Airplane Ownership, by Ronald J. Wanttaja

Airplane Ownership

by Ronald J. Wanttaja

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Practical advice on selecting, inspecting, financing, insuring, hangaring, and maintaining an airplane.

Airplane Ownership, by author Ronald J. Wanttaja, is a valuable resource offering money-saving information on what a pilot needs to consider before and after buying a plane: selection, purchasing, financing, hangaring, maintenance, legal issues, and more.

Get your first plane!

Here, Ron Wanttaja walks you through the exciting process of shopping for, then acquiring and caring for your first airplane. Featuring lots of new information and photographs, this second edition includes the Light Sport category and Sports Pilot license, and emphasizes how to minimize cost of ownership for a wide range of planes. Aviation journalist Wanttaja, winner of the 1992 Aviation/Space Writers' Association Award of Excellence, guides you through every step -- before and after your purchase.

Expert guidance on:

  • Prices and real-world operating expenses
  • Cutting the costs of plane ownership
  • Sizing up planes, from modern to antiques, used to partially completed homebuilts
  • Privileges and limitations of the Light Sport Aircraft category
  • Renting vs. owning; partnerships and leasebacks
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Preownership inspections—avoiding getting burned
  • Paperwork needed to buy and register aircraft
  • Getting financing and the right insurance
  • Updated owner inspection and maintenance procedures—what you can and can't do


  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Why Buy?
  • Chapter 2: The Costs of Ownership
  • Chapter 3: Picking the Right Plane
  • Chapter 4: That New-Plane Smell
  • Chapter 5: Used Aircraft
  • Chapter 6: Special Wings, Part 1: Antiques and Classics
  • Chapter 7: Special Wings, Part 2: Homebuilts
  • Chapter 8: Found It!
  • Chapter 9: The First Week
  • Chapter 10: The First Year ... and Beyond
  • Chapter 11: Keeping It Legal
  • Chapter 12: Owner Maintenance
  • Chapter 13: Problems
  • Chapter 14: The Answer
  • Glossary
  • Index

About the author:

Ronald J. Wanttaja is an award-winning aviation writer and a former systems engineer with Boeing, who worked in satellite orbit/constellation design and analysis, launch vehicle and on-board propulsion system trades, and operations concepts for space systems. He worked on the early design studies for the International Space Station. An Air Force veteran, he was an on-duty operator for the Defense Support Program missile early-warning satellite. As a freelance aviation journalist, he has written for Private Pilot, Flying, Sport Aviation, Flight Line, Kitplanes, and other publications. He is author of the book Kit Airplane Construction. His aviation writing has won several prizes, including Flying Magazine's "Bax Seat Trophy" and a journalism award from the Aviation/Space Writer's Association. Mr. Wanttaja has also written and published historical fiction.


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