That goes for business as well as personal flying—business owners who fly to locations easily accessible by commercial-service airports might not need a company aircraft, but others need to fly to multiple locations not easily reached by airline. For them, a business aircraft might be the solution.
As a rule of thumb, pilots who are contemplating charter or private flying more than 50 hours a year will find it worthwhile to consider aircraft ownership. Business owners who need to fly to multiple locations over a short period of time, may find that purchasing an aircraft gives them the efficiency and flexibility they need.
The right aircraft will fit both your mission and your budget. A Cirrus SR22 might work for a real estate company with a budget of half a million dollars and multiple locations relatively closely spaced, for instance; but longer legs between destinations may warrant a step up to a turboprop. When choosing an aircraft, consider your typical leg and how much flexibility you have in timing.
Consider the mission, but know that missions change. First-time buyers often go in with the notion that they’re going to keep an airplane for 20 years, but we actually see pilots buying an airplane, keeping it for three or four years, and moving on to an airplane that better suits their mission. As long as you don’t buy an obscure airplane, it will be relatively easy to sell your airplane when the time comes.
Before you buy, work with a tax professional to understand your tax needs and the best business arrangement for ownership—for instance, whether the airplane will be under the name of the business or a separate business with a leaseback agreement. You may be able to take advantage of 100% bonus depreciation, which is set to expire at the end of 2022.
Financing is relatively straightforward if you’re the sole owner of the business, but it may be complicated if you’re working with a partner who either doesn’t want to be part of the transaction or pays cash for his or her portion of the purchase. Many banks will want the other owner to be a guarantor or acknowledge the bank’s interest as first lienholder of the aircraft. AOPA Finance representatives can help you work through the specifics of your situation.
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.