Ready to Own Your Aircraft?
Ownership of a personal aircraft is a dream for many aviation enthusiasts. Learn more about what ownership entails with some of our most frequently asked questions.
Once you’ve purchased your personal aircraft, there are a few fixed and variable costs to keep in mind:
Aviation insurance — Insurance covers the costs and liability associated with any damages to your aircraft and damages caused by your aircraft.
Storage — Aircraft must be stored either outdoors or in a hangar when not in use. Storage space can be rented from local airports.
Maintenance and inspections — Personal planes are required to have inspections annually, and regular maintenance is essential to ensuring safe operations.
Fuel and oil — The average small aircraft needs frequent oil changes each year in addition to regular fuel-ups.
While you can estimate your annual operating cost, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated savings fund in the event of unexpected damages or necessary upgrades.
Landing fees vary from airport to airport, and depending on the location and size of your aircraft, with rural airports generally charging less than busier urban areas.
The exact cost of aircraft fuel is affected by market fluctuations and fuel type. Aircraft fuel is a bit pricier than automotive fuel, generally running around $5 per gallon.
At a bare minimum, aircraft require an annual inspection and regular oil changes with additional maintenance depending on your specific aircraft’s needs. Aircraft owners must keep a close eye on how their aircraft is functioning and should also stay up to date on any manufacturing notices to ensure the safety of operation.
Most aircraft are required to undergo an annual inspection by an inspection authorized mechanic. During the annual inspection, the mechanic will examine all parts of the aircraft and check for any performance issues. Other inspections and maintenance will vary based on the avionics and use profile of your aircraft.
To calculate cost per flight hour, divide the total annual operating cost of your aircraft (including maintenance, storage, oil and fuel) by the number of hours flown during that year.