Put your airplane to work for you.

Pittsburgh Flight Training is expanding! If you have an airplane and you’d like to start making money with it, we’d like to talk aircraft leasebacks.

What is an aircraft Leaseback?

An aircraft leaseback is basically a management agreement. Under this agreement, Pittsburgh Flight Training serves in the role of asset manager. The aircraft is owned by the individual, while Pittsburgh Flight Training is responsible for marketing the aircraft, introducing qualified, well trained pilots, managing all financial transactions, coordinating maintenance, and ensuring the aircraft meets all regulatory requirements.

Working with PFTC to Leaseback your Aircraft is quite simple.

  • If you own an aircraft, you can earn money by renting it out to our members.
  • We will manage and take care of your aircraft for you.

What is the number one reason aircraft owners look to leaseback an airplane?

The average owner-flown airplane flies fewer than 100 hours per year, resulting in extremely high fixed costs of ownership. In the airplane leaseback agreement, flight schools rent out your personally owned airplane. In return, they manage the maintenance and repairs, clean the airplane, and handle the scheduling. The owner gets tax breaks and gets to offset the high cost of ownership through the leaseback operator, via having the airplane flown well over the 100 hour average.

Why leaseback with Pittsburgh Flight Training?

Pittsburgh Flight Training is a seasoned flight school with a well-established customer base and reach across a wide demographic. Pittsburgh Flight Training’s philosophy revolves around a basic commitment to excellence. This applies not only to flight instruction but to all aspects of our business, including our aircraft rental fleet.

Pittsburgh Flight Training has a well-established reputation for operating with the highest standard of integrity; we have our own in-house maintenance department that not only ensures a high standard of aircraft maintenance, but also offers the lowest costs around.

When does an aircraft leaseback make sense?

While everyone’s personal situation is different, here are just some of the reasons to consider putting an airplane on leaseback:

  • You want to own an airplane, but you can’t afford to own it outright.
  • You are in a position to take advantage of the tax advantages of owning an airplane.
  • You own an airplane, but it is not flying enough. Airplanes should be flown regularly to keep them healthy.
  • You want to make your aircraft an asset instead of a liability.
  • You would like to reduce your flying costs.
  • You have some specific training objectives, and would rather pay yourself for training, rather than someone else.
  • You have multiple family members that want to learn to fly.
  • You want to be in the Aviation Business.

How does an aircraft leaseback work?

Again, the aircraft leaseback is basically a management agreement involving an aircraft you own. You provide us with your airplane. We collect all the revenue. We pay all the expenses. At the end of each month we cut you a check when revenue exceeds expenses. If expenses exceed revenue, we send you a bill. We take care of everything for you, so don’t have to worry about all the tedious details of aircraft ownership. In exchange for our services, we charge a modest management fee. Of course, just like all other expenses, the management fee is deducted from the revenue.

While results vary, it is fairly typical for our aircraft owners to receive checks in the range of $1,000 each month. Of course there are exceptions. Some airplanes just do not fly as much as others, and some are plagued with maintenance issues that lead to extended down times and unusually high maintenance bills. Additionally, aircraft owners should set aside part of their profits to cover unexpected maintenance “surprises”, as well as the more predictable maintenance expenses such as engine overhauls.

What are the pros and cons of aircraft leaseback?

The Pros:

  • Your fixed costs (tie down, insurance) are typically paid for.
  • Fly the aircraft for less than the cost of renting an identical one.
  • You may use the aircraft for the cost of fuel alone (typically around $50-75/hr).
  • You will gain equity in an aircraft as it works, often paying for an aircraft completely in 4-5 years of service.
  • Potential for excellent positive cash flow.
  • Significant accelerated depreciation tax credits.

 The Cons:

  • Poor airframes may generate maintenance “surprises” to the tune of many thousands of dollars to repair.
  • Flight Training service is rigorous and will accelerate wear on the aircraft. Many of our planes fly 200 hours per year or more.
  • You’ll have to schedule your flights in the aircraft just like any other renter. You’ll lose the flexibility of flying your airplane whenever you want.


Aircraft leasebacks are highly variable investments and are not for everyone. The decision to put an aircraft into an aircraft leaseback should be considered carefully. If you think a leaseback is something you might consider, please contact us for more details. We’ll be happy to work with you to predict the revenue, expense, and overall performance of your aircraft in our fleet.