On an airplane to Boston

by w3woody

I’m now waiting at RDU to fly to Boston to check out the prospective airplane.

Yes, my original plan of attack was to check out the airplane, do the pre-buy inspection, then fly home in one trip. But my wife pointed out (correctly) that I may be better off making two trips, especially given how cheap flights to Boston from RDU are. So I’m going to fly up today and take a look at the airplane, and if it looks (and feels) fine, then I’ll arrange for a pre-buy, for escrow, and for a title search–and take possession sometime in the next two weeks.

Details: when you buy an airplane, you need a place to park it, and you need to pay both whatever sales or excise taxes your state requires, as well as property taxes. I’ve already contacted the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and have found out that for the purchase price we’re negotiating, my excise taxes will be around $1500, and my annual property tax for parking the airplane at RDU (which is in Wake County, North Carolina) will be approximately $360/year. (Property taxes in Wake County are relatively low.) I don’t know if there will be any additional taxes due to the city where RDU is located–some cities add onto the basic property taxes–but I cannot imagine them adding more than $1000 or so a year, and I strongly suspect (based on one conversation with the nice lady at NCDOT) that there are no additional city property tax add-ons.

If you’re in California and you just read my comments about the tax rates in disbelief–note that if I were in California these numbers would be around $4,500-$5,000 for the excise tax, and around $690-$750/year in property taxes.

As a side note, my father gave me a pointer to his broker (True Course Aviation in Camarillo, CA), and they quoted me $1,179/year, insuring the aircraft for $10k above the hull value that I negotiated with the seller. Much better than AVEMCO!

(Why $10k above hull value? Because at some point I intend to paint the airplane, and install new upgrades and the like–which means at some point the value of the airplane will go up above the purchase price we’re negotiating. That advise I got from my father.)

Also as a side note, after having a pleasant conversation with one of the FBOs here at RDU to rent a hanger–now I can’t get him to return my phone calls. There are two FBOs; I have a message in with the other one, so we’ll see who coughs up a quote first.