, I think it's a great thing. I just want to stress that you
need to be finacially prepared to do it right. It would be a shame to
have to pay a big monthly payment on an airplane that you couldn't fly
because of an expensive maintenance item.

Best of luck,

John Galban=====N4BQ (PA28-180)
 




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