Contrary to what you have been told, it’s possible to make money in general aviation with only your private pilot rating if you plan well and execute flawlessly. Making YouTube videos is certainly popular but lets face it, most pilots are not hot chicks and won’t get the clicks. This guy makes videos on his “Just Plane Silly” YouTube Channel. He is funny and looks like he is making some money, but if he was a hot chick he would get way more clicks.
1- Aircraft Partnership – The easiest path to profit is selling partnerships in your plane. This approach depends upon acquiring the plane then selling fractions to as many pilots as possible. Let’s say you purchase a Cessna 172 for $50,000 then turn around and sell 8-10 fractions for $10,000 each plus prorated monthly costs. You don’t have to be a finance wizard to see the profit potential.
2 – Sharing Flight Costs – This idea is highly underutilized and misunderstood by all but the most clever of pilots. Some costs are easy to track and prorate such as fuel. Insurance, hangar; however, no one really knows the true cost of an annual until it’s over and who is to say that your engine isn’t going to need an overhaul this year? That extra $30,000-$40,000 needs to be accounted for when calculating everyone’s share of those flights.
3 – Arbitrage – This classic financial strategy entails the near simultaneous selling and buying of an asset to profit on the price spread. You find a plane for sale on a website then list the same plane on a different website at a higher price. The beauty of this strategy is you are never out of pocket any cash because you don’t buy the plane until after it’s sold and have the cash in hand!
4 – Forgiveness Insurance – This strategy requires a leap of faith for the religiously inclined. You offer to donate rides in your plane to the local church with the promise of taking parishioners closer to God so they can pray to have their sins forgiven. Before takeoff you collect an insurance premium against them not being forgiven by his almighty. You can also add a small extra fee for the flight to be blessed, just in case.
5 – Selling T Shirts – There is no law against taking friends and business associates flying in your plane. How does someone become your business associate? They buy one of your $500 t-shirts. The flight in the plane is merely incidental to the business relationship and they can wear that new shirt on the trip.