Whether you’re new to the aviation industry or you’ve been flying for decades, chances are you’ve probably heard a few untruths about aircraft ownership. There are a lot of misconceptions about how to buy, fly, and take care of an aircraft, but it’s time to reveal what’s fact and what’s faction. Here’s the truth behind these common myths:
Myth: If you’re not rich, you can’t afford an aircraft.
People often think only the wealthy can afford to own an aircraft, but that’s simply not true. Yes, owning an aircraft can be expensive, but it is possible to cut costs. Fuel can be one of the biggest costs of owning an aircraft, but if you research the best places to stop for fuel before you begin your flight, you can save money. Hangar fees are another expense that aircraft owners have to pay if they choose to store their aircraft in a hanger. These can be extremely pricey, but you can reduce the cost by trying to find another pilot to share the space with you. With careful budgeting, it’s possible for people outside of the rich and famous to own the aircraft of their dreams.
Myth: You should buy the least expensive plane and aviation supplies in order to save money.
It’s important to look for a good deal, but you should never prioritize the cost of something over the quality of it. You shouldn’t buy the least expensive plane just so that you can afford to own one. Remember, you will be the one who is flying in that aircraft, so you should get one you can trust with your life. The same can be said when it comes to buying supplies for your plane. The cost for things such as cleaning products, polishes, and buffers can quickly add up, but don’t cut corners just to save a few bucks.
Myth: All aircraft insurance policies are the same.
Every aircraft owner should have an insurance policy on his plane, but he should take the time to find the perfect policy instead of assuming all of them offer the same coverage. For example, there is in-flight insurance, which covers any damages that occur while the plane is mid-flight, and non-motion insurance, which covers damages that occur while the plane is on the ground and not moving. If you signed a policy that had in-flight coverage but not non-motion coverage, you would be on the hook if your aircraft became damaged while on the ground during a natural disaster. Make sure you read the insurance policy carefully before agreeing to it.
Myth: If a commercial airliner has to cancel flights because of bad weather, so do you.
As an aircraft owner, you don’t have to deal with the frustrating delays at commercial airports. Of course, you will still have to work around the weather, but you don’t have to cancel your plans every time rain clouds roll in. Aircraft owners can quickly change their plans and find another airport nearby to fly into instead. This flexibility is one of the many reasons why aircraft owners love having their own plane.
Myth: Small planes are not safe.
Some people are hesitant to get in much less fly a small aircraft because of the myth that they are dangerous. The truth is any aircraft can be involved in a crash, just like any car can be involved in a car accident while driving on the highway. Regardless of what the statistics say, it all comes down to the pilot and how well you take care of your plane. An aircraft requires regular maintenance and inspections by aviation mechanics who can ensure it is safe to fly. If you put the time and effort into taking care of your plane and following proper safety protocol while in the air, you will have a better chance at staying out of harm’s way.
Myth: Low time engines can are in better shape than others.
Some pilots believe if an engine hasn’t been used as much, it should be in better shape than engines that are used all the time. This may seem logical—after all, a car with low mileage is considered to be a better value than a car with tens of thousands of miles—but it’s not always true. Planes have to be used on a regular basis or problems may arise. Therefore, an engine that has been consistently used over the last several years may be in a better condition than one that has been sporadically used.
Myth: Aircraft polish is used to make the plane look better.
There is a bit of truth behind this myth because aircraft polish does preserve the beauty of the plane. However, that’s not all that it does. It’s recommended that aircraft owners polish their planes on a regular basis in order to remove oxidation, scratches, and corrosion that could affect the flight performance. For example, if you scratches and corrosion are left on the surface of your plane, it could eventually affect the joints and screws that hold the pieces of the plane together.
Myth: Small aircraft owners don’t have to follow the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules.
There’s a myth that only commercial airlines have to follow the rules established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but this is false. The FAA oversees all forms of civil aviation, which includes both commercial and private flights. You may notice your mechanic recording all of the work that he performs on your plane in a detailed log. This is a requirement of the FAA, and proves that they oversee every aspect of flight in the United States.
Remember, to stay safe in the skies and take care of your plane, you must stay educated about the world of aviation. Don’t believe these common myths and any others that you may hear. Rely on trusted sources such as Bright Work Polish for the information you need to maintain your plane.