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Cost: Buying a plane for training?

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Aug 26, 2002
I was wondering, does anyone have any knowledge of the cost of ownership of say, a low end light twin suitable for training?

If I bought my own, used it to do my ppl-ir-cpl and the instructor ratings part 61, hired my own CFI, would the parking, maintenance, insurance, fuel, etc, about how much would it cost, roughly? Compared to renting?

Once I finished training, roughly how much of the purchase price could could I expect to get back by selling the aircraft?

If the expense is low enough, I might be able to do this..

I've seen some programs that have you in multis right from the beginning, and you ended up with a ton of multi-time, but they were really, really expensive.And it looked like afterwards you could go back and get the single tickets pretty cheaply.

How big of a deal is it to have all that time you spent earning ratings be multi-time?
Well, what kind of twin are you looking to buy? You can buy an Apache for around $25k. Figure you'll burn 16-20 gallons/hr, so that's almost $50 dollars each hour just for fuel. Parking is going to vary depending on your location, but a tie downs aren't that expensive.

Insurance will be a problem. You'll be hard pressed to get any insurance for a low time pilot in any twin. Even if you can get insurance, it won't allow you to solo in it, so you'll have to fly a single during your private. Also, you'll need to fly a single to get single engine instrument and commercial privileges.

Maintenance costs are pretty much unknown. An overhaul for both engines on an Apache will cost more then it is worth though, at least 30k. Any twin under $100k is most likely going to be at least 20-30 years old. A fifty year old Apache won’t be that reliable. If you do buy an aircraft read everything on AOPA about getting it inspected, and buy something where the engines will last long enough for you to train in it and then sell it before they are completely shot.

If I wanted to get my training in a twin, I would go with ATPs. It will cost you around 30k and you’ll save a lot of worry.
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Some rambling thoughts...I looked into this before (decided against it) and I own my own single engine plane. It can be done, but it is a hassle. If you buy the plane with low engine times and sell when they are mid time you can get a large portion of your $ back. It takes a lot of time and research to properly purchase an airplane and nowdays, a long time to sell one unless you dump it. Most of the costs of ownership are known but you can get an expensive surprise at any time. You should actualy budget for surprises. Insurance will be a major hurdle...you may have to fly with your instrutor for many hours to keep them happy. I don't recommend this approach unless you really want that airplane to be a big part of your life and you have done your homework. If you add the annual fixed costs up and divide it by the hours you expect to fly in a year you will find that you can save yourself some $...how much depends on the plane you buy. I know a guy who purchased an old Aztec, flew it for 500hrs and sold it for more than he paid for it. Old, cheap planes will most likely need much TLC...read $.
Well, I can't afford any plane at all. But my dad offered me $150k interest free to buy one for training, then sell it. I don't like the idea of owing him, but I wasn't sure if it would be turning down a deal to good to pass up. I'd probably have to kiss up to him and his. so I really only considered it because I had thought it would be a huge advantage over training for everything in a single.

Now, It sounds like it will cost me more than training in singles. And the multi-time wouldn't make much of a difference anyways.

for now I'd rather tough it out. I still don't really understand the what the extra multi time really means toward the job opportunities available to a low time pilot.
When you want a job (multi), multi time will get real important to you. Keep his offer in your back pocket for now and get your private, instrument and commercial out of the way. Then take another look at the offer.
I agree with buzzer. Rent a single, get you private and maybe your instrument then look at light twins. I bought a Cessna 310 to build time but have not made the career change. Per hour cost is at least $150 per hour overall.

first of all you will not be able to do everything in a twin so you'll have to rent a single I also thought about doing this Like stated above surprises will occur especially if your going to be doing a lot of flying in an old plane At last years AOPA meeting there was a great talk on owning vs renting The speaker broke down the cost per hour and with a small single you'd have to fly over about 100 hours per year This is easily doable for a student but the average private pilot only flys less than 50yr If you can do maintence on the plane yourself and lady luck is on your side you could save a bunch Especially because there are a ton of instructors out there now and they are all looking for multi time I'm sure half of them would instruct you for freee Just so they can log the multi time Just do your homework a true cost analysis it's a major purchase great luck to ya
Think about this too

The plane that you buy to train it will likley get beat up pretty bad. I have a PA 28 181 that I let a couple of instructor friends use and it gets beat. I put tires on it about every two to three months, oil changes more often because there is so much stop and go.....etc. My advise would be to get at least your private before buying. Destroy a flight school plane before you buy your own. Personally, I love to rent planes. And you thought you were hard on a rental car.....

I never fly my Cherokee so I don't really care what happens to it as long as they don't wreck it, and if they do, it's insured. I'd never let anyone train on my Duke though. Touch - n - go's, shock cooling, short trips are not the best for your engine. Learn on some flight school $hit box, then buy.

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