Whether you want to skip cramped commercial airplane seats or simply enjoy the unparalleled freedom and safety that flying provides, buying a plane may be the right choice for you. But before you take to the skies, it’s crucial to carefully consider costs and maintenance and fit this investment into your financial plans.
It’s also important to have an independent airplane mechanic conduct a pre-purchase inspection. This can help identify any serious issues, allowing you to negotiate with the seller and avoid any surprises down the road. An attorney should be hired to review the purchase agreement and ensure that it’s fair and equitable. Finally, it’s helpful to join aircraft owner groups that focus on specific types of aircraft to get a wealth of information about the pros and cons of each model from other pilots who have experience with them.
Aircraft ownership comes with substantial ongoing expenses, beginning with routine maintenance and on-the-ground downtime. It’s important to determine how much you can afford and craft a budget that includes the purchase price, storage fees, fuel, insurance and other related expenses. Purchasing a plane without carefully planning for these costs can leave you deep in debt or at risk of losing other financial investments.
When shopping for an airplane, it’s easy to fall in love with the sleek lines of a Cessna Citation CJ2 or the luxurious interior of an Embraer Phenom 300. But before you sign on the dotted line, sit down with all decision-making parties and set a firm, realistic budget. Be sure to include all applicable taxes, fees and registration charges as well as the purchase price of the aircraft.
After narrowing down the selection to a handful of aircraft that you’re seriously interested in, request a test flight. Bring along a knowledgeable aircraft mechanic who can provide an unbiased evaluation of the plane and give you the lowdown on what it takes to operate and maintain it.
You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll buy new or used. Generally speaking, new aircraft have lower life-cycle costs than older models, and you can often obtain warranty coverage as part of the purchase. New planes are also more attractive to bank lenders, making it easier to qualify for financing.
However, if you’re working with a tight budget, it might make more sense to opt for a used aircraft that’s been well-maintained and cared for. But be sure to have a thorough aircraft inspection prior to closing the deal, as problems found in a pre-buy inspection can be leveraged to snag a lower purchase price or concessions from the seller. A mechanic can also point out any areas that could require repairs in the near future that you should address immediately. This will help you get the most bang for your buck. buy a plane