Trainer plane

#1
I just started working on my PPL and few weeks ago. I currently got a few hours in in the 172 and someone in the thread i posted before recommend me to look into buying a plane to use for my flight training. The reason I'm looking into doing this is because I think this would be a bit cheaper(i know it won't be much). But more importantly I would be able to fly the same plane and keep it for hour building and leisure even after becoming CFI. So if I do get one I am not planing on selling it right after my training(unless circumstances forces me to). What do you guys think? I would like to hear all input, weather you guys agree with this or not. And please tell me your reason for agreeing/disagreeing so I can take those into consideration. Or should I just stick to renting?

If you do agree with buying rather than renting. Do you guys have anything to recommend and why? and what to look(out) for when I'm looking for a used plane. budget around$30-$40k. I want something that I would be able to use from PPL training through to CFI training. Don't have to be anything fancy but something with a long range is a plus. Should I get one with gps built in or not?

Thanks in advance for all the input. If I post this in a wrong place please let me know and I can move/delete this.
 
#2
and at first I was planning to get a loan to go to ATP and it was like 100k. So even though this is going to be expensive it will be at least half of what ATP will cost me(hopefully more) This way I can have more flexibility. The only schedule I have to worry about is my flight instructor's. and I forgot to mention the local club that I have been renting the plane from charge $124 wet. which is pretty good(i think). So considering that do you guys still think it would be a good idea to buy?
 

denverpilot

Well-Known Member
#7
If it floats, flies or ummm fornicates...it's cheaper to rent.
If it floats, flies or ummm fornicates...it's cheaper to rent.
Lol! Can I steal this?
Every millionaire I’ve met knows that phrase. :)

As far as own vs rent for training, just be aware that flight schools (other than the big mills) don’t make much money off of aircraft rentals. And those aircraft are (usually) owned outright by the school or the person leasing them to the school.

Adding debt interest to one sucks off pretty much all the profit a school or club might make on a typical rental. So if you’re not paying cash, you won’t be coming out any better money wise, owning vs renting.

There’s a school at my home airport renting a 183 cheaper than we can afford to own ours doing proper maintenance. They have to be losing money on it just to have a 182 in their fleet. We have owned and have our records back nearly a decade on 182 ownership.
 

Houston

Well-Known Member
#8
Airplane ownership is an amazing learning experience. Not all of it is fun either.

I would not recommend buying an airplane at your stage of training and experience. However, looking into a shared ownership or club would provide many of the benefits you seek without the steep expense. You will also have more co-owners to think through and work through the various bumps in the road that you will certainly encounter.
 

texas_pilot

Well-Known Member
#9
If you want to buy for your training you must partner with a CFI and an A & P, otherwise you’ll be bled dry.
Your CFI will direct other students to rent your bird. Sell 10 hour blocks with a free hour N/C.
I blew $6,000 to update my plane’s AD’s ( 15 years ) before I went back to the guy I knew for next annuals.
A prebuy is vital info.
My plane should be double it’s value with updates performed.
Even so, now it flies sweet and cheap.
 

denverpilot

Well-Known Member
#11
Sell 10 hour blocks with a free hour N/C.
Breaks a different cardinal rule. Never buy block time.

But if you do buy block time, only buy it from someone you know has the cash on hand to replace the engine, tomorrow.

And even then, you’ll be waiting a month to fly again.

So, never buy block time.

There’s always another airplane to rent when the maintenance drama starts. And maintenance drama eventually starts, always. You can walk away while the owner deals with it, if you’re on a schedule.

That said, there have been times when the maintenance drama started and I could afford to wait, since I have a day job outside of Aviation.

Someone on a schedule who has their own goals? Switch rentals and keep going.
 

texas_pilot

Well-Known Member
#12
Breaks a different cardinal rule. Never buy block time.

But if you do buy block time, only buy it from someone you know has the cash on hand to replace the engine, tomorrow.

And even then, you’ll be waiting a month to fly again.

So, never buy block time.

There’s always another airplane to rent when the maintenance drama starts. And maintenance drama eventually starts, always. You can walk away while the owner deals with it, if you’re on a schedule.

That said, there have been times when the maintenance drama started and I could afford to wait, since I have a day job outside of Aviation.

Someone on a schedule who has their own goals? Switch rentals and keep going.
There dishonest folks in all walks of life- we’ve many stories here at JC.
My name doesn’t come up in those conversations.

Minimize your overhead, stupid - err, student pilots sign a no fault and provide their own rental insurance.
 

denverpilot

Well-Known Member
#13
There dishonest folks in all walks of life- we’ve many stories here at JC.
My name doesn’t come up in those conversations.

Minimize your overhead, stupid - err, student pilots sign a no fault and provide their own rental insurance.
Yeah, never intended to say your name was one of the MANY who have walked away with people’s block time money, but my advice is always to never ever do it, unless I know the person offering the block time personally, and know their general financial state.

This is probably the most underrated part of doing a true club or co-ownership... most have open financial books. Only takes a few minutes to sit down, see if they’re solvent, see if they’re doing proper maintenance, and see if they’re saving enough for the known upcoming maintenance items. And then ask whatever questions come from any of that.

It’s also a good way to learn how to be an owner without major surprises.

I’ve watched a lot of schools and rental places come and go at all the surrounding airports since I started flying. There’s very little margin in trainer aircraft rental.
 

texas_pilot

Well-Known Member
#14
Yeah, never intended to say your name was one of the MANY who have walked away with people’s block time money, but my advice is always to never ever do it, unless I know the person offering the block time personally, and know their general financial state.

This is probably the most underrated part of doing a true club or co-ownership... most have open financial books. Only takes a few minutes to sit down, see if they’re solvent, see if they’re doing proper maintenance, and see if they’re saving enough for the known upcoming maintenance items. And then ask whatever questions come from any of that.

It’s also a good way to learn how to be an owner without major surprises.

I’ve watched a lot of schools and rental places come and go at all the surrounding airports since I started flying. There’s very little margin in trainer aircraft rental.
I agree
 

texas_pilot

Well-Known Member
#15
My long time training partner has new students, since I decided my plane benefits from 10 hours weekly vs annually.
Banks loan money on aircraft- I dodged a 17,000 balloon note train wreck on a property investment.
My credit is stellar, she made a phone call and cut a check. Never saw the plane
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
#16
Trust me when I say you're better off renting than owning. I just spent $9,000 repairing cylinder and corrosion off my 152. One problem with owning is you have to fix eff ups, when you rent you walk away and go to another plane for free. And when the plane breaks, your training stops. And hey don't fix them quick unless you got your own mx staff. Get ready to pay for that too. $110/hr at my airport
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#18
Trust me when I say you're better off renting than owning. I just spent $9,000 repairing cylinder and corrosion off my 152. One problem with owning is you have to fix eff ups, when you rent you walk away and go to another plane for free. And when the plane breaks, your training stops. And hey don't fix them quick unless you got your own mx staff. Get ready to pay for that too. $110/hr at my airport
I cannot remember why I think this, but I *believe* some years ago someone here on JC did a bunch of detailed math/spreadsheet work on various piston singles of similar, common-training-fleet-vintage and determined that buying only made *financial* sense if you were flying +300 hours a year.

Numbers skew when you look at a flying club, obviously, but 300 hours seems to be the number that stuck.
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
#19
I cannot remember why I think this, but I *believe* some years ago someone here on JC did a bunch of detailed math/spreadsheet work on various piston singles of similar, common-training-fleet-vintage and determined that buying only made *financial* sense if you were flying +300 hours a year.

Numbers skew when you look at a flying club, obviously, but 300 hours seems to be the number that stuck.
I’ve never ran the numbers but all the flight school owners talk at my airport and what they’ve told me is it’s around 200. And that’s IF things to to plan. What u gonna do if crap happens outside your control? Things happening outside your control never happens in aviation :sarcasm:
 

nibake

Powder hound
#20
FWIW I did PPL, tailwheel, high performance, Commercial SES and SEL, instrument, and CFI, AGI for less than $30k. This was between 2011-2013, so most prices are similar to today's.

The main reason for this is that I flew a club plane. I had a couple other opportunities to get very cheap hours, that helped, too. I later threw some more money at MEL and MEI. If I sell my share in the club plane that will mean I spent about $30k on all of the above ratings, if I keep it, $35k. CFII and ATP were paid for by employers.

A good club can save you loads of cash. One really big caveat emptor: If you can't find a good CFI to go with your club plane, the whole process will be a lot more painful.

This is my experience. The whole floating, flying, fornicating saying is a still a very important life lesson to keep at the forefront of your mind, though, IMHO.
 
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