Cost to Operate

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Compelling Kestrel

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

Alan Klapmeier's back with a new company - and a new plane - the single-engine turboprop Kestrel, a sleek, six-seat, 340-knot composite aircraft.

The Joint Strike Super Fighter

Article | Jan 01, 2011

It has been 34 years since I flew a carrier approach, so I got a rock in the pit of my stomach when my tour guide at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas—retired U.S. Navy Capt.

Frugal Flyer: Mobile maintenance

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2010

When Brian Wallis works on airplanes in remote areas, he doesn’t worry about bringing generators or the fuel to feed them. Everything he needs, from an engine hoist to an air compressor, fits in a small trailer, and his power tools, computer, and printer get their power from his car—or the sun.

Frugal Flyer: No compromise

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2010

I’m all for good deals and aggressively pursue them whenever, and wherever, they make sense. But there are times when chasing the lowest price can be penny wise and pound foolish and there are a few areas in aviation where even the most frugal fliers are willing to open their wallets.

Frugal Flyer: Free engine overhaul

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2010

A Watching a fellow pilot heft several five-gallon cans of auto fuel onto the wing of his experimental airplane and pour the contents into the fuel tanks, I couldn’t resist the urge to tease him about being such a cheapskate. After all, this was a Russian-made aerobat that cost more than $150,000.


Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2010

I’m not much of an electronic gamer, probably because I’m decades removed from my prime eye-hand coordination years. The exception is when I’m flying.

Frugal Flyer: New / old aircraft

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2010

Falling used-aircraft prices and a growing variety of glass-panel avionics retrofits have combined to create a new niche market: refurbished airframes with ultra-modern panels at a far lower price than factory-new aircraft. Two companies, Crownair and NexAir, are focusing on six-seat aircraft (Cessna 210s and Piper Saratogas, respectively); a third, Tango Ten Conversions, is specializing in four-seat Cirrus SR20s and SR22s.

Frugal Flyer: Elegant frugality

Article | Feb 01, 2010

Elegance and frugality may seem mutually exclusive, but not in aviation. A sleek, aerodynamically efficient airfoil, for example, is an elegant piece of engineering that can increase aircraft speed and range while reducing fuel consumption.

Frugal Flyer: Backseat learning

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2009

Almost all of the flight training aircraft at my local airport have four seats, and the rear two are usually empty. That’s a shame because those vacant seats represent valuable learning opportunities missed.

Frugal Flyer: It's Really Free

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2009

Electronic distribution of IFR charts and approach plates has long held the promise of reducing the cost and simplifying the task of keeping IFR subscriptions current. The catch for pilots and aircraft owners is that, so far, it hasn’t always worked out that way.