How Much Does a Cessna 172 Rental Cost for a Weekend?

How Much Does a Cessna 172 Rental Cost for a Weekend?

Most FBOs make it easy to rent a Cessna 172. Usually, they just need to examine your pilot’s license and logbook before letting you take off.

For a weekend, a Cessna 172 would cost roughly $180 per hour. Another $50 per hour will be spent on a flight instructor. The cost of a weekend rental is calculated using the elapsed flying time, which is then multiplied by the hourly rate. Most FBOs would, however, require a minimum flight duration for the rental.

As a C172 pilot who frequently hangs out at my neighbourhood FBO, I frequently run into new people trying to charter planes for weekend excursions. It’s typically a fantastic weekend unless they show up at the last minute or the planes are planned by someone else.

Cessna 172 Rental Rates

There are various aspects that affect rental costs and depending on how far you are willing to go, there are ways to reduce the cost.

Rates on the east coast differ from those in the midwest, which differ from those on the west coast. The state of the aircraft and the avionics it has also affected rental pricing. A VFR-only aircraft will be less expensive than an IFR-certified aircraft with all the bells and whistles.

You don’t need the plane with the two-axis autopilot and weather map if you aren’t instrument rated and are only flying on a clear weekend. Choose the less expensive option that is less adorned.


The price of 100LL and the rental rate are also factors. Since the owner and operator of the aircraft is responsible for paying the fuel cost, when the aircraft is rented “wet,” the rental rate will change with fuel prices.

But let’s imagine that the flight would take you somewhere far away since you intend to take it away for the weekend. And in that case, the cost of 100LL can differ dramatically. Then, who is responsible for paying for gas?

Normally, if you fly somewhere that requires refueling and pay wet rates, the operator will repay your fuel expenses up to a predetermined amount. Typically, the cost is determined by the cost of gas at the airport where the operator is based.

Verify the operator’s fuel reimbursement policy before taking control of the aircraft.


The aircraft are rented out dry by some operators. As a result, you will pay a cheaper rental fee but will also be responsible for the cost of fuel. In some circumstances, this benefits everyone since an experienced pilot will be able to better manage his fuel and, as a result, have lower fuel consumption rates.

The majority of FBOs base their wet rates on pilots flying at 3000 feet with the engine running lean at all times. This is usually the case for FBOs that perform flight training, where the average fuel consumption of the aircraft is 10 gph.

An expert pilot is well aware that operating a Cessna 172 at 9,000 feet while using Best Economy can reduce fuel flow to 7.5 gph. This might save you 25% of your weekend fuel expenses if you are paying for the petrol.

Additionally, it makes a huge difference if you are flying to an airport where gasoline is substantially less expensive than where you rented the 172.

In light of this, the Cessna 172’s weekend expenditures would be determined by the FBO’s wet or dry rental and refund policies.

Fees per night

Some FBOs additionally impose a per-night fee on top of the wet or dry fees. You would therefore be responsible for the additional charge for two nights if you depart on Friday and return on Sunday. The nightly rates are not too expensive. ranging from $30 per night to $100 per night on occasion.

Lowest Flight Time

Other FBOs typically rent Cessna 172s for at least a few hours each day. So, if you’re going to fly for 48 hours (depart Friday, arrive Sunday), you’d better spend at least the minimum amount of time on the Hobbs.

FBOs often only need 3 hours each day. That would also be true if you traveled by air for the full month. Talking to the owner, in my opinion, is the best way to get around some of this. They won’t be as stringent about the minimum flying duration if they aren’t busy.

If you took a weekend flight but your destination was four hours away, your nine-hour total flight time would be more than adequate to satisfy the minimum flight requirement.

You will need to pay for the six hours they require for the weekend even if you are only traveling an hour away. That adds four more hours to the flight you took.

If the rate is dry, it won’t be too terrible, but if it’s wet, you’ll be forced to pay for fuel that won’t be used. Therefore, wherever possible, rent a dry plane if you have a minimum flying time requirement to meet in order to fly the plane away for the weekend.

Flying Club Vs Flying School

What is the weekend rate for a Cessna 172 rental? Well, in addition to everything said above, a lot depends on who you rent it from. The minimum rates could be a little bit more if you rent it from a flight school or an FBO that offers flight training.

The alternative is to join a Cessna flying club, though.

There are numerous expenses to consider for flight schools. paying for both the aircraft’s upkeep and the costs associated with it, such as the price of financing its aircraft. It becomes financially risky for someone if they rent their plane for the weekend and return with only two hours on the Hobbs. They have to charge minimums because of this.

A flying club, however, is distinct. They operate under a completely distinct system and often charge members according to the Hobbs or Tach time displayed during check-in and check-out.

If you want to travel frequently and have the plane with you over the weekend, it would be a good idea to consider joining a club.

How much does it cost to hire a Cessna 172 for the weekend at a club, then?

You should consider two costs related to clubs. There are membership dues first. The monthly cost might range from $20 to $200. Usually, the price is determined by all the extras you receive. Simple clubs with no frills can be found at the lower end of the price range, while frills of every description can be found at the higher end.

In places like this, pilots frequently have the option of renting the aircraft for any amount of time while only having to pay the Hobbs rate. However, it is unwritten policy not to exploit the system. It is not polite to take the plane away for a month and return it back in an hour.


How much does it cost to rent a Cessna 172 for the weekend in terms of leasebacks?

The most affordable choice available to regular fliers is this. The midway ground between owning and renting is a leaseback. Of course, if you had an airplane, you could take it wherever you wanted. However, since it sat on the ground, the aircraft would be expensive.

If you have a leaseback agreement with a club, the club would now rent it out to other club members when you aren’t using it. The asset is now more productive. A portion of the rental money will go to you as the owner, and a lesser percentage will go to the club along with whatever dues they may levy.

There are several benefits you as the owner receive when you enter into a leaseback agreement with a club. One of them is the option to rent an airplane without being required to pay minimum daily fees.

The fact that clubs typically have their own maintenance department with an IA on staff makes leasing it back to one of them an advantage as well. When it comes time for an engine overhaul, the owner’s preferred maintenance rates can be quite helpful.

If you decide to take this route, look for a busy club where your aircraft can be put to use when you aren’t using it. You’ll observe a big decrease in the overall cost of ownership as well as in the hourly cost of flying.

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