Buying a Private Plane for Beginners

Congratulations! You’ve just finished up your pilot’s license and are eager to buy your first plane. Before you write that big check, here are some tips to help to make this expensive purchase easier on you.

Types

First you need to decide what type of aircraft you would like to own and fly regularly. Your budget may largely dictate what type of plane you buy. Business owners may want the luxuries and space provided by business jets such as the Learjet 35A. Amphibians and seaplanes are great near water areas while single-engine piston planes are the most popular. Helicopters, tiltrotors, taildraggers, ultralights, turboprops and multiengine piston engines are other options. Keep some aircraft hardware on hand regardless of the plane you buy in case repairs are necessary. There are tons of aircraft options depending on your needs.

Budget

How much do you plan to spend on your plane? You can buy a plane used or new depending on your budget. Keep in mind that each plane has its own fuel consumption, parts pricing and maintenance schedule. These all need to be included in the overall budget for your plane. If you are just beginning and only plan to use the plane for recreation, a small used plane may work fine. Don’t forget to add in the budget storage fees unless you own your own hangar.

Destination

The size of the plane dictates how far you can travel before landing to refuel. Smaller regional airports offer easy flying in and out of for small planes but may not be able to accommodate larger aircraft. If you plan to fly over large bodies of water, you need a plane that can handle the crossing. Larger planes can typically hold more fuel which means they can fly longer than smaller aircraft. It all really depends on where you plan to travel and how often. It may be worth spending more to meet your destination needs.

Author: Erik Gray