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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I might be in the market for an 8-10 seater. I just found out you can depreciate these things pretty quickly, and I know it would get used at least once per month on the business front. Curious what others experiences are with getting their own private plane. something like a Beechcraft KingAir, or maybe a Citation. Not sure if it’s better to start with partial ownership with a small group. I’m up for any an all comments. I’m not afraid of expensive assets that I could always sell, and this sort of thing could be life changing.

alternatively, in anyone is in love with Wheels Up or NetJets, I’d like to hear about that too.
 

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Most of my associates lease time, and no longer deal with ownership. If you haven’t already check out www.jets.com
 
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Ive been in and around aviation my whole life. My father created and owned a private charter airline when I was 12 ish. He started off with Cessna 402’s, then 421’s, then King Air’s, and lastly he had a fleet of Citation II’s. He loved Cessna and citations! While I’ve never owned the planes my dad did, I did learn a lot from hIm. All of this is my opinion and could be wrong in some areas so double check me. All of my replies are off the top of my head….

The first thing to consider would be price of the plane. That will vary depending on total hours on the airplane, time on engines, avionics, condition, year, etc. You want a plane that seats 8, then finding a Citation II with that seating arrangement could work. If you’re looking at a King Air (which is a turbo prop) then smallest you could go would be a 100. Buying the plane is the easiest part as long as you know what you’re looking for.

The other factors are where will you keep it at the airport. Will it be kept on a line outdoors or are you looking for hanger space. Hanger space is very expensive depending on what airport you are looking at, and that’s just to park it in a hanger, not for your own hanger. Depending on where you are, simple outdoor tie down fees would be in the hundreds but now your plane will be exposed to the elements. Next is insurance. That will vary a lot and relates to the next part which is pilot. Depending on what plane you go for, if you don’t buy a single pilot operable plane then are you hiring pilots or will you be flying it? That alone takes things to another level if you’re hiring a pilots, that changes what part # you fly under. Normal private and civil flying flys under part 91. I’m a pilot and I have a 210. If I fly friends somewhere, I can let them all split fuel and cost of flying and I can collect money for plane expenses only. The second someone pays me to fly it now falls under part 135 for commercial requirements. So the pilots you’re hiring have to be commercial pilots and maybe even ATP’s (airline transportation pilots). That will be a decent penny to hire pilots.

Last area would be maintenance. That’s where it hurts the pocket book, Especially under part 135. Under part 135, if I remember correctly there’s a 50 hour inspection, 100 hour inspection, annual inspection, etc. Almost every item on a plane has a clock on it. Once an item or part has run out of time, it has to be changed out. Regardless of how it is functioning. The parts don’t have to be brand new and you can find overhauled parts but it will still be expensive. Especially when an engine runs out of time! One engine overhaul for a citation will probably cost upwards of $300k! Now, depending on how often you fly, that might not be too bad. it will take around 1800 hours before an engine needs to be overhauled but I’m sure you’re not buying a plane that has zero on the clock for both engines. The two planes you mention are twin engines. That means two of everything! It really adds up! IMO, the best plane to own would be a TBM. Seats plenty, single engine turbo prob so less running costs, flys high and fast too. Only problem with that is cost of a TBM. Could be two to three times more than a citation.

You mention going in on a plane with others. I think this is a bad idea. It will be nice because it is cheaper cost to you but nothing breaks up friends or family faster than combined ownership of anything. Making sure everyone pays their part, everyone having a say on where the plane is kept. Scheduling conflicts. One buddy uses the plane and doesn’t refuel it so now you have to refuel it. Then someone wants out so you guys have to buy them out, etc. It goes on and on!

I’ve been flying my whole life. I loved when my dad and I would fly to arizona for dinner then fly home. Or flying family or friends to Vegas ans leave when you want and do what you want. It really is an awesome feeling but unless you are prepared to dump a tone of money, I would stick with private charter. Renting a plane gives you the same feeling without all of the hassle.

My dad sold his airline and most of his planes about 10 years ago. He kept a Cessna Caravan for him and he gave my the 210 that I currently have. It’s a fun life and I have so many memories. Just do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into…..
 

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I think OP is looking at this as a tax benefit with a smaller use case benefit. They are one of the few assets where you can take a heavy majority of the depreciation on the front end of its useful life. If you have a large tax bill coming up and will have some use of the plane, it becomes almost a no brainer.
 

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The title says jet, but the planes listed I think are turbo props. The Cirrus Vision Jet seems interesting, but I imagine a person's net worth gets to a point where this lifestyle makes sense and it's a "no-brainer." Pretty sure I'm not there yet. LOL
 

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The title says jet, but the planes listed I think are turbo props. The Cirrus Vision Jet seems interesting, but I imagine a person's net worth gets to a point where this lifestyle makes sense and it's a "no-brainer." Pretty sure I'm not there yet. LOL
The King Air is a turbo prop. The citation he mentions is a twin engine turbofan. The Cirrus Vision wouldn’t work for him because it only seats 4. I’ve flown a Vision with a friend and it is a fun plane!
 

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Most I know have lease agreements.

If you do decided to own and would only use 1 / month I would suggest finding a deal where you could lease use of the aircraft to a charter company to generate income / use and then have an agreement with them to provide you services :
- maintenance, pilot/crew, flight scheduling, hanger, airport fees, fueling, etc.
 

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I'm sure this is a given, but please make sure to find someone extremely knowledgeable in this space when looking. A broker with a history of A&P Mechanic is ideal or him knowing a good person who is a certified A&P to look things over and know the quirks of the various planes. Obviously, used is the way to go and there are plenty of planes out there that hold their value fairly well in the used market and depreciate/appreciate depending on the market conditions like most high prices assets. However, there are also particular plane models you want to avoid at all costs.

As you would expect, most plane values are very corelated to market conditions. Most owners of private jets are company owners or corporations and when a particular market/industry suffers, such as oil, you'll notice that certain planes begin to flood the market as those industries offload the larger Citations, Challengers, Falcons, Gulfstreams, etc. and look to find more efficient planes in those brands. There are a lot of plane models out there that look like a good deal on paper, but the average buyer may not know that that particular model may no longer be in production, parts may be hard to come by, maintenance is more expensive, they are historically unreliable and have more issues etc. It's not uncommon to have someone think they found a great deal on a jet, but end up spending a small fortune to fix anything (more than a usual repair) and in rare cases the purchase price on maintenance alone in the first couple years for the cheaper less than $1m jets. Not always the case for all models, but certainly happens.

The best all around jet for business and pleasure in my opinion is a Citation XLS. It's very reliable, it's efficient, it looks good, holds a good number of people, it's fairly fast and holds it's value extremely well as a result. In fact, even pre-covid, I've noticed these planes go up in value even when an industry was hurting. As hurting industries unloaded their larger less efficient planes, such as a Citation X for example, they are looking for a cheaper alternative that performs similar such as the XLS. It's the preferred business jet from the folks I know. Demand goes up and there is a limited supply. There are multiple planes that fit into this category, but getting someone who knows the full picture and not just your average broker is key. Sometimes it pays to spend a little more upfront for a better overall plane with less maintenance down the road.

Most, if not all, of these larger aircrafts had maintenance programs (similar to a warranty) for engines and major components. They charge a set rate that is agreed upon, such as 100 hrs per year. You are stuck paying that 100 hrs a year regardless if you fly or not. You can find the right plan that fits for you and normally you will end up assuming the previous owners plan/renewing it. Keep in mind this won't cover everything and it's not cheap to operate. Normally, the broker will low ball the operating costs. An XLS runs in the neighborhood of +/- $2,400/hr. You can use that number to multiply how many hours you expect to fly each year. In addition to that, there are set cost, such as the engine program set costs, pilots (if hired), hanger, etc. It can easily run up on you without even flying. It can easily cost between $250,000 - $1,000,000 year for average flying just based on that hourly rate and fixed costs.

Key example is pilots. Some prefer to hire two pilots directly (you will need two pilots for an aircraft of that size) or some contract it out. In my experience it's better to hire the pilots if you have the ability to do so. That way you know what you're getting for the safety of you and your family every time. Not only that, but trying to find two type rated pilots each time you want to fly out is a pain. The benefit of owning a jet is being able to leave on a whim and not worry about anything. You'll be playing logistics trying to line up pilots last minute all the time if you don't have them on staff. Typically, pilots that fly a plane the size that you're looking for runs in the neighborhood of $1,500/day plus per diem. Depending on how often you fly it can sometimes be cheaper to hire vs contract out. I believe there are also companies that focus on always providing you with pilots and handle the logistics. I'm not super familiar with that, since I don't utilize that, but wanted to mention.

A huge problem with contracting out pilots is insurance. You have to have them on your policy if you own the plane. Normally, it's not extremely hard to get them added, but it is a process and delays your departure and takes from your day trying to work that out. Normally, folks get a few pilots qualified and on the insurance and call around to see who can make the trip. It works, but we've missed trips because the normal contract pilots aren't available that weekend for something or another, typically flying for another party.

If you hire a pilot it typically is your responsibility to pay for the pilot's recurring Type rating each year. This is ridiculously priced on certain planes. This plays a role into pilots daily charge is contracted and not hired. It can cost $50,000 or more per pilot per year to send them to school for a Challenger 650 for example. Much cheaper for a Citation XLS, but still a huge dollar figure. These are items you'll want to know about and be informed on prior to pulling the trigger. Of course, you won't have to worry about that cost if you contract out pilots, they will themselves, but you're still helping pay for it one way or the other as they will bake that in their rate based on how often they fly to make it make sense for them.

I'm just listing of random facts and information as it comes to me, but there are a lot of factors into owning a plane. Hiring a chief pilot to help navigate these paths for you and perhaps just having one contract pilot could help you with all the logistics. Another example is updating the plane systems. The software needs to be updated and loaded into the plane monthly to stay current for your travels. Not only is the software extremely expensive annually, but it requires someone to update it in person each month. I'm not sure how that would work with two contract pilots.

Overall, there are a ton of benefits to owning vs renting. However, there are also a lot of negatives to owning vs renting. Owning is not for everyone and is a large reason why most rent.

I recommend finding a qualified broker, discussing the costs of ownership, how the plane will be maintained monthly (such as software updates, etc) and see where that takes you! Owning you own plane is a true privilege and never stops feeling special. Whether the plane is a Cessna 172 or Challenger 650 it always feels special to be able to fly when you want to and not have to mess with the normal hassles of travel. I've rambled on about items that I've experienced and hope it is helpful to you on your journey to ownership!

Edit: I wanted to mentioned KingAirs as well. A beautiful clean KingAir 250 is a GREAT option for close proximity flying and will hold the number of people you are looking for. If you're planning on making long distant flights the costs become less and less appealing compared to a jet, but a KingAir is the best plane that I think someone can own personally without a company. Reasonably affordable in the plane world for both purchase price and operating costs. Not to mention it will fly 8 passengers and you only need 1 pilot since it's under 12,500 lbs. No type rating required. HUGE benefit.

Also keep in mind that the larger jets can't land at every little airport. They need the proper length of runway. The KingAir can land on much shorter runways and can get you closer to your destination.

General note: As others have mentioned you'll want to know how many hours on anything your buying to know when the next overhaul is due. Like I said the best thing you can do is find a good broker with A&P knowledge who can help you navigate those waters and stay clear from any bad eggs out there!
 

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I’m sure I can’t add anything to this discussion… as I will wear 5 layers of vacation clothes when they pack me into the last row of the plane next to the bathroom, just to save $75 on an extra luggage fee….
I did say I can’t add anything to this discussion 😀
 

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I’m sure I can’t add anything to this discussion… as I will wear 5 layers of vacation clothes when they pack me into the last row of the plane next to the bathroom, just to save $75 on an extra luggage fee….
I did say I can’t add anything to this discussion 😀
Its all good buddy, you have given so much more in other threads.... LOL
 
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@6Speed @Cliff.1620 Which is a better private jet, Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) or Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ)?
IMO, really isn’t much difference between BBJ or ACJ but there are a few differences between BBJ/ACJ to private. IMO, between BBJ and ACJ, it's more of a personal preference in the aircraft and it’s interior selections. Both are amazing and around the same price. I was invited onto someone's 757 BBJ for a trip and it was just awesome. The space and accommodations are just unbeatable. I don't really remember exactly but I think that planes configuration had I think 6 bedrooms, showers, dining table, multiple bathrooms, and it seated like 50. Really can't beat that and it makes a statement! The only downside to private is it would obviously be smaller. While it's still big you just don't have the space of a BBJ/ACJ.

In terms of aircraft data, there are some differences. For private I'm going with a Gulfstream G800 for reference and I'm using the smallest BBJ/ACJ for reference. A G800 will fly longer and faster than a 737 or an ACJ 22. Hell, a G800 can fly from LA to Tokyo while a 737/ACJ 22 can't. A downside to a BBJ/ACJ is it can only land at certain airports. The BBJ/ACJ required runway length is longer than a G800. So a BBJ/ACJ won't get in everywhere while a private jet will probably get you in everywhere, again depending on the plane you go with. Another factor is noise restrictions. Depending on what stage engines BBJ/ACJ's have, that could deter you from landing at a certain airport, or it can restrict you from taking off/landing at certain times.

Going with either BBJ or ACJ I'm not factoring price into anything because if you're going with one of those two choices, price, running costs, staff, etc. won't matter. However, price would be another consideration in comparison to private. Even in the used market.

Last consideration I could think of is build time if you're going brand new. I'm sure BBJ/ACJ will take a lot longer to get your hands on but you can find used in all three categories.

Personally, for me if money was no object, I would still go private. You can configure a G800 nicely and the fact that I can get into more airports, and go international is key for me. If you are on a trip and the BBJ/ACJ can't land at the closest airport to your destination, then you're renting a car and driving from where you can land to your destination. I know it sounds like something stupid and petty but it is a factor to think about.
 

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IMO, really isn’t much difference between BBJ or ACJ but there are a few differences between BBJ/ACJ to private. IMO, between BBJ and ACJ, it's more of a personal preference in the aircraft and it’s interior selections. Both are amazing and around the same price. I was invited onto someone's 777 BBJ for a trip and it was just awesome. The space and accommodations are just unbeatable. I don't really remember exactly but I think that planes configuration had I think 6 bedrooms, showers, dining table, multiple bathrooms, and it seated like 50. Really can't beat that and it makes a statement! The only downside to private is it would obviously be smaller. While it's still big you just don't have the space of a BBJ/ACJ.

In terms of aircraft data, there are some differences. For private I'm going with a Gulfstream G800 for reference and I'm using the smallest BBJ/ACJ for reference. A G800 will fly longer and faster than a 737 or an ACJ 22. Hell, a G800 can fly from LA to Tokyo while a 737/ACJ 22 can't. A downside to a BBJ/ACJ is it can only land at certain airports. The BBJ/ACJ required runway length is longer than a G800. So a BBJ/ACJ won't get in everywhere while a private jet will probably get you in everywhere, again depending on the plane you go with. Another factor is noise restrictions. Depending on what stage engines BBJ/ACJ's have, that could deter you from landing at a certain airport, or it can restrict you from taking off/landing at certain times.

Going with either BBJ or ACJ I'm not factoring price into anything because if you're going with one of those two choices, price, running costs, staff, etc. won't matter. However, price would be another consideration in comparison to private. Even in the used market.

Last consideration I could think of is build time if you're going brand new. I'm sure BBJ/ACJ will take a lot longer to get your hands on but you can find used in all three categories.

Personally, for me if money was no object, I would still go private. You can configure a G800 nicely and the fact that I can get into more airports, and go international is key for me. If you are on a trip and the BBJ/ACJ can't land at the closest airport to your destination, then you're renting a car and driving from where you can land to your destination. I know it sounds like something stupid and petty but it is a factor to think about.
That trip sounds great.

I'm not sure I got it, isn't BBJ or ACJ a private jet?
 

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That trip sounds great.

I'm not sure I got it, isn't BBJ or ACJ a private jet?
I'm sorry, I should have clarified. Yes, BBJ/ACJ is private. You contact Boeing or Airbus and they make a private plane to your configuration. When I say, "Private," I meant as in Gulfstream, Falcon, Bombardier, Embraer, etc. Thats what most people assume when you say private.
 

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Key takeaway #1 from this thread... Murciful needs richer friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This thread has been a lot of fun to read. I’d bet there is some guy somewhere with a private jet he can literally drive his Sian into. As the OP, my needs are way lower. My research has actually steered me towards maybe getting a TBM or Meridian first, as I used to fly a bit and I think those planes would meet my modest needs, I could fly them myself if I wanted and the PT6 engine is a pretty safe and reliable one. Still looking though. Hell, Harrison Ford flys his Beechcraft Bonanza into my town every now and then, so if that’s good enough for him, probably ok for me. :)
 

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This thread has been a lot of fun to read. I’d bet there is some guy somewhere with a private jet he can literally drive his Sian into. As the OP, my needs are way lower. My research has actually steered me towards maybe getting a TBM or Meridian first, as I used to fly a bit and I think those planes would meet my modest needs, I could fly them myself if I wanted and the PT6 engine is a pretty safe and reliable one. Still looking though. Hell, Harrison Ford flys his Beechcraft Bonanza into my town every now and then, so if that’s good enough for him, probably ok for me. :)
IMO, a TBM or a Piper Meridian is an excellent choice. Reliable, fast, decent range, safe and efficient, decent maintenance, etc. If you already have your privates then a few endorsements and a type rating and you're good to go!
 

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As mentioned throughout this thread, purchasing an aircraft is the least costly and easiest part of the equation. Annual operating costs on the other hand can be eye watering.

If you already have a few thousand hours under your belt, and want to keep costs relatively reasonable, a move to a TBM, or if you need a bit more room a Pilatus, sounds like it may work for you. The TBM will definitely be faster, but the large cargo door on the Pilatus is fantastic if you have dogs etc.
 
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