If getting flight hours as a pilot is all you want, then buying a plane to build hours is not a bad idea after all.
The question I will answer in this article whether buying a plane is a wise idea or not.
Every different pilot has a different perspective. I will help you decide which airplane to buy or just renting airplane is best for you to build hours.
I have further explained in this article the advantages and disadvantages of buying an aircraft to build flying hours.
Let me start by asking this:
Why do you want to buy a plane?
My question may sound strange because I already know you are willing to build flight hours.
So that after building enough flying hours you can have your first airline job.
That is not all:
Let us dive a little bit deeper.
My suggestion is that if you intend to buy an aircraft only to build flight hours there are many advantages and disadvantages too.
However, if you consider buying an airplane as an investment and you intend to rent it out for charter services, that is actually more beneficial for you.
Buying an airplane is not really expensive. There are many used four-seater single-engine aircraft available in the market.
They are tagged at a very affordable price too.
But the real cost comes up maintaining that aircraft. You may think to buy an airplane and refuel it before every time you fly the aircraft will save you a lot of money.
And actually it will save you a lot of money.
But if there are several other costs associated with owning an airplane which may cost you more in some cases.
Depending on your location and where you park your aircraft, the cost of aircraft maintenance will go up.
So if you intend to buy the plane to lower your cost for building flight hours, you have to calculate all other cost and decide.
Do not simply buy the aircraft and then deal with so many unnecessary nuisances.
As well as before you purchase an aircraft if you think the price of the aircraft is too good to be true, then ask a professional to check the aircraft beforehand.
A person who knows and understands aircraft can definitely figure out whether there are problems with the aircraft or not.
If there bigger cost which you have to deal with after purchasing a new aircraft, then it is better to buy an aircraft that has well maintained and pay a bigger price.
This way you will actually save a lot more.
Advantages of buying a plane to build hours:
I will begin with the advantages of buying an airplane to build hours.
The biggest advantage of buying an airplane is you will save a lot of money in the long run.
You will save a bit more if you find a partner to share the cost of the airplane.
Secondly, buying an airplane will give you the privilege of scheduling your flight at any time anywhere.
You do not have to wait for anyone else, or you can travel to new airports, go to x country flights to new destinations and stay as long as you want.
You will never be in a hurry to return back the airplane.
Thirdly, on average whoever buy airplane they save a lot more even after paying for the maintenance parking, fuel, and all other miscellaneous fees.
If you are smart enough buying an airplane can actually open doors for extra income.
YES, I know you wanted to buy the airplane simply to gain your flight hours.
However, I am saying why not rent out your airplane to interested pilot trainees and you can be their certified flight instructor.
Well of course for doing that you have to wait until you get your flight instructor’s license.
If you are ok with renting out your airplane, you can rent it out to people looking for air charter services.
Renting out your plane to a pilot who just wants to go from point A to point B in a hurry is a considerable way of making money.
There are several ways to build hours once you own your aircraft and perhaps cheaper than renting airplanes through hour building packages.
Considering the costs associated with the aircraft maintenance in your location is cheap, do not shrink to buy your airplane.
Nevertheless, before you buy the airplane ask from other pilots and talk to professionals which aircraft to buy and how to determine the condition and airworthiness of an aircraft.
Do not jump into any quick decision.
Disadvantages of buying a plane to build hours.
There are not many disadvantages to buying a plane for the purpose of building flight hours as a pilot.
But I want to clarify about the consequences you may have to face owning an aircraft.
It is cheap to buy an airplane, however, unlike a car, the maintenance and parking cost will not be inexpensive.
Buying an airplane at a lower price and not considering the condition of the aircraft will cost you a lot more.
It is important to understand the costs of owning an aircraft prior to buying one.
Aircraft has many annual costs. The costs may depend on the Civil Aviation Authority which has registered the aircraft.
These costs are not only annually, but it also relies on the hours that aircraft has flown.
The Civil Aviation Authority also wants to check on the airworthiness of the aircraft.
The aircraft’s emergency location transmitter has to be checked occassionally which may cost you some money.
Aircraft requires regular maintenance which requires a professional. So you have to hire one who can do the maintenance work for you.
Flying in the sky is what aircraft are built for.
Suppose you do not fly the aircraft very often just because you own the aircraft and have flexible timing for building hours.
Letting an airplane seat for a while can cause issues with its hydraulics and many other fluids in the airplane, which will cost you more money.
The parking fee will be higher depending on the airport you choose to park your airplane.
If you are flying in a busy airport and park the airplane in the hangar of a busy airport, that will cost you more money.
Being equipped with advanced technologies is the norm for busy airports.
Regardless of whether you use the equipment available to you or not in the airport, you will have to count higher take-off and landing fees.
Nevertheless, it is your choice whether to buy an airplane or not.
Sometimes renting an airplane may cost you a lot lesser because the cost I have mentioned above will be processed by the company renting aircraft for you.
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of buying a plane to build hours as a pilot, it is your call what you want to do.
Confused about which aircraft can you choose to buy?
Well, I have suggested some of the aircraft you can own to build flying hours.
The planes you can choose to buy for hour building:
Always choose an aircraft that has to be less maintained. Each aircraft is different and has different equipment installed.
An aircraft requires a higher cost of maintenance when it is equipped with an instrument panel.
As you just want an aircraft for an hour building my first suggestion is Cessna 172.
Cessna 172 is a perfect aircraft for hour building. Easily maneuverable and very good past records.
Pilot students love this aircraft.
Do not think of buying a fast aircraft. Because you will be logging your flight hours not the distance you cover.
Some of you may choose to buy Cessna 150 or a Cessna 152.
If you are planning on renting your airplane for air charter then a six-seater aircraft like Cessna 182 is a good option for you.
As well as look for various aircraft from Piper.
Piper has some good single-engine aircraft that can be used for hour building.
If you are willing to build hours in multi-engine you can buy a Piper Seneca.
Now one last thing I want to mention is:
If building flight hours for the purpose of applying in an airline, and no knowledge at all will not help.
In the airline, they are looking for experienced pilots meaning they want knowledgable pilots.
Pilots that can face any situation and yet commence a safe flight.
So having experience is not enough you have to study hard as well to become an airline pilot.
It is better to rent an instrument-rated aircraft every now and then although you own your one.
Flying in instrument conditions will sharpen your skill as a pilot and aid you to grow as a better pilot.