9 thoughts on “Top 20 Tips For Buying An Airplane

  1. Great article. I bought a Cessna 150 about 20 years ago to train in and just to have fun flying. After a while it was slow, cramped, VFR only, outdated radios, and not very practical so I sold it. This article puts me on the track to buying another airplane (used) that more closely fits my actual needs and budget. I will buy the airplane but will find a partner to share the operating and maintenance costs. (Currently considering a 10 year old Diamond DA40.)

  2. I have always wanted to own a plane of my own. It really is a big task, but it would be so nice to be able to take it up whenever I wanted. After buying the aircraft, do you need to learn to do any repairs right off the bat, or is it better to just go to a professional for everything? Do you include any repair tools in determining advanced equipment?

  3. That’s a good tip to get a plane that will meet your needs 90% of the time. A plane sounds like a big investment and you might not be using all of its features all the time. I bet airplane owners make sure to get good maintenance done on their planes regularly.

  4. Very disappointed in the loan process through AOPA. Despite having steady income, a significant net worth due to investment holdings and a credit score over 800, owning two rental houses was cited as “too much debt.” I make money off those houses. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ll have to sell stock and pay cash for my plane now. The bank is losing a solid, reliable customer. At least I’ll still get my plane.

  5. I recommend joining a small group to begin with. You’ll learn a lot and will always have knowledgeable folks to bounce ideas off of and develop with. It will reduce costs and yet general aircraft availability can still be very high if you get into the right group.

    I’ve owned and rented aircraft and the pros and cons of each need to be considered on their own merits. Ownership is great but then again you need to organise and pay for everything. 100% availability of your aircraft for you to fly when you want; costs significantly more than a group share or renting. Even if cost isn’t your main concern, renting can make a lot of sense if your probable annual hours are quite low.

    Even with current hourly rates, one still needs to fly a good 30 hours a year to compare with ownership from an operational outlet perspective, and even then, that doesn’t factor in the initial outlay for the aircraft. In terms of maintenance and repairs, unqualified owners can do relatively minor work (depending on the aircraft) but you really need to check based on your circumstances.

    If you’re not planning on flying much, then I recommend finding a good local aeroclub with aircraft that you want to fly, and go for the low hassle and peace of mind approach. That way, as you progress, you can either hire larger aircraft e.g. go from a PA-28 to a C182, or to a 6-seater and cost share and when the time is right, start thinking about ownership if you’re planning on being airborne sufficiently enough to justify it for yourself or group.

    Why would aircraft finance be any different in terms of financial risk whether you did it through AOPA or another route? If the risk is determined to be high by the organisation then try another. I doubt that this is restricted to AOPA but risk assessment in general. If it’s not, then I would have thought that your finance questions would be resolved quite quickly.

    Either way, flying is a pleasure and a privilege especially when the folks you meet along the way are so supportive and encouraging.

  6. I agree with Alex, Iv’e owned a/c & the costs are very expensive, I now belong to a aero club with an asortment of a/c which I fly reguarly & the savings are noticeable, no maintenance costs, no fuel bills, no registration costs, insurance 3.5% of cost, no 25/ 50/100hour checks & so on, I take the plane i wish to fly pay the aero club hourly rate including fuel ( which is reasonable for club members) i bring it back & I forget about it, it gets cleaned etc until the next time I use it or I may choose to fly another type, which is good because you are not stuck with one type of a/c, I believe you should fly a variety of a/c & this is the best way to do it. Also you meet a lot of other nice members to go flying with & you can share cost if you wish. Think about about it seriously!

  7. I like how you mentioned making sure you have a credit score of 700 or higher when you’re looking to buy an airplane. I’m learning more about airplanes because my husband is interested in getting one. If we do buy a plane, I’d probably hire a professional to make sure it’s been inspected before buying it.

  8. I love flying planes and am planning to get my ppl shortly. I want a plane with a long range (New York to Los Angeles), medium cost and a great flying experience. which plane suits me the best?

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