I know money is a little tight after picking up that 40’ yacht and the timeshare in Paris. But that is no excuse for not grabbing a good deal on a private plane. After all, there are a number of excellent choices for around $200,000 or less from which to choose. There are some great deals to be had on pre-owned models that fly like the young birds that they are at heart. The American Champion Super Decathlon 8KCAB fits the bill nicely for a bit of cross-country fun. If you want something newer and can add substantially more to the budget, you might want to take a look at a Redesigned Challenger 350.
There are plenty of good reasons to own your own airplane. For one, you are on your own schedule. You don’t leave when the airline is ready to take you. The plane leaves when you are ready to go. In your own plane, legroom is not a problem. The only super obnoxious person smoking a stogey and talking inappropriately loud on a cell phone is you. Jerk!
Better still, if a guy is acting like a jerk on a plane and there is no one there to see him, hear him, or smell him, is he really a jerk? Absolutely not. That’s because its your plane! Of course, the best reason of all to go out and buy a new plane right now is that it’s your money, you’ve always wanted one, and you don’t have one. Go for it. When you are done picking one out, stop back by and I will point out a few other little things you will also need to pick up at the pilot shop.
Good Eye Protection
Ah, I see you picked up the Cessna 172. Excellent choice! The visibility with that model is outstanding. Up in the wild, blue yonder, you are going to need some eye protection. Seriously, you have big windows all around you, there is nothing between you and the sun save for a thin layer of atmosphere and roughly 94.3 million miles. Without some eye protection, you are going to go blind and crash.
The government provides helpful guidelines on what to look for in pilot eye-ware. Grey is preferred over yellow, amber, or orange because it does not distort colors. That is an important consideration for distinguishing navigation lights and signals. Polarized lenses are a terrible idea because it makes reading digital instrument displays next to impossible. And small lenses are ideal for accommodating headsets. There’s plenty more.
A Quality Aviation Headset
Like aviator sunglasses, an aviator headset is about flight safety as well as protecting your health. There is a lot of noise in the cockpit of a plane including the rushing of air, a reciprocating engine, and the airframe vibration. Without ear protection, you will go deaf and mad, and crash.
Additionally, you have to be able to clearly hear and communicate with air traffic control, your passengers, if any, and other pilots. Noise cancellation and a quality mike will enable clear communication in a cockpit setting.
Get Some Survival Gear
First, the bad news: You crashed your new Cessna. I know, you call it a hard landing. Whatever. Here’s the thing; you can’t take off again and you’re in the middle of nowhere. But that leads me to the good news. You survived. That should come as no surprise since over 95% of people involved in plane crashes survive. It really is a safe way to travel.
In the event of a water landing, paired with the fact that you did not buy an amphibious plane, you are going to be glad you picked up one of these: a sturdy, self-inflating, 4-person liferaft with canopy.
But walking away from that calamity won’t mean a thing if you are walking into the jungle without one of these: a 2-way global satellite communicator with built-in navigation including waypoints and routing.
Owning a plane without the accessories to make it safe is like owning a sports car without breaks. With a private jet, the sky is no longer the limit.