Owning your own aircraft is the ultimate dream; now it’s time to make it a reality. It may not seem like it but right now is the perfect time to buy. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pilot, investing in new aircraft on a budget can be a daunting prospect. We recently sat down with two experts in the field of ‘budget beauties’ to find out what’s good, what’s not and what they would choose if they had $80k in their pocket and a mission to enjoy their flying.


My Pick: Either a Jabiru J230 or an Aeropro Eurofox.

Why: If you ask an aviator, they’ll give you a multitude of answers. If you ask a first-time buyer, they’ve probably got their heart set on one particular model. If I had the money in my pocket right now though, I’d choose either a Jabiru J230 or an Aeropro Eurofox.

For $80,000, you can pick up a really nice Jabiru J230. In that price range and with several hundred hours on it, you’re probably looking at the Jabiru J230-D, the latest model in the J230 series, which will come really well spec’d. The J230-D has a 6-cylinder, 4 stroke engine that’ll get you along at 110-120 knots. It has also got great range and huge load capacity which makes it great for touring. Best of all Jabiru is, of course, an Australian company and it’s great as a buyer to have the opportunity to support those in the local industry.

Another option, and one that might not be as wellrecognised as the J230, is the Aeropro Eurofox. The Eurofox is a factory-built version of the popular Kitfox kit plane and, in my opinion, is a refined and improved version of this classic design. The Eurofox is a fantastic little aeroplane for a buyer on a budget; they have folding wings and are designed to be stored on a trailer in your garage!



My Pick: I can’t answer that!

Why: There are so many options for RAAus aircraft under $80,000, so the question really comes back to the buyer, “What do you want the aircraft to do?” As a broker, I use the 80/20 rule, it’s important to fully appreciate what 80% of the buyer’s flying will look like before making a recommendation. It absolutely comes down to doing a proper, realistic analysis of what the aircraft will be utilised for. Asking yourself “What will my flying look like? Where will I be flying to? Who will I be flying with?” is vital to finding the aircraft that perfectly suits your needs. Once you put yourself in that picture, as an aircraft owner, you may be surprised that the aircraft that you wanted is not necessarily the aircraft that you need.

You’re certain to find something that suits you perfectly for under $80,000, but ultimately it comes down to a thorough assessment of what you, as an individual, will need out of your aircraft.