Maintenance Matters

August 2000 Issue

It Costs How Much?

Does an airplane require more maintenance dollars as it get older? One reader’s experience suggests it doesn’t.

[IMGCAP(1)] A controversy reminiscent of the old argument, “But it’s a dry heat..,” is whether you’re better off to bite the bullet and buy a new airplane or nurse an older model along, paying as you go for the inevitable things that break.

Given current prices, a new airplane is actually more of a howitzer shell than a bullet and can blast an abyss into all but the plushest bank accounts. Buyers who opt for new airplanes sometimes rationalize the cost by convincing themselves that a new airplane will break less and will thus actually cost fewer dollars in the long run. Also, it should be more reliable, thus fewer canceled trips.

On the other hand, owners of mature airplanes—and that’s...

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