If I were to buy a light aircraft, I imagine there would be quite a few administrative things I'd need to keep on top of. Maintenance, insurance, logbooks, accounting, etc.

Is there anything I haven't thought of? For example, would I also have to inform my life insurance provider or possibly find a new one?

I'm basically wondering how much time I would have to put into owning an aircraft above and beyond the time I spend flying it.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Kevin, welcome to Av.SE! Nice first question - I expect we'll have several folks here who can provide examples of what they've experienced with their aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Dec 26, 2022 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'm guessing by the term "light aircraft" you are looking for costs in a country other than USA? what country, and what plane? $\endgroup$
    – tedder42
    Dec 26, 2022 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ Hi @tedder42, it's actually the USA I'm interested in but now you've got me asking a new question... what do you call light aircraft in the USA? :) I was thinking of a 4 seater, something equivalent to a C-172. I've found a few resources that describe costs in terms of money, but the thing I'm wondering about here is the cost in terms of time spent doing administrative tasks. $\endgroup$
    – KevinS
    Dec 27, 2022 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


Not that much. Ownership is more of a money eating machine than a time consumer for the owner who has someone do their maintenance.

Your AI/A&P takes care of your tech logs. You just fly it, schedule maintenance with them, deal with your insurance. Your LI may or may not have a flying exclusion. Examine the contract. If nothing is there, you're good to go. If it is, you may have to pay extra.

I do my own maintenance and annuals on my homebuilt so there's that work once a year and from time to time for unscheduled fixing and tinkering, but otherwise, not much direct activity.

A typical owner just flies and pays bills. Lots and lots of bills. If the financial burden is light relatively speaking, that is, it's money you could use to light a cigar without giving you a heart attack, you can enjoy it.

If the costs are a burden and make you sacrifice other things that you'd rather not, it takes out most of the enjoyment. The old saying goes, like with large boats that are bit more than someone can afford: the best days are the day you bought it, and the day you sold it.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with this. A couple points: If you keep a good log as you go - flying hours, database updates, squawks (to pass to maintenance), it makes life easier. I found time-wise, updating the databases every 28 days to be a nuisance. The time is highly variable depending on your avionics, but it's generally less than an hour. If you can assist your A&P on the annual inspection, it'll cost you a day or so of your time but it'll save your A&P some time and you some $ and you'll learn a lot. A lot of the inspection involves removing and re-installing inspection panels. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Dec 27, 2022 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ In Canada the owner has to maintain a Journey Log by regulation recording all flights, to, from, times, air time, flight time, total airframe hours, snags/rectification, etc. When you buy an airplane in Canada you have its operating record for its entire life right in front of you. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Dec 27, 2022 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ My life insurance specifically excludes flying other than a passenger on a commercial flight, so I always try to ensure I don't die in my spamcan. It's worked so far... $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2022 at 14:44

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