Mar 17 2010

Cost of Flying – 2010 Update

Category: RamblingsDaniel @ 5:51 am

I started taking flying lessons almost 2 years ago to the day.  I’ll be celebrating my two-year anniversary of having my pilot’s license this September (hard to believe it’s been almost two years).  Anyway, since the beginning of my journey, people always ask how much it costs to fly.  I posted originally on this topic in January 2009 – post linked here.  Since that was over a year ago, and my flying habits have changed a bit since then, I figure it’s time for an update.

As I’ve mentioned plenty of times, I’m a member of a non-profit flying club (the Westosha Flying Club to be exact).  My club owns six planes, any of which members can use/rent.  I still pay $55 per month in dues, just for the privilege of membership and to compensate for the fixed costs of running/maintaining the club.  Above that, I pay an hourly “wet” rate to rent the planes, which now ranges from $59/hour for Cessna 152’s up to $86/hour for Cessna 172-SP’s (172P’s are $74/hour).  The term “wet” means that gasoline is included in the hourly rate (I never have to pay extra for gas).  The hourly rate also only applies to actual flying time (when the engine is turned on, as measured by the “Hobbs Meter”).  In other words, if you fly somewhere for dinner 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.  The club’s flight rates have increased slightly over these past two years, to cover increasing gasoline and maintenance costs.  Overall, though, I know the rates I pay are still some of the best in the country.  They truly keep costs just enough to not lose money (and not profit either).

I continue to track my average cost per hour since I started, and when you add in the monthly fees I am currently averaging $84/hour to fly when all is said and done.  That’s a marked increase from my last update ($66/hour)…mostly because I’m now flying the nice 4-seater planes almost exclusively (since I take passengers on flights now).  Obviously cost is very dependent 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.

If people have updates on their cost of flying, I’d love to hear it!

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4 Responses to “Cost of Flying – 2010 Update”

  1. Bruce says:

    Those rates aren’t too bad! My club currently has Piper Archers @ $84/hr wet. The difference being that we charge off of the tach meter. So, for long distance flights, it isn’t much difference, but if I’m putting a plane into the pattern, I can fly for an hour and am usually charged just under 1/2 hour.

  2. Todd says:

    Those rates are phenomenal. Living in the city I have fewer airports / clubs to choose from and have a hard time finding a Cessna 172 for under $125 or anything with wings or an engine for much less than $100.

  3. Steve says:

    Yeah- agree that you have pretty fantastic rates. I’m in New York City and go out to NJ to fly. It’s $130ish for a 172SP, and probably $110 for N/P models! Ouch.

  4. Bruce says:

    Yeah- agree that you have pretty fantastic rates. I’m in New York City and go out to NJ to fly. It’s $130ish for a 172SP, and probably $110 for N/P models! Ouch.

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