If flying small single engine aircrafts is a hobby you are considering pursuing, there are a couple things you will want to keep in mind. There is going to be risk involved. Because of this, it is of extreme importance that you are properly trained in what you are doing. Watching a five minute video on YouTube isn’t going to be enough.
Secondly, because of the risk and safety precautions, more money than you think may be needed. Let’s face it. If you are looking for a hobby that you can enjoy on a tight budget, you may be better served to invest in a fishing permit rather than a license to fly.
What are some of the expenses?
If after giving flying a second thought you decide it’s something you would like to pursue, you need to do some research when it comes to how much owning and maintaining an aircraft will cost. You will need to keep in mind insurance, storage or hangar fees, and there are several costs involved when it comes to routine maintenance.
There is going to be plenty of fuel to buy, oil to change, and more overhauls to your plane’s engine than you may realize. One way you will be able to save some cash is by purchasing used parts when working on your plane, such as rebuilt magnetos. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean run to your nearest aircraft salvage yard, looking for the best deal you can get.
What should I be looking for?
You will want to make sure to do plenty of research anytime you are buying a used part, especially if it’s something involved with the engine of the aircraft. For starters, every brand and model will have specific specs that need to be adhered to. Simply put, if something is too big or too small for what you are trying to replace, you’re not saving money, you’re putting your life in danger.
You will also want to keep in mind the limits when it comes to the lifetime of a specific part. Some things no longer work simply because they are older and worn out. With some simple cleaning and a fresh coat of polish, anything can be made to look newer than it is.
Be sure that you are checking a comprehensive records review. If the person you are buying off of is good at what they do and has a reputation to consider, they will be more than happy to assist you with finding all the information you need. If you are dealing with someone who has difficulty producing the history of a part, it may be a good sign you need to be working with someone else.
Any time you are buying a used part for an aircraft engine, it is well worth the time needed to ensure you are receiving the best available piece. An aircraft is not an investment in which it makes sense to save as much money as possible.
Because of the risks and danger involved, spending more than you would like can easily be the difference between safely flying again and living with serious injury the rest of your life.