November 2018 Survey Question: Aircraft owners, please rank your biggest challenges or obstacles to continued aircraft ownership.

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3 years 7 months ago #1142 by william d. harris
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3 years 7 months ago #1141 by CFA Staff
Our November 2018 e-Newsletter asked the following question:

Aircraft owners, please rank your biggest challenges or obstacles to continued aircraft ownership:

The following are the rankings from the biggest challenge to the smallest:
1. Cost of Maintenance: 41% of correspondents felt that this was the biggest challenge.
2. Burdensome Regulations & Cost of Parts tied for #2: 19% of correspondents felt that this was the biggest challenge.
3. Cost of Fuel: 18% of correspondents felt that this was the biggest challenge.
4. Availability of Parts: 5% of correspondents felt that this was the biggest challenge.
5. Cost of Insurance: 3% of correspondents felt that this was the biggest challenge.

Here are the additional comments:
• Need cheap gas.
• Cost of buying the airplane and refurbishing to 2020 technology is very high on the problem list.
• ADS-B requirement.
• Finding the right parts. Interior parts have been most difficult.
• Need more money.
• As I do most of my own maintenance, that cost is not too bad. Regulations remain the largest problem.
• The FAA is slow to embrace new technology.
• Just my age.
• Absurd pricing of some parts.
• Transition back to flying general aviation from an airline career.
• Older airplane (1971) challenges. Things always need fixing.
• Parts go up and up in price.
• Finding A&P mechanics nearby.
• In some FBO's, there are very high fees to stop there. It can add significantly to the cost of a trip.
• The availability of maintenance is a larger issue to me than any of the choices provided in the survey.
• Health.
• Hanger fees are an expense.
• Fewer skilled technicians.
• My age.
• Engine overhaul costs are excessive for the type of engines we use. Parts are overpriced to the point of absurdity.
• Cost of airport fees for storing like rent, hanger, T-hanger.
• Burdensome, costly, redundant regulations. Sales & use taxes— excessive annual license fees.
• Hangar space.
• USA has the least oppressive government over watch of national GA of any nation on the globe. Plus, (unlike most foreign government aviation authorities) the FAA appears to be trying to be responsive, but it is like U-turning a battleship— it won't swivel on the spot...
• Availability and cost of hangars.
• As a newish first time owner I have not had many obstacles to date. The closest thing so far is tracking down an inertia reel for a shoulder harness. So, I guess this falls under the “parts availability”.
• Many of the above actually are a part of the burdensome regulations. If I could do more owner maintenance, that would help substantially; if parts manufacturers didn’t have to jump through so many government hoops, that would help substantially.
• Restrictions to airspace is getting more advanced. Can’t fly here, can’t fly there. Sssshhhheeeessshhh.
• Cost of hangar/parking space is a bigger problem than all of these.
• Panel and radio upgrades available to experimental aircraft are denied to certified aircraft, freezing the market and hurting safety (IMHO).
• Note— Regulations also include local (city/county) airports that are getting stiffer due to the fact that they must follow guidelines to get Federal Monies.
• Keeping up with all the different sources for all the required information to remain legal and safe.
• Cost of avionics upgrades, why in the hell are the same avionics for a homebuilt/sport/experimental about half the price-that is a crime!
• Advancing age.
• I live at an airport where fuel is cheap and maintenance can be too if you work with your shop and do as much as possible. I think the FAA is trying to reduce the burden of regulation with some success on one hand, but on the other is adding costs like ADS-B Out. I am curious how the latter will affect ownership rates and the used aircraft market at my level.
• My husband thinks I fly too often. I fly at least every two weeks for at least an hour each. WX in the Northwest keeps me on the ground.
• Flying an old aircraft (C182P) parts availability and cost is #1 expense. Everybody likes to trash regulation and oversight but the only ones that affect these older aircrafts seriously, to me, are those that slow down approvals for safer and less expensive power plant/airframe updates. Electronic ignition and avionics approval lead that list for me.
• Travel time to and from the airport is a problem.
• Biggest challenge: Finding a qualified shop who knows how to work on my aircraft.
• Cost of aviation databases is high.
• Getting consistent, reliable, responsible, and affordable routine maintenance, i.e. an A&P/IA shop that I CAN TRUST!
• Finding good mechanics.
• Costs to install avionics (upgrades) are ridiculous.
• State taxes - property.
• Aging aircraft preservation.
• Landing fees.
• Avionics upgrade costs are extremely high and create a very hard decision on whether to keep aircraft or sell because of avionics upgrades.
• The cost of fuel and the additional cost of ADS-B.
• Modern panel upgrades are too expensive and too few players.

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