There was a very interesting letter in the January AOPA pilot magazine regarding an article about entry level singles from the November issue.
AOPA Members: aopa.org/members/files/pilot … s0801.html
[quote=“AOPA Pilot”]It is profoundly dispiriting to remember that a new Cherokee 180 with IFR steam gauges cost $16,200 in 1967 (Budget Buys: Bottom-Line Four-Seaters, November Pilot). The essentially identical airframe (with steam gauges), which is pictured in your article has, at $229,200, increased in price by 1,417 percent in a 40-year span.
According to the United States Census Bureau, median household income in the U.S. increased from $11,975 to $48,201, or 403 percent during the same time span.
Putting it another way, a median wage earner could buy a PA28-180 for about 16 months worth of income in 1967. Today, she would have to put out 57 months of income to get one.
Needless to say, with prices of new airplanes soaring, used airplane prices are also reaching nosebleed territory.
The number of people with the means to buy new airplanes is shrinking, with predictable effects on unit volume and product price. Perhaps light sport aircraft will take some of the edge off this trend, but its yet to be proven that theres a sustainable market for aircraft offering out-the-door prices mostly north of $100,000 and 1930s performance numbers.
Homebuilding offers more affordable (and very interesting) alternatives, but most potential pilots are neither motivated nor qualified to take this route.
It gets harder and harder for me to believe that general aviation (other than multi-million dollar very light jets) will survive the next decade or so.
George Kilishek, AOPA 1851082
There’s obviously many reasons for this increase, but it also effects the used airplane market and makes it harder and harder for the average joe to get into aviation, and seems to hold a glim future for GA. Which is especially disappointing for me personally because I’ve been in search of an affordable used airplane, but can’t work it in to my budget just yet, and sometimes I wonder if i ever will.