I’m a big believer in the FAA Wings programs and flight simulators to keep a pilot proficient. If the weather is really bad or your checkbook is a little empty, flying with a Flight Simulator program on your home computer can be a great help. While it might not be logging “real” hours, it can sure help keep your mind in the flying mood. The Flight Sim program can overlay weather, set up approaches and do almost everything a pilot need s to do to feel comfortable in their aircraft. Flying to a new destination? Set up the Flight Sim program to fly into the area, make a few approaches and you’ll feel like you been there before when you get there for the first time.
It is definitely a buyers market. Yes, the market is slow, but if you have cash or credit, you have some tremendous buying opportunities.
I think that many of the aircraft advertised are over priced. I would assume that many of the sellers purchased their aircraft over the past few years when we were having tremendous growth in the market (aviation and stock) and now that both markets have stopped growing, the sellers are reluctant to lower their prices for a sale and risk losing money.
The Vref base value takes into account the average number of hours that the aircraft should have on the airframe and engine at the time of sale. The base price also includes a standard radio package for the model and an average condition. That is probably representative of over 75 percent of the aircraft on the market. So the base price is probably representative of over 75 percent of the aircraft for sale. Sure, you can add for low engine time and low airframe, but it all seems to balance back towards the base price. A plane with a low total time, say 1,500 hours, will get an increase in value for the hours. But if the engine has 1,500 hours on it also (and a 2,000 TBO) the book will reduce the value for the engine hours over the halfway point of 1,000 hours. Typically, the value of the engine per hour is higher than the airframe per hours.
Of course, if you have an aircraft that is loaded with all kinds of fancy modifications or avionics, the price will probably not be close to the base book values. But on the average, basic book values are pretty close.