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Owning an airplane?

  1. Oct 2, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

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    So does anyone here own an airplane :D Specifically Single props.

    My godfather's nephew-in-law teaches pilots for commercial jets and has some airplanes and I have barely become aware of this awesomeness :D So I might take flying lessons and I was wondering what anyones experiences are with airplanes. Specifically... what kind of real world costs are associated with having an airplane or sharing one and what not. Also, what kinda fuel to single props use?

    Im hecka psyched.... someone give me info :D:D:D
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2005 #2
    google.com/search?q=flying+costs+hour

    Amortizing the total ownership costs of a very cheap plane flown regularly by a very smart owner consistently making excellent owner decisions, figure on $100-200/hour.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2005 #3
    My friend owns one, and a glider. He used to fly to school sometimes (there is a small landing strip about 5 mins from my school, and he lives like an hour and a half drive away....now he's a boarder cuz i guess they figured the extra money to live at the school is less than flying everyday...it's a private school with boarding).
     
  5. Oct 2, 2005 #4
    I want to get atleast a private pilots license with a IFR rating :( I love flying...and I've been doing it on my PC via MS flight simulator. But I'm thinking if I'm going into the aerospace industry and gonna build my own planes...I need a license now... :/
     
  6. Oct 2, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    You don't need a license to build planes :P

    I hecka wanna fly... I hope i just don't freak out the first time I even get up 100 feet off the ground.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2005 #6

    Danger

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    There are 2 main reasons that this isn't likely to happen. One is that you're fully instructed in basic aerodynamics and aircraft construction before you ever leave the ground. When you know exactly how they work, you don't worry about them falling down. You won't even be concerned the first time your instructor casually reaches over with no advance notice and shuts off the engine.
    The other factor is a curious lack of depth perception from the air. With no reference lines to the ground, things just appear smaller rather than farther away. I'm terrified of heights (I have trouble on a 2nd floor balcony), but love flying more than almost anything.
     
  8. Oct 2, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Well I know how airplanes work and all that... the thing that might freak me out is the realization im hundreds or thousands of feet off of the ground. I subconsciously kinda get scared about knowing im about to enter a building larger then 3 stories. Oddly enough im never scared looking down from a tall building however.... i just worry about my glasses fallen off and breaking.
     
  9. Oct 2, 2005 #8
    Well, you have to remember that altitude is your friend when you're flying. Beyond about 100 feet, it doesn't really matter how far you fall from. Dead is dead. The big difference between 1000 feet and 10,000 feet is how much time and how many options you have if something goes wrong.

    As for the fear of heights thing, I can completely empathize. I've flown in small planes, and helicopters and I've made a few hundred skydives. Open the door of the plane at 15,000 feet and you've got to hold me back, but there is absolutely no way you're going to get me on top of a roof more than 10 feet off the ground with a steep pitch.
     
  10. Oct 2, 2005 #9

    Pengwuino

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    haha yah i guess that is one difference! If you fall off a roof.... yah you're screwed. But if your engine goes out 5,000 feet off the ground, you can still survive if you keep your witts about you and have an area to make a possible landing.
     
  11. Oct 2, 2005 #10

    FredGarvin

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    If you go the regular route and pay for your primary license, you'll be looking at at least a couple thousand dollars when all is said and done (VFR rating only). If you are thinking about owning an aircraft that is an entirely different ball of wax. Here are the things you'll have to think about:

    - Hangar/parking
    - Fuel costs (most recip props run on AvGas)
    - Insurance
    - Yearly inspections
    - Repairs by a certified A&P mechanic
    - Upkeep of calibrated items like instruments and radios.
    - General aircraft "stuff" like headsets, charts etc...

    Then you'll have to go back and spend more money getting your IFR rating. And then more money for your multi-engine ticket and so on...

    A lot of my co-workers have their own aircraft. One just bought a Cessna 152 last year and has put a fair amount into it. I'll get a more exact number from him tomorrow.

    You are honestly thinking way too far ahead of yourself. I would concentrate on passing ground school first and then renting time on a plane. Once you actually take your check rides then possibly think about what you need when you are a bit more informed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2005
  12. Oct 2, 2005 #11

    Pengwuino

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    Oh yah... i don't have anywhere near the money to even start coinceivably thinking about the possible idea of dreaming about owning an airplane of my own. My godfather's nephew in law is a flight instructor though so i MAY be able to get the lessons for free or at least cut out a thousand or two in the costs... mmmm family connections :D

    Plus supposedly he owns his own airplane and according to my godfather, he's pretty nice. He offers to fly my godparents anywhere for free if they want. Im so excited! I wanna get up in the air :D
     
  13. Oct 2, 2005 #12

    Danger

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    Another thing to prepare yourself for are annual, rigorous medical check-ups. The requirements are far more stringent than for a driver's license. If you happen to have something like diabetes or epilepsy, be ready for a hassle.
     
  14. Oct 2, 2005 #13

    Pengwuino

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    More stringent than for a drivers license? I get more stringent medical checkups everytime I come home! What exactly do they check? I don't think im diabetic lol and i don't have epilepsy... Only thing is probably.... high blood pressure? (not at a dangerous/medicated level).
     
  15. Oct 2, 2005 #14
    My Uncle built his own airplane. He had a great fascination and it showed in his house because he had portraits of Fighter Jet planes over the ocean.

    He defended Great Britain in a tank in WWII. They had to abandon the tank at one time and some guy refused to. My uncle took him out of the tank. He got a medal for it. He was a geologist for a company. He would fly all around the world in his airplane. I've seen a map on the wall that has tacks all over it that pinpoint every place in the world he has landed. When you look at it, there are no tacks at all over the Soviet Union Area, obviously due to the cold war at that time. Everytime I would visit him he would give me and my brother a 20 dollar bill. He would always send us National Geographic Magazines and Highlighter magazines as a gift. He was the most influential character in my life. One hell of a model conservative he was.
     
  16. Oct 2, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    Wow, that sounds like one of those mythical people that talk to their kids around the fireplace about their 'great adventures' and what not. I wish I had relatives that were that exciting! The only really cool person I can think of is one of my uncles... most of his stories is him hauling ass and taking names of people who act like idiots :D.
     
  17. Oct 3, 2005 #16
    Your fixed costs in airplane ownership are the killer. Most people find that owning their own plane is much much higher than renting from an FBO, or being in a flying club.

    Now, if you are going to be flying 200 hours or more a year, ownership starts to look pretty good. At 100 hours/year, you are depending on a planes appreciation to break even. The average private pilot flies around 20-25 hours/year.

    The good news, light sport aircraft, where you can get a repairmans certificate to do the annual inspection and maintenance yourself within some categories. Unfortunately, the legislative process is pretty slow, so at this point, the process is still up in the air. However, that just takes care of maintnenance labor, and aircraft parts are spendy. Case in point is an alternator. We could get one at the local autoparts store for $38, but the aviation version was $400. The part numbers were identical with the exception of a one character suffix. In a nutshell, the difference was the aviation version had a yellow tag, was PMA approved, and had a paper trail. Mechanically and electrically it was identical.

    Back when I was a college student, I was a mechanics assistant, and by the time I graduated, I could have picked up my mechanics certificate, but was too foolish to do so. Otoh, the experience gained on hundreds of annual inspections, as well as repair and replace was incredible.

    I've worked for a couple FBO's since then as a flight instructor, and all too often run into folks purchasing an aircraft and then running into severe financial difficulties, thus limiting their ability to stay current.

    As far as IFR goes, what the regs say, and really being safe are 2 different things. To be safe, you really need around 50 hours of IFR a year, and if you want to fly approaches to minimums, figure on 100-200 hours of IFR, apart from VFR time. Otoh, I know lots of guys that maintain currency with 12 hours of IFR/year, but I would not want to fly approachs in actual conditions with them. Fortunately, most people in this situation, just use their rating to fly enroute, and break out into VFR conditions.

    As far as blood pressure goes, as long as meds aren't required, its usually not a big issue. Otoh, if they are, and a special issuance medical is needed, it ends up being a pretty long drawn out affair, with a fair amount of hoop jumping. Its quite possible, but its not all that easy. Here is a link for some more info
    http://www.aviationmedicine.com/bp.htm

    Ron
     
  18. Oct 6, 2005 #17

    Pengwuino

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    How much does AvGas cost... and what does IFR mean.
     
  19. Oct 6, 2005 #18
    IFR = Instrument Flight Rules.
    VFR = Visual Flight Rules.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_flight_rules

     
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