I was only a few hours into my flight training before I began fantasizing about owning my own airplane. While the ink was still wet on my temporary private pilot certificate, I developed a five-year plan for aircraft ownership. I should have known that nothing would go according to plan. I had intended to purchase a 1960s Cherokee 180, but ended up with a 1947 Luscombe 8E, a two-seat taildragger. A year into aircraft ownership, it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
The Internet is full of spreadsheets that will help you calculate the operating cost of an airplane. Online forums will extol the horrors and virtues of ownership. Countless articles have outlined sensible strategies for selecting and purchasing your first aircraft.