The Risks of Owning an Aircraft While Training

A professional pilot looks at the pros and cons of owning your own airplane while building flight hours.

This week, commercial pilot Sam Weigel takes a look at the pros and cons of owning your own aircraft while building flight hours. [Screenshot]

Owning your own aircraft for flight training and building flight hours can be wildly rewarding, but it also comes with risks. 

Airline captain Sam Weigel shares his experience of owning a 1953 Piper Pacer while he was building hours early on and how he navigated an unexpected turn of events.

"Thinking back to the years when I was training and time building, I did not have $20,000 to lose," Weigel said. "Such a financial setback might have killed my career before it even got started."

Sam Weigel has been an airplane nut since an early age, and when he's not flying the Boeing 737 for work, he enjoys going low and slow in vintage taildraggers. He and his wife live west of Seattle, where they are building an aviation homestead on a private 2,400-foot grass airstrip.

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