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Own Versus Rent


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I figure mine cost about $40 per hour with all costs included.

That sounds incredibly low.


Does that include insurance, hangar/tiedown and annuals?


Of course, the more hours you fly, the more those fixed costs go down on a per hour basis.


For comparison, my Sky Arrow has been very economical to fly, but my hourly cost is far higher - more than twice your $40.

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In 2014, here's what I spent on my Sky Arrow:


Hangar: $3,000

Insurance: $961

Hangar electric: $287

Hangar improvements: $22.62

MOGAS: $344.55

AVGAS: $78.43

Maintenance: $2,454.24*

Charts/databases: $510.74

Supplies/other: $30.66


TOTAL: $7,689.24

Hours flown: 25.2

Cost per hour: $305 (OUCH!)


Again, if I flew more, the fixed costs would play a much smaller role. I've had years that were much lower, but still in excess of $100/hour.


And my plane is paid for, so no finance charges. And depreciation and opportunity cost is not in there - if they were it would be even more depressing.


Some of the "Charts/databases" would be present even if I rented, so not sure how much of that is valid as an ownership cost.


Still, even at 100 hours a year, just hangar and insurance would account for about $40 an hour before a drop of fuel was burned nor any maintenance done - that's why that number sounds so low to me.



*Higher than normal, due to almost $1,000 for ignition modules - most years are less, but then again you can't forget the 5-year hose replacement.

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There is no substitute for owning.  As the article points out, safety is higher because you know whats going on with the plane and you will make sure the plane is flown properly.  Also, convenience...fly when you want, where you want, for as long as you want. 


A rental car is one thing, a rental plane a whole different animal...what's a life worth anyway?

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Fast Eddie how much is annual? for u


I am certified to do my own, so often less than $100, which includes oil, filter, spark plugs and oil analysis and not a lot more other than misc supplies.


It also assumes my time has no value, which I think has been pretty well established!

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Fast E any good information form oil analysis?


Not to date.


That's a whole can of worms. I tentatively hold that it may someday indicate a trend that will allow me to avoid a major and more expensive repair.


But is seems data on that is very scarce, so I honestly do not know if there's an objective benefit or not.

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My only option for renting is a single Skycatcher which rents for $120/hr. wet. I like being able to decide in the morning that it is a great day to fly and knowing I have my plane available. If I want to go for a week and it takes two weeks because of whether there is no pressure to get the plane back.

I also do my own work (LSRM-A) and can tell myself at times I am making (saving) pretty good money for the work I do.

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The FAA noted in 2014   434 people were killed in 251 general aviation accidents.   The fatality rate has not changed in decades.  How many think the FAA will relax safety rules (ie. 3rd class medical) given this reality?


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I will put forward the idea that third class medicals have little to do with the accident rate, and won't change much if it is removed. People who get themselves into bad situations usually don't respect rules, good decision making, or things like currency and medicals.

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