Unfortunately, purchasing the aircraft is not the only thing you have to consider. There are many other costs that go into owning and operating an aircraft.
Just like cars Aviation insurance is required for any aircraft. The cost of aviation insurance can vary based on price, performance, common fail points, and many other factors. In addition, the more complex an aircraft is, the higher the insurance may be. Small aircraft insurance runs about $1,000 to $2,000 per year but can go much higher depending on the value of your aircraft. This can increase drastically when purchasing multi-engine or jet aircraft.
Storage – Hanger or Tie Down
Storing your aircraft is also a consideration that many forget. A usual rate for an outside tie-down is $50 to $100 per month. However, If you purchased a new aircraft you are probably going to want to keep it in a closed hangar. Hangar costs vary based on space and availability. Different airports offer these at different rates so you may want to explore the costs before purchasing.
Aircraft Maintenance and Overhaul Costs
Surprisingly, not only do you have to account for maintenance but you also have to save for aircraft overhauls. Maintenance costs can vary based on the type and performance of the aircraft. Overhauls are required by the FAA and the aircraft manufacturer. These are routine checks that ensure your engine is in good condition. Aircraft overhauls are based on engine time and vary differently based on engine type and performance. Aircraft engine overhauls can usually range up to $25,000.
Variable Costs – Fuel and Oil
Variable costs are defined as costs that constantly change when it comes to aircraft ownership. Generally, these costs are associated with Fuel, Oil, Filter Changes, and any other upkeep items that don’t have a solidified price structure. At a really good time of the year, 100LL Aviation fuel can cost anywhere from $3-$5 per gallon.
Another hidden cost that people don’t factor in is airworthiness directives. Many aircraft have airworthiness directives issued by the FAA or the aircraft manufacturer. Airworthiness directives are similar to recalls for aircraft, however instead of the manufacturer paying it’s the responsibility of the aircraft owner.
Finance Or Lease
One of the most universal questions to ask when purchasing an aircraft is whether you should finance or lease. A lot of that answer depends on your budget parameters. This can be a huge determining factor when choosing the category and class of your aircraft. It’s important to understand the extensive financing opportunities or leasing arrangements available to us as pilots.