single engine aircraft

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    What Is the Best Personal Aircraft to Buy in 2019? see more

    NAFA member Jason Zilberbrand, President of VREF Aircraft Value Reference & Appraisal Services, shares advice on finding the best personal aircraft in 2019.

    When buying an aircraft for personal use, there is a litany of factors that will go into your decision-making. Whether your intentions are to take day trips for the weekend or intercontinental excursions, finding the best personal aircraft to meet these needs will come at wildly different price points.

    In addition, the number of passengers and on-going costs for the aircraft can affect your decision.

    Keep reading for a VREF  breakdown of various examples for the best personal aircraft you can buy in 2019.

    Single Engine

    The most utilitarian and hassle-free aircraft are single engines planes. With price points in the low or sub-six figures, a single-engine plane can get you flying for a low cost of ownership.

    Here are some of the best buys for 2019:

    Pre-Owned Beechcraft Bonanza

    • Price $100k – $375k
    • 765nm range
    • Seating for 6

    Pre-Owned Cessna 206 Stationair

    • Price $100k – $225k
    • 730 nm range
    • Seating for 6
    • Features a large rear “clamshell” door easy load-ins

    Other notable players in this category are the Piper Cherokee Six, Piper Malibu Mirage, and, of course, the trusty Cessna 172.

    Twin Engine

    Pilots enjoy the redundancy or dual engines of a twin. Twins handle larger payloads and faster speeds, as well as faster takeoff and climbing speeds.

    These tend to cost less than high-performance single engines but garner higher ownership costs due to the second engine.

    Examples of deals in 2019:

    Beechcraft Baron 58

    • Price $200k – $1.4 million (new)
    • 1700nm
    • Seating for 6

    Pre-Owned Beechcraft Baron 55

    • Known as the “Baby Baron”
    • Price $75k – $175k
    • Though smaller, it comfortably seats 6 passengers

    Other Notables: Piper Turbo Seneca II, Cessna 310R

    Turbo Props

    Typically known as a “Step-up airplane,” turboprops have taken a huge share of the market from the multi-engine planes of the past. While pilots originally bought twin-engines as a way to make them and their families feel safer, turboprops have made great leaps in sophistication and reliability. Their short takeoff and landing capabilities make dealing with emergencies much easier.

    Turboprops do incur higher purchase prices and operating costs. They are extremely efficient at lower altitudes and slower speeds.

    They enjoy the ability to access smaller airports and runways and are ideal for day trips of 500nm or less (think, Miami to Nassau and back). Be sure to enlist the help of a professional aircraft appraiser because of the substantial jump in price.

    Here are some of the standouts:

    Piper Meridian (2002 – 2015)

    • Price $650k – $1.5 million
    • 1,000nm range
    • Seating for 6 in plush interiors with upgrades

    TBM 700 (1990 – 2005)

    • $750K – $1.5 million
    • 1,350nm range
    • Seating for 6

    Best Personal Aircraft – Jets

    Jets are at the top of the personal aircraft hierarchy. They fly further, faster and with more people than the other categories on this list.

    Jets have massive price tags and ballooning maintenance and hangar fees. But for the business or personal traveler who demands speed and global access, this is the personal aircraft of choice.

    Very Light Jets

    Cessna Citation Mustang

    • “Most bang for your buck” smallest member of the Citation Family
    • Price $1- $2 million
    • 1170 nm range
    • Seating for 5 plus 1 crew

    Eclipse 550

    • The only brand new twin-engine jet for $3 million
    • 1125nm range
    • Seating for 5 plus 1 crew

    Light Jet

    Cessna Citation CJ3 or CJ3+

    • Price $3.75 – $6 million
    • 2,000nm range
    • Seating for 6 passengers plus crew

    Embraer Phenom 100

    • $1.75 – $2.25 million
    • 1,178nm range
    • Seating for 5 plus crew

    The Best Fit

    As mentioned above, finding the best personal aircraft for you is a combination of factors that fit your lifestyle and intentions. Yet, both a hobbyist and a global businessperson can enjoy the freedom that private aviation provides.

    With any aircraft purchase, be sure to reference our reference guide to make sure you have the most accurate data and valuations.

    This article was originally published by VREF on May 2, 2019.