Tool not a toy has been written for all who are interested in the acquisition and or partnership in aircraft ownership. I am writing this passage as a request from my good friend and Business partner who both he and I have had more than one encounter with this very statement or thought process.
The hardest thing about being a pilot much like anything else is selling other pilots on your ideas, stories, wishes, and knowledge. Throughout flight training we are taught that to be a good pilot you must understand and study the things you do not know. Yet, when it comes time to look at the dream of owning an airplane it's funny to see how many people are not willing to look at all the factors. Pilots are not the only ones I have had this very conversation with but really anyone who is interested in the lifestyle of owning an aircraft.
Pilots, are well the best place to start because for people with a great and very in-demand skill set we, the collective we, have a hard time getting away from many of the biases that we have. Like if you are Piper guy/gal you will always be a piper guy/gal, and if you’re a Cessna guy/gal you will always be a Cessna guy/gal, but I think everyone is a Beech guy or gal. I personally would like a Cessna before a piper although my second daughter is named Piper, so I think that shows my ability to get over brands. The reason I bring this up is cause many of us have a close-minded attraction for the aircraft that we started in or at least we think we do. Malcolm Gladwell writes a few books on the cognitive subconscious that we have and our base line of thinking as to the prime fundamentals of our ideas for how we image ourselves. Hints why Top Gun was such a recruiting magnet for the Navy. Every pilot even the Piper ones think the day they took their private pilot checkride that even Tom Cruise and his F-14 could never touch them. This is where the problem starts, many years before the conversation ever begins with regards to aircraft ownership.
What we need to do is remove the dream from the ownership of an aircraft and look at the facts about ownership. What is the real cost, how much will we actually fly it etc. That should be the baseline on the discussion of aircraft ownership v.s. other options of aircraft use agreements.
For an idea of the actual base line download the Plane Connection Aircraft Cost Calculator!
TheConnection Blog is a combined effort of the Plane Connection family and occasional guest contributors. You will find that while we are in the Aviation Industry, we are really in the People business. So we write about airplanes, the industry, training and life in general.