Future of GA and Rising Fuel Costs

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What do you think rising fuel costs is going to do GA? I'm just
starting out my training and am thinking of buying a plane. Will
rising fuel costs hurt plan resales values? Will fuel costs seriously
hurt the industry? I'm now thinking of going with a small gas sipper
that might not be as big (2 place vs 4 place). Thoughts?

-- Brian H, June 7, 2008


Piston airplane sales are already down. Business jets are doing well because (1) airlines are reducing schedules and business people think that they need to get places, and (2) there are markets for bizjets in China, Europe, and Arab countries. There is so much bureaucracy associated with flying a private airplane in most other countries that it isn't worth the hassle unless you've got a jet and a full-time flight crew. In other words if the Cessna 172 loses value in the U.S. it won't have value anywhere else in the world.

So... if you need/want the plane now and can afford it, go for it. But don't buy the plane thinking that it will be an investment.

-- Philip Greenspun, June 7, 2008

I don't think the overall costs of the fuel is that big a drain. It is a problem right now because it was a big jump that was hard hitting psychologically.

I believe the bigger issues hurting GA are the failure to protect airports, constant threat of user fees, constant changes in tax code from the IRS (meant to nail corporate jets, but really nail us), inability to let airlines fail, and the poor economic outlook. I really think ALL of those are worse for us than $5 or $6 plus Avgas.

-- Eric Warren, July 15, 2008