Small Aircraft prices

February 24, 2022

2010 Dassault Falcon 900LX

Overhaul ManualAn inspection of the engine is required for every 100 hours logged on that engine. Failure to complete this inspection renders the aircraft unavailable for commercial use. That means that you can still fly the plane, but you will not be able to carry passengers or cargo, including "group assignments" that have a $0 pay. You can chose to inspect your aircraft early, for example at 95 hours total time (TT); however, your second inspection will then be due at 195hrs TT, not 200hrs TT. In this example, you will have reached your next 100hrs logged at 195hrs.

The cost of 100 hr. inspections will vary with the engine type, the number of engines, and the age of the airframe. You can expect a base price for the 100hr. inspection on a single small piston engine to start at around $900 and increase from there with the age of the engine. For a large turbo-prop you can expect to start at around $7000 per engine. These are only examples of the starting base price; your actual experience may vary. In addition the cost of the inspection will be increased by the markup percentage charged by the FBO performing the work.

After replacing an engine at 1500 hours (for piston engines) or 2000 hours (turbine engines), the cost of the 100hr inspection will decrease somewhat, but not back to that of a 0-hr aircraft because the airframe now has thousands of hours on it, which adds to the cost. This same decrease in inspection costs will occur after replacing this second engine with a third engine, and so on. However, you can expect that the "average cost" of a 100hr inspection will be double for the second engine, triple (the cost of the 1st engine) for the third engine, and so on.

In addition to the base cost of the 100hr check you can expect to see additional costs based on the avionics that are installed and the condition of the engine. An engine that is run too lean or too rich will cost more at inspection time.

Here is an example of what you might see in your inspection report for an aircraft with a well-leaned, normally aspirated engine:

Aircraft Serviced: XY-123
Maintenance Handled By: Service-R-Us
100 hour check: $924.00
Additional Engine Repair: $196.00
Avionics inspection & repair: $183.00
Airframe inspection & repair: $176.00
Airworthiness Directives Compliance: $176.00

Engine information
Engine running time: 539 hours.
The engine looks clean.
Compression test shows the worst cylinder at 92% compression.

For an aircraft with a normally aspirated engine that hasn’t been properly leaned during flight you will see something in the “Engine Information” section that looks like this:

A serious amount of carbon deposits was detected and
removed from the engine cylinders and exhaust valves. $640.00

The leaning of the engine will have no effect on Turbo-prop and Jet engines.

Random Maintenance

In addition to the regular required maintenance you will occasionally have unexpected expenses. These maintenance requirements have nothing to do with how the plane is flown, so improper engine management or excessively hard landings will NOT cause a random maintenance issue to occur.

If your plane is "down for maintenance", you will see this message on your “my-flight” page:

WARNING: This aircraft is prohibited from commercial operations until repairs have been made. Please fly to the nearest Repair Station and have your aircraft serviced.

This means that the aircraft requires maintenance before you can carry passengers, cargo or even supplies or fuel to stock your FBO. You can imagine that this is caused by unexpected damage such as scrapes while moving the aircraft inside the hanger, known as “hangar-rash” or maybe the kid you hired to wash your plane used the pitot tube as a step to reach the wing.

This feature is completely random and you may go months without seeing it only to have it appear on the same plane twice in a short period of time.

For aircraft that you, or your group, own, you can see if any of them require repairs by looking on the Aircraft webpage. Any aircraft in need of maintenance will show a "wrench and screwdriver" icon next to the registration.

Engine Categories

There are seven types of engines in FSE, and the maintenance prices are based on the aircraft's engine type. Those engine types are as follows:

  • Small Piston
  • High Performance Piston
  • Large Piston/Radial
  • Turbine/Small T-Prop
  • Large T-Prop
  • Turbofan
  • Jet

TBO (Time Between Overhaul) - Engine Replacement

Every 1500 hours or 2000 hours, depending on engine type, the aircraft owner will be responsible for a complete overhaul of your airplane, outfitting it with a newly refurbished engine (or two, or three, or four!).

Much like the 100-hour maintenance check, this milestone maintenance event is required and will prevent commercial service of your airplane if the milestone is missed. This maintenance may be performed at any location with repair facilities. The prices quoted are all-inclusive, and represent the replacement of all engines which your airplane is equipped with.

Maintenance Cost Projection Charts

In order for aircraft owners to project their "cost of ownership", the following table provides the average cost for a 100hr inspection on the first engine or set of engines - that is, a new aircraft until it's first engine replacement. This is the average cost over the lifespan of that first engiine... the first 100hr will be cheaper than this estimate, and the 14th (or 19th) 100hr will be more expensive. There is no 15th 100hr inspection cost for piston engines, and there is no 20th 100hr inspection for turbine engines, because this is the time interval at which you must completely overhaul the engine for the cost listed in the engine categories above. At TBO, you do not have to complete a 100-hr and and engine overhaul - only an engine overhaul. The average cost for a 100hr inspection on the second engine is roughly double that of the inspection costs for the 1st engine. The average 100hr cost for the third engine is roughly triple that of the 1st engine.

EngineType Required TBO Engine Price Average 100 Hr. Maintenance Cost
Small Piston 1500hrs $22, 000 $2, 200
High-Performance Piston $44, 000 $3, 500
Large Piston or Radial $66, 000 $5, 250
Small Turboprop 2000hrs $114, 000 $10, 300
Large Turboprop $143, 000 $12, 900
Turbofan $160, 000 $14, 450
Jet $210, 000 $19, 100

* Prices are "per engine". Double the cost estimate for a twin engine plane. *Avg 100hr cost assumes a 15% FBO markup fee.

These prices assume that the engine was replaced at the appropriate intervals. Replacing an engine early will skew the prices somewhat, because the airframe hours will no longer match the engine hours.

Used Aircraft Devaluation

In addition to all of the costs above, simply using an aircraft potentially decreases its value. This is also a Cost of Ownership consideration for factoring in the difference between what you paid for the aircraft when you purchased it, and what you might be able to get for it when you sell it. Depending on how fast you need to sell your aircraft might also effect how much you can get for it.

When selling an aircraft, you have 3 options:

  1. List the aircraft for sale on the system's for-sale page. Anyone choosing to buy your plane does so through the system interface, and the transaction is immediate. This could be the slowest option, but if and when it does sell, you will get exactly the price you were asking for.
  2. Advertise your plane for sale (or conduct an auction) in the Community Forums. This will probably be a little faster than the first option, but you will probably need to negotiate with other players and you may have to settle for selling your plane for less than you had planned on.
  3. Sell your plane back to the system for the system's offered price, known as the "Buyback Price". This is the fastest option if you need cash immediately. However, it will also result in the lowest possible amount for your plane, and the value will continue to decrease as you use your plane.

System Buyback

The system's Buyback Price is NOT considered to be the "actual value of the aircraft". Rather, this is the "panic button" - when you cannot negotiate a private sale, and/or you need to liquidate your assets for cash quickly, the System Buyback is an option available to you - however, it should be the "last resort" option. Although you can negotiate private sales with other players for whatever price you agree upon, the FSE system's Buyback Price is considered to be the "lowest possible value" for an aircraft, and this is the value that declines with an aircraft's age (in terms of airframe and engine hours).

You can see the system's Buyback Price for your aircraft at any time by looking at the "Edit" screen. The system Buyback Price declines with each flight hour on both the airframe and the engines, and ranges from a highest-possible value of 60% of base price to a lowest-possible value of 25% of base price.

The Buyback Price starts at 60% of base price when there are zero hours on the airframe (and, therefore, zero hours on the engines), plus the base price of any installed avionics (see: Owning an Aircraft for a list of avionics base prices). Each hour on the airframe (up to 10, 000 hours) AND each hour on the engine contributes to a lower buy-back price. Therefore, it should be obvious that replacing the engines will raise the buyback price. The "salvage" value - the absolute lowest that a buyback price will ever be - is 25% of base price plus avionics.For example, let's look at a brand new Cessna 152. There are zero hours on the airframe and the engine. According to the list of Aircraft Configurations on the FSE Game World website, the "base price" for a Cessna 152 is $18, 600. If you find one of these for sale and purchase it, but then you immediately regret your decision, you can sell it back to the system for $11, 160, which is 60% of the base price (assuming it was not flown at all). Since there are no avionics installed in a Cessna 152 by default, there is no added value for avionics.
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