Is owning FBOs worth it?

FSE and PE make for a powerful combination

Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby thingsis » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:24 am

Hi,

I just started with FSEconomy and it seems pretty interesting. Basically I like that it makes me fly new routes and gives me something semi-meaningful to do... ;) I am not interested in farming money per se - just sounds too boring.
But is it worth getting into owning one or multiple FBOs? I think managing them could be fun, as long as it doesn't become a drag. And of course available lots are hard to find. Are single lot airstrips even worth it? Or maybe they are especially great to start with? Does a more remote location make sense since there is less competition, or something close to many others since there might be more jobs? And do you maybe even defintely need multiple to make it fun so you can establish routes between them?

Really too many questions. Sorry for that. But at the beginning you don't want to make expensive mistakes, since money is hard earned. ;)

Thanks so much for any input!

Henrik
Current Rating: CAT-8
Main Aircrafts: SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 & Cessna T210M
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thingsis
 
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Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:34 am

I wouldn't rush into it. Instead, I'd suggest using FSE as a fun mission generator that takes you to new places and gets you thinking about logistics. FSE has some very powerful features when you realize that you can do multi-leg trips. For example, imagine airport A has jobs going to B and C. And, further, imagine airport B and jobs going to C as well.

Assuming you have the room, you can load up the jobs from A to B and A to C at the same time, then fly from A to B, drop off the B pax (still keeping the A->C jobs on board). Then, you add the B->C jobs and fly from B->C. That kind of logistic/weight/fuel planning is a lot of fun.

FBO ownership can be a drag, although it's gotten easier with the ability to order supplies more easily.

Ease into it, have fun, don't keep flying the same routes over and over. Also, don't start on the runway with engines running, then blast outta there like madman to maximize your money. If you aren't simulating it as a real flight, there really isn't much point. Start on the ramp...fly the procedures correctly on PE. The combo of PE and FSE is pretty neat. Make smart, efficient decisions while keeping it all safe and legal...that's the sweet spot, I'd say. Anything else becomes a departure from reality pretty quickly, then you just end up chasing money...but to what end?
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Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby thingsis » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:31 am

Thanks Keith. That's why I have no interest in farming money - that would get boring very quickly. Instead I am doing pretty much exactly what you are saying. I plan round trips with either a DC-3 or C210 - depending on my mood - and try to never fly empty. I am able to mostly fill the planes. So yes, it is a mission generator. I was just trying to figure out whether adding a small FBO would add something to that or not. I wouldn't mind managing the FBO. I am more worried that I will end up having to fly to farm to get the money to keep the FBO open. Could it finance itself as long as I manage it properly?
Current Rating: CAT-8
Main Aircrafts: SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 & Cessna T210M
N679HB
X-Plane 11.30
thingsis
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:10 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby yajna » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:35 pm

I've found that if you own a pair of 2-lot FBOs that are 50-150nm from each other, and place a Cessna 208 at one of them, you will make steady money. Just point the 2 FBOs at each other and maybe advertise the route on the FSE forums. You won't get rich, but other folks' flying your jobs will earn you enough to cover the FBO expenses and the ownership fees for the plane, with a little left over. In a good month I can net v$20k after expenses without doing any flying myself. (This assumes that the plane stays in my network - sometimes people will fly it out and a little adjustment is necessary.)

Pro tip: Set expiration of your jobs at less than 7 days or sometimes people will add jobs to a flight and then not fly them, which locks 'em up in limbo until they expire. 3-5 days is the perfect expiration length.
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Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby yycflyer » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:23 pm

FBOs can make you feel tied down to a certain area or route. Like Keith said, I wouldn't rush it. Figure out what you enjoy and focus on that. If an FBO pops up for sale within the operations area you enjoy then it might make sense. Don't buy and FBO and figure out operations later.
Mike T
Home: CYYC
FSEconomy: MikeT
Just a simmer who enjoys aviation!
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Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby thingsis » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:02 am

Okay, thanks for all the input. I am mostly enjoying flying small GA aircraft (Marchetti, C172, C210) and every once in a while will take a trip with my DC-3. I am spending some time on FSE planning "smart" round trips and exploring places I would otherwise not have gone to. Thats pretty much what I do at the moment. A couple small hops in an evening totalling 150 miles can make you 5 to 10k in the 172 or 210 that way.
Would it make sense to buy one of those planes at some point once I have the cash? A 172 can be rented anywhere, but 210s are hard to come by sometimes? I will pass on the FBO for now.

Thanks again!
Henrik
Current Rating: CAT-8
Main Aircrafts: SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 & Cessna T210M
N679HB
X-Plane 11.30
thingsis
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:10 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Is owning FBOs worth it?

Postby yycflyer » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:10 am

Henrik

We all need something to do with our v$$. Buying airplanes is one of them. That's the usual first step in the FSE game. Some lease an aircraft first. Then buy one.

Trouble I personally found is that it is easy to change interest. I love the C182. Fly it a lot. Then I get an interest in the TBM850. If I just go out and buy one, then the C182 doesn't get flown much for a while...etc. You can buy a fleet but there is a monthly cost to that, for which you must keep flying...soon enough it may feel like you MUST fly to pay the bills...then FSE loses it's fun...Cyclical.

So that being said, go out and buy your first a/c when you can. Enjoy the flying.
Mike T
Home: CYYC
FSEconomy: MikeT
Just a simmer who enjoys aviation!
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