How Much Does a Bush Plane Cost?

Last Updated on February 1, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Although bush planes are somewhat of a new subject and most people have no idea what they are, the very few that know about them, still ask themselves how much bush planes work. So this article has been designed to answer this exact question.

A bush plane ready to fly will cost somewhere between $20,000 and $45,000. If you want to make the necessary changes to an existing plane to use it as a bush plane, then these modifications will likely cost somewhere between $5,000 and $12,000.

The cheapest alternative will usually be just to buy a plane that has already gone through the necessary modifications. And of course, it would be better for a new owner to get a plane that has already been able to prove its worth through flight time.

How Much Does a Bush Plane Cost?

Buying a bush plane that is already in use will be the best idea, as long as it meets your particular needs and demands. You will likely spend somewhere between $20,000 and $45,000 on a used bush plane that is ready to use.

If your plane needs any modifications, there are likely to increase the final cost by anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. If you were to add these costs to the price of the plane, then your bush plane will most likely end up costing between $25,000 and $55,000.

The actual cost of the bush plane will, of course, be your biggest expense when getting one and getting it ready to fly. To get a better understanding of the bush planes, these are basically similar to most other aircraft, although they go through some modifications for different conditions when it comes to takeoff and landing.

So to figure out the cost for yourself, you’ll first need to get the average cost of a plane that can be modified to become a bush aircraft and then just add the costs of modifications.

The Lowest Price You Can Find for a New Bush Plane

There are some new bush plane models that can be bought for as low as $9,000 to $15,000. However, there are also some models that easily go over the $100,000 price mark. The cheaper the plane, the more likely it is a single-engine aircraft, which translates into lower operational and maintenance costs.

You might also like our articles on the cost of BAJit, low-cost fighter planes, or Cessna planes.

Purchasing a bush plane is the wiser choice if you’re the type of individual that needs to travel quite frequently but isn’t able to rent bush planes for every occasion. The general rule of thumb to keep in mind as a pilot is whether the flying you need is equal to 100 hours or more.

How Much Would the Most Expensive Bush Plane Cost?

One of the most expensive, but also the most popular bush planes is The Beaver, by de Havilland. This model, when bought used, is still worth over $350,000.

This plane is the most popular in states like Canada and Alaska. This aircraft can be used around the Arctic, although it is very versatile both for coastal and lake areas.

Among the most popular and most searched-for features of this plane is its capacity to carry large loads. The Beaver is also known as a STOL, which means a short takeoff and landing aircraft,  not needing your conventional runway.

Are Bush Planes Considered Safe to Fly?

Safety risks are in fact higher when it comes to bush planes, based on several factors that aren’t in the control of the pilot. Among the most important factors are:

  • Rapidly-changing weather
  • Inaccurate weather reports
  • More rugged terrain
  • Difficult landing locations

Bush Plane LandedBush planes are mostly used because they can land in places that make it impossible for other planes to land. But, as you’d expect, landing in these areas makes you more prone to accidents, because you won’t find the guidance pilots find on conventional airfields.

Landing and taking off on more rugged terrain also makes it more challenging for these planes to complete flights safely.

You often can’t rely on any weather reports for those locations in which bush planes need to land. A safe flight relies on proper weather reports, especially when we’re talking about challenging areas.

It’s not uncommon for the weather in states like Alaska to change without warning when bush planes are mid-flight. This means that you take a risk of finding yourself in an unexpected storm at any time.

All of these conditions are considered problematic and will surely raise the cost of these types of planes. This is because this aircraft will need features that increase the overall durability to withstand these and other adverse conditions.

Can Bush Planes Land Anywhere?

You can use a bush plane to land in basically any public location that isn’t in use at the landing moment. This means that landing on a highway or on a road might be considered not only reckless but also subject to prosecution.

Landing off-field is somewhat safe when it comes to bush planes, and it is an everyday occurrence in some locations. A well-known example is bush pilots from Alaska that land in all kinds of areas that don’t have water or runways.

Being able to land in all kinds of different locations where other aircraft couldn’t makes them have higher prices than conventional planes. Some planes are even modified to be able to land on water or snow, which also increases their overall cost.

What is a Taildragger?

Bush planes are basically taildraggers. The taildragger landing system on planes means that they have one wheel at the back and two at the front.

This positioning for the wheels reduces the risk of propeller strikes and allows for easier takeoff in nose-up positions. B


So how much do bush planes cost? You can find such a plane for anywhere between just $8,000 and $350,000 or more, making bush planes available for any budget.

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