So you’re ready to buy your first aircraft. But where to start? There are many exceptional aircraft out there, but what you pick will depend a lot on your needs. What motivated you to get into the sky? How will your new aircraft fit into your overall lifestyle? Read on for some tips on what you need to know when purchasing your first aircraft.
Your Flying Life
Take a good, hard look at how owning an aircraft will fit into your current lifestyle. Are you really going to get in enough flying time to make the purchase worth it? Family obligations on the weekends paired with long work hours may dip into your available flying time.
Who will you fly with? If your significant other loves to fly, be sure to include them in researching your purchase. And if you intend to do some back country flying with the whole family – you’ll need to choose an aircraft that can handle the load. If you’re regularly going to fly solo, your needs will be different.
We all know that skill can be learned, but be realistic about your technical proficiency. It can be tempting to get an aircraft that’s a little outside your comfort zone. Keep in mind that sometimes a simple aircraft can even perform better than a newer, shinier, and more complex one, as the simpler the aircraft, the cheaper and easier it can be to pilot and maintain.
There’s no getting around it: flying is an expensive hobby or profession. Where will you store your aircraft? Are you prepared for regular maintenance costs? Financing is available for aircraft purchases, but maintenance and storage costs are up to you. Be sure to have a plan in place for how much this will cost every year, and how you will afford it.
For a more in-depth discussion about what you should know about purchasing your first aircraft, check out this video: