New to it all flying

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I've looked at other forums and they seem to have some 'smugness' about their abilities. I've seen a couple of post that you've answered that seem straight forward.
Here's my dilemma. My wife and son will be inheriting a cattle ranch about 500 miles north of us. The drive takes 6+ hours each way. We currently are doing this trim (on average) twice a month. I still have an Engineering job that's 8-9+ hour days. I have the resources to buy a private plane (<$200K) but I'm 6'7" and I do not fit in the Cessna 175 of my father in laws.
I'm willing to buy a used, small plane outright, but is it worth it?
I see the Rockwell 112/114 have a higher cabin height, compared to the 175 and I do not have a pilots license, but I can learn. But money doesn't grow on trees.
Two, 12 hour (driving 6 hours each way) trips a month, for the next 5 years; until I retire and we move up there. Versus the cost of a plane? And one that I can fit into without hitting my head during turbulence. I'm sure we will have additional vacations to the western/Midwest National Parks (and other points of interest) with the family and other areas IF I had a plane. What's your guy's thoughts?

-- David Tory, July 9, 2022


A privately owned aircraft for your mission will not save you time nor money. Think about all the pilot training required to keep your family safe. Think about the time involved with maintenance and inspection issues. (Smugness alert!) I have owned a Bonanza for 23 years. If you don't like the time and stress involved with a long car ride, think about the stress and time of pulling the plane out of the hangar, fueling, preflight inspections, etc. Costs: Insurance for a low-time pilot on a high-value aircraft, AvGas, hangar rent, flight instruction, maintenance & inspections. Uber is a more rational choice than aircraft ownership for you.

-- Don Shade, July 10, 2022