Justification of helicopter for personal and business use

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I have recently been researching costs of owning a r22 and eventually an r44 Helicopter. I
have seen r22 's sell for $40,000 needing overhaul up to $200,000 in great like new
condition. Some have great time left over 1500 hrs, but the 12 year time is almost up. It just
seems like the average person can have an airplane, But is it the case with these helicopters?
How can these prices be justified??? Is it tax benefits with depreciation or what?? I mean if
you bought a good time left helicopter and it only had 3 yrs left until overhaul there is
another $100,000 gone and if you only flew 100 hrs per year, what hapens at overhaul time (
12 years, 1200 hrs and another $100,000 plus by then for inflation. What do you think the
helicopter would be worth then? How much can you expect it to appreciate?? Are you better
off to buy new and keep selling or trading up?? Thanks for any help.

-- Proctor Hensley, January 16, 2007


You can't justify the price as a good value compared to other forms of transportation. A 1998 Honda Accord will get you to most of the same places for a lot less money. Financially it doesn't make a lot of difference buying new or used. If you're not going to fly too many hours, you might be best served by getting a higher time R22 so that you don't run up against the 12-year limit. Also the insurance will be much less on a lower hull value. The typical high-time R22 has been beaten up pretty badly at a flight school, so if you can find one that has been used for pipeline patrol or similar, that's ideal.

-- Philip Greenspun, January 17, 2007