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WHY are some appealing aircraft now so cheap

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WHY are some appealing aircraft now so cheap

Old 10th Mar 2016, 17:47
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WHY are some appealing aircraft now so cheap

I'm thinking about older (80s or earlier) mostly US mostly higher end - Bonanza, Commander, light twins, lance etc, seemingly going for such small sums.

Yes costs ever upwards, fuel, maintenance, hanger, insurance, but have I missed some significant event(s)?

Just seems since I was last looking around a few years back the picture has changed a lot!

If I am missing something, please enlighten me ..
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 18:01
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Costs, product support supply and demand.

I'd say that there's nothing mysterious about it.

G
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:12
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Indeed, the poor economic conditions have caused a general tendency for owners to choose low operating costs so the higher end types are not selling.

An 80s Bonanza is a helluva lot of aircraft for the money nowadays if you can afford to run it. The problem is that anyone who can afford it can also afford a new(er) and more "sensible" type so the market is rather small.

If low fuel prices continue the thirsty beasts may become more attractive again.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 19:54
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Don't forget that like many things (cars being the best example), planes are also consumable. They are consumed by use, (certainly misuse) and time as well. As something is consumed, it's value will decrease. As the issues with aging aircraft come more to the forefront, the value of these aircraft will be further affected.

You can pour a lot of money into a restoration, and have a desirable aircraft, but that's not a way to get a deal in aircraft ownership. Certain types have traumatized parts support, so even a good deal could become horrible if you break or wear a part which is not replaceable. The aircraft manufacturers of decades ago probably did not imagine that their aircraft of that era would remain in service so long, but they did.

But an informed purchaser will know what to consider before purchasing, so sellers may be pricing down to allow for what they might find - or already know is there. I have flown a lot of planes which I loved, but would never want to own, as I know what it will cost to keep that plane in service as it ages.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 20:53
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Today I put back all the bits I'd pulled off my aircraft for its Permit renewal inspection. It's good to go for another year, and my wallet is 290 lighter.


That's less than a tenth of what the previous aircraft cost at annual.










If I went back to that, I'd need certifying, as well as the aircraft.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 21:17
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Sadly so. I fly an Arrow, which consumes rather more than that at its annual. I could never either afford nor justify a twin.
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 21:23
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Indeed, the poor economic conditions have caused a general tendency for owners to choose low operating costs so the higher end types are not selling.
And yet a new SR22 turbo is over $1M and there's a waiting list........
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 22:13
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The Cirrus situation doesn't surprise me. A very capable aircraft. What does surprise me is the many high-price aircraft which are not IFR permitted, where the fuel saving is never going to recover the initial cost over a Continental/Lycoming engined aircraft, in its likely lifetime.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 07:01
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With the split of society the richer get more rich and these fewer people can afford to purchase even bigger, newer and fancier aircraft. The former middle class is subject to genocide and can no longer afford to keep the old aircraft steady. The reaction is to increase flexibility by reducing all burden of ownership, rent your home, lease your car, sell the small sailing boat, sell the plane. Always remember the common rule of thumbs, if flown frequently you spend about the purchase price per year on an aircraft.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 07:45
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Ive flown 80 hours in my plane in 9 months and its cost me about 1100 in fuel(rotax 912) 800 in insurance and 100 maintenance, hangarage 1440 and spent probably 1000 in fuel getting too and from the airfield so roughly 4800 with permit etc.

Its a 20k plane but i can see how some old cessna would burn that in fuel in 3 months!!

Thats why planes are cheap as chips most cant afford to run them!!
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 09:47
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Here in Australia there are mandated inspections on Cessna's for airworthiness and corrosion, called Supplemental Inspection Documents. I believe the FAA has them too? They are expensive and I have seen some very nice old Cessna's being sold off cheap due to their cost, or fear of what they might find.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 11:05
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Here in Australia there are mandated inspections on Cessna's for airworthiness and corrosion, called Supplemental Inspection Documents. I believe the FAA has them too? They are expensive and I have seen some very nice old Cessna's being sold off cheap due to their cost, or fear of what they might find.
The formerly called Cessna SID is now part of the ordinary Service Manual and valid for all Cessna aircraft of 1xx/2xx series produced up to 1986/87. There are a lot of myths around the costs of the inspection, but much of that is due to shops ripping off their customers and armageddon talkers with a lot of findings (which justifies the necessity). Yes, it is major work, but if you schedule the inspection parts with your usual maintenance the extra cost is far from what was said in some threads. If they find things, it can get expensive, but than it does have a reason ... From a friend I heard that his 172 inspection alone was around three and a half grand, only minor findings and about one grand repairs (saw ads from Czech, where they offer flat 2,700 Euros for the complete SID). Yes, it does add up, but the SID is not a major cost driver, at least for a 172 and up - different story for a 150, which may be worth 6 grands only anyways ...
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 12:31
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Always remember the common rule of thumbs, if flown frequently you spend about the purchase price per year on an aircraft.
That certainly has not been my experience, nor that of most owners I know.

Remember that direct operating costs are not an element of the value of the aircraft, nor unique to ownership. You're paying for gas, insurance, airport fees and maintenance no matter how you fly.

Ownership includes the otherwise not present risk of unexpected expense, but introduces operational freedom, and the opportunity to recover at least some of the value of the aircraft when you sell it.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 14:00
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Never understood the mentality of some people. Take the PC12, not much change from $5 million and one engine ? probably to save a few gallons of Jet A1 but ignoring the depreciation which from new to 3 years old would be massive.

Twins have died a death maybe to be replaced by Cirrus using the chute as a great marketing strategy against the lack of the second engine and they are doing the same with the Cirrus single engined jet

But Avgas guzzling twins are becoming relics of a past era

Singles ? There is still life there for the guy who cannot afford $1 million on a new single or the depreciation involved which far outways any extra fuel cost

Pace
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 14:20
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I am quite aware of the costs and experience cited is based on total ownership cost records of more than 20 aircraft a friends company cared for the books. We took records of closed books, so purchase and selling price was available and did the math, which was surprisingly consistent, at least for the old aircrafts we picked.
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Old 11th Mar 2016, 14:40
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The issues described in this thread are largely the result of vast over regulation in Europe coupled with over taxation of fuel and maintenance. Thousands and thousands of light aircraft fly every day, and are maintained under FAA rules without resorting to separate more limiting ultralight style regulations, or burning car fuel. All of that is just a work around for a failing system of regulation in Europe, under which aircraft ownership and operation is repressed.

My annual inspection for my certified aircraft usually costs around $500-800 US (at most) including a few odds and ends that needed to be replaced, filters and etc. It's done as a joint effort between me and an A&P IA mechanic, working cooperatively. No businesses or FAA paperwork are involved. My Avgas cost is currently about $4.5/gallon or 0.82/liter. I haven't had an AD or other expensive surprise on my aircraft in 12 years of ownership. Europe has created a totally unnecessary mess for itself.

What I find is that the US market is flat in terms of prices, largely as a result of demographics, and that has created a nice situation for normal people who want to own an aircraft today under FAA regulations.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 15:13
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Interesting thread with theories all around while missing the primary reason for lower aircraft prices.

Yes, ridiculous levels of regulation have raised operating costs and priced a few people out of the market while also making jobs scarcer domestically, but that is not the primary cause. The bottom line in the U.S. is that the pool of airplanes has not changed much while the pool of potential buyers is only 53% of what it was in 1980. Sorry, was unable to find the original AvWeb link but I've seen the figures elsewhere too. Too, a very large percentage of that population may already be too old to consider buying another plane, and it's trending more in the same direction. Add in that Light Sport is sucking away potential buyers who don't want to hassle with medical issues, and the market picture for traditional GA aircraft is remarkably different than in decades past.

When you have the same number of planes (supply) chasing half the number of potential buyers (demand), something has gotta give and that "give" is price. Expect to see more and more older planes relegated to the parts bin over the coming decades as some become essentially worthless.

The good news is that for old farts like me still young enough to fly there are deals to be had.
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Old 15th Mar 2016, 03:01
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If I am missing something, please enlighten me
Parts prices and availability for some of the limited production, higher end airplanes are getting ridiculous, even here in the States. If you own something common like the Cessna 150/172/182 or Piper PA28 series, there were tens of thousands made, and aftermarket or serviceable salvage parts are still available, but costs are still going up. I've owned my C172 for 10 years, but some of the bits I purchased a decade ago have doubled in price.

If you own something less common you may be limited to only one or two suppliers, and the price is "How much you got?", if it's even available within the next six months. John Frank, of the Cessna Pilot's Association has even gone so far as to say that some models are going to be extremely difficult to find parts for in a few years.

You can buy a Bonanza for $50,000 U.S., but if an inspections finds some corrosion, and the 30 yr old engine starts making metal, you can spend more than the purchase price trying to get it out of the shop.

Of course, if they get cheap enough, you can then buy two or three, and keep the others as parts donors.
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