In the world of planes, the variety of price and quality for items available to the public is enormous. Thus, it is important for you to know what you are looking for before you jump on to your local aircraft dealership and buy something you don’t need and spend way too much for.
First, when you are buying a plane, it is important to keep the 90% rule in mind. I have had a friend who justified paying $300,000 for an aircraft (it was a ten-seater), because they said it would be perfect for flying the family for summer vacations. He seldom used the aircraft, saying it was “too bulky and used too much gas.” “Well, why did you buy it then?” was the reply I shot back on many occasions.
The definition of the 90% rule is as follows: buy an aircraft that works for 90% of the uses that you planned using it for, and then rent another plane to use for the other 10%. Using my friend’s example, if flying your family around for vacation was part of your plane-buying criteria, then get a plane that has two seats, and then rent a plane when family vacation time hits. If you use this kind of mindset when buying a plane, you’ll find your options are much less expensive, and you’ll end up using the plane you buy on a more frequent basis.
This rule is pretty self-explanatory, but it is absolutely essential when buying a personal aircraft.
As I said at the beginning of this page, the variety of aircraft available to the public is almost endless, so if you have a price in mind, you are bound to find something that fits. There are planes you can buy brand new, refurbishing company, off a personal ad someone put in the local newspaper, or a broken down plane for dirt-cheap and fix it up yourself (this requires a deep understanding of engines and planes; therefore, it is not suggested). No matter how good looking a plane is, what matters most is that it flies. If you can get an aircraft that does that for $100,000 less than it’s better-looking alternative, then get it.
In the end, the best way to get what you want is set a price you are willing to work with, and stick to it!