Renting can be the most cost effective and hassle-free method of enjoying a pilot licence. Licensed pilots flying for pleasure may rent aircraft from anyone who offers, although most rent from the same schools or clubs where they learned to fly. The rate is usually by the hour with a daily minimum for extended trips.
Owning an aircraft offers the convenience of flying on your itinerary without the burden of local flying school regulations and schedules. This freedom comes with responsibility and a price. Buying, storing, maintaining and flying a privately-owned aircraft takes a significant amount of time and money. Aircraft owners make their own decisions about the condition of the aircraft and the weather.
Check out the Buying an Aircraft page. COPA’s monthly magazine, COPA Flight and this website have a Canadian Plane Trade section featuring aircraft for sale. The magazine also contains advertisements for aircraft dealers and brokers who can supply answers to first-time buyers.
The concept of “time sharing” originated in aviation. Owning an aircraft with partners reduces the fixed costs to the individuals involved. Recreational pilots rarely use aircraft enough to be affected by sharing it. A simple partnership agreement identifies who pays for what, when, and prevents misuse of the arrangement. More details, including sample Partnership agreements are included in the COPA Guide to Buying an Aircraft.
Are you looking for someone to fly your airplane? Or are you looking for a flying buddy? Pilot Project International Inc., in collaboration with COPA, has developed a Web site to cut down the costs for both aircraft owners and renters. Check out www.pilotpartner.com. The non-profit Web site is designed to help pilots make new friends and find people to fly with. Registering is free.
It sounds strange to industry outsiders, but building your plane own is not uncommon in aviation. Recent advances in aircraft kits have opened the door to aircraft ownership to many more people. Building your own aircraft is the fastest growing segment of recreational aviation.
Ultralights are very popular machines for entry-level aircraft buyers. These are uncertified aircraft that may be purchased ready-to-fly or in kit form and are maintained by the owner.