Whether you're a new student pilot or a long time renter, buying an airplane is something you’ve always dreamed about. Just like your first solo, if you apply good judgment and attention to detail, buying an airplane will become a rewarding experience that gives you a new found sense of freedom and pride.
Also like your first solo flight, there are people who can help. Whether you are buying a pre-owned airplane or a brand-new finding sound reasonable advice will ensure that your aircraft ownership experience is all you hoped it will be.
To help you get started, we’ve collected a few frequently asked questions. But, remember, every situation is different so don’t hesitate to ask questions and use Aero controllers forum pages.
WHAT KIND OF OWNERSHIP?
Before you decide what kind of plane, you may want to consider what kind of ownership situation is best for you.
Sole Ownership – This offers the greatest amount of flexibility because you make all the decisions, and the plane is available whenever you desire. This method works out especially well if you have some business use for your plane, thanks to favorable tax laws and the availability of car rental companies for airports such as car hire galway airport, such ownership may be profitable for you. Understanding what kind of plane ownerships are available is of course the first step.
Partnership – This is a great option, but you need to choose your partners carefully. Finding a good attorney to help you devise a good agreement is very important. In many cases, communication through Aerocontroller.com can help you find good partners in your area.
Leaseback – Leasing your airplane back to an FBO or flight school not only defers some of the cost of ownership, it can also turn your airplane into a profit center. The drawback is strangers will be flying your airplane.
WHICH AIRPLANE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
One of the toughest decisions will be to honestly explore what your airplane will be used for. Many of us do a lot more $100 hamburger runs than serious “business” travel. Do you have a vacation home or other frequent destination? Who and what do you normally take with you on a trip? How important is speed? Do you need to fly in weather? Your logbook is a great place to start. Once you have a good grasp on the mission, it will be easier to choose the right airplane.
Unless you are extremely fortunate, price will be a factor. While the purchase price may seem to be a large number, other costs can end up being more important. That’s why knowing your total cost of ownership is so important. For example, older light twins can often be purchased for less than a newer single, but the higher cost of training, insurance, fuel and maintenance can quickly eat up any savings in purchase price.
You should also have a serious discussion about your skills and experience with your instructor before purchasing any airplane. You should also talk with an insurer early on to see what requirements or additional training they have before writing you a policy. The most important aspect of safety is the pilot, but the planes do make a difference. Ease of use, dependability, safety features and crash worthiness vary from model to model. You should consider the safety features and records of the models you are comparing.
Desirability is a final consideration. Owning an airplane is often the fulfillment of a dream. You want to buy an airplane that you are proud to own. Don't get so caught up in all the numbers that you buy a plane that lacks appeal. Remember, the most expensive airplane is one that sits in the hangar unused.
HOW DO I FINANCE MY PLANE?
Financing is available in terms up to 20-years, or more, for new airplanes, and at interest rates that are very close to home mortgages. Used aircraft are often limited to shorter terms, but terms of 10 to 20 years are available. Some buyers who do not plan to use their airplane for business will often use home equity loans in order to get tax advantages.
Financial lenders which can be found in AeroController.com directory can pre-qualify you and discus your options.
WHAT ABOUT TAXES?
Various available tax incentives make purchasing any airplane more “affordable” now than you may think especially if you have a legitimate business use. Take the opportunity to discuss your situation with an experienced aviation tax professional. Please check the Directory portion of AeroController.com for tax professional and other resources for purchasing your aircraft.