Why is flying so expensive?

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Lotro
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#26 Post by Lotro » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:38 am

dcabrown wrote:Solution - PARTNERSHIPS are one of the easiest ways to bring the costs down significantly. I'm not sure why there aren't more partnerships (2-5 people) or flying clubs (6-20 people) around. Maybe there are and I don't know about em?

Consider:
Tie down - same amount regardless of pilots, can be split between people
Insurance - same amount for for 2-5 pilots, can be split
Annual Inspection - basically the same amount ($1600+snags) each year whether you fly 20 or 200 hours

Scheduling - via Google Calendar - free

It's just a matter of meeting the right people to form a group which I'll admit is easier said than done.
I'd really like to see COPA get into this business. They don't need to assume the risk, but it would be amazing if they could lead the way for the setup of flying clubs. COPA chapters are a great beginning to the network, and if a chapter also owned an aircraft and flying club that would make sense.

I honestly think COPA could/should offer a "Flying Club Setup Service" where they come into the club, consult with the members, help select and purchase an aircraft, ink the paperwork required, and generally facilitate the whole process.

It's easy to find people willing to spend money to fly, much harder to convince them to organize their peers and get stuff done.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#27 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:43 am

Your faith in COPA is ... refreshing.

Personally I'd like to see COPA successfully organize its way out of a paper bag. Then I'd trust it with something like you suggest.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#28 Post by AirFrame » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:00 am

They organized their way out of a paper newsletter into a glossy magazine.
They organized their way through a successful AGM this year in Kelowna.
They organized their way through rebranding and redesigning the website.

And those are just the first three that come to mind. I'm not a fan of the new website or logo, but i'm just one member. Others like them.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#29 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:59 am

AirFrame wrote:They organized their way out of a paper newsletter into a glossy magazine.
They organized their way through a successful AGM this year in Kelowna.
They organized their way through rebranding and redesigning the website.
And yet... on the subject of paper bags, you are silent.

It's funny - there's nominally a COPA chapter at my local airport, but none of the officers of the chapter keep their airplanes at the airport, and none of them ever fly into the airport. It's just weird.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#30 Post by Lotro » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:37 am

photofly wrote:Your faith in COPA is ... refreshing.

Personally I'd like to see COPA successfully organize its way out of a paper bag. Then I'd trust it with something like you suggest.
I'm not sure I was trying to convey my faith in them. It just seems to me that they would be the appropriate organization to spearhead the creation of a nationwide group of not-for-profit flying clubs allowing members to get flying affordably. They already have an interested audience and a network to reach them. They are supposedly subject matter experts in the area of general aviation (or should be).

I suppose they're busy "protecting our freedom to fly" which doesn't seem to me to matter much since (and this is anecdotal) fewer and fewer people are flying these days due to a variety of reasons. The ones I've faced repeatedly in multiple markets are: access to rental aircraft and price.

Relying FTUs to keep people flying seems like a poor strategy to me. They're busy training people to follow checklists and program FMS systems at the airlines.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#31 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:45 am

Lotro wrote: Relying FTUs to keep people flying seems like a poor strategy to me. They're busy training people to follow checklists and program FMS systems at the airlines.
All of them? Are you sure?

I can't speak for other provinces, but in Ontario only a small minority of FTUs have bent the knee to the Private Career Colleges mafia, and they are the only ones allowed to teach CPL and instructor rating courses. Most teach only PPL courses. There are not many FMS systems involved in the PPL syllabus.

Checklists: even something simple like a 150 has them, and it's mandatory in law (CAR602.60(4), $3000 fine for failure) to do the checks that are listed in them. So it would be remiss for an FTU *not* to train people to follow them.

I'd put a lot more faith in FTUs than in COPA. And I will say that the people I see at FTUs are lot younger and more diverse than the COPA members I've ever met. Are they representative of COPA overall? I hope to goodness not. COPA is a great idea, whose execution falls woefully short of what it could be. If COPA is all we have for the future, we are all doomed.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#32 Post by Cat Driver » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:12 pm

If COPA had any credibility they would lobby TC to allow anyone to offer flight training without having to be sodomized financially through the FTU-OC fiasco like the FAA allows.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#33 Post by AirFrame » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:27 pm

photofly wrote:And yet... on the subject of paper bags, you are silent.
Well, they gave out plastic bags at the AGM... So maybe they worked their way out of paper and into plastic? ;)
It's funny - there's nominally a COPA chapter at my local airport, but none of the officers of the chapter keep their airplanes at the airport, and none of them ever fly into the airport. It's just weird.
That is weird.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#34 Post by JasonE » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:35 pm

AirFrame wrote:
It's funny - there's nominally a COPA chapter at my local airport, but none of the officers of the chapter keep their airplanes at the airport, and none of them ever fly into the airport. It's just weird.
That is weird.
Seemingly common. My local COPA flight is very inactive.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#35 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:17 pm

We used to have a very active GA group at my airport. A friend of mine ran a free mailing list, made up of everyone based here and everyone who flew in semi-regularly. It ran to about 40 members. No fees or qualifications, and no job titles for anyone either. It was active too. Lots of chat and info about latest developments at the airport. Of which there were - and are still - lots.

Then COPA got s sniff of money, and new members, and came along and “encouraged” the formation of a COPA flight. Suddenly there were to be fees, constitutions, offices, office holders, bank accounts, annual meetings and best of all - a really snazzy logo. Wow, what a logo! We had the troops, we were told, now all we needed was formality: captains, and commodores, and squadron leaders - and we’d have real influence. We could rule the world! And if a smart logo and job titles were all that are needed, ruling the world is what we’d still be doing.

My friend, who wasn’t seduced by these slick promises, didn’t want anything to do with it. Whereas we previously had a group anyone could join, and they did - now it was exclusive. You were in or out, and the only way define who was in was to define who was out. Join COPA, or don’t be part of the group. (We needed the fees, you see. Once you have a bank account you must absolutely have fees to put in them.) My friend predicted that the group would wither and die within the year. And that’s pretty much how it turned out. The first and only entry on the Flight blog is titled “Hello, world”, dated March 2012.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#36 Post by rookiepilot » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:30 pm

photofly wrote:We used to have a very active GA group at my airport. A friend of mine ran a free mailing list, made up of everyone based here and everyone who flew in semi-regularly. It ran to about 40 members. No fees or qualifications, and no job titles for anyone either. It was active too. Lots of chat and info about latest developments at the airport. Of which there were - and are still - lots.

Then COPA got s sniff of money, and new members, and came along and “encouraged” the formation of a COPA flight. Suddenly there were to be fees, constitutions, offices, office holders, bank accounts, annual meetings and best of all - a really snazzy logo. Wow, what a logo! We had the troops, we were told, now all we needed was formality: captains, and commodores, and squadron leaders - and we’d have real influence. We could rule the world! And if a smart logo and job titles were all that are needed, ruling the world is what we’d still be doing.

My friend, who wasn’t seduced by these slick promises, didn’t want anything to do with it. Whereas we previously had a group anyone could join, and they did - now it was exclusive. You were in or out, and the only way define who was in was to define who was out. Join COPA, or don’t be part of the group. (We needed the fees, you see. Once you have a bank account you must absolutely have fees to put in them.) My friend predicted that the group would wither and die within the year. And that’s pretty much how it turned out. The first and only entry on the Flight blog is titled “Hello, world”, dated March 2012.
Stories like this are why it's extremely annoying when someone comes on and says someone "should" start a flying club, someone "should" do this, or "should" do that, to make MY flying easier / cheaper / more convenient.

How nice for those contributing nothing, but want someone else to do all the work.

Why not come on a forum like this, say,, "I'll start up a flying club, invest dozens or hundreds of hours, loads of energy, maybe some money", and I'll create some excitement. "I'll do it".

Nope. And yeah, we are all busy.

Try volunteering. On anything. It's pretty rewarding.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#37 Post by Cat Driver » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:47 pm

Lately I have been thinking of getting my medical renewed and getting a Cub and going back to teaching fun flying.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#38 Post by JasonE » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:04 pm

Cat Driver wrote:Lately I have been thinking of getting my medical renewed and getting a Cub and going back to teaching fun flying.
I'd fly out and pay you for some advanced level training. This is something that is difficult to come by.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#39 Post by dcabrown » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:23 am

For anyone interested, we have a few, 1/4 shares available for sale in our Piper Warrior, based at YTZ. I formed this partnership 7 years ago after I got my first bill for 1.1hours of Dual which ended up being something like $300 after HST.

Instead, $12,500 per share gets you fractional ownership and then our fixed costs are evenly split 4 ways. We run the engine lean at 55% power and get our fuel consumption down to 6.6GPH/94ktas when doing training - so barely $50/hour.

I had barely 4 hours of dual when I started - no issues with insurance, no issues finding an instructor and our partnership agreement basically covers off everything about the plane's operation.

I know there are a handful of partnerships around but I have no idea why there aren't more. When we first got the aircraft and were all doing training - we did a combined 225 hours in a year and never had any issues with scheduling. In fact, it was much better with additional people because we'd schedule training flights sequentially so that the instructor was still around and the plane was still warm (bonus in the winter for not even having to spend 15 mins taking off the covers)

The ad is posted in the classified area for more details.

Yes, yes, i know the Leafs STILL won't make the playoffs :rolleyes:
Lotro wrote:
dcabrown wrote:Solution - PARTNERSHIPS are one of the easiest ways to bring the costs down significantly. I'm not sure why there aren't more partnerships (2-5 people) or flying clubs (6-20 people) around. Maybe there are and I don't know about em?

Consider:
Tie down - same amount regardless of pilots, can be split between people
Insurance - same amount for for 2-5 pilots, can be split
Annual Inspection - basically the same amount ($1600+snags) each year whether you fly 20 or 200 hours

Scheduling - via Google Calendar - free

It's just a matter of meeting the right people to form a group which I'll admit is easier said than done.
I'd really like to see COPA get into this business. They don't need to assume the risk, but it would be amazing if they could lead the way for the setup of flying clubs. COPA chapters are a great beginning to the network, and if a chapter also owned an aircraft and flying club that would make sense.

I honestly think COPA could/should offer a "Flying Club Setup Service" where they come into the club, consult with the members, help select and purchase an aircraft, ink the paperwork required, and generally facilitate the whole process.

It's easy to find people willing to spend money to fly, much harder to convince them to organize their peers and get stuff done.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#40 Post by photofly » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:39 pm

Are you taking pre-PPL partners yet?
I had barely 4 hours of dual when I started
Where did you do your spin training?
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#41 Post by dcabrown » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:32 am

Yes, we've always been fine pre-PPL partners (just not pre-PPL when we were considering selling block time)

We've rented a 172 in the past to cover spins, since the tapered wing pipers aren't certified for them
photofly wrote:Are you taking pre-PPL partners yet?
I had barely 4 hours of dual when I started
Where did you do your spin training?
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#42 Post by Edmonchuck » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:57 am

Hi,

Sorry to raise this thread from the dead, but I am researching opinions on Pilot concerns with Canadian airports.

Landing fees come up all the time. I was looking for a thread or two on here that would encompass all opinions, or at least all opinions on AvCanada. I am asking because I have to go in front of some of our local economic development boards on a small airport infrastructure capital ask, and the topic of landing fees will come up most assuredly.

Is there a thread on this? Thanks!
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#43 Post by PilotDAR » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:16 am

As the owner of an aerodrome, who paid for the property, pays the taxes, bought the tractor, mows the grass, and blows the snow, I think that landing fees are a fair idea. Of course, the way they are charged should be representative of the use, but it's not fair that pilots should think that the facility use is free of cost. My grief in the past has been the means by which the fees were charged. I like the cash at the door, or when you pay for fuel. I hate the pain of having to mail a cheque for $5.50 a month after I used the airport - just let me pay when I'm there...
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#44 Post by Squaretail » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:23 pm

I think that landing fees are a fair idea.
The problem with the idea is that its only makes sense if the revenue to be generated is greater than the costs of implementing it. At many small airports there just plain isn't the traffic to justify the cost of implementing and collecting the fee, so the fee only serves to deter traffic - if one can indeed collect it - which in turn defeats the point and of course lessens the return. There are many ways small airports can generate revenue but unfortunately it seems the want of governing bodies to look at this least effective mean first.

Personally I've found that when it comes to small airports in this country, municipalities love to get tax money out of them, but avoid like the plague treating them as part of the infrastructure of said location. This isn't helped by the all too common archetypal governing body of such airports which members either a) prioritize other interests over the aerodrome's well being or b) want to treat the airport like a private playground.

On the main topic, I find aviation just isn't that much more costly than anything else, though maybe suffers excessively from the "good ol' days" mentality too much. Nothing is cheap these days, hell not even America is when I go down there. I think the only thing still cheap down there is watered down beer. Sleds and Boats are expensive, and you can't use them most of the year here. Frig, to find a league to play hockey in is expensive, going skiing is expensive.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#45 Post by digits_ » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:28 pm

Squaretail wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:23 pm
The problem with the idea is that its only makes sense if the revenue to be generated is greater than the costs of implementing it. At many small airports there just plain isn't the traffic to justify the cost of implementing and collecting the fee, so the fee only serves to deter traffic - if one can indeed collect it - which in turn defeats the point and of course lessens the return. There are many ways small airports can generate revenue but unfortunately it seems the want of governing bodies to look at this least effective mean first.
You put a mailbox at the entrance with "Landing fee 5 CAD please. Thank you".

You empty it once a day or once week. Doesn't need to be complicated.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#46 Post by rookiepilot » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:34 pm

This is one of those topics, (thinking of the degree thread) that a university professor thinks should be cheaper. Things should be free. Budgets balance themselves. We see them quoted all the time, so they must be the experts.

They are usually right for a while, until things blow up and we have a new financial crisis.

It's the university grads who are clueless about the real world.

The business owner with an 8th grade education, and those critical thinking skills that derived from a desire not to starve to death, and with a instinctive understanding of expenses, liability, and profit and loss, gets that things cost money.

Let's take rent control here in Onterrible. Despite reams of studies it doesn't work, formally educated analysts in the government decided as a response to escalating housing costs, that putting in rent controls would get things under control, with no downside. All good.

They neglected to ask the college dropout developers, who actually build rental properties, who collectively told the govt.... you know what? We had plans to build a whole bunch of new buildings for rental stock. Canceled, cause we can't make money.

There are analogies. I see no business case for ever operating an airport that people can use for free. But I'm not university educated.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#47 Post by Squaretail » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:51 pm


You put a mailbox at the entrance with "Landing fee 5 CAD please. Thank you".

You empty it once a day or once week. Doesn't need to be complicated.
Well that would be the simple answer that I've never been able to convince any management group to do. That said though, it still costs something. I mean if your mailbox costs you $20 of materials and you get three landings who pay, well you're out 5 bucks. Either way, its a question of scale. If the above was to help put gas in the lawnmower as your only say maintenance cost, its not a very good return or to be counted on as a revenue stream. I've simplified our airport to make my point. I should say that I'm not against landing fees, just that you'd also better have service for said fee and a reasonable means of paying it. A personal pet peeve is getting bills for places I haven't landed at, and random costs and changes in prices at places I do.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#48 Post by trey kule » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:20 pm

Why is a hamburger eight bucks in so many places in YYC?

Eight Bucks!
Maybe if you want to eat at Chez Snooties

Not sure what that has to do with the cost of flying.
Because aircraft last a long long time, and lawyers like to drive BMWs, liability insurance on GAaircraft is a huge factor in the cost. As is certification.
And no, there never was volume in small aircraft building in any sense of the word, compared to say, the multi million cars produced a year.

Cost of fuel. All about taxes. The govt takes a royality on oil, passes that cost on to the consumer, then taxes it again at the pump after payroll taxes. And, of course, the local airports who typically want a piece of the action as well.

The real truth is when we buy a GA aircraft, after the honey moon is over, most owners do not fly enough. Plane sits and sits. And it becomes super expensive.

I really think flying clubs like we had after the war and into the sixties and seventies were a good solution. But try having a Friday night Bar B with a zero tolerance driving limit. The deeds are not as daring, or the feats as great when you have sober people telling the story.

And soaring . Although you must like the club thing to get into these.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#49 Post by Edmonchuck » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:27 am

Thanks for all the replies so far. I appreciate it.

Yes, the cost of collecting "fees" of any kind often are not weighed by a business prior to implementation. What I've seen to date is ridiculous in its execution. However, the infrastructure that is needed or being used is not free either.

I know that as I deal with all 3 levels of government, the first thing they are going to ask is how the users of the facility will be pitching into the overall $10-14M cost. As many of you point out, there are many fingers in this pie, NavCan gets consulting and implementation costs, Transport, permitting, contractors, insurance (WCB and other), legal, engineering, etc. The actual cost of the aggregate and asphalt seems small by comparison.

Governments look at GA facilities as priority 100 out of 10. Yes, they pay taxes, but that all goes into General Revenue, which then pays for services and items that serve a larger set of constituents who drive, have kids in school, want hospitals, etc. How do we raise this to being priority 20 out of 10, let alone in the top 10?

I'm pushing the point to the municipal and provincial bodies that user fees alone cannot pay for this infrastructure, but then they counter with return on their investment. Then, when they look at discussions where airport users demand the landing and airport use is free, mainly because they land and buy a sandwich or two, the municipal administrators go sideways.

Fun times. I look forward to hearing more from you all.
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Re: Why is flying so expensive?

#50 Post by Longtimer » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:53 am

B. TARIFF – SPRINGBANK AIRPORT
AIRCRAFT RELATED FEES EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 2010
LANDING FEES
Landing fees are charged per 1000 Kg or fraction thereof of the (“MTOW”) Maximum
Design Takeoff Weight1
of the aircraft.
Aircraft MTOW (Kg) Rate per
1,000 Kgs
10,000 Kgs or less $3.13
10,001 Kgs and over $3.57

Minimum Fee (other than piston aircraft) $25.65
Piston Aircraft $0.00
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