Ownership Made Easy
New versus old: What you get and what you don’t get
The Cessna 152 is a reliable aircraft that has retained its value well.
What did Ralph do? As soon as Mrs. Ralph gets back from flying the new LSA, we’ll tell you which one the couple bought. Mrs. Ralph decided that it would be a “kick” to learn how to fly, and her grandkids think she’s “cool” because none of their friends have a pilot grandmother.
Curt Sletten: www.airtightimages.com
Both buyers got what they needed and wanted for their price range. Emma doesn’t stress over her monthly payment because it fits her budget. She also likes that her plane is fully depreciated and should hold its value in line with the general economy. It may not be as reliable as a brand-new plane, and she’s had a few delayed flights due to small mechanical and age-related glitches, but she has made the right choice for herself.
Ralph enjoys the sports-car feel of his new LSA and the high-tech avionics. He calculates that his flying days may be fewer than Emma’s because of their age difference, so he wants maximum enjoyment, features and reliability to ensure the most flying days possible. Ralph isn’t overly concerned with the impact of the investment potential of a new versus used airplane, as he has bought enough new cars over the years to understand the depreciation curve.
Emma and Ralph each purchased two airplanes with similar performance and handling qualities. Each airplane, however, offers a different ownership experience, as one is older than 35 years, and the other is brand-new. New or used, inexpensive or top-of-the-line, just being at 3,000 feet behind a purring engine flying across our beautiful country is reason enough for owning an airplane.
|Purchasing Your Plane |
Getting preapproval for financing can be a daunting process, but don’t be intimidated. It will, however, be more complicated than a few years ago; you’ll have to prove you have a job with sufficient income to pay all your bills and comfortably make your payments. In most cases, banks are still using the 45/100 rule. Take 100% of your monthly income and then subtract all your monthly obligations (e.g., credit cards, mortgage and car payments, etc.). If your total monthly obligations don’t exceed 45% of your monthly gross income, then you’re most likely “qualified” in the eyes of the bank. Don’t give up if your ratios aren’t quite in the target range; a good aviation banker can guide you through possible options if you don’t precisely fit the criteria.