Growing numbers of women are taking to the skies in Australia. Australia has a great history of Aviatrices, dating back to a first flight in 1909 by Florence Taylor and Emma Schultz in a glider. Despite setbacks, in 1950, the Australian Women Pilots’ Association formed in NSW – which today have members aged between 19 and 90! Women today look toward Georgina Sutton, Jetstar’s first female chief pilot.
Here, Bill Tsouvalas from Savvy Aviation Loans explains how you can make sure you get a good deal on buying an aircraft.
1. The sortie – why you need a plane
This is the most crucial question first up. What will you be using the plane for? Do you need something for long-haul trips or just a buzz round the tower? Do you fly IFR? Look for a plane that meets all your needs – or nine out of ten of them.
2. Can you monetise your aircraft?
This is another avenue to ponder – if you can use your aircraft for over 50% business use, you can qualify for a commercial loan product such as a chattel mortgage or hire purchase. You gain extra tax advantages such as claiming GST, interest and depreciation back. It’s worth considering!
3. Set a firm budget – now and later
This should be a price ceiling – nothing above “$X” or else. You should also budget for the long-term. You may have your heart set on a single-prop, single seater, but the avionics and engine might need complete replacement in a few years. Don’t get stuck with a plane that’s only a couple of years away from its TBO (time before overhaul) – that might need financing in and of itself! While you’re looking for loan approval, brush up on your negotiation skills while you’re at it!
4. Ask for advice from professionals and those in the know
As mentioned earlier, you should ask your local Aero Club or chapter of the AWPA about the plane you intend to purchase. Some pilots may have flown four-figures worth of hours in the aircraft you have your heart set on and can give you an impression of what it would be like to fly all the time. Which brings us to…
5. Don’t have your heart set on one plane
The worst thing to do when buying is let your heart rule your head. Sometimes a beautiful fuselage may hide a cash sink waiting to happen. Don’t get too attached, because purchasing an aircraft is a halfway between buying a car and a house – that flies! You want to make sure you get the best deal possible.