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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Location: North Carolina, USA
rsteele wrote:
NCPilot wrote:
The only way I'll be able to afford an LSA is if I build a kit, which I plan on doing. I know I can finance the aircraft, but to be honest I would much rather own the aircraft outright, that'll cut down on the cost of it and I won't feel pressured to make payment on it every month.


You can save a bundle buying a "used kit". That is one that someone started and didn't complete. Just make sure you can replace pieces that are missing or damaged. It may require getting different partial kits from different individuals.

Ron


Well since this will be my first (and only) build, I have actually been talking to someone who has an office right next door to Zenith Aircraft who'll put together a 601 XL Quick build kit (Zenith doesn't sell them anymore), and a FWF package for the ULPower 260iS engine, as well as the engine.

I'll be in their shop during my vacation days to build the aircraft, get it certified as a E-AB, and fly it back to North Carolina, where I can burn off the 40 hours testing period and get it painted.

:)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:13 pm 
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NCPilot wrote:
I'll be in their shop during my vacation days to build the aircraft, get it certified as a E-AB, and fly it back to North Carolina,


You'd best check with the FSDO nearest the build location, to make sure they'll issue a ferry permit to fly it to NC. Otherwise, you'll have to fly off your 40 hours where you built it.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Location: North Carolina, USA
drseti wrote:
NCPilot wrote:
I'll be in their shop during my vacation days to build the aircraft, get it certified as a E-AB, and fly it back to North Carolina,


You'd best check with the FSDO nearest the build location, to make sure they'll issue a ferry permit to fly it to NC. Otherwise, you'll have to fly off your 40 hours where you built it.


Ahh, thanks for that heads up. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Location: 0B7
cheapest way to go flying every once in a while? it's got to be sport pilot + renting an LSA if that is available to you.

What if you wanted to OWN your own 2 seater...

Private + 30k 152 versus Sport pilot and a used newer LSA for 75k. hard to compare exactly... since a newer used lsa I think will be a far superior plane.

You can use auto gas in the LSA but I don't know what is cheaper to own (insurance?) operate, and maintain ...?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:59 am 
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Location: Sultan wa
Ive flown twice this month, for a total of about $385. I'll probably fly once mor for a grand total of about $600 for the month. I'm sport rated and rent. No matter how I slice it, I figure it would cost nearly twice that to own a comparable sport aircraft. I figure renting also allows me to transition to new planes as the fbo purchases them. I, for one, truly appreciate having rental as an option. Probably wouldn't be flying otherwise.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:14 am 
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
A couple of things to consider re: renting vs. owning.

There are many conventional aircraft engines for which STC's to use autofuel (mogas) are now available. Lycoming recently added their O-360 series to this list because, in most of the world, a 100LL distribution system simply isn't available. In a previous plane, I flew for 5 years almost exclusively on mogas with an O-320 and it both gave me fewer problems and more affordable flying. If you have a mogas E0 source (see pure-gas.org) in your area and own, there's a good chance you can fly a Part 23 a/c on mogas...at least when flying locally.

Here's a current real-world comparison to the rental cost mentioned above. We are considering putting a AA-5B Grumman Tiger into a 4-person partnership: IFR certified with 1-axis a/p and panel GPS. Summing up all the costs involved (insurance coverage $1M, both avionics and maintenance reserves, hangar for the a/c and Annual), a partner's monthly fixed cost will be ~$142 and cost per flight hour (wet) should be ~$70 (most of which is fuel cost + pro-rated engine rebuild reserve). So in the rental example above, the (I'm guestimating here...) 4-5 hours of rental flight time mentioned by Targetbuster would run ~$500 in the 130 kt. Tiger (again, assuming 4 owners).

The main downside of this option? Outlay of capital ('sunk cost'), altho' the same capital sure doesn't 'make' much money sitting in a CD account. The upside? One can fly wherever one wants, and usually whenever one wants, since sked conflicts in such partnerships are very rare. And of course, it's much more a/c with higher payload and a suitable platform for skill building and instrument training.

Not trying to sell one option over the other. Just trying to illustrate one of the options available.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:18 pm 
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I've seen 3 year old Tecnam's with reasonable hours selling for 70k. It is a lot more money than a 30+ year old Cessna, but I imagine it's a much nicer plane.

If it costs you $10,000 a year to fly 100 hours in a rental...

It could cost $7200 to sit on a plane per year ($2400 a year each for annual,hanger,insurance), $3000 a year to fly the plane 100 hours ($20/hour fuel and $10 an hour rebuild+maintenance?) you're still spending the same amount per year, and that's on a single person ownership.

None of these are cheap by any means though.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Quote:
It could cost $7200 to sit on a plane per year ($2400 a year each for annual,hanger,insurance),


Those are pretty good numbers. My rent is $2940/yr. LSA annuals can be had for $1000. around here My insurance runs $4800/yr, but that's for a flight school aircraft -- figure half that for a privately owned one. So, a $7000 annual budget for fixed expenses should be plenty.

Quote:
$3000 a year to fly the plane 100 hours ($20/hour fuel and $10 an hour rebuild+maintenance?)


I think that's a bit on the optimistic side. Figure 5 gals/hour. AvGas here is pretty cheap, but it's still about $5.50/gal. (Can't get ethanol-free auto gas in my state, so I'm stuck burning 100LL). So, figure $30/hr just for fuel.

The Rotax 912ULS has a 2000 hour TBO, and a replacement costs $19,000, plus installation. So, figure $10/hr just for the engine TBO.

Routine maintenance requirements: prop gearbox overhaul every 600 hours, at a cost of around $600. (OK, only $1/hr, but don't neglect that!) Carb overhauls every 200 hours, at a cost of $400 (adds another $2/hr). Oil and filter change every 50 hours, at $50 for materials (assuming you do the labor yourself) adds another $1/hr. Spark plugs replaced every 200 hours, at $40/set (again, owner labor) adds a mere 20 cents/hour. A set of tires every 200 hours, at $400 a set (still neglecting labor) equals $2/hr. And, a new battery every couple of years, at $100 or so, adds maybe 50 cents/hr more. Rotax rubber replacement required every five years, at $2500 for materials, comes to a whopping $5/hr just for hoses. So, we're looking at maybe $22/hr for routine maintenance, not counting the engine lifetime.

Bottom line: figure $32 an hour variable expense, plus the $7000/yr fixed expenses you estimated. If you fly 100 hrs/yr, your operating cost comes to $102/hr -- almost exactly what it costs to rent!

I always figured rental costs and ownership costs equalized at 100 hrs/year -- beyond that, it pays to own; less than that, it's cheaper to rent. Now, with two years LSA ownership experience, I have some data to validate that rule of thumb.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:12 pm 
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Thanks for the corrections... that is very comprehensive. No point in under-budgeting!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Location: North Carolina, USA
RE: Cost of flying

Does the ability to perform your own annual and repairs as well as work on your own engine (whether it's an auto conversion or you took the Rotax course) lower the cost of flying, and if so, by how much?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:35 pm 
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Let's assume that for every ten hours of flying, you're going to spend about an hour working on the plane (preventive maintenance, repairs, inspections, washing and waxing, whatever). Now figure that a mechanic charges $65/hr. So, for every hour of flight, if you do all of your work, you're saving $6.50. That's 5 to 10% of the cost of flying that you can potentially save. But for most of us, it's not about the money, so much as it is knowing your plane, maintaining it to your personal standards, and being more safe than you would be if someone else maintained your aircraft.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Location: Allen, TX
Paul -- shouldn't you subtract out the amortized cost of appropriate training and tools from the $6.50/hr savings? An E-LSA would, at a minimum, require the 16hr course while an S-LSA would need the full LSRM course. I believe you stated earlier that tools for the Rotax run upwards of $10K? If we go with a total of $15K for training and tools, amortize over 10 years and 100 hrs of flying/year, you get $15/hr. Subtract out the $6.50 and you would lose $8.50/hr if you do your own maintenance.

This all goes out the window if the owner already has the appropriate training and tools. And it doesn't take into account the non-financial benefits you stated.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:45 pm 
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Dave, I didn't touch on the amortization of the training, only because that would have been an entirely different thread. But, yes, those are costs to consider. As for the tools, mine ran about 5000. But that was to set up a commercial venture. A private owner maintaining just his or her own plane can get away with a lot less.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Doing the LSA 120 hour course is sort of out the average person's reach unless you have the time for that.

The inspection cert seems more viable, but you have to convert to E-LSA. Does this drive insurance up?


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:41 pm 
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pjcampbell wrote:
Does this drive insurance up?


Can't answer that, but it certainly drives down resale value.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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