How Much Does A Bush Plane Cost in 2023?

How Much Does A Bush Plane Cost

How much does a bush plane cost? The adventure of bush flying: These special aircraft can navigate remote areas and rough terrains typically unreachable by conventional flights.

Our informative guide will explain how much a bush plane might set you back while giving essential considerations like maintenance costs and financing options.

Key Takeaways

  • Factors that affect the cost of a bush plane include whether it is new or used, size and weightfeatures and modifications, brand and model, and engine type.
  • The price range for bush planes can vary greatly, with ready-to-fly options starting from $100,000 for a small 2-seat tailwheel airplane such as a Super Cub and increasing to $500,000 to $ 1 million for a larger plane like the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on floats.
  • The lower range on a specific airplane will typically be for one with an engine nearing overhaul time, which means you’ll need to spend a lot on a new engine sooner after purchase.
  • When buying a bush plane, factors include maintenance and operating costs, resale value, and support and parts availability.
  • Financing options such as personal loans are available for buying a bush plane.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Bush Plane

The cost of a bush plane is influenced by several factors, including whether it is new or used, the size and weight of the aircraft, the specific features and modifications, the brand and model chosen, and the type of engine.

New vs. Used

How Much Does A Bush Plane Cost?

Choosing between a new and used bush plane depends on your budget, needs, and preferences. New planes offer the latest technologysuperior performancewarranties, and less maintenance but come with a higher price ta


On the other hand, used planes are more affordable but may require regular checks for maintenance issues. Owning either option includes expenses for operating costs and routine overhauls.

If you already have an aircraft that can be modified into a bush plane, this could lower your initial purchase cost. Therefore, understanding what features are most important to you before investing is crucial.

Size and Weight

P60001 Size And Weight 51B64F8934 4027338924

The cost of a bush plane escalates with the magnitude of its weight and size. The rule-of-thumb in aviation circles pegs the overall cost at around one dollar per pound; heavier aircraft call for deeper pockets.

For example, larger bush planes like the famous de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver easily tilt scales over 5000 pounds in empty weight!

Particular components also play into this equation. A prime example is equipping your craft with wheels or oleo struts, which, although essential for rough terrain and short takeoff capabilities, contribute to additional heft and costs.

Remember that not all power comes from the engine alone; an increased cruise speed may necessitate structural reinforcement, adding more steel tubing to a frame – another source of added dollars onto that base price tag!

Features and Modifications

P60001 Features And Modifications 1438Cbbb97 2218732649

Bush planes often undergo various performance enhancements to suit remote areas and rugged terrain. Some owners opt for larger engines to increase power, while others prefer modifications like high-lift wings or oversized tires for rough landings in isolated locales.

float plane modification allows the aircraft to land on small lakes, offering pilots greater flexibility in northern Canada and similar regions. These alterations can significantly influence the cost of a bush plane but enhance its functionality and adaptability considerably.

These modifications include safety gear such as oleo struts that absorb landing impact, which is particularly important when touching uneven surfaces. Speed also becomes a factor – specific changes can help augment cruise speed without sacrificing short takeoff abilities unique to bush flying.

Brand and Model

P60001 Brand And Model Adfd5C3435 2361248654

The brand and model of a bush plane can significantly impact its cost. Different brands may offer varying quality, performance, and durability levels, which can affect the price.

Additionally, certain models may be more popular or in higher demand than others, leading to higher prices. It’s important to consider factors such as the reputation of the brand and the specific features and modifications offered by different models when determining the cost of a bush plane.

Engine Type

P60001 Engine Type 7850F245A7 2524229696

The type of engine used in a bush plane can impact its price. Single-engine planes are typically the choice for bush flying, as they are more economical and easier to maintain than multi-engine planes.

Different engine types offer varying ranges and performance capabilities, so it’s important to consider your needs when choosing the engine type for your bush plane. Some engines may require specialized maintenance skills and can contribute to higher operating costs.

It’s also worth noting that propeller overhauls should be factored into the overall cost of owning a bush plane.

Price Range for Bush Planes

How Much Does A Bush Plane Cost

The price range for bush planes varies greatly, depending on several factors, such as whether the bush plane is new or used its size, weight, features, modifications, brand, model, and engine type. Below is a snapshot of the average cost you can expect to spend.

de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver from However, based on your provided price ranges, I can update the table as follows:

Price RangeDescription
$80,000 to $100,000This is the average cost of bush plane kits. These kits allow for customization and often include more advanced features and options.
$100,000 and upYou can expect to find PA-18 Super Cub planes in this price range. These are high-quality aircraft known for their durability and performance.
$500,000 to $1,000,000In this range, you can find de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver planes. These are renowned for their excellent performance in bush flying, with a large carrying capacity and powerful engine.

It’s essential to note that these prices are estimates and can vary greatly based on the factors mentioned earlier.

How Much Does A Bush Plane Cost: New Plane

P60001 Typical Cost Of A New Bush Plane 19Dbfff989 3799863632

A new bush plane can typically cost anywhere between $20,000 to $45,000. This price range includes ready-to-fly planes and those that may require modifications for bush flying.

Some models can be brand new for as low as $8,000 to $15,000. On the higher end of the spectrum, bush plane kits are available, ranging from around $80,000 to $100,000.

The exact cost will depend on size, features, and plane brand.

When purchasing a new bush plane, it is important to consider your budget and what type of aircraft will best suit your needs. While the price tag may seem steep compared to traditional airplanes, the investment in a bush plane offers unique capabilities for landing and taking off in remote areas with rough terrain or short stretches of water.

With their sturdy build and specific modifications designed for bush flying operations, these planes are worth considering if you enjoy exploring challenging environments or need access to remote locations.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Bush Plane

P60001 Factors To Consider When Buying A Bush Plane F2066794D5 3646039170

Consider the maintenance and operating costs, resale value, and available support when buying a bush plane. Read on to find out more.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

P60001 Maintenance And Operating Costs Cb42Dc17Ce 1439675483

Maintaining and operating a bush plane comes with its own set of costs that should not be overlooked. The overall expenses associated with owning an aircraft can add up, including regular inspectionsrepairsfuel costsinsurance premiumshangar fees, and pilot training.

CIt’sonsidering these economic responsibilities carefully before purchasing a small plane is important. Being aware of the potential maintenance and operating costs will help ensure that you are prepared for the financial commitment of owning a bush plane.

Resale Value

P60001 Resale Value A3Bbac4C2C 5213815

Several factors determine the resale value of a pre-owned bush plane. One key factor is the airframe hours and the age of the aircraft. Generally, planes with lower flight hours and younger models tend to have higher resale values.

Additionally, the condition of the aircraft and its maintenance history play a significant role in determining its selling price. A well-maintained plane that has been regularly serviced will often command a higher resale value than one that has had issues or neglect in maintenance.

So, if you’re considering purchasing a bush plane with future resale value in mind, it’s important to prioritize regular upkeep and documentation of maintenance records.

Available Support and Parts

P60001 Available Support And Parts 8E17C51Cfe 4034826934

Bush planes, like any other aircraft, require reliable support and readily available parts to ensure efficient maintenance and repairs. Fortunately, for those interested in owning a bush plane, numerous options are available for finding support and obtaining the necessary parts.

One of the key factors contributing to the availability of support and parts is the popularity of certain bush plane models. The more widely used a particular model is, the higher the likelihood it will have a well-established network of mechanics and suppliers.

For example, popular models like the Piper Super Cub or de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver will likely have dedicated service centers and suppliers catering to their needs.

In addition to popularity, geographical location can also play a role in determining access to support and parts for bush planes. Areas with high concentrations of bush pilots or remote locations where these planes are commonly used tend to have better resources in terms of maintenance facilities and local suppliers.

This is particularly important for avoiding long waits or costly shipping fees when sourcing essential components.

Financing Options for Buying a Bush Plane

P60001 Financing Options For Buying A Bush Plane 971306B391 3213282993
  • Personal loans can be a financing option for buying a bush plane.
  • Costs for personal loans can range from $5,000 to $70,000, depending on the provider.
  • Making necessary modifications to an existing plane can be a cost-effective option.
  • Evaluating the benefits of financing versus purchasing with cash is important.
  • Buyers may find it helpful to work with a guide to compare costs between different models.
  • Existing planes modified for use as bush planes can have similar costs as ready-to-fly options.


P60001 Conclusion 637B777Bb1 3157214017

In conclusion, the cost of a bush plane can vary depending on several factors, such as whether it is new or used, the size and weight of the aircraftfeatures and modificationsbrand and model, and the type of engine.

On average, ready-to-fly bush planes range from $20,000 to $45,000. However, options are available for cheaper alternatives, such as ultralight aircraft or single-engine planes.

When purchasing a bush plane, it’s important to consider factors like maintenance costs and resale value. Overall, owning a bush plane allows for greater access to remote areas and provides an exhilarating flying experience in rugged terrains.


What is a Bush Plane? A bush plane is used to access remote areas lacking traditional runways. These planes typically have powerful engines and rugged landing gear that can handle rough terrain. The most popular aircraft for such use today include the likes of the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, the Grumman Goose, and the Helio Courier. Refer to Skybrary for more aviation data.

What kind of plane is best suited for a private pilot? Single-engine designs are often ideal for a private pilot looking to own an airplane. Models like the Kitfox aircraft, STOL CH, and Carbon Cub are among the best small planes, known for their manageable fuel consumption, performance, and ease of handling.

How does landing gear influence the type of plane you should own? The type of landing gear on a plane directly impacts where and how you can land. For instance, aircraft with standard wheels can land on public land, while those equipped with floats can land on the shortest stretch of water. Bush airplanes often have various configurations for landing gear to handle different types of terrain.

What is a ULS engine? A ULS engine is a type of HP engine commonly found in light, experimental aircraft. This lightweight engine type offers reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs compared to a traditional radial engine.

Why are Alaskan bush pilots so renowned? Alaskan bush pilots are admired due to their skill and resilience. They regularly navigate challenging weather conditions and rough terrain in Alaska. Like the legendary DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter, their planes must be in good shape and have a large load capacity for carrying supplies or transporting larger groups of people.

What is the average hangar cost? The average hangar cost can vary based on location, size, and amenities. It’s crucial to factor in this ongoing expense when considering aircraft ownership.

How much fuel can a bush plane hold? Fuel capacity varies depending on the type of plane, but the smallest aircraft can hold between 20-60 gallons of aviation fuel. Remember that a bush plane’s ability to fly for extended periods depends on its fuel tank size, fuel efficiency, and cruising speed.

Is it necessary to have a pilot’s license to fly your plane? You must have a valid private pilot’s license to fly your plane. The requirements for obtaining a license usually involve a specific number of flight training hours and passing a written and practical test at a flight school.

How much does flight training cost? The cost of flight training can vary widely, but expect to spend between $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the school, the number of hours flown, and the type of license sought. More details can be found at FAA.

What are some good reasons to own your airplane? Owning your plane offers freedom and flexibility to travel when and where you want. Plus, for those passionate about flying, there’s the sheer joy and satisfaction of piloting your aircraft. Consider also the convenience of avoiding commercial flight schedules and airport crowds.

Owning a bush plane involves responsibilities, costs, and technical knowledge. Thus, the decision should be carefully considered and well-researched for a prospective pilot. Happy flying!

How much does a bush plane typically cost? The cost of a bush plane can vary greatly depending on factors such as the make and model, age, condition, and additional features. On average, prices range from $50,000 to over $500,000. More on the Alaska bush plane cost can be read here.

Are there any ongoing costs associated with owning a bush plane? Owning a bush plane involves ongoing costs such as maintenance and inspections, insurance premiums, hangar or storage fees, fuel expenses, annual registration fees, and potential upgrades or repairs.

Can I finance the purchase of a bush plane? Yes, financing options are available for purchasing a bush plane. Banks and aviation lenders offer loans designed for aircraft purchases to help spread the cost over time.

Are there any additional expenses to consider when buying a bush plane? Yes, in addition to the purchase price and ongoing costs mentioned earlier, prospective buyers should also factor in pre-purchase inspections by qualified mechanics or aviation experts who can assess the condition of the aircraft before finalizing the sale.


  1. AOPA
  2. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  3. EAA – The Spirit of Aviation