"Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
palanzo
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by palanzo »

atikovi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:31 pm
4nursebee wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:35 pmI have big dreams of regular travel and exploring the US>
That makes no sense these days with the discount fares available. Just checked flights from DC to Chicago. $21. That's cheaper than the ride to the airport itself. It will never make sense financially as a transportation tool. Just admit you want to own one because you like to fly a plane and you will be way ahead in justifying the purchase. I took, and got a 93, on the written when I was a teen, but never pursued flying any further. Cars were cheaper and much more accessible while being just as much fun.
$21. Do you think that has anything to do with the pandemic?
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by atikovi »

All the more reason not to buy a plane for travel if these low fares will be around a while.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by palanzo »

atikovi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:42 pm All the more reason not to buy a plane for travel if these low fares will be around a while.
Maybe so. Perhaps the OP is not keen to catch COVID.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 123 »

manatee2005 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:20 pm ...It was a lot more than i’d like to spend.
I would think it would be worse than a boat since a lot of maintenance is required by regulation.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by atikovi »

palanzo wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:45 pm
atikovi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:42 pm All the more reason not to buy a plane for travel if these low fares will be around a while.
Maybe so. Perhaps the OP is not keen to catch COVID.
Less chance of dying from that than from a private plane crash. There are 5 small plane crashes every day in the U.S. on average.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Flyer24 »

Let’s stick with the OP’s question about airplane ownership expenses please.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by fast_and_curious »

I've owned a plane for almost 20 years now. Certainly the overall costs are nothing to sneeze at, but our family really likes travelling, and I love to fly, so for us we view it as an alternative to owning a vacation home.

Expenses will vary a lot based on type and age of aircraft and engine, location, amount of use, experience (for insurance costs), whether you hangar it, etc. I can give you some VERY ROUGH idea of very approximate costs based on my own experience but please know that the variance here is quite large.

Where I live, a hangar goes for about $450/month at the larger airports down to about $250/month at smaller ones. Maintenance on my current aircraft has been averaging around $4000-$5000 per year. Keep in mind that I do my own oil changes and other preventative maintenance allowed by regulation; if you have a mechanic do it all, it would be a bit more than that. Insurance depends on coverage, experience, type of plane, location, etc. but in my case is around $2000/year. So that comes out to somewhere between $9000 to $12500 (again, could be much less or more than this for your specific case!).

Those are the fixed costs (well maintenance is only partly fixed), then of course each hour you fly puts you one hour closer to needing to overhaul the engine (an expensive proposition, maybe $30k, but typical engines will last 2000+ hours between overhauls, so this expense is like once every couple of decades). Plus gas you burn per hour.

So, it is definitely not cheap and good to really think about before jumping in. But contrary to some of the other replies in this thread, I don't think it's exorbitant compared to other expenses often discussed on this forum including second homes, high end cars, etc. As others have mentioned, sharing the expenses with 1 or 2 partners, or with a bunch of fellow flying club members, is a great way to reduce costs further.

To answer your other questions, we do make pretty good use of the plane, although the trends vary a lot based on kids' schedules, etc. As mentioned, I really enjoy it and don't really have any other big hobbies, and our family enjoys travelling in the plane, so for us it works out well.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by tim1999 »

You'll get better answers on a general aviation forum like Pilots of America. Pretty soon here you'll get people suggesting you glue wings onto a 10-year old Toyota Corolla.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by MikeZ »

Not to sidetrack the discussion, but after seriously looking into the same thing I should add another option: Homebuilt. What got me thinking that way was when I started looking at faster planes that run on mogas and found the RV-10.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Spyder59 »

Owning a plane is certainly expensive, but after twenty years of flying I certainly feel my wife and I got our money’s worth of fun, adventure and convenience. After owning three planes and being in two clubs (Cessna 182 and Beech Sierra) I offer the following.

If you are going to fly less than 100 hours a year, join a club or rent. If you join a club, know how frequently other members fly and understand the standard of maintenance and care exercised by the club and it’s members. I was fortunate to be in clubs that had only five members, with only two members flying much, so booking the plane for extended trips or on holidays was never much of an issue. Also, all members were instrument rated and agreed to meticulous care of the avionics and mechanics. Communication among members about the plane was also excellent. No fun getting into a club plane for your long planned trip when the last person flying was aware of an issue with the plane, but did not communicate about it with other members and get it repaired. Finally, make sure the club has excellent financials, a good reserve fund for unexpected maintenance, and if it is a small club, all the members can handle the freight of keeping a plane in the air.

A viable alternative to ownership or a club is to buy a block of flying time from a private owner. Many planes get flown infrequently and their owners are open to selling a block of time at very reasonable rates. I did this with an Arrow III with an owner who no longer had time to fly, but wasn’t ready to sell. All the pleasures of ownership without the hassles of a club.

I would also be careful to investigate insurance and ensure that both the club and you have adequate protection, and understand the terms of how members are allowed to join and how you can get out. If you can’t sell your share, as may be the case in bad economic times, you will still have to pay your dues...

Last thought, often members of a club struggle to fly enough to stay current. This may be a good reason to avoid a club with a complex aircraft and stick with a simple and forgiving plane like a C172. Fewer accidents for sure.

All in all, I much preferred a small club to renting (especially with common limitations on out of state travel and minimum per day rental hours). Just do your homework: carefully review the membership agreements, financials and insurance documents; carefully go over the logs and discuss maintenance and the planes condition with the mechanic who maintains it; and take it for a spin, so to speak, and make sure you are comfortable with the plane.

Good luck and happy flying!!!
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

tim1999 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:12 pm You'll get better answers on a general aviation forum like Pilots of America. Pretty soon here you'll get people suggesting you glue wings onto a 10-year old Toyota Corolla.
Glue? Ha! Loctite 9430 Hysol is the epoxy of choice for adhering wings to your old Corolla. Picked up some second hand on Craigslist. Flightworthy enough.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

Flyer24 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:26 pm Let’s stick with the OP’s question about airplane ownership expenses please.
THANK YOU!
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4nursebee
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

tim1999 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:12 pm You'll get better answers on a general aviation forum like Pilots of America. Pretty soon here you'll get people suggesting you glue wings onto a 10-year old Toyota Corolla.
Yes, I've asked there (and everywhere). But I picked up that many flyers are here.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

More:
I will repeat that for my partner and I many local options are not good for us. I am training in a 172, door is tight on my shoulder, seatbelt barely fits, not IFR equipped, no ADSB. It is available for rental so I am regularly not able to take lessons. My current CFI is mostly available just weekends. The other flight school uses Diamonds, I do not fit. My partner does not fit in these! Local club uses something smaller like a 150, they will not let us join due to our weights, can't get us in a plane with their CFI. I am not aware of good rental options at nearest airports. Flight schools an hour away have been difficult to deal with, so I am not interested in trying to rent from them. Besides, we live 5 mi from local place, that convenience is what we want.

Cheap flights? We have family that is located 10 hour drive from us. Last flight took an hour before take off, waited at a major airport for plane changeover, I think 12 hours, then another flight to an airport an hour+ from family. Ownership could allow leaving after breakfast and eating a late lunch with family.

We have agreed on general terms, includes things such as engine overhaul fund.

We love the RV-10. Less performance can be had for less money though.

We would like to get good training and have a well maintained plane to not be a death statistic. We think training with a CFI in our plane will enhance safety.

Thanks for ideas on using google calendar sharing and AOPA template. I was considering using shared spreadsheet to keep track of costs.

While we would like to avoid major unexpected expenses, my partner and I are likely doing well enough to handle them. I could handle things on my own if partner defaults. I would likely get a similar plane without him.

I am not really concerned about fixed costs such as insurance and hanger, those can be quantified. Spouse concerned about the "other" expenses.

We had a good telephone conversation with a friend last night, sounds like his expenses are reasonable.

Partner and I have done business together for 5 years. Handshake/verbal arrangement good enough. We would both do the right thing.

I get the mission stuff. My mission is to have a simpler starter plane then consider the better or perfect plane. If it does not have the range I really think it does not matter yet. I don't think we want RG, multi engine, complex set up yet. Too much to learn, get proficient with basics, then go for the longer range.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Daryl »

4nursebee wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:40 am Cheap flights? We have family that is located 10 hour drive from us. Last flight took an hour before take off, waited at a major airport for plane changeover, I think 12 hours, then another flight to an airport an hour+ from family. Ownership could allow leaving after breakfast and eating a late lunch with family.
I know you understand this, but for the sake of others that might be exploring this, VFR flying has a way of turning a “10 hr drive” into a 3-4 day trip. The return trip could easily be delayed several days due to weather and/or maintenance. If you have a schedule, fly commercial.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by JonnyDVM »

I’m interested in the answer but I don’t have much to offer. Perhaps the closest small airport would have someone you could ask? I would expect it to be a relatively consistent percentage of purchase price based on the age of the aircraft.
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Kelrex
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Kelrex »

Following with interest.

After a bunch of googling, it really doesn't seem all that expensive to own and operate a small plane, at least nowhere near as much as I had assumed.

I live just a few minutes from a small airport, flight school, and flying club, meanwhile the commercial airport is a total pain to get to.

This is definitely something to look into.
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SebastianIII
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by SebastianIII »

A 182 may have more room.

I own a plane by myself Mooney M20J(low cost to operate and maintain) Has retractable gear makes a little more pricey to maintain. A lot depends on where you live, especially hanger cost if you keep it in one(or avail at all). The weather is not kind to airplanes that live outside especially in certain areas. (ie snow in winter, super high heat etc)

Costs of Annuals(which will see things that need to be addressed/repaired) , Hangar, Gallons Per Hour - Fuel Cost per Gallon, Insurance, Data Cost on devices, people also like to add prorated costs as well like the engine overhaul cost is per hour, depending on engine time you may have to replace it usually around $30K+ install. You may never have to do that but as you use it the value of engine decrease as someone will have to at some point. Cost to leave plane overnight(s) in area you travel to can add up as well as rental car getting around in areas you visit.

Min Costs
My annual Cost $2500 + repairs that need be addressed.
Hanger(cheap) $250/mo $3000yr
Fuel I burn 10-11/gal hour+ time hours you fly x cost if fuel (can vary)
Data: i only use foreflight $200/year + Garmin Aviation $200/year
IF IFR you must keep your database up-to-date and can but much more.
Nightly cost to park plane/landing fee when out of town(can add up in certain areas)/transportation costs UBER.rental car etc.

You need ipad mini to use foreflight in plane. Apperao Stratus 3 to receive ADS-B in plane(traffic and weather)
Good portable GPS as well as backup to ipad(can overheat) If you dont have these already they are incredible.


IF you really want to fly places you really need to get your IFR (instrument rating). Otherwise you will be only in local area joy riding because the weather can and will be different when you travel somewhere. You can avoid hard IFR but you really need IFR rating to go somewhere.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... y-cardinal
https://stratusbyappareo.com/products/s ... receivers/
https://foreflight.com/
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/681883
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/520775
https://www.cessnaflyer.org/
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by LadyGeek »

I merged 4nursebee's update into the original thread.
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Carguy85
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Carguy85 »

Daryl wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:50 am
4nursebee wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:40 am Cheap flights? We have family that is located 10 hour drive from us. Last flight took an hour before take off, waited at a major airport for plane changeover, I think 12 hours, then another flight to an airport an hour+ from family. Ownership could allow leaving after breakfast and eating a late lunch with family.
I know you understand this, but for the sake of others that might be exploring this, VFR flying has a way of turning a “10 hr drive” into a 3-4 day trip. The return trip could easily be delayed several days due to weather and/or maintenance. If you have a schedule, fly commercial.

I’m just a 5 year vfr pilot but would have to say such delay could likely be the case for IFR..... vast majority of ifr pilots are not current. I know next to nothing but IMC and or mountains or water and piston engines don’t mix. I love airplanes and think about flying daily but know that without a flexible schedule it’s much more unpredictable than driving.
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4nursebee
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

Carguy85 wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:47 am
Daryl wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:50 am
4nursebee wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:40 am Cheap flights? We have family that is located 10 hour drive from us. Last flight took an hour before take off, waited at a major airport for plane changeover, I think 12 hours, then another flight to an airport an hour+ from family. Ownership could allow leaving after breakfast and eating a late lunch with family.
I know you understand this, but for the sake of others that might be exploring this, VFR flying has a way of turning a “10 hr drive” into a 3-4 day trip. The return trip could easily be delayed several days due to weather and/or maintenance. If you have a schedule, fly commercial.

I’m just a 5 year vfr pilot but would have to say such delay could likely be the case for IFR..... vast majority of ifr pilots are not current. I know next to nothing but IMC and or mountains or water and piston engines don’t mix. I love airplanes and think about flying daily but know that without a flexible schedule it’s much more unpredictable than driving.
I am not willing to risk and life sitting still could be ok waiting. AND, plan to continue with IFR training in our plane
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by alfaspider »

I grew up flying with my dad (had a 172 and later upgraded to a 182). I started down the path towards getting my pilot's license, but ended up deciding not to go through with it. It's a fun hobby, but the expenses were just too steep to justify relative to the enjoyment I found in it. I'm one of those people with too many hobbies- I like the variety. Hobbies include:

Cycling (mountain and road). This is a relatively inexpensive hobby if you stay away from excessive gear acquisition (a common affliction in any hobby). Once you've paid for the bike $1-5,000, running costs are pretty minimal (perhaps $100-200 a year if done DIY).

Rock climbing: gym membership is somewhat expensive, but it also has a regular gym attached, so they do double duty. Outdoor climbing is like cycling in that it's cheap once you have the gear, but real rock is a 3 hour drive from where I live, so a day outdoors is a $50-100 proposition for transport costs.

Cars (wrenching): Skies the limit based on your build, but tinkering is inexpensive.

Cars (trackdays): One of the few things that can rival flying, but even joining the local "country club" track is cheaper than a hanger at the airport. Fuel burn is a lot less.

Skiing: I no longer live within a day drive of skiing, so I do this a lot less. It used to be $400/yr for a season pass + gas money + maybe $300/yr in equipment. Now, have to add travel expenses= not cheap.

Running: the true cheap hobby: I by a new pair of shoes annually (give or take)- $100/yr

Weight lifting: Besides climbing gym membership, I spent around $1,500 on my home setup. It should last forever. Even cheaper than running since nothing wears out.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by papiper »

i bought a Piper Comanche 260B in 1992. (6 seat retractable plane) I joke with people that the way to fly happily is NEVER add up the cost, but for once I ran a report since I've used Quicken the whole time.

So - for 28 years - including purchase for $42000, a new factory re-manufactured engine, all the maintenance, insurance, fuel, avionics and supplies - I've spent $450,000 almost to the penny. So all in, the answer was $16,000/year. If you knock off the major upgrades (engine, new panel, paint, purchase itself) the cost is more like $9600/year. Your mileage may vary! I fly about 120 hours a year.

If I had bought a fixed gear cardinal instead, I think I'd estimate my rear view spend at about $5500/year due to overhaul, insurance and annual maintenance reductions. Of course I can go 40 kts faster!
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by fishandgolf »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:37 pm
hudson wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:35 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:26 pm Has anyone ever parachuted from a perfectly good airplane?
j🌺
HA! Yes 1970-1972...25-30 times for a little extra pay.
Dan Cooper and $200k left a B727 in 71
Yeah......the Dan Cooper mystery if very interesting. I was always intrigued by this story. I believe they did recover some of the loot in the area they believe he parachuted into.....but whatever happened to Dan Cooper remains a mystery......
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by barnaclebob »

Just purchased a 19' Arima which is a fully capable puget sound/light ocean conditions fishing boat. We are on the water for about 16.5k, the motor is from 2012 and has over half its life left. Marina storage will be $300/month, fuel/oil will probably average $100/month, DIY maintenance $50/month, amortized anti marine growth paint $25/month. This boat is at the bottom of the depreciation curve so the only thing that will reduce value is hours on the engine, maybe another $50/month. All in we are looking at $525/month. We'll probably take less vacations and drive to the mountains less but we can use our boat 3+ days a week if we choose.

Not sure what mechanical problems will cost us but it is an outboard with a decent reputation and I can fix just about anything on the boat that doesn't involve major surgery or specialized software to diagnose.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by sean.mcgrath »

A bit of a side question (apologies), but can someone comment about the noise levels in these aircraft, and partner acceptance factor of noise?

I looked into getting a license about ten years ago when we bought a cottage in Michigan (dreams of getting one in the UP), and indeed it seemed affordable. But I had too many memories of commercial propeller flights from Austria to Hamburg -- the idea of the noise for a cross country flight does not sound appealing.

Understood one wears ear protectors, but can someone give their opinion on the comfort level of a, say, six hour flight?
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by midareff »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 am [Question revised, see below --admin LadyGeek]

Hello all,
Close to FIRE here, just working some for insurance a few more years. Have time and money to enjoy life and experiences. Taking flying lessons after putting them off twice before. I am considering plane ownership to travel the US. I am curious how others think of budgeting for such things. What are they worth to you? Mentally I am hoping for <$1,000 a month. What do your toys cost you? Do you think of such things in relation to your income or assets and if so are you willing to share? What are your toys or hobbies and what do they cost you? Does your spouse enjoy them or bicker?

Thank you.
Frankly when I was doing my pre-retirement planning > a decade out I wanted 140% of my employed income for retirement and wanted to travel "nice", no cabins without a balcony let alone a port hole. Due to the bull run I am able to set aside >$5K monthly and go 3 to 4 times a year .. pre-Covid of course. Doing nothing now but waiting. ... and driving my bucket list car :D .
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:33 am A bit of a side question (apologies), but can someone comment about the noise levels in these aircraft, and partner acceptance factor of noise?

I looked into getting a license about ten years ago when we bought a cottage in Michigan (dreams of getting one in the UP), and indeed it seemed affordable. But I had too many memories of commercial propeller flights from Austria to Hamburg -- the idea of the noise for a cross country flight does not sound appealing.

Understood one wears ear protectors, but can someone give their opinion on the comfort level of a, say, six hour flight?
Most often the occupants wear headsets and converse via intercom and/or listen to music. Many headsets now include active noise reduction. The biggest fatigue-reduction device is a good autopilot. After a 6-8 hour flight (that includes a quick 30 min fuel stop) if I'm fatigued it's usually due to complex weather or air space.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Outer Marker »

neilpilot wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:42 am
sean.mcgrath wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:33 am A bit of a side question (apologies), but can someone comment about the noise levels in these aircraft, and partner acceptance factor of noise?

I looked into getting a license about ten years ago when we bought a cottage in Michigan (dreams of getting one in the UP), and indeed it seemed affordable. But I had too many memories of commercial propeller flights from Austria to Hamburg -- the idea of the noise for a cross country flight does not sound appealing.

Understood one wears ear protectors, but can someone give their opinion on the comfort level of a, say, six hour flight?
Most often the occupants wear headsets and converse via intercom and/or listen to music. Many headsets now include active noise reduction. The biggest fatigue-reduction device is a good autopilot. After a 6-8 hour flight (that includes a quick 30 min fuel stop) if I'm fatigued it's usually due to complex weather or air space.
+1 The advent of noise canceling handsets by Bose, Lightspeed and David Clark have done wonders for cabin comfort in General Aviation airplanes. With autopilot, fatigue for pilot and passengers is much less than a 6 hour road trip. That said, if your mission generally calls for 6 hours or more, its going to be cheaper, faster, and more comfortable to go commercial. Where GA really shines is cutting down an 8-10 hour road trip to a 2-3 hour
and much more enjoyable flight. Flying is more like sailing than it is driving a car. Your awareness of the wind, weather, and navigation become more attune. Its both a challenge and relaxing at the same time. The trip is often more than half the fun of getting there.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by sean.mcgrath »

Outer Marker wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:29 am
neilpilot wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:42 am
sean.mcgrath wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:33 am A bit of a side question (apologies), but can someone comment about the noise levels in these aircraft, and partner acceptance factor of noise?

I looked into getting a license about ten years ago when we bought a cottage in Michigan (dreams of getting one in the UP), and indeed it seemed affordable. But I had too many memories of commercial propeller flights from Austria to Hamburg -- the idea of the noise for a cross country flight does not sound appealing.

Understood one wears ear protectors, but can someone give their opinion on the comfort level of a, say, six hour flight?
Most often the occupants wear headsets and converse via intercom and/or listen to music. Many headsets now include active noise reduction. The biggest fatigue-reduction device is a good autopilot. After a 6-8 hour flight (that includes a quick 30 min fuel stop) if I'm fatigued it's usually due to complex weather or air space.
+1 The advent of noise canceling handsets by Bose, Lightspeed and David Clark have done wonders for cabin comfort in General Aviation airplanes. With autopilot, fatigue for pilot and passengers is much less than a 6 hour road trip. That said, if your mission generally calls for 6 hours or more, its going to be cheaper, faster, and more comfortable to go commercial. Where GA really shines is cutting down an 8-10 hour road trip to a 2-3 hour
and much more enjoyable flight. Flying is more like sailing than it is driving a car. Your awareness of the wind, weather, and navigation become more attune. Its both a challenge and relaxing at the same time. The trip is often more than half the fun of getting there.
Thanks, both of you. Actually, we would be more in the 2-3 hour trip length for the sort of things I envision. A big part of our trips is great conversations, so it would need to be possible for the two of us to feel we weren't fighting to make ourselves heard.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Outer Marker »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:42 am Actually, we would be more in the 2-3 hour trip length for the sort of things I envision. A big part of our trips is great conversations, so it would need to be possible for the two of us to feel we weren't fighting to make ourselves heard.
The headsets operate over an intercom system, which switches your mic on when you begin to speak, and cuts it off as soon as you're done talking - so engine noise is not transmitted over an open mic. So, while its possible to have a conversation, its not like sitting across a coffee table in your living room. You consider your thoughts. Say what you have to say, concisely, and then your partner has his/her turn.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by sean.mcgrath »

Outer Marker wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:57 am
sean.mcgrath wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:42 am Actually, we would be more in the 2-3 hour trip length for the sort of things I envision. A big part of our trips is great conversations, so it would need to be possible for the two of us to feel we weren't fighting to make ourselves heard.
The headsets operate over an intercom system, which switches your mic on when you begin to speak, and cuts it off as soon as you're done talking - so engine noise is not transmitted over an open mic. So, while its possible to have a conversation, its not like sitting across a coffee table in your living room. You consider your thoughts. Say what you have to say, concisely, and then your partner has his/her turn.
Got it. Thanks.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

papiper wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:28 am I joke with people that the way to fly happily is NEVER add up the cost...
Love that quote.

I joke with people that you can make a small fortune in private aviation... if you start with a large one.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kelrex »

Thanks to OP, I *really* want a plane now.

My only real hobby outside of staying active is learning things. I'm either reading, taking courses, or learning some kind of new skill, and flying sounds like a fantastic skill to learn.

I also want to spend a lot more time traveling around Canada, it's so big, and so few people explore it because it's such a distance to get anywhere, so you have to fly, and domestic flights aren't cheap, and often not direct anyway. It's easier to fly to Europe than around my own country. I love the idea of little hops across the country, just like a chill road trip, but covering way more distance.

My SO is 1000% on board with the idea and thinks it's the perfect hobby to occupy me moving forward, and that it will be something lofty enough to keep me out of trouble once my current work project is done in 5-7 years, and I might retire (again).

That seems like perfect timing for getting a license and getting enough experience under my belt to know what kind of plane I want and whether it's worth it to buy one.

Honestly, the cost sounds more than reasonable for our future financial situation. I have female colleagues who spend more on their beauty regimens than it apparently costs to maintain a Cessna.

Our core lifestyle expenses are very low by choice, which frees up lot of cash flow for bigger luxuries. I haven't really wanted anything until now, and now I want a damn plane.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Meg77 »

As a private banker we finance a lot of hobby toys for our clients: aircraft, yachts, second homes, crazy cars. Obviously the price for those hobbies/lifestyles can vary dramatically so I won't comment on that specifically.

But plenty of people spend a lot or even most of their incomes on what could be classified as hobby activities, especially in aggregate - shopping, entertaining, travel, giving/charity, gambling, partying, dining out, collecting art, gardening, decorating the house over and over. If you pay off your debt and live fairly normally, I'd venture to say that most retirees/affluent people spend MOST of their income on discretionary spending. So like everything else, it's just a values exercise in how you want to arrange your budget. The good news is that kind of spending can be lowered fairly easily if/when necessary if income fluctuates.

As far as net worth goes, I think cars/homes/planes/boats definitely count as assets. But ideally they are a much smaller chunk of net worth than investible assets that actually grow in value and/or provide income. It's very hard to set any kind of rule of thumb on that since cost of living can vary so much and net worth structures can vary widely especially across one person's life. It may sound crazy for a retired person to have half their net worth tied up in consumable goods, but it depends on how large the nest egg is and also whether there are income sources outside of the net worth (like a pension or social security). I have a client with about a $16MM net worth, but $8MM of it is a house. He's still working and building the investible portfolio. I have retired relatives with $250K in assets and about a $250K paid off house - but they live well on a 6 figure pension.
Last edited by Meg77 on Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

Outer Marker wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:29 am ...... if your mission generally calls for 6 hours or more, its going to be cheaper, faster, and more comfortable to go commercial. Where GA really shines is cutting down an 8-10 hour road trip to a 2-3 hour and much more enjoyable flight.
Over the years I've found that while more distant trips are generally cheaper via the airlines, it's frequently often more convenient, and sometimes even faster, to go via general aviation. As an example, I live about 30 minutes from the Memphis airport, and more often than not there isn't a direct flight to my desired destination.

As an example, if you want to fly Memphis to Boston you will need to change planes somewhere, and the typical airline routing includes 2 flights at around 5 hours. My flight plan program indicates that today this flight in my Mooney would take about 6-1/2 hours including a 30 minute fuel stop. When you consider that an airline flight requires early arrival for check-in and TSA screening, my 160 mph aircraft can do the flight almost as fast as a 500 mph airliner!

While an airline ticket would certainly cost less, if I fill a few other seats in my aircraft the cost remains essentially unchanged.

General aviation really has an advantage over the airlines when comparing destinations with sparse commercial service. Our regular destinations have included Martha's Vineyard & Hilton Head Island. They both have commercial service, but with very limited flights and connections. When I fly there from Memphis, it's always direct.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by barnaclebob »

OP, one thing that made me realize it was ok to try out boating is that my wife and i just said, ok lets give this a try. If it doesnt work out or our lifestyle changes we can sell the boat, be out several thousand dollars, have some great memories, and the itch will be scratched. No regrets. With a plane the several thousand in sunk costs might be several tens of thousands but so as long as you are ok with that then I say go for it.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kelrex »

Meg77 wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:11 pm As a private banker we finance a lot of hobby toys for our clients: aircraft, yachts, second homes, crazy cars. Obviously the price for those hobbies/lifestyles can vary dramatically so I won't comment on that specifically.

But plenty of people spend a lot or even most of their incomes on what could be classified as hobby activities, especially in aggregate - shopping, entertaining, travel, giving/charity, gambling, partying, dining out, collecting art, gardening, decorating the house over and over. If you pay off your debt and live fairly normally, I'd venture to say that most retirees/affluent people spend MOST of their income on discretionary spending. So like everything else, it's just a values exercise in how you want to arrange your budget. The good news is that kind of spending can be lowered fairly easily if/when necessary if income fluctuates.

As far as net worth goes, I think cars/homes/planes/boats definitely count as assets. But ideally they are a much smaller chunk of net worth than investible assets that actually grow in value and/or provide income. It's very hard to set any kind of rule of thumb on that since cost of living can vary so much and net worth structures can vary widely especially across one person's life. It may sound crazy for a retired person to have half their net worth tied up in consumable goods, but it depends on how large the nest egg is and also whether there are income sources outside of the net worth (like a pension or social security). I have a client with about a $16MM net worth, but $8MM of it is a house. He's still working and building the investible portfolio. I have retired relatives with $250K in assets and about a $250K paid off house - but they live well on a 6 figure pension.
I worked in finance for awhile, and I totally agree with what you said at the beginning, most people with significant disposable income spend sometimes eye-popping amounts on relatively little, "normal" lifestyle things.

As I said before, I know plenty of women who between hair appointments, nails, hair supplies, makeup, facials and skincare products alone could easily fund owning a Cessna.

No judgement, nothing says a plane is better than beauty, to each their own, but it's not like a plane or boat or whatever is any more indulgent either. It's just a more uncommon luxury.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Outer Marker »

Airplanes have been my single largest consumption item. But by far the most rewarding. Few "hobbies" give you time back like flying does, and expands your reach to far flung places. If it had not been for the airplanes, I could have been retired by now, but it keeps me motivated. Since I made all my money in the aviation industry, I guess it has been an even trade for my indulgence.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kelrex »

Just booked my medical exam and got on the waitlist for the nearest flight school. They said the wait will probably be at least a year under the current conditions, but we'll see. I'm patient.

They gave me a link to an online course but advised me to hold off until I can actually start flying. I have a history of learning very easily and retaining info really well, so I can't see the harm in getting this done while I wait the year.

Please correct me on my thinking if I'm wrong.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by LadyGeek »

For those who aren't quite ready to do this for real, or simply want to get a small taste of the real thing, consider a flight training tool.

Hot off the shelf for 2020: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 - What Pilots Need to Know | Sporty's Pilot Report Articles

I've used MS Flight Simulator back in the 1980's when I first got my VFR ticket. I'm no longer active.

FYI - You might need a better computer.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by willthrill81 »

dixdak wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:01 pm Backpacking. Thanks to titanium, hip and metal gear, I replaced my 1975 era gear forty years later for around $1500, plus another $1500 for additional family members, upgrades, car camping, and levels of comfort and weight. I dehydrate a lot of the meals, so the cost is just transportation
I've watched more hours of hiking videos than I care to admit. It seems that unless you want to have all world-class equipment, you can be very well equipped for a thru-hike, one of the most expensive forms of the sport, for under $5k. You can probably be reasonably equipped for under $2k. Most of the expense seems to be what is spent on transportation, as you note, and food bought off the trail. The amount of food those people consume is insane, easily 6,000 calories a day, and they still almost universally lose weight.

I'm really hoping to do a thru-hike after I retire in my early 50s.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kelrex »

Booked my first flight for next Saturday.

I ordered "From The Ground Up" and the Transport Canada manual.

My new job is insane, so I think this will be a good balance for that chaotic energy.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Life Is Good »

I own a 1/10 share of a Cessna 172. $85/mo and $70/hr wet on the tach. Airplane flies less than 100 hours a year and is almost always available. Well worth the monthly fee, even if I go a while in between flying it. I don't fly enough to justify owning one outright.

I highly recommend seeking out a similar group near you. You need to fly 100+ hours per year to really justify owning your own.

I am considering buying a boat in anticipation of doing the Great Loop a few years from now when I retire early, but that dream is in its infancy.

My other hobby is model railroading and I spend more on that annually than the plane. :D
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

Life Is Good wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:20 am I own a 1/10 share of a Cessna 172. $85/mo and $70/hr wet on the tach. Airplane flies less than 100 hours a year and is almost always available. Well worth the monthly fee, even if I go a while in between flying it. I don't fly enough to justify owning one outright.

I highly recommend seeking out a similar group near you. You need to fly 100+ hours per year to really justify owning your own.

I am considering buying a boat in anticipation of doing the Great Loop a few years from now when I retire early, but that dream is in its infancy.

My other hobby is model railroading and I spend more on that annually than the plane. :D
Are there 10 partners, and the average partner flies under 10 hr/yr? If that’s the case, I hope there are several partners that either don’t fly at all and/or fly other aircraft as well. In my opinion a pilot who doesn’t fly regularly is an unsafe pilot.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by BalancedJCB19 »

I love walking. It's pretty much free until I have to replace my legs.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

BalancedJCB19 wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:15 am I love walking. It's pretty much free until I have to replace my legs.
Sounds good. I’ll just fly over to the islands. Once you walk over we can meet up for a beer. :sharebeer
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Life Is Good »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:57 am
Life Is Good wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:20 am I own a 1/10 share of a Cessna 172. $85/mo and $70/hr wet on the tach. Airplane flies less than 100 hours a year and is almost always available. Well worth the monthly fee, even if I go a while in between flying it. I don't fly enough to justify owning one outright.

I highly recommend seeking out a similar group near you. You need to fly 100+ hours per year to really justify owning your own.

I am considering buying a boat in anticipation of doing the Great Loop a few years from now when I retire early, but that dream is in its infancy.

My other hobby is model railroading and I spend more on that annually than the plane. :D
Are there 10 partners, and the average partner flies under 10 hr/yr? If that’s the case, I hope there are several partners that either don’t fly at all and/or fly other aircraft as well. In my opinion a pilot who doesn’t fly regularly is an unsafe pilot.
Four partners never fly because of medical and/or currency reasons. Why they still own a share is anyone's guess but they pay on time so we don't complain. Most of the rest of us are professional pilots, so while we don't fly the Cessna as often as we would like, we are certainly not rusty. I don't consider any of us unsafe or I would voice the concern.

It is a great group and I wouldn't consider any other form of ownership or rental ever again.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kelrex »

Life Is Good wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:20 am
neilpilot wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:57 am
Life Is Good wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:20 am I own a 1/10 share of a Cessna 172. $85/mo and $70/hr wet on the tach. Airplane flies less than 100 hours a year and is almost always available. Well worth the monthly fee, even if I go a while in between flying it. I don't fly enough to justify owning one outright.

I highly recommend seeking out a similar group near you. You need to fly 100+ hours per year to really justify owning your own.

I am considering buying a boat in anticipation of doing the Great Loop a few years from now when I retire early, but that dream is in its infancy.

My other hobby is model railroading and I spend more on that annually than the plane. :D
Are there 10 partners, and the average partner flies under 10 hr/yr? If that’s the case, I hope there are several partners that either don’t fly at all and/or fly other aircraft as well. In my opinion a pilot who doesn’t fly regularly is an unsafe pilot.
Four partners never fly because of medical and/or currency reasons. Why they still own a share is anyone's guess but they pay on time so we don't complain. Most of the rest of us are professional pilots, so while we don't fly the Cessna as often as we would like, we are certainly not rusty. I don't consider any of us unsafe or I would voice the concern.

It is a great group and I wouldn't consider any other form of ownership or rental ever again.
I think the point stands though that someone looking at a 10 person partnership should be cautious and look for partners like yours who either don't fly, or fly other planes regularly.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by BalancedJCB19 »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:22 am
BalancedJCB19 wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:15 am I love walking. It's pretty much free until I have to replace my legs.
Sounds good. I’ll just fly over to the islands. Once you walk over we can meet up for a beer. :sharebeer
I would love to but as a rule if it's not a jumbo jet, I would not fly in it. lol. Thanks for the offer though. I'm a man of simple needs and wants. :beer
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