Save Money Flying Your Airplane!
Flight schools typically charge about $10,000 for instruction required to become a Private Pilot. The new Sport Pilot certificate is less expensive, at about $6,000, but still not cheap. You can fly an Ultralight aircraft that doesn't require a pilot certificate, but you still should get training, typically about $2,000, to be a safe pilot.
Then there's the cost of going flying. The EAA reports that the typical pilot spends more than $10,000 a year on aviation including aircraft loans, insurance, hangar rental, fuel, and required annual maintenance. To keep "current" on skills and experience, many general aviation pilots come up with excuses to go flying, such as flying to a distant airport for what's referred to as a "hundred-dollar hamburger."
Aircraft aren't cheap, either. A new four-seat airplane costs $150,000 or more. A two-seat Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) typically is more than $100,000. Even used aircraft that are older than their pilots can cost $25,000 or more.
What's the solution for bringing down the cost of going up?
Thirty years ago, I wrote a best-selling book titled Budget Flying to help new and experienced pilots discover the many safe options they have for flying on a budget. Today, I am a frugal (smart use of resources) pilot with a number of related websites that offer practical ideas on how you can earn a pilot license and enjoy flying on a budget.
How big of a budget? One pilot traded his professional skills to a flight school in exchange for lessons. Another is using legitimate aircraft deductions in business to reduce his tax obligations. Others are thinking like smart consumers to save money on every aviation purchase, from aircraft to fuel to headsets. Very few of these smart aviators can fly for free – but they can reduce the costs of flying and get more enjoyment from each dollar spent and mile flown. And so can you! You can be a frugal pilot!
Where to start? Read my 10 Tips for Frugal Pilots and my latest articles on The Frugal Pilot in General Aviation News. This website, FrugalPilot.com is designed to help you save money as you learn and enjoy flying. So please bookmark (Ctrl-D) this website and visit us often as we build a valuable resource for those who want to fly smarter and safer. Just click on any of the menu items above.
What makes an airplane fly? Money!
Who gets the most flying for their money? A Frugal Pilot!
--Dan Ramsey, the Frugal Pilot™