For those who love aviation, purchasing an airplane is a major goal for many, but there are other costs that should be considered before one decides to go ahead with purchasing their own plane. Owning an aircraft can be an affordable and incredible hobby for those who prepare themselves beforehand, and knowing just how to prepare yourself for aircraft ownership is key.
The first cost you’ll want to consider is probably the most obvious, and this is the cost of the aircraft itself. This cost doesn’t include fuel, maintenance, or any other aspect, but simply what it will take to get the aircraft off of the lot and into your hands. A light sport aircraft, or an aircraft with a single small engine, will typically cost roughly around $50,000. Imagine the loan you take out to purchase the aircraft is one that spans over 20 years, with 6.5% interest, and you’re looking at around $400 per month. The initial cost is often surprisingly low for many who consider purchasing an aircraft, and payments are often manageable depending on your individual loan situation. Really, it depends on your budget and the type of aircraft you are willing to purchase.
Here are a few examples:
Light Sport – Roughly $50,000
Cessna 172: $40,000 – $250,000 (Used-New)
Air Tractor: $300,000-1 Million (Used-New)
King Air C90: $500,000 – $3.4 Million (Used-New)
Cessna Citation X: $6 Million – $23 Million (Used-New)
Once your initial cost to get the aircraft into your hands is considered, you’ll then need to consider the operating fees, and these fees are where things can get a little tricky. They will greatly depend on the amount of use your airplane will see, how you will use it, and your individual area, but they must also be carefully considered before you decide to venture into aircraft ownership. Some of these costs include:
- Hangar fees
- Cost of updates
- Landing fees
Naturally, one that uses their aircraft a bit less will have lessened fuel or oil costs than someone who strives to fly as much as possible, and the term “accessories” can really vary, but you’ll need to calculate what these things will cost in your area and determine how often your plane will be used in order to get an accurate estimate.
Many aviation enthusiasts are actually surprised by how affordable airplane ownership can be, and it is often said that if you can own a boat or vacation home, you can own your own plane. The costs associated with boat ownership and plane ownership are remarkably similar, and both will depend on just how often you use your aircraft and just where you plan to take it.