Buying an airplane for flight training may be a good idea—under normal circumstances Under current, non-normal, COVID circumstances, it could be an excellent idea.
When you look at your hourly rate for flight training, the biggest expense isn't the instructor, it's the airplane's rental rate. For example, if aircraft rental is $180 an hour and the instructor is about $60 an hour, the airplane is three times the cost of the instructor.
If you own an airplane, all you're really paying for are your direct expenses, which typically tend to be less than what a flight school or freelance instructor will charge, even taking into consideration maintenance costs. It almost always works out to be a better economic proposition to buy an aircraft for flight training instead of renting one from the flight school.
There's another consideration: If it's your airplane, it's going to be available when you want to fly (minus maintenance downtime, of course). Also the airplane you buy most likely will be in better condition than the ones that the flight school is flying.
Sometimes the value of time exceeds the value of money. Having an airplane at your disposal for flight training or solo flight practice allows you to maintain the perishable skills of flying while also staying on track toward obtaining your license. There is nothing more frustrating than clearing your calendar for flight training, only to discover the booked aircraft is unavailable for any number of reasons.
A word of advice: Should you decide to purchase an airplane for flight training purposes, buy the airplane you intend to use afterwards. In other words, don’t buy a Cessna if you know you’re planning on acquiring a Cirrus once you get your ticket. Particularly for low-time pilots, it’s safer to stick to a familiar aircraft and workflow than it is to adapt to new routines.
We already know the supply of piston single-engine aircraft is finite. Few manufacturers exist to add more piston single aircraft to the GA fleet. Plus, COVID has accelerated demand for personal aircraft, already squeezing a very tight market. So it's possible your airplane will appreciate in value, if you decide to sell it after training. Yet another reason we think it's a very good idea to acquire your own personal trainer.
Great advice. Great rates. From helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying or refinancing an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.