Keep flying at a low cost (PPL)


#1

Hi guys,

I am about to get my PPL done (waiting for the checkride). I am just wondering what is the cheapest way to keep flying? Should I join a flying club or is there any kind of like “share the ride” concept?

Thanks!


#2

I am lucky to have several rental aircraft close that are relatively cheap. I also have a base of freinds who simply like to fly so we split the airplane costs. I do have some freinds who are either not current or haven’t been current in some time and they get to fly and that is a way to brush the rust off.

I’ve heard of other people (although maybe more difficult to find) who maybe own an aircraft but have lost their medical. I’ve known freinds who have become their “pilot” allowing that person to fly their aircraft legally and also allowing said pilot some time as well.


#3

In my area (ATW), a flying club is pretty reasonable.
Club dues: $50/month, pay quarterly
Beechcraft Skipper: $63/hr wet
Piper Archer II: $84/hr wet

pearlaviation.com/pearltest/


#4

Break even point for ownership in my experiences is about 100 hours per year. If you plan to fly more than that, ownership may be the way to go.

For figures to ponder, I used to own a Beech Sundowner

I incurred the following one time expenses over a period of 10 years.

38K for the plane
11K for major overhaul
10K for interior replacement
18K for avionics overhaul spread over years of time. (new nav/com 1 and 2)
6K for corrosion repair.

Annual expenses averaged as follows based on 100 flight hours a month

Fuel averaged $4000 a month ($4 a gallon)
Monthly maintenance averaged about $700 (2 oil changes and any routine wear and tear replacement
Annual averaged about $2500 a year. (planned on $200 per month)
Insurance averaged $900 a year ($80 a month)
Airport tie down was $50 a month.

Using the monthly figures of 5030 dividing the 100 montly hours into that would average $50 per flight hour. This does not factor in one time expenses. Overhaul and corrossion repair was not optional, other upgrades were for me optional.

Murphy lives. With plane ownership and running a reliable ship, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.


#5

Did you mean 100 hours per month in this statement since the other calcs are based on 100 hours per month. Or did you mean to do some of the calcs as 100 hours per year since you only reached your 1000th hour back in June?

I came to a similar conclusion a couple years ago about the 100 hours a year break even point. There’s no way for my personal flying that I can justify keeping and maintaining a plane for the same effective cost as renting locally. The Piper Arrow is $128/wet and the increased speed actually makes it cheaper than the 172’s for cross country flying.

Thanks for the ownership perspective.


#6

You are right, I messed up and did this before my finishing my first cup of coffee :blush: :smiley:

It should be 400 per month, not 4000 for fuel.

That would be 10 hours flight in the month at 10 gallons an hour * 4 to = $400

For oil change and routine repairs, should be 2 times a year at 700 which would average out to 70 a month in planning

Updated chart below.

Fuel averaged $400 a month ($4 a gallon)
Monthly maintenance averaged about $70 (2 oil changes and any routine wear and tear replacement over a years time)
Annual averaged about $2500 a year. (planned on $200 per month)
Insurance averaged $900 a year ($80 a month)
Airport tie down was $50 a month.

The revised figures if I did my math correctly come up to 800 per month which equates to about $80 per flight hour at 10 hours per month (using simple math!).

At KMBO, going rate for a C172 (much newer than my Sundowner) is 130 per hour wet after taxes. So, I was saving a substantial amount of money ($50 give or take per hour) and I had something to show for it in selling rather then putting that money in somebody else’s pocket and nothing to show for it.

Over a period of 1000 hours, that’s about 50K savings! Can’t lose sight of that value over long term.


#7

Very true! However at the 20-25 hrs per year that I fly it becomes much tougher. Although, if I owned the plane I would probably fly a lot more until I looked at some of the bills :laughing: