Buy an Airplane

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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Whirly » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:13 am

Mine was ZS-MPK and although a 1962/3 250 Comanche, it was factory fitted with a fuel injected IO-540 engine.

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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by ibeaton » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:42 pm

So I have built and fly an RV7. so some real cost of ownership comparisons is required.

Cost to build R700k, 650 hours on it and we would easily sell it for over R1m.

If you fly as we do on Mogas, assuming no inflation and no financing cost, and that you can sell it at the end of the day for more or less what you paid for it the numbers look like this:
Total cost of ownership over 10 years flying 50 hours a year for the RV is R28500 per year.
Fly a TCS burning 45 l/hr of avgas and your costs with annuals etc are roughly 63000 per year.

Factor in cost of capital and what an RV will trade for in the future and to me there is absolutely zero decision to make.
Faster machine, newer machine, newer avionics, lower maintenance cost, burning cheaper fuel and if it is the 7 aerobatic.

6 hours endurance and you can carry two people and full tanks.

Try that in a 172 or any other such machine.

The saving comes from us doing the maintenance and as we built it we know how to fix it.
You can get someone to maintain it for you at the same cost I put in for the TCA and you end up still flying at a whole bunch cheaper over the full time frame total annual cost of 43 500 vs63 000, so the actual purchase cost is almost irrelevant in a total cost of ownership calculation.
Capture.PNG
I put insurance on TCA cheaper based on the purchase price, the real killer is the fuel burn and the price of that fuel being burned. Then you have the cost of an ageing airframe and engine to maintain and a whole bunch of certified stupidity to deal with.

No contest, NTCA wins unless you want a commercial operation. Just look at the volumes in the USA and that will tell you what to do.

Ian
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by jimdavis » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:01 pm

Very interesting figures Ian. Thanks so much. :D

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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Lood » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:03 am

Indeed an interesting calculation, Ian. There a few with which I’m in disagreement though and the most obvious is the average MPI cost of the TCA. I think you’re under by at least R10k.
I’ve been flying them for the past 15 years and I budget for R30k per mpi. I would go under R25k.

Building an NTCA yourself obviously saves a huge amount and as mentioned, leaves you knowing your aircraft better than anyone else. Problem is that no everyone is capable, or have the time to build. Many buyers can afford to put down R400k at once and have enough income to keep things afloat. Putting down almost double that become difficult, regardless of getting to spend less on the flying and maintenance side.

I do agree that NTCA is the way forward and luckily, one can get into NTCA for R100k. If you want to fly something sensible though, like an RV, you’ll have to have a small mountain of cash for the initial purchase. If four seats are a requirement, then you have to have really deep pockets.
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by ibeaton » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:05 am

I realize the build and the time element is not for everyone.

What I wanted to demonstrate with properly supported and conservative figures is that the capital outlay up front is not the deciding factor in what you will pay over time.

So my model works on simple supportable numbers anyone can be changed to reflect whatever the individual believes. But he simple fact remains that the use of more expensive and poorer performing Avgas for a number of reasons leads to a significant cost per hour of flying.

The oil change interval prescribed by Lycoming if only running Mogas is 100 hours as opposed to 50 on Avgas. So in the maintenance schedule if you wanted to, you could leave an oil change to the 100 hours, which further advantages the Mogas option. however I only used 50 hours per year so the two balance out.

What I did do was include an amount of 15k cost of an annual on both sides, if as you point out that figure is higher then it iincreases both sides. So in reality eliminated the build and self maintenance capability advantage to our RV 7. Doing it ourselves is rewarding and provides us with a cost saving and a large learning experience for which I am grateful. I know exactly how each system on our aerie works. For trouble shooting or problem solving this knowledge is important.

We have 650 hours on our machine in 5 years.

Costs for a 50 hour service are literally in the R2000 range, 1000 for 6 liters oil.250 for an oil filter and 750 for paperwork, AP visit and inspection.
We have serviced our magnetos and replaced a fuel filter, cost R6000 and 2000 respectively, next service is replacing fuel lines R2000 and oil hoses R3000.


Essentially my argument for the PPl to be on an NTCA aerie, whether a Sling or RV remains the same, the capital outlay for newer technology in the airframe and perhaps engine and the use of Mogas in an engine and supported by a fuel system capable of dealing with the issues of potential vapor lock provides significant cost advantages. The airframes are lighter requiring less power. Hence the financial advantage.

In the world of Airbus and Boeing the same applies a new aerie is more efficient so calculate the hours to be flown and determine the break even point and the capital then becomes irrelevant after that point.

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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Lood » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:17 am

Thanks Ian, you make a lot of sense. I doubt very much whether you should increase the maintenance on the NTCA side as well, I wouldn't. Simply because you do have the choice to do the maintenance yourself. Even using an AMO, I still think it will be much lower than TCA.
This obviously swings the advantage even more towards NTCA.

I agree with the 50 hour oil change, instead of letting it run to 100 hours. In fact, I did it at either 50 hours or 6 months.
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by SandPiper » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:34 am

Just to be a little anal about the oil changes:

Lycoming prescribes oil changes at 50 hours (avgas), or 100 hours (mogas), or four months whichever first, regardless.
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by ibeaton » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:52 am

Interesting, the 4 month reference.

If you look at service letter L270 it sets it all out, I bet you most aircraft exceed the 4 month time limit on the oil changes.
Capture.PNG
Now we are not pushing our oil change interval, however looking at it, you need to change the spin on filter at 50 hours regardless.

So for a high hour very busy aerie on Mogas then the oil can stay in for 100 but the filter needs replacement at the 50. Cost R250 vs R6250 every 50 hours.
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Vogoff » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:22 am

Domzi wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:29 pm
I am looking for some info from airplane owners. i am looking to buying a plane in the near future, i am looking for some advice on what to go for and what not, maintenance fees per year ect. so basically i will be looking at a small plane for me and my wife, something with a long endurance and good fuel economy.We are going to fly to places all over south Africa.
A simple question, with a very complicated answer. As is usual in these cases there is no correct answer and one has to balance the trade-offs.

Some things to consider:

1. Initial investment vs ongoing costs? if one considers aircraft with equal capabilities then the more you pay for the aircraft up front, the less it will probably cost you over the next five years (if one ignores the interest cost). More importantly it is not that easy to get a bank loan to buy an aircraft so you might be limited by how much cash you have available now. But you also want to set aside a slush fund for unexpected expenses - rule of thumb is 10% of purchase price but for older aircraft 25% might be a better estimate. If you don't have cash now but do have a reliable income stream then you can go for a cheaper aircraft but will pay more for it later.

2. NTCA vs Type Certified? You can usually pick up more capable type certified aircraft for less than a non-type certified aircraft (NTCA). However there is a reason for this - the type certified aircraft are often much older, and there is a significant cost overhead to owning a type certified aircraft. The difference in the cost of avionics is extreme, although if you want to fly IFR certified NTCA then the cost difference is much smaller.

3. How many seats? I very rarely use more than two seats even with a family of four. On the other hand I appreciate the extra space in the back where I can dump my cameras and other gear and still reach for it in flight if I need it. And I do use the extra seats a couple of times a year for people. However the extra seats do come at a cost.

4. How much fuel do you want to burn each hour? Options range from around 20l/h of Mogas for a Rotax to around 60l/h for a big six cylinder. Burning more fuel will get you more speed and/or the ability to carry more stuff. But if you want to enjoy the sight seeing then speed might be the last thing you want. Fuel economy - liters per kilometer - is a complex subject in aircraft. 20l/h sounds great, but not if you are doing it at 100km/h. 60l/h is not so bad if you are doing it at 350km/h. If you really want fuel economy consider a motor glider, but then you have to make other compromises.

5. Nosewheel or taildragger? If you plan to fly into unimproved strips then you may want something that keeps the propeller clear of the ground. This is a special concern for me as the Mooney's propeller is very close to the solid earth. On the other hand I have used quite a few bumpy gravel strips without issue and have seen Jabirus and Cherokees take on some daunting terrain without problem. I guess it depends how adventurous you want to be?

6. Mission, mission, mission? most people would put this first, but it is a question that is almost as hard to answer as the initial question which is why I put it at the end. What do you realistically expect to spend most of your time doing with the aircraft? Building hours? Travelling? Sight seeing? Having fun? Can you live with the compromises you have to make?

Finally your choices may be limited by what is available to buy right now. It is not like buying a car where you can choose a make and model and then go looking for it, it is more like buying a house where you have to look at what is available at the time and then decide what best fits your needs.

There are many good choices out there: Cub, Jabiru, Cherokee, C172, RV, Mooney, C182, Bonanza, C210, Maule, Glasair, Technam (and so many more).

You will have to decide what is a good choice for you, it won't be easy but you can have fun doing it.
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Flooi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:02 am

Vogoff wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:22 am
Domzi wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:29 pm
I am looking for some info from airplane owners. i am looking to buying a plane in the near future, i am looking for some advice on what to go for and what not, maintenance fees per year ect. so basically i will be looking at a small plane for me and my wife, something with a long endurance and good fuel economy.We are going to fly to places all over south Africa.
A simple question, with a very complicated answer. As is usual in these cases there is no correct answer and one has to balance the trade-offs.

Some things to consider:

1. Initial investment vs ongoing costs? if one considers aircraft with equal capabilities then the more you pay for the aircraft up front, the less it will probably cost you over the next five years (if one ignores the interest cost). More importantly it is not that easy to get a bank loan to buy an aircraft so you might be limited by how much cash you have available now. But you also want to set aside a slush fund for unexpected expenses - rule of thumb is 10% of purchase price but for older aircraft 25% might be a better estimate. If you don't have cash now but do have a reliable income stream then you can go for a cheaper aircraft but will pay more for it later.

2. NTCA vs Type Certified? You can usually pick up more capable type certified aircraft for less than a non-type certified aircraft (NTCA). However there is a reason for this - the type certified aircraft are often much older, and there is a significant cost overhead to owning a type certified aircraft. The difference in the cost of avionics is extreme, although if you want to fly IFR certified NTCA then the cost difference is much smaller.

3. How many seats? I very rarely use more than two seats even with a family of four. On the other hand I appreciate the extra space in the back where I can dump my cameras and other gear and still reach for it in flight if I need it. And I do use the extra seats a couple of times a year for people. However the extra seats do come at a cost.

4. How much fuel do you want to burn each hour? Options range from around 20l/h of Mogas for a Rotax to around 60l/h for a big six cylinder. Burning more fuel will get you more speed and/or the ability to carry more stuff. But if you want to enjoy the sight seeing then speed might be the last thing you want. Fuel economy - liters per kilometer - is a complex subject in aircraft. 20l/h sounds great, but not if you are doing it at 100km/h. 60l/h is not so bad if you are doing it at 350km/h. If you really want fuel economy consider a motor glider, but then you have to make other compromises.

5. Nosewheel or taildragger? If you plan to fly into unimproved strips then you may want something that keeps the propeller clear of the ground. This is a special concern for me as the Mooney's propeller is very close to the solid earth. On the other hand I have used quite a few bumpy gravel strips without issue and have seen Jabirus and Cherokees take on some daunting terrain without problem. I guess it depends how adventurous you want to be?

6. Mission, mission, mission? most people would put this first, but it is a question that is almost as hard to answer as the initial question which is why I put it at the end. What do you realistically expect to spend most of your time doing with the aircraft? Building hours? Travelling? Sight seeing? Having fun? Can you live with the compromises you have to make?

Finally your choices may be limited by what is available to buy right now. It is not like buying a car where you can choose a make and model and then go looking for it, it is more like buying a house where you have to look at what is available at the time and then decide what best fits your needs.

There are many good choices out there: Cub, Jabiru, Cherokee, C172, RV, Mooney, C182, Bonanza, C210, Maule, Glasair, Technam (and so many more).

You will have to decide what is a good choice for you, it won't be easy but you can have fun doing it.
Excellent!!
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Vogoff » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:11 am

Domzi wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:29 pm
I am looking for some info from airplane owners...maintenance fees per year ect.
When I bough my aircraft this was one of the most frightening aspects - trying to figure out how much it would cost to keep the plane. And the information was not that easy to find.

Below are an approximation of my cost of ownership based on the past two years. Obviously this changes from aircraft to aircraft, but should hopefully give you a reference point.

First I should correct uncle Jim and say that my Mooney M20C is not such a fast aircraft. It has an inefficient cowling and flat windscreen that reduce its performance. Sure it is faster than a C172 but not faster than a Cherokee-235 or a C182 and I believe the Sling-4 also cruises at about the same speed. The later model Mooney M20J is much quicker but you will pay more for one of those.

With that out the way, these are my monthly costs: (fixed costs that aren't affected by how much I fly)
1. Insurance: on a hull value of R600,000 for a retractable complex aircraft and with 200 hours in my logbook, I am paying around R1,200pm.
2. Hangar: I pay around R1,000 a month at Baragwanath for my own T-hangar. I have seen figures as high as R6,000pm for the bigger airfields. You may want to investigate hangar costs for your location before considering an aircraft.
3. MPI: I pay roughly R30,000 a year for an MPI. Assuming you fly less than 50 hours a year and won't need an oil change, that works out at around R2,500pm. Apart from replacing hoses, I have been lucky not to have any big ticket items like the prop.
4. Interest costs: I took money out my homeloan, but you could also think of this as opportunity cost for interest not earned on savings. It is an academic number as I have already paid off a lot of that bond, but theoretically it would cost around R4,000pm.

Hourly costs: (cost of flying)
1. Fuel: I budget around R800/hour for fuel although probably use closer to R600/hour.
2. Oil and maintenance: I pay around R15/hour for oil and have been lucky that there has been no other maintenance except for a cracked exhaust that cost roughly R4,000 to repair including cost of travel to have the AMO refit the exhaust.
3. Engine reserve: in theory I should be putting around R400/hour into an engine overhaul fund. However I expect to sell my plane before I reach TBO so am just closing my eyes to this one.
4. Landing fees: I try and avoid airports that charge landing fees - it is not the fees so much as these airports tend to be busy and unpleasant and there are far more interesting places to go. Expect to pay between R40 and R200 for landing and approach fees. Note it can take months before you get the invoice.

The other costs:
Over the past two years I have probably spent about another R100,000 upgrading my aircraft and buying spare headsets and other gear. The good news is that these were optional expenditures so I paid it when I could afford it - although some like a new starter motor would probably have been a mandatory repair fairly soon if I hadn't chosen to replace. I'm not expecting to get any of this money back when I sell, so can't amortize the cost. But don't be surprised if you find you need extra toys after buying your aircraft.

Er, I think that covers everything.

Hope it helps?
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SRe: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by Flooi » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:48 pm

I cannot match the speed. I TAS only about 106knts, 2 seats...
BUT have 10 hour range AND all costs included - avgas, hangarage,
Club fees and maintenance - except insurance,
totals to about R480 per hour. So it is possible to fly all
over the country without breaking the bank... :lol: :lol:

Perhaps there should be a thread for Geriatric Aviators.... :D
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by hugo_visser » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:13 pm

Once you know you can afford it or not, it does dot matter what it cost, it is your hobby. Boating, flying, model RC , hunting ,4 by 4, wine collection,.... Whatever.

Hugo
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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:20 pm

hugo_visser wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:13 pm
Once you know you can afford it or not, it does dot matter what it cost, it is your hobby. Boating, flying, model RC , hunting ,4 by 4, wine collection,.... Whatever.

Hugo
The wisest words so far on this thread, Hugo. =D> =D> =D>

If you are having fun - sod the cost! :D

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Re: Buy an Airplane

Unread post by SandPiper » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:42 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:20 pm
hugo_visser wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:13 pm
Once you know you can afford it or not, it does dot matter what it cost, it is your hobby. Boating, flying, model RC , hunting ,4 by 4, wine collection,.... Whatever.

Hugo
The wisest words so far on this thread, Hugo. =D> =D> =D>

If you are having fun - sod the cost! :D

jim
Especially the “whatever”..... :D :D

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