Millionaires and movie stars. They’re the only people who can afford to own and operate a private plane, right? Well, wrong…actually.
Working as a coffee shop barista probably won’t fund the purchase—unless you make really good tips. Nevertheless, if you do the research and run the numbers, you may discover it can be in line with the cost of some of the higher end recreational equipment you either already own or are thinking of getting. Affordable is always relative. In this case, affordable might be in your budget.
There’s The Aircraft Itself
Private aircraft owners will tell you that if you can afford to buy a car, you can afford a plane. That, of course, depends on your taste in cars. Even so, it’s not far off as a general rule of thumb. But, let’s add a dash of realism to it and say that if you have a lot of latitude in the amount of money you can spend on a car—and you also own a boat or a vacation home—you can afford an airplane.
You can purchase a small single engine airplane or light sport aircraft for as little as $50,000. Depending on your financing, a 20-year loan would give you a monthly payment of around $400.
A quick look online will show you it’s possible to buy small airplanes for even less. But they’re previously owned, which means you’re also purchasing the seller’s maintenance issues. These airplanes likely also need equipment upgrades. Up goes your final purchase cost. And that isn’t the end of what you need to budget for.
Aircraft operating costs fall into 2 areas. You’ll have fixed costs, such as the loan amount, insurance, and hangar rental. You’ll also have variable costs, which include fuel, oil and maintenance.
Your ability to afford an airplane has to take both types of expenses into consideration. Fortunately, you don’t have to guess. There are websites that can help you calculate these costs.
Here’s an example: For a small single-engine fixed-gear aircraft like a Cessna 172, you can expect operating costs be between $100-$200 per flight hour.
This per-hour figure takes into consideration things like:
- Fuel and oil
- Regular maintenance inspections—many of which are required
- Engine overhaul costs
- Hangar fees
- Insurance and landing fees
Fuel is a big part of this cost. Let’s stick with the Cessna. Add it all up and you’d be looking at an additional $6,000 a year to fly your Cessna for about 200 hours.
Making It All Add Up
Many private aircraft owners justify the cost of ownership based on the freedom and flexibility to take off whenever you want, and fly wherever you like. It comes down to lifestyle and convenience. And, just like a boat or motorhome, you can either afford it—or you can’t.
A growing number of private aircraft owners with enough space for a runway have discovered they can cut down fixed costs even further. They’re working with us to put up a metal and steel hangar right on their own property.
The pre-fabricated design of our airplane hangar building kits make it possible—and affordable—to put up these structures. Many of our customers even decide to do it themselves. Private aircraft owners already have a DYI attitude. They’d rather be their own pilot. Our Miracle Truss® pre-fabricated hangar building kits fit perfectly into that mindset. You can pride yourself in knowing that you put your new airplane hangar up yourself.
The clear span truss design delivers more usable interior space than traditional construction, with enough vertical space for tall tail sections. If you can afford the airplane, you can afford a Miracle Truss hangar. Fill out this form and we’ll get right to work on sending you free building kit brochures.