The Costs Pilots Are Worried About Are Not What You Might Think
The high price of avgas has been a constant these past 20 years or so, and the respondents to our survey on aircraft ownership costs might have come to terms, at least to some degree, with the pump price of 100LL.
Just over half of pilots who answered our survey said that the high price of aviation fuel was a major concern in their cost calculus, with 18 % strongly concerned and 36% somewhat worried. Nearly half, in contrast, were largely unconcerned about fuel costs.
On the other hand, a new major area of concern seems to be emerging—the cost (and or availability of insurance). Around three-quarters of those who answered our survey questions said that the cost of insurance was somewhat or very concerning, while just 10% were little worried about finding affordable coverage.
Also somewhat surprising was that hangar/tie-down costs were a major concern, with nearly 70% worried about the cost of storing their planes between flights, perhaps a reflection of the difficulty of finding hangar space at any price at most popular GA airports.
As far as maintenance was concerned, bottom line is that it’s a big worry for most pilots. The high cost of annuals and other regular maintenance coupled with a slammed light-aircraft maintenance sector had nearly 80% of our respondents concerned, while a whopping 82% were losing sleep over the possible costs of unexpected maintenance due to things such as unanticipated engine overhauls or FAA-mandated airworthiness directives.