Don Hoover's Ownership Costs

[From an email dated June 21 2000.  Reprinted by permission]

Hi Ron.

I was just looking over the FLY-BABY Home Page and was reading about your break-down of the costs of operating you're 85 hp. version. I had read this before but this time I kinda had to giggle because I realized how times have changed. 

The serial no.of my baby is 63-38 but really did not finish it until 66, so you see how far back we are going and you can say "certainly things are bound to change since then"   ----But how much?

Well here goes,  first to be truthful I have to tell you my baby is only 65 hp--Cont.  I use 4 gal per hr. and in 1966, 80 octane av fuel was 40 cents a gal.  $1.60 an hr?-- now that is what I call cheap but like you say "A bit more for oil"   Hanger Rent? Well I shared the hangar with a Piper Twin engine which belonged to the man that owned the hanger. MY SHARE?  $15 a month for 8 mos. The winter months the plane was brought home so I could sit in it and make believe I was on the way to Rockford  or Oshkosh.

I only had liability ins which was around $65 a year.  In 1450 hrs of flying I bought a new pair of 800x4 tires and tubes for $40, a wood prop reconditioned by Sensnich {Like New) for $80, a major engine overhaul for $300.  For something to do, after 10 years I removed the covering and done it all over again (Like I said for something to do)  Cost about $200.

In 14 years of flying that would average out to about $50 a year for maintenance.  So with an average of 100 hrs flying a year, Fuel costs $160----Hanger-$90----Insurance-$65----- Maintenance-$50.

If my math is correct that is $365 a year which comes out to $3.65 an hour. THAT'S CHEAP but don't forget
that was 1966.  Even so that was still dirt cheap back then. Times really have changed!!!

Don Hoover

Return to The Stories Page