All those long hours studying and practicing for your pilot’s license have finally paid off and now you’re in the market for your very first airplane. Unfortunately, buying a plane isn’t as simple as walking down to the lot and taking something out for a test flight. It’s a major decision that requires research and a bit of expertise. Ponder these 4 questions before you take the plunge on your first aircraft:
1. How Much Can I Afford?
The upfront costs of owning an airplane is just the first step. Take into consideration the operating costs, annual maintenance requirements, and the cost of insurance. Housing and storing your airplane is another factor – do you have the facilities to store, fuel, and repair your plane, or will you need to rent one? Lining up all the secondary factors first will help you paint a better picture as to what you can realistically afford to own.
2. What’s the Safest Plane I Can Get?
Instead of considering size, speed, and luxury options with your first plane, find an aircraft that will operate safely and comfortably with your general skill level. Any variation in power can bring with it a completely different handling characteristic and complex avionics that may be beyond your expertise. Better to play it safe with a modest aircraft and graduate to a higher level once you’re ready.
3. How Will I Use the Aircraft?
Are you planning to use your aircraft purely as a recreational vehicle? Do you want to take aerial photographs? Or do you need a reliable crop duster? Each aircraft can serve a different purpose, bringing strengths and weaknesses to each endeavor. Are you considering a plane with a small cabin for family trips? Or are you a young pilot who plans to start a family soon? This is where size comes into play; you have to decide whether or not to invest in a plane for the future or a plane for the short-term.
4. How Will the Plane Fare in the Secondary Market?
There’s no telling what the future will bring, but if you plan to purchase an aircraft with the intent of selling it later on, you may need to investigate how each model fares on the resale market. If you plan to upgrade within the next 5-10 years, it may be worth the extra investment now to ensure you’ll recoup your purchase once it’s time to move up to a better aircraft.
Once you make a decision and secure the ideal aircraft for your current situation, leave the airplane parts and connectors to a reliable source: J&K Connectors. With a vast in-stock inventory and facilities on both coasts of the United States, we can get your order out to you day-of. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, our team can build custom accessories to your specification. Contact us today or browse our inventory for more information.