Flying is an amazing experience. The ability to soar with the birds is something that most humans throughout history would never have dreamed possible. And yet today, traveling by airplane is as common for many people as watching TV or having pizza delivered for dinner.
If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own airplane, there has never been a better time to start shopping for the right personal aircraft for you. Whether you intended to buy a small prop plane or a private jet, there are plenty of details you’ll need to understand about the process.
This article takes a look at things like operating costs and the pre-purchase inspection so that you can have the best experience possible. Keep reading to discover the inside scoop.
Decide How Much You Can Afford to Spend
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on a budget. After all, there’s no reason to shop for an airplane that you can’t afford.
There are many different models of aircraft to choose from, available at a wide range of price points. Thus it will save you a ton of time and frustration to have a firm grip on your finances ahead of time.
As with any major purchase, creating a budget is incredibly important. Be realistic about your upper limit so that you don’t find yourself in a financial hardship down the road when the amount of money you’ve spent finally catches up with you.
Decide the Type Aircraft You Want Or Need
If you are new to the world of flying, you will soon discover that not every aircraft is the same. There are many types that can be used to meed a wide variety of needs.
Before making a purchase or settling on the amount of money you plan to spend, take the time to determine exactly what you plan to use the plane for.
Do you intend to limit your flying to your immediate region of the country? Do you intend to primary land at small municipal or private airfields? Do you intend to only have one or two passengers during each flight? Would you like to travel cross country or internationally with a half a dozen or more passengers?
These are important questions. Answer each question as honestly as possible, because your needs will have a significant impact on the type of aircraft that will work best for you.
Take the time to research every type of plane. Learn what they’re capable of doing, as well as the skill level required to pilot them. After all, the last thing you want is to get in over your head with an aircraft that you aren’t qualified to pilot.
Here’s something to remember: Airplanes are expensive.
Do you intend to buy new or used? Because just as with any other major purchase, new or used will make a huge difference in the price you’re going to pay.
That’s why it’s important to get pre-approved for financing before you start shopping for an aircraft. When you’re a serious buyer, sellers will be more enthusiastic about having a conversation with you when you’ve been pre-approved for financing.
This will show them that they won’t be wasting their time showing you the aircraft and even allowing you to take it for a test flight. It will also give you a better idea of your exact spending budget.
Another significant benefit of being pre-approved is that it should help speed up the closing process.
Start Researching Planes that Match Your Budget
Now that you have firmly established your budget and received pre-approval for financing, it’s time to start researching aircraft sales that fit within spending criteria.
It’s important to not only understand the types of planes that fit within your budget but to also look for great deals from sellers who are located in every region of the country.
This process could take some time, so be patient. When it comes to purchasing an aircraft, there’s no reason to get in a hurry. The key is to be specific about what you’re looking for, to find an aircraft that’s in optimal operating condition, and that the current how has provided the necessary upkeep and maintenance.
Arrange a Test Flight
Once you’ve located an aircraft that you’re interested in, it’s time to arrange a test flight. This will give you a better feel for the plane so that you can know if you’re truly interested in making an offer.
Does it feel comfortable? Does the cockpit fit your frame and provide ease of movement as you operate the controls? Does everything sound as it should? And do the controls respond appropriately?
The test flight is one of the most important aspects of the purchase process because you are able to see first hand exactly how the aircraft behaves during takeoff, flight, and landing.
Keep in mind that you should never purchase an aircraft without a test flight. Because no matter what the paperwork says or whatever the seller has stated, the proof in the pudding.
It would also be a wise idea to have the aircraft inspect by a trusted airplane mechanic before making your final decision to purchase.
Inspect All Documents Before Finalizing the Purchase
Once you are happy with a specific airplane and are ready to make an offer, be sure to inspect all the documents involved before committing to the purchase.
Every aircraft will have a complete history, from the date it was manufactured, the initial sale, maintenance and inspection history, right up to the current date. Study this history carefully for any detail that might be of concern.
You will also need to purchase insurance before completing the purchase. So take the time to research ahead of time so that you’ll know exactly what you need.
Take Advantage of All Available Resources
There are plenty of resources available for helping with the purchase process. Consult professional aviation organizations for information that will help you decide what is right for you and for questions that you should ask any seller you are in contact with.
Important Tips to Remember When Purchasing a Personal Aircraft
Buying a personal aircraft can be one of the most exciting moments in life. Fortunately, the tips contained here can make the process as stress-free as possible.
Keep scrolling to see more valuable lifestyle tips and advice.