When should I buy an aircraft

Today, we want to talk to two groups of people: those considering becoming a pilot and those who already are. For both groups, you’ve probably asked the question, “When should I buy an aircraft?” Is it today? Do you wait until you’ve been a pilot for six months? A year? Even longer? It’s a question worth deliberating, so sit back as we address this important topic!

To those interested in become a pilot

Flash back to when you were first learning to drive a car. For most of us in the United States, you probably (legally!) started learning how to drive around age 15 to 16, depending on your specific state laws.

Did you put the cart before the horse? That is to say, did you immediately visit a dealership or used car lot and purchase a vehicle? Of course not! Most likely, one of your parents or family members spent extensive time with you in their vehicle. Current laws require lots of driving hours before a full-fledged license is issued.

Learning to fly an aircraft is no different

In fact, the FAA has different licenses based on the kind of aircraft you plan to fly. But the first step is to find a local flight instructor who will take you out for lessons in their vehicle— not for you to buy an aircraft to learn in.

As you progress, you’ll eventually earn the appropriate pilot’s license. So is it now time to buy your first aircraft?

To those who already are a pilot

Second, we’ll assume that you just earned your license or have been a pilot for some time. In this case, the learning to drive a car analogy still applies.

Most of us used a family vehicle for several months before we finally put down money on our very first car. Likewise, the decision to buy an aircraft is a complex one. For those who just earned your license, it’s always best to start out by renting something to fly in. After all, do you know your long-term plans yet? A new business owner often has a different vision for their company to start, but as the market reacts they’ll adjust their plans accordingly.

You may start out with the idea of becoming a charter pilot, only to realize you enjoy the quiet too much that you’re content to simply fly recreationally. The opposite may be true and you’ll decide to take your newfound passion and turn it into a career. Either way, you’ll need a different kind of aircraft for each situation.

What we’re saying for new pilots, and by extension those who have held their license for six months to a year, is that you really want to test the waters first.

Then, once you have your aviation dream figured out, it’s time to buy.

There’s nothing wrong with renting a plane for a couple of hours on the weekend to start out. In fact, we highly recommend you do exactly that. As you log hours, your eventual long-term plans will start to take shape.

After you have your dream nailed down and are ready to buy, be sure to visit our aircraft for sale listings on our website!