The legendary Cessna 182 Skylane is a popular single-engine, piston-powered airplane.
One day I hope to own one, so I was particularly curious to find out how much a Cessna 182 Skylane costs to own and operate.
I’ve done my research for both new and second-hand Cessna 182s and will share what I’ve found in this article.
A brand new Cessna 182 Skylane will cost more than $700,000 in 2023. A second-hand Cessna 182 Skylane costs approximately $309,000 to $619,000 (aged from 2002 to 2011). In addition, the total cost of ownership (ignoring depreciation) but including costs such as insurance, maintenance, and hangar costs will be approximately $18,475 annually. The total cost to fly is approximately $184 per hour (based on 100 flying hours).
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Why the Cessna 182 Skylane is a Great Plane
Newly qualified private pilots often consider purchasing a Cessna 182 Skylane because of the relatively medium price, fuel efficiency, and easy handling of the aircraft.
Not only that but the Cessna 182 Skylane can carry up to 4 passengers including the pilot.
Continuing our series on the cost of buying a small plane, in this article, I’ll cover the total cost of ownership and the various financing options for a Cessna 182 Skylane.
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Cost of Purchasing a Cessna 182 Skylane
There is a big price difference between purchasing a new or used Cessna 182 Skylane.
A new Cessna 182 Skylane starts at around a cost of over $700,000. If purchasing a new aircraft, you’ll be guaranteed that it will be in perfect working order. Compare that to the Cessna 172 price.
There are many optional extras to choose from, such as avionics, flight control, fuel tanks, upholstery options, speed brakes, TKS deice system or other add-ons.
If you’re on a budget, you can pick up a good condition used Cessna 182 Skylane within the $309,000 to $619,000 price range for a 2002 to 2011 model.
You can also pay far less, or far more than this, depending on the condition, age, and location of the aircraft.
Given the popularity of the Cessna 182 Skylane, they are easy to acquire. There are many of them on the market because they first launched in 1956 and are still being manufactured to this day.
You can probably find a decent condition Cessna 182 Skylane for about $500,000. Keep in mind that they sell quickly once they go on the market.
Ownership Costs of a Cessna 182 Skylane
After purchasing a Cessna 182 Skylane, you won’t be finished spending money. You’ll soon have to start paying for the fixed and variable running costs. Be prepared for a total cost of ownership of $18,475 annually.
Total fixed costs are going to be approximately $6,675 and total variable costs will set you back around $11,800 (based on 100 annual flying hours. There’s also going to be a depreciation cost but it’s impossible to estimate this cost for your specific circumstances because there are so many factors to consider.
There are many fixed and variable costs of airplane ownership that beginners may not realize. Of course, this is true for any aircraft, not just for a 182.
If purchasing your new or used Cessna for straight-up cash, you don’t need to concern yourself with finance costs. If getting a loan to finance the purchase, you’ll also need to account for the interest repayment costs.
What Are the Fixed Costs for Cessna 182 Skylane Ownership?
We can define fixed costs of aircraft ownership as the costs that you’ll still have to pay regardless of whether the aircraft is flown or not.
So even if you purchase a Cessna 182 and never fly it, you’ll still need to pay the fixed costs such as the once-off purchase price, the hangar fees to the aerodrome, insurance costs, and the annual inspection cost.
Fixed costs for this aircraft (excluding the purchase price) are going to be approximately $6,675 per year.
There’s also the depreciation of your aircraft’s asset value to consider. When figuring out how much it costs to own and run a 182, it’s important to think about how its value goes down over time.
The amount of depreciation will depend on many things, such as how old the plane is, how much it cost to buy in the first place, what its expected resale value is, and how the market is doing. We know how important this cost is, but it’s hard to give an exact number without taking into account the unique circumstances of each aircraft.
To fully prepare for the annual inspection, you will also likely have to pay for any required maintenance that will be needed to pass the inspection.
Some people will group these maintenance costs into variable costs, but I like to classify them as fixed costs because you’ll still likely need to pay for them regardless of whether you fly or not.
I’ve also considered some regular subscriptions here that you might be paying for such as weather services or ForeFlight. Let’s allow about $605 to cover these other costs.
Hangar Costs for a Cessna 182 Skylane
Hangar costs will vary greatly depending on location and the type of storage facility you’ll be renting space from.
In the US, you’ll find hangar space for approximately as little as $70 per month, although you’ll probably want to pay more than that for more facilities and security. Annually, you’re looking at about $850 for your storage costs at a hangar for your Cessna 182 Skylane.
You don’t need necessarily need to rent storage space though. You might have the opportunity to build or buy your own hangar.
How much does insurance cost for a Cessna 182 Skylane?
Insurance for owning and flying a Cessna 182 Skylane is not as expensive as you might think.
Again, just like the other costs, the cost of insurance will vary greatly depending on your location, frequency of flight, aircraft value, and type of cover.
Insurance pricing does vary due to so many factors. I recommend that you shop around and you might get a lower rate. Bear in mind that the lower rates will often only be liability-only cover. That won’t cover damage or loss to the aircraft itself. It will cover damage or injury to third persons.
The main factor in determining the cost of insuring a Cessna 182 Skylane is the valuation of the airplane.
The cost to insure a used Cessna 182 Skylane will be approximately $3,200 per year.
The cost to insure a brand new Cessna 182 Skylane will cost many multiples of that due to the high replacement cost of a new aircraft.
How much is an annual inspection for a Cessna 182 Skylane?
Each year, the FAA stipulates that an aircraft must have an annual inspection. It costs about $1,150.
On top of that, you’ll still need to ensure that parts are in working order and oil and other fluids are topped up as needed.
The fixed maintenance costs (including the annual inspection) could be around $6,675 each year. In my calculations, I’ve also allowed for other necessary maintenance for parts at around $800 each year.
What Are the Variable Costs for Cessna 182 Skylane Ownership?
The variable costs such as fuel, oil, unscheduled maintenance and miscellaneous costs (landing fees, parking, minor travel costs) will probably cost in the region of about $11,800 annually.
The variable cost to fly works out at around $118 per hour. That’s based on 100 flying hours per year.
All we can provide here are estimates because your mileage may vary when it comes to variable costs for running a Cessna 182.
The longer you own a plane for, the more the annual variable costs tend to start increasing. That’s mainly due to the increased maintenance costs.
Unlike fixed costs, you’ll only need to pay these costs when the plane is actually in use.
Cessna 182 Skylane Fuel Costs
The Cessna 182 Skylane uses avgas, and this costs about $75 per hour of flight.
Currently, avgas costs about $5 per gallon, and the Cessna 182 Skylane consumes 13.8 gallons of avgas each hour.
It pays to shop around when it comes to avgas prices. Different airports charge different amounts depending on location and how busy it is.
Cessna 182 Skylane Oil
If you are technically-minded, you can save money on labor by looking after oil changes yourself.
Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for the labor, oil, and filters out of your own pocket.
I’ve worked out that the oil cost for a Cessna 182 Skylane will typically run at about $3 per running hour.
Cessna 182 Skylane Engine Maintenance Costs
During the year, you might have to replace spark plugs and air filters. These are routine and usually done every 100 hours of flight time. They don’t cost too much.
The engine may need to be checked at regular intervals, such as with a compression test, which can help find problems before they get worse. Other costs for routine engine maintenance on a Cessna 182 may include replacing hoses, belts, and other parts that are worn or broken.
Let’s be conservative and factor in say, $15 per running hour to cover these engine maintenance costs.
Every 2,000 hours or so, the engine of a Cessna 182 Skylane needs to be overhauled. This is also known as a TBO (Time Between Overhaul).
Overhauling an airplane engine can get very expensive very quickly depending on the condition of the engine, the age, the hours of wear and tear etc.
Safety is paramount, so it’s a crucial thing that needs to happen.
The engine is taken apart, and each component is carefully examined. This includes the pistons, bearings, cylinders as well as other parts of the engine. Repairs or replacements are carried out as necessary.
The more flight hours that build up on an engine, the more often it will need to be completely overhauled.
The overhaul cost probably works out at something like $15 per running hour. This is a rough estimate but it should give you an idea.
Miscellaneous Running Costs for the Cessna 182 Skylane
You can be almost guaranteed that there will be other minor costs associated with owning and flying not just the Cessna 182 Skylane but indeed, any airplane.
Take for example, landing fees, parking, etc. I have estimated these to run at about $10 per flying hour. I’ve told you before, it ain’t cheap to fly!
That’s the fixed and variable costs covered. Now, let’s talk about how to afford one!
Financing Options for Purchasing a Cessna 182 Skylane
I know there are a few different financing alternatives available for this kind of aircraft because I have friends who own a Cessna 182 Skylane. Obtaining a loan from a bank or other financial organization is one choice.
Leasing the aircraft is an additional choice that enables you to use it for a predetermined period of time before returning it or even buying it at the conclusion of the lease. Last but not least, you could think about buying a share in one with a small group of people that you trust.
Whichever option you go for to purchase a Cessna 182 Skylane, be sure to read all those T&Cs before you sign anything. You’ll need to understand the full terms and costs that you might be on the hook for.
Taking out a loan for one Cessna 182 Skylane
Applying for a conventional loan from a bank or credit union to finance your Cessna 182 Skylane is one choice. If you have a high credit score and a solid financial history, this could be a wise decision.
Applying for a loan created especially for financing airplanes is an additional choice. If you have less-than-perfect credit, these loans frequently offer more scraping terms and might be more ready to work with you.
Practical advice: Before choosing a lender, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare rates and terms from various lenders. Consider your financial situation carefully and make sure you can afford the loan payments.
For anyone who don’t want to commit to buying the aircraft outright, leasing a Cessna 182 Skylane can be a simple and affordable financing choice. When you rent a plane, you agree to use it for a predetermined amount of time—typically several years—in exchange for a fixed monthly payment. You have two options at the end of the lease: return the aircraft to the owner or maybe buy it for a set amount.
You can get wet leases (includes a pilot!) and dry leases (just the plane. You’ll most likely be opting for the dry lease option.
It makes sense to thoroughly investigate and compare lease possibilities from various suppliers. There can be a ton of paper work on lease agreements so make sure you can read the fine print. Same as for loans, think about your ability to make the payments for the duration of the full lease.
Buying a share in a Cessna 182 Skylane
Buying a share in a plane enables you to own a portion of the plane and operate it jointly with other owners. This may be a reasonable alternative to outright purchase or long-term leasing if you need access to an aircraft.
It’s frequently referred to as ‘shared ownership’ or ‘fractional ownership.’ Typically, there is an initial investment required when purchasing a share of an aircraft, followed by continuing maintenance and operational expenses.
This is sometimes arranged or facilitated in local flying clubs. That’s where a lot of people will first hear of the practice of having a share in a Cessna 182 Skylane.
The advantages of owning an airplane without having to pay for it outright can frequently be accessed by people or organizations at a reasonable cost through fractional ownership. It enables the owners to divide the aircraft’s initial purchase price as well as continuing maintenance and operational expenses.
How much of the aircraft each owner has access to and is responsible for maintaining will depend on the size of their respective shares.
People who desire to fly for personal or professional reasons but lack the funds or need to own a plane outright may be interested in fractional ownership. It can also be a viable alternative for companies that require regular access to an aircraft but do not want to assume full ownership responsibility.
As you can see, once you start adding everything up, the cost of ownership for a Cessna 182 Skylane (on indeed any plane) can be expensive. Our ultimate guide to small aircraft will help you make an informed decision.
It’s all relative, though. If you have a love for flying, and you can afford it, then it’s really worth it. Compared to other planes, it’s not too bad. Doing the math, the running cost for a 182 aircraft is somewhere in the region of about $184 per hour (fixed and variable costs). The variable cost to fly is around $118 per hour (fuel, oil, maintenance etc.).
Alternatively, the majority of newly qualified private pilots prefer to rent a Cessna 182 Skylane if that makes more financial sense for them.
That’s it for this article. Meanwhile, safe flying!
Please send me the link where I can buy a new 182 for $530k. That would be nice. In reality they take 2 years to get one if you order today and it will cost you over $700k. Only two 2023 planes came on the market during April and sold immediately for just over $700k each. The closest thing to your $530k would be around 15 years old at best.
Thanks Dana for pointing out the typo. I’ve updated the article with more accurate pricing.