Piston Singles Buyers Guide 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 22:47

Piston Singles Buyers Guide 2014

Buying a single-engine piston aircraft isn’t for everyone, but nowadays it may be a lot more affordable than you think. It will still cost you a pretty penny, however, and buying the wrong aircraft can be a truly depressing experience. But you can increase your chances of succeeding in buying the most suitable single engine piston airplane if you consider the following factors:


This is, perhaps, the most important thing to consider. You need to determine your real purpose for buying the plane. Is flying something that you do just for the fun of it? Is there a practical reason, such as wanting to cut the travel time to get to a place you frequent (i.e. business location)? Will you be using it alone, or with your family? Defining your purpose is a must.

Finding the Right Plane

Once you’ve pinpointed your reasons for buying the aircraft, you can now filter your search for the right plane that will suit your needs. Finding these planes is simple enough to begin with. You just need to go online and “Google” it. You’ll find a veritable wealth of information, and you can prioritize the factors which suit your situation, such as the speed, the cargo space, the fuel limits and consumption, etc. Read up on reliability as well.

You can also read various “best of” articles for your particular purpose (Top 10 best 6-seater plane for general purposes, for example). Any aircraft that’s included on most of these lists will be your best bet. Check out 2014 bestsellers as well. Quick tip: the Cessna 172 sells fast, and it always seems to be included in “best of” lists.

You may have some trouble, though, if you are a first-time buyer and you are considering a second-hand aircraft. Not knowing how to shop for used planes is the second most common pitfall of buying a plane—you will likely get yourself a clunker that spends majority of its time at the repair shop than in the air.

While you can arm yourself with information so that you can increase your likelihood of spotting the best planes from the lemons, it’s probably much more reliable to consult a real pro who can give recommendation and who can tell whether a plane is in good condition or not. That kind of assistance can save you from a lot of headaches.


Before your imagination runs wild and you daydream about spending countless hours in the sky, let’s get back to the ground and discuss the costs. The price of the plane is not the only factor that will affect your overall expense. Before you finalize any purchase agreement, you also need to consider the insurance costs and the cost of renting a hangar for your plane. Then you have to make allowances for operating costs, such as fuel, oil, and maintenance. You’ll probably find yourself buying flying accessories as well, such as engine covers and headsets. It will all add up, believe me.

One way of cutting the cost is to share the ownership with another person, or even a group. A plane tends to spend most of its time on the ground when there’s just you as the owner, so taking turns with other people can make your plane much more useful. If you insist on single ownership, you can also consider renting it out when you don’t feel like flying.

In the end, the cost may be important, but for many of us, flying is a way of life for which no price tag will be too high. But if hard reality rears its head and you find you can’t really afford it, you may just have to settle on renting a plane every now and then.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:50