Alton K. Marsh, the Senior Editor of AOPA Pilot, has written a short post for the AOPA pilot blog where he noted that pilots seem to be flying less now. Specifically, he recalled seeing a Kansas newspaper article that mentioned a Cessna 152 owner who was quoted as saying that the high cost of fuel is really limiting his flying. Alton also noted an article from a Seattle paper that mentioned a flight school that is “hanging on by its fingernails” thanks to the recession. Finally, Alton mentioned a recent trip to Tennessee where a Cessna 182 pilot from Connecticut told him that he may not even keep his airplane thanks to high fuel prices. He also told Alton:
“None of my friends [airplane owners] are flying much.”
Commenter Mike then posted:
4 years ago i was flying 40 hours a year. 3 years ago prices started going up, only did 25 hours. 2 years ago 12. Last year 6 hours. So far this year, 2.
He also added that prices to rent an aircraft are up considerably while clubs aren’t as available anymore. Moreover, its not just AV gas prices that have risen – its everything (e.g. groceries).
Commenter Dan MacDonald then wrote that he has tried everything he can think of to reduce fuel costs (e.g. GAMI injectors, lean of peak, Mogas, Airnav.com and reduced speed). All that is left is to fly less.
On the other hand, Kurt Thams commented that he just had a 3.5 hour flight that only cost $22. The reason? He flies gliders.
Hence, we want to survey our UK and European readers about their flying activities. In other words, are you flying less now because of high fuel prices or the sour economy? If so, what other measures have you tried (other than to fly gliders) to keep the costs of flying down and to keep flying.