Since earning my license, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how much it costs to fly. Hopefully this post will shed a little light on some the costs associated with general aviation.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a member of a flying club (the Westosha Flying Club to be exact). The club owns 6 planes, any of which I can use as part of being a member. I pay $55 per month in dues, just for that privelege. Then, I pay an hourly “wet” rate when using the planes, which ranges from $54/hour for Cessna 152’s up to $81/hour for Cessna 172-SP’s. The term “wet” simply means that all gasoline in included in the hourly rate (I never have to pay extra for gas). This hourly rate also only applies to actual flying time (when the engine is turned on, as measured by the “Hobbs Meter”). So, if you fly somewhere for lunch and it only takes 30 minutes each way, you only pay for an hour of flight time total – even if you spent lets say 2 hours at lunch.
I’ve been tracking my “average” rate since I started flying, and when you add in the monthly fees I am currently averaging $66/hour to fly when all is said and done. Obviously it all depends on the planes you fly. Most flying clubs do publish their rates, so it would be fairly easy to figure out what it would cost to fly in any particular area. I do know that Westosha is own of the most reasonably priced clubs in the Chicago area (actually THE most inexpensive), and I’ve heard one of the best-priced in the nation. So, your costs may be higher.
I’d love to hear the average rate for other people who read this blog, feel free to post in my comments. Anyway, best of luck to everyone flying and let’s hope gas costs stay low!