More plane than pilot

At some stage, you begin to shop for airplanes, and the choices are many. Trainer planes, sport planes, fast planes, STOL planes. But do you have the flying skills to fly the plane you buy? Often I see individuals that have bought a plane prior to holding the license to fly it. It occurs often. Their response is, “you can teach me to fly with it right”? My response is “perhaps”. The plane you buy after you obtain a Private Pilot License will be quite different than the plane you choose, before you learn to fly. Quite often people who buy planes before getting licensees get airplanes that are outside of the skill set that they have. This leads to an airplane that scares them or is more performance than necessary.
Never buy an airplane that is beyond your current skill set. Now one has to do an inventory of their flying skills and habits so that they know better what airplane suits their needs.

Flying experience will be the defining factor in what airplane you buy. A 300 hour total time Private pilot might be ready for a Piper Arrow with retractable gear and a constant speed prop.

Likely not a 300 Mile Per Hour 2 seat Questair Venture that has a 300 Horsepower engine though. It takes good training in each airplane that you buy, to learn to fly it well. And this is the point of my discussion. Like the airplane shown above, you will need someone competent on the type to help you learn to fly it well. A 65 hour private pilot will find some of these higher performance airplanes appealing but very challenging to fly, especially if there are mechanical problems. Over time, you will trade up that Piper Cherokee 140 for that Piper Arrow, and then one day sometime later trade that Arrow up to a Piper Comanche 400.


The adventure in airplane ownership is part of the game. Airplanes are holding prices and in some cases rise in price, your initial investment in the right airplane at the right time will pay dividend in experience and perhaps profit. Provided one is competent to fly each model and not get into trouble with it. In any case, and at all stages, nothing pays more than good effective flight training in the airplanes you buy at the right time you buy them.


This entry was posted in Civil Aviation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply