With inflation and rising fuel prices putting a damper on our imaginations, here’s a more modest fantasy: What would you do with $1,000? Say you won a scratch-off ticket or got an unexpected tax refund (ha), with the stipulation that you could only use it on an airplane. What could you buy?
The obvious: “A full tank of fuel,” Lin Caywood of Frederick, Maryland, said without hesitation. Self-serve gas at Frederick Municipal Airport was running $6.65 a gallon the day I wrote this. Can you blame her?
Caywood had other ideas for her Cessna 182T: “A portable air-conditioning unit, a really good detailing, lambswool seat covers, and I’d forward pay my hangar rent for two months.” (Remember, we’re talking about hangar rent in Frederick, Maryland.)
He'd also covet an electric bike that would fit in the back of the airplane.The mechanical: “I would get a B&C starter or alternator,” Editor at Large Dave Hirshman said. “Those are a great investment.” Hirschman, who owns a Van’s RV–4, also leaned toward some practical items: new tires and tubes (he’s a fan of Goodyear Flight Custom 3). He’d love to upgrade his aircraft cover and add a quilted engine cover that would help the RV’s oil pan warmer disperse heat throughout the entire engine during chilly months in the Mid-Atlantic.
The technical: With $1,000 you could upgrade an older iPad or other tablet and add a subscription to ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot, and try out a subscription to SiriusXM Aviation, which works with either app with a receiver. Charles Clinton, one of seven partners in a group that owns a 1978 Cessna 182Q, said he’d also covet a folding electrical bike that would fit in the back of the airplane, and another noise-canceling headset, though he didn’t specify which brand.
Fun stuff: AOPA Social Media Marketer Cayla McLeod is between airplanes—she most recently owned a Piper J–3 Cub—but she had several ideas of what she’d do if $1,000 dropped into her lap. If she were building the Super Cub of her dreams, she’d install Hooker harnesses, a USB port with a chronometer, or a Rosen sun visor. All can be had for under $1,000, with the unspent funds going to the maintenance shop for installation if needed.