Monday, June 25, 2007

Fuel Costs Force Pilots to the Ground

Knock me over with a feather: A decent piece on GA from the Washington Post:
Fuel Costs Force Pilots to the Ground
In a Hobby That Isn't Cheap Anyway, Aviators Feel the Pinch

By Christy Goodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 25, 2007; B01

The rising cost of fuel has found a new victim: the recreational aviator.

Pilots are cutting back on flying time. Flight instructors have fewer students. More and more Cessnas, Pipers and other single-engine and propeller-driven planes are staying grounded. General aviation is taking a nosedive, according to flying enthusiasts.

Terry McKinney, 59, of Springfield flew his blue- and gray-striped Mooney M20C from Manassas Regional Airport to Morgantown, W.Va., to visit family about seven times last year. An upcoming trip will be only his second this year. He cites the price of fuel, now $4.69 per gallon at Manassas, as the reason he's made fewer flights.
Read the whole thing...


Blogger Moderator Marc Coan said...

According to this guy, his cost per hour has risen by $12.60 since January 2006. At 160 mph, his cost per mi. has risen a whopping 7.8 cents. For the 45-min. trip, his cost increased by less than $10 and that was enough to stop him from taking it? Man, he shouldn't own an airplane if he is so poor he can't find $20...I think he should sell it.

Meanwhile, we have the guy saying it cost him $800 in fuel to fly roundtrip to Florida, and that is probably higher than the airlines. Well, since when was driving less expensive than taking the bus? No one ever said it was cheaper! If you can't afford to drive, take the bus. If you can't afford to fly yourself, then sure, put up with all the security hassles and lines, cancelled flights, cramped seats, etc. and save a few bucks.

As for me, a 42% increase in fuel over a 2.5 year period isn't going to drive me to the airlines. The quicker I can do away with ALL airline flying, the happier I'll be. If I can't fly myself on trips < 500 mi., I'll drive.

Plus, if you're paying $4.69 per gal., you're not doing your home work.

10:03 AM  
Blogger jackhodgson said...

Thanks to Marc for his comment.

Just to clarify... although his profile isn't clear on exactly where & how he is a "moderator", just be advised that here at UCAP, Marc is a welcome commenter and listener, and nothing more.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Dave Higdon said...

From experience in the area -- and Jeb can confirm this -- there are nearby airports with far fairer fuel fees than what's charged at Manassas.
Still, as I prepare to make airline reservations for a road trip to fly and photograph two GA aircraft for a magazine, count me in Marc's camp on this point: the sooner my resources allow me to totally eliminate airline travel from my life, the better.
If I never again have to travel via a Human Mailing Tube (C), I'll be one happy aviator.

5:30 PM  

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