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Bill3558

First plane purchase

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I’m thinking of buying a CTLS.  I gave up flying for decades but recently got the bug again and got current in rented Cessnas. Looking for a fun airplane to fly just for pleasure and fun. 
But I’m stressing out over the responsibility of ownership. Hanger space, annuals, etc, etc.  Is it a headache owning a plane?  Do the advantages out way it?
Appreciate any thoughts. 

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Personally I think it depends on many factors...

Are you located in an are where hangars are available ? How expensive is to rent one ? Do you have a maintenance shop relatively nearby familiar with Rotax engine or LSAs ?

Depending on how you answer these questions , it could be not much more complicated than owning a car ( albeit a bit more expensive ) or it could be a major hassle and expense if you have to arrange for someone to fly over to get something minor fixed.

For instance in my case , for the last year, my annual expenses were:

- about $4000 for renting a nice, heated hangar
- $1700 insurance for $90k hull 
- $1400 for my annual 
- about $500-600 for various little personal projects around the plane ( fixed and repainted a cracked wheel pant) , oil change etc 

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Costs can be figured and fairly known going into the commitment.  As far as is it worth it, I've never been a renter so lack insight on that side of the equation.  I do think owning is far more positive than negative, not delving into costs - the flexibility to jump in and go, and use it as one desires, and pride of ownership sure adds to the pluses.

I'd also consider your timeframe, not that it is terribly hard to buy and then later sell an airplane, if it's not a multi year time line, say 3-5 years min, then perhaps stick with renting.

My first aircraft I had a 50/50 partner with a close friend, that worked great and cut all the fixed costs in half.  We had a hand shake deal, keep tanks full when you park it.  Flying clubs and partnerships can be real good middle of the road option as well, but heavily depend on the make up of the group.

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Like you, I waited "Decades" to fly again... gap from 1982 - 2018.  I waited until I could afford it, i.e. not stress out over the cost.   I worked hard and saved, and then I bought one.  I didn't want to inherit the headaches of an old GA plane that I flew back in the 1970's with wing spar AD's and God knows what going on in the engine.  With that said, I actually enjoy the ownership responsibilities.  

The "which plane to buy" search is fun but agonizing.  The CTLSi was the last plane I tried and fell in love on the spot.  It seemed to "fit" the majority of the mission profile for a first VFR plane.  The more I fly it, the more I appreciate the handling and comfort characteristics. 

Have you flown in one yet?  

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Thanks for responses. I have had a demo ride and loved the ride.  Flying to Miami this weekend to get checked out in one.  Then I will be sure. 

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Hard to find a more fun airplane than a CT, and it's a good VFR traveling airplane as a bonus!

Is ownership a hassle?  It can be, it depends on your mindset and your wallet.  Many times you can pay people to handle the hassles for you if you can afford that.  If you take a relaxed attitude and realize this is a fun hobby and not life or death you will probably be less stressed about it.  If something breaks on your airplane and it takes three weeks to get it repaired, it's annoying but rarely important in the grand scheme.  I guess the real answer is that it's as much stress and hassle as you let it be.

Personally I think renting is far more of a hassle than ownership.

Good luck!

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Bill,

Whatever you do, unless you will use the plane in your business, don't try to justify this purchase monetarily. You can't, in my opinion, justify ownership expenses that way. 

For me, I think it's a mental health thing. My plane, and keeping my proficiency up, are important to my mental and physical well being. I think many others feel the same way.

If you want to fly and can afford to fly, then do it. Before it's too late. One day, I know, will be my last flight. But until then, .........................B)

Ownership, to me, has always outweighed any "headache" (your word, not mine) of owning. Over 54 years of flying I have owned eight planes and enjoyed every one of them

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Sandpiper is dead on!  You can't justify a personal airplane financially, no matter much you intend to travel in it.  cross country VFR travel plans WILL get crushed by weather as often as they work out.


But owning your own airplane is one of the last remaining frontiers of personal freedom left.  You go to the airport, pull out the airplane, taxi, fly, come back and put the airplane away.  You don't have to ask anybody for permission or approval, you just go do it.  There are no traffic cops patroling and waiting for you to slip up so they can fine you.  It's just you and the sky.

 

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A "repaired" Dynon is being returned today after a 2 weeks turnaround... Dynon covered the full cost of repair under their warranty.  I will go to the airport, install the Dynon and if the wind cooperates, hopefully test it out.  If anything like this happened to my truck for example, I'd begrudge the time involved and beyond frustrated with the Dealer and manufacturer. 

The plane is different, it's a hobby and I am passionate about it.  Money is important of course, but as the other posters above stated, it comes down to how passionate you are about flying and are you willing to put up with the monetary care and feeding.  

For me, the joy and satisfaction of flying has far outweighed the cost of flying by a huge margin.

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There is also the peace of mind issue here. You know exactly your aircraft has been treated. A rental could and probably has been treated badly, may have been dropped on hard and not reported for example. A lot can happen since the last inspection. As far as the cost goes there is an incentive to fly more 'cause the cost per hour goes down the more you fly. You will defiantly get more hours in your book because you can. I could go on and on but I won't.

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Really good point ct9000.  You definitely have to do a thorough and  careful preflight with any rental. 

After 5+ years together I really feel like I know my airplane inside and out, and I really know what to watch out for in preflight and operation.

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5 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Really good point ct9000.  You definitely have to do a thorough and  careful preflight with any rental. 

After 5+ years together I really feel like I know my airplane inside and out, and I really know what to watch out for in preflight and operation.

Yeah, when you own a plane then you can , anytime you want really without asking anyone for anything, go and do stuff like ... like you did 2 weeks ago - that's some crazy s***  , were you trying to shake off pursuit ? 🙂

image.png.c65138587bed37f3d77517121836e445.png

 

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8 hours ago, Warmi said:

Yeah, when you own a plane then you can , anytime you want really without asking anyone for anything, go and do stuff like ... like you did 2 weeks ago - that's some crazy s***  , were you trying to shake off pursuit ? 🙂

image.png.c65138587bed37f3d77517121836e445.png

 

That was one of our tours of the local grass strips.  The taildraggers I fly with can land some places I can't, so I orbit above while they land.

It's flattering to have a stalker.

 

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6 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

That was one of our tours of the local grass strips.  The taildraggers I fly with can land some places I can't, so I orbit above while they land.

It's flattering to have a stalker.

 

It is a pretty easy job ...you have your tail number in your signature so , these days, it takes just about 5 seconds ...

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Thank you for the thoughtful responses.

You can’t take it with you and I feel the clock ticking. 

As my financial adviser said, “ you don’t want to be the richest guy in the cemetery”. 

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On 5/14/2020 at 4:04 PM, sandpiper said:

Bill,

Whatever you do, unless you will use the plane in your business, don't try to justify this purchase monetarily. You can't, in my opinion, justify ownership expenses that way. 

For me, I think it's a mental health thing. My plane, and keeping my proficiency up, are important to my mental and physical well being. I think many others feel the same way.

If you want to fly and can afford to fly, then do it. Before it's too late. One day, I know, will be my last flight. But until then, .........................B)

Ownership, to me, has always outweighed any "headache" (your word, not mine) of owning. Over 54 years of flying I have owned eight planes and enjoyed every one of them

I hear ya. The guy I bought the plane from is 83 with a bad diagnosis.  He delivered the plane and he knew it was his last landing after 60 years of flying. 

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15 minutes ago, Bill3558 said:

I hear ya. The guy I bought the plane from is 83 with a bad diagnosis.  He delivered the plane and he knew it was his last landing after 60 years of flying. 

The only thing worse than waking up knowing today is going to be your last flight, is waking not knowing today is going to be your last flight.

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7 hours ago, Tom Baker said:

The only thing worse than waking up knowing today is going to be your last flight, is waking not knowing today is going to be your last flight.

Is that what Forrest Gump meant when he said life was like a box of chocolates?

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