Are you in the market for your first aircraft? While your eagerness to take ownership of your own aircraft is commendable and encouraged, it’s important to discover all that owning an aircraft entails to create realistic expectations of aircraft ownership. If wondering what owning an aircraft entails, you’ve come to the right place.
Purchasing and owning an aircraft is worthwhile, but it’s no small feat. It is important to stay informed about the responsibilities that come with a purchase of that magnitude, such as ownership fees, operating costs, maintenance checks, and detailed cleaning. In the content below, we explore the processes of new aircraft ownership and which accompanying maintenance tasks are required.
What Does Owning an Aircraft Entail?
When interested in purchasing an aircraft, first decide if ownership is a good fit for you. To help you consider your options, consider the following questions:
- Is owning an aircraft for business or leisure?
- What are the financial and personal benefits of owning your own aircraft?
- Do aircrafts hold their value?
- Can you set aside enough to afford maintenance costs?
Before committing to an investment of this caliber, you’ll want to be confident that ownership is the right path to follow and is, therefore, a sound investment. Once you’ve thoroughly contemplated your answers and decide to pursue ownership, you can expect to participate in some of the processes explored below.
Ensure Your Aircraft Remains in Regulatory Compliance
Many forces govern how you operate your aircraft, including the FAA, IRS, State Departments of Revenue, and your insurance company. Navigating all regulations might feel tedious, however, it is critical to avoid breaching any federal statutes or aviation guidelines.
You can remain in regulatory compliance by:
- Understanding FAA’s rules for providing flights to anyone or flying non-paying guests.
- Considering your tax plan and if your aircraft involves tax deductions for a business asset and restricting entertainment and personal use otherwise.
- Retaining state sales and use tax payment plans and confirming that the State Department of Revenue receives appropriate payments.
- Updating your insurance coverage and maintaining it by remaining in compliance with FAA regulations.
Be sure to review and evaluate conflicting rules of governmental agencies during the entirety of your ownership so you can maintain a positive aircraft operating experience.
Cost of Ownership
There are plenty of costs associated with owning an aircraft. Whether it’s fixed costs like registration, insurance, and hanger fees, daily operating costs like fuel and maintenance fees, or costs for inspections and engine replacement, it’s quite an expensive feat— especially if you experience a machinery break-down!
Calculating the cost of ownership may seem daunting, but there are many helpful resources to streamline the process. For example, use an operating costs calculator to provide an informed understanding of the anticipated level of investment and forecast the impact of spending.
Typically, the “cost” of flying a plane includes all known expenses that can occur at any point in time. Divide the sum of expenses by the number of hours it takes to reach specific points, like 100 hours for inspections or 1500-2000 hours for engine replacements.
For example, if the cost above appears as a formula, the equation would be: Cost of Flying = Expenses / # of Hours to Maintenance Check
To see this equation in action, check out a hypothetical operating cost calculation.
Maintenance & Aircraft Detailing
Because the aviation industry is so highly regulated, it’s crucial to keep up with proper aircraft maintenance once you make your purchase. Be sure to complete routine line checks that cover the basics like wheels, brakes, and fluid levels, as well as A, B, and C checks that must be performed after a certain amount of time, depending on the aircraft.
Maintenance checks ensure you retain compliance with the FAA and maintain passenger safety. However, in addition to maintenance checks of aircraft machinery, aircraft detailing is equally as important.
To own an aircraft is to understand the importance of aircraft detailing and how it provides a safe and clean environment for you and your guests. Proper aircraft detailing also maintains the quality of the plane so that it remains in like-new condition.
Below are a few of the many detailing practices required for your plane’s interior and exterior:
Complete Interior Detail
- Dry Cleaning Carpet & Upholstery
- Wood & Trim Polishing
- Leather Cleaning & Conditioning
- Lavatory & Gallery Sanitation
- Wet & Dry Wash
- Exterior Wax
- Paint Rejuvenation
- Brightwork Metal Polishing
Aircraft Ownership with J.A. Air
Ready to own an aircraft? Let’s make your dreams a reality and find the perfect aircraft for your aviation needs!
Let our knowledgeable, licensed, and factory-trained team get your newly purchased plane ready for the sky! Contacts us today to help with any ownership processes and maintenance services.