Jan 21 2009

The Cost of Flying

Category: RamblingsDaniel @ 10:52 am

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.

moneyI’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!

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4 Responses to “The Cost of Flying”

  1. Paul says:

    Wow, your club is cheap!! Here in San Diego (out of Plus One Flyers – http://www.plusone.org/) we pay $35 a month dues and then a 172 is anything from $90 to $105. Cheapest plane is a 150 at $72 or how about a PA46 for $275?

  2. Andrew says:

    It is cheap. Here is Paramus Flying Club in NJ:
    # Equity Share: $5,000 Payable upon Joining and Returned to you when you leave the Club
    # Monthly Dues: $113. Monthly dues Cover Fixed Costs such as Tiedowns, Annual, and Insurance
    # Garmin 430 WAAS Upgrade Assessment: $15 per Month
    # $250 Non-Refundable Initiation Fee to Cover the Cost of the Flight Review
    # 2 Skyhawk 172: $112/Hour Tach
    # Skylane 182: $156/Hour Tach
    # Skylane 182RG: $176/Hour Tach

  3. Tony says:

    Albert Whitted Flying Club at Bay Air Flying Service, St. Petersburg, FL.
    http://www.bayair.com/aircraftrentalrates.htm
    Monthy Dues: $10
    Cessna 172P $96
    Cessna 152 $84.50
    Cessna 172 G1000 $140.00
    Instructor $46

    There’s more, but you get the idea. These rates are about the best in this area. You do have a sweet club.

  4. Todd says:

    Every time I read about your rates at Westosha I want to cry. Flying out of Palwaukee I pay $39 in monthly dues then $120/hour for the Cessna 172 SP.

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