The Frugal Pilot: Plan to keep it simple

In the first installment of The Frugal Pilot, we covered defining your flying mission: why you fly. The reason for starting there is because of Frugal Fact #1: Complexity increases costs exponentially.

Each layer of complexity you add to flying — or just about anything — increases the costs of ownership, maintenance and other expenses. Instead of you owning it, it begins to own you. Soon, what started out as a fun pastime can become a stealer of time and money. Analyzing why you fly can help keep the costs on the ground.

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New book advises would-be owners how to legally avoid sales and use tax

It doesn’t matter if you, “are a resident of Texas, took delivery in Kansas and registered it to a Delaware corporation,” says Aero & Marine Tax Professionals CEO Thomas Alston. “If your aircraft enters the the state of California any time in the first 12 months of your ownership, the state can assess a use tax on your airplane.” And that tax can add nearly 10% to the purchase price of your general aviation airplane.

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The family flying station wagon

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There are many men who will tell you that when they suggested the idea of buying an airplane to their wives, it very nearly resulted in divorce. But Kenneth Spivey Jr., from Vestavia, Ala., says he had a completely different experience when it came to the purchase of his Cessna 170B.

“My wife actually MADE ME go buy this airplane!” he insists.

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