Variable Direct Cost of Flying – A List

In a shared ownership it’s important to know your variable direct cost for flying an airplane, which includes more than fuel and oil. You’ll want to match variable expense with each member’s hourly usage, but fixed expenses would be shared equally between members regardless of hours flown.

Here’s a top ten list of variable direct cost that we reviewed over the past several weeks. The list is based on actual work orders from authorized service centers.

What are 10 Top Variable Direct Costs of Flying a Cirrus SR22?

Your cost may vary, but you’ll have these items as variable direct cost when the plane is cranked to fly (The only exception would be air-conditioning if your plane is not equipped).

You cannot fly without wearing down your brakes and tires. Your magnetos only have 400 hours of useful time before IRAN. Spark plugs are limited to about 350 hours. Your starter has a limited number of cranks.

Top 10 Variable Direct Costs to Flying a Cirrus SR22

Item Description Cost
1 Fuel
2 Oil
3 Starter 1,871
4 Magnetos 1,500
5 Spark Plugs 531
6 Electrical Harness 725
7 Brakes 340
8 Main Tires 655
9 Alternator 1 1,754
10 Air-Conditioning 604
Total $7,980

Are these the only variable direct costs to flying a Cirrus SR22?  No, but the list is a good start. You need a reasonable list to set an initial hourly rate.

How do we translate this list of expenses into an hourly rate charged to members in a shared airplane ownership?  We’ll cover that topic in next week’s post.

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