If you are thinking of buying an aircraft, a comprehensive article written by Guy R. Maher for General Aviation News is a must read because he came up with the following top 10 mistakes of first time aircraft buyers:
- Not defining “why” you want to own.
- Picking the wrong airplane.
- Not being realistic about the cost of ownership.
- Trusting the wrong advice.
- Skimping on the vetting process.
- Maxing out the budget on purchase price.
- Mishandle obtaining insurance.
- Not joining a type club for your plane.
- Not obtaining training from a type-specific instructor.
- Not seeking qualified advice.
Guy goes into considerable detail about each one of the above mistakes, but at least two commenters pointed out that he forgot to mention what could be the number one mistake you can make when buying an aircraft:
- Not asking your spouse’s permission first.
- Not marrying someone who (really loves you and) is willing to fly with you.
The first commenter wrote that his neighbor was given a choice between keeping his homebuilt aircraft or his wife (he chose the latter) while the second commenter had to remarry someone who loves to fly.
- Do you have a budget and know how to use it? In other words, do you have the cash or the cash flow to maintain an aircraft?
- Do you have emergency money? As in money for both scheduled inspections and unanticipated repairs that may arise and cost thousands of dollars?
- How is your credit? Financing an aircraft purchase, especially one that might be needed for a business, is always an option if you have good credit and cash flow.
- Do you have an existing relationship with a financial institution? If you plan to finance a purchase, its always better to seek financing from an institution that knows you and your business.
- How old is the aircraft? A good rule of thumb is that an aircraft age at the end of any finance or lease term should be no greater than 20 years as a newer aircraft is usually easier to sell than an older one.
And again, we probably should have added:
- Will my spouse approve of me buying an aircraft?