Ingo Noka

How much is it?

In Aircraft, Knowledge, Ownership on July 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Busy Senai Airport and Beautiful Flying Weather

Today we had beautiful flying weather and Senai airport was teeming with GA activity.  A heart warming sight after many weeks of being grounded because of haze and recently because of aircraft maintenance.

On a day like this it is bad form to talk about money, but anyway, today I picked up 9MDRJ  after the Annual Maintenance and paid a couple of bills, which prompted me to provide some pointers to the operating cost of small Malaysian registered GA aircraft.

– Insurance (aircraft hull, third part liability and accident) – as far as I can tell, only the liability insurance is mandatory, but is standard practice to get liability and accident as well. You will have to engage an insurance broker in Malaysia, because apparently it is not possible to contract an insurance company directly. I am using KSDC Insurance Brokers.  The liability bit is more or less fixed, but on aircraft (hull) and accident you have some freedom to change the premium and coverage. For example you can decide whether to get an accident insurance for all seats or just two. You may find however that you won’t get away with much less than USD 400 to 600 per months for a low-end aircraft such as the Piper Archer.

Senai Airport, General Aviation Apron

– Maintenance contract. You have to contract with a maintenance company for “Continued Airworthiness Management”. The company need to be approved by DCA Malaysia and has to be able to maintain the aircraft in accordance with the requirements of the DCA Malaysia. The pricing is a bit sensitive. You should expect SGD 500 to SGD 1,000 per months. I suggest you inquire with the companies in Johor, Subang or Ipoh that provide such services. As far as I know there are two such companies in Johor (associated with FRAS and Elite Flying Club) and one company in Singapore (MAJ at Seletar Airport). I understand there is at least one company in Ipoh and I am sure there must be companies in Subang as well.  I am using the FRAS Maintenance company and have so far only good things to say about them.  I am especially happy with the mechanics Eric and Zul, but the engineer, Mike, and the support crew from FRAS are great too.

– Certificate of Airworthiness. This should exist of course when you buy the aircraft. However, the renewal will cost you money every year, so it matters when the C of A expires. DCA will issue the C of A after an inspection of the aircraft (or under the condition that such an inspection will be done). There will be some cost for the inspector to travel to Senai or Singapore if you do not bring the aircraft to Subang.

9MDRJ Ready to go home with me after the Annual Maintenance

– Certificate of Registration. The DCA fee for the C of R is only incurred once for every ownership change and is not substantial (less than 1,000 Ringgit). Aircraft can only be registered by Malaysian Citizens, permanent residents and Malaysian companies. Setting up a Malaysian company is somewhat complex and it is best to use a Corporate Services Company to do it. They will advise how to set up the company under Malaysian law. This will set you back about SGD 1500 initially and a small monthly service fee after that.

– Parking. This cost will be very different dependent on whether you park in Malaysia or in Singapore and whether you go for a hangar (e.g. in Subang) or park outside. Again pricing is proprietary information, but you can inquire with Wings over Asia for parking at Seletar and with the flying clubs in Johor for parking at Senai Airport. It is possible to register an aircraft under a Flying Club (which need to be one that is approved by DCA Malaysia), in which case most fees in Malaysia won’t apply.

Back in Seletar, waiting for a Fedex Boeing to get out of the way.

– Fuel and oil. You can either create an account with Petronas or pay cash. At the moment I pay cash. The liter of Avgas is about 7 Ringgit and slightly more expensive in Singapore (I think I paid SGD 2.30 last time). Oil is available from WoA or your maintenance organization. Last time I paid SGD 140 for 11 bottles of W100 Aeroshell (1 quart).

– Spare parts and consumables. At every maintenance (50 hours, 100 hours and Annual) the mechanic will change certain parts (oil filter, air filter, spark plugs etc.). That stuff is not included in the monthly retainer fee for your maintenance company. For example: I believe an oil filter costs USD 300 and spark plugs can be as much as USD 30 per piece.

– Radio Annual and Compass Swing.  Every year the radios need to be checked and the compass correction card need to be updated (i.e. the compass swing).  I get this done at MyCopter at Subang airport.  Altogether add about 2,000 Ringgit for that (including the flight to Subang).

– Special equipment.  I have an air condition that is somewhat unreliable and had to be repaired twice now.  The cost varies wildly depending on how exotic your equipment is.

– Navigation database updates.  My plane is equipped with a KLN89B, which is certified for IFR flights, but requires expensive database updates every three months or so.  I paid USD 290 for six updates to be downloaded from the Internet.  I had to “invest” in some old cables and laptops, because the KLN was installed more than 10 years ago when computers and software looked very different from what it is today.

KLN89B Database Update with an old Acer laptop and a special, quite expensive data cable

– Landing fees, passengers fees etc. At Seletar you pay SGD 25 for each landing and SGD 18 for each departing passenger. The landing charge at Senai airport is about 9 Ringgit and I expect that to be the same for other airports in Malaysia. You require and account with Senai and Malaysian Airports Berhad separately. For the navigation charges you need an account with DCA Malaysia. I am still in the process of setting up all the accounts.

I am not sure whether that covers all. My advice would be to buy the aircraft with cash (no capital cost) and to buy cheap enough so that you can afford to fly the aircraft as much as you want.

I was tempted to buy something bigger, but I am glad I didn’t do it. I can shoulder the running cost quite comfortably and have no cost cap on my flying time.

All together you will have to expect no less than USD 120 to USD 150 per flying hour and while that is still somewhat optimistic, it includes a fund for engine and propeller overhaul.

  1. My apology for left out another question

    What is the repair cost of your air condition that installed in your Piper Archer ? ( I assumed it’s original PiperAire )

    • Yes, it is an original PiperAire. The cost I don’t know yet. I haven’t received the bill for the latest repair yet.

      • Thank you very much for your kind reply for all my questions

        Happy Landings : )

  2. Can we supply the oil filter and spark plugs as it cost drastically less ?

    Exe : USD 300 vs USD 23.50 ?

    • I will certainly come back to you for more details. I’ll need to check the exact end user cost I am being billed. Thank you a lot for the offer in any case.

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