September 2010 Issue

Is That Too Much Airplane For You?

In a buyerís market, itís tempting to buy more airplane than you can handle. A realistic view of your skills, mission and maintenance requirements will help keep you out of trouble.

Years ago in a sleepy college aircraft economics class, we learned the pecking order of items to consider when acquiring an aircraft. The short list included the usual items of damage history, engine time, avionics, operating costs and a variety of other factors making obvious sense. But one aspect of aircraft acquisition we werenít taught is an issue thatís gained prominence in the current sales climate: the consequences of buying too much airplane. With used aircraft pricing at an all-time low, itís easy to get sucked into a convincing fantasy that the airplane of your dreams is also one fitting your skills, operating budget and mission.

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