Robinson Helicopter Operating Cost Calculator

Aircraft operating cost estimates

Most aircraft manufacturers provide a document illustrating the operating costs for each of their models but it's hard to tell how accurate their estimates are (they are trying to sell you a helicopter after all). Furthermore the numbers they provide are usually for a certain utilization level. In the case of a Robinson, that level is 500 hours per year which is much higher than most personal operators will ever achieve.

To provide people with a better estimate of the real costs of helicopter ownership I've created this tool that gives you numbers specific to your operation. The model used to perform the calculations is based on a combination of official information from Robinson, operating statistics collected from owners, and real maintenance figures from overhaul shops.

Note that these are intended to be rough estimates. These are complex calculations and it's possible that the results of this tool are not accurate. This tool does not account for every edge case. This tool assumes that you fly fewer than 2200 hours per year. It also assumes that any helicopter that is more than 12 years past its last overhaul has already received new rotor blades and a 12 year inspection on schedule every 12 years.

The Calculator

Select a model
How many hours will you fly per year?
How many years has it been since the helicopter's last overhaul? (leave at zero unless considering purchase of a used ship)
How many hours has the helicopter flown since its last overhaul? (same note as above)
How much does fuel cost per gallon?
How much does your maintenance shop charge per hour of work?
How much does your insurance cost per year?
How much is your monthly hangar rent?

Basic operating cost per hour (fuel & oil)
Money to set aside for maintenance per hour
Money to set aside for an overhaul per hour
Fixed cost to pay off per hour (insurance & hangar)

Total cost to operate per hour
Total cost to operate per month
Total cost to operate per year
When should I do the 2200 hour overhaul? *
How many 12 year inspections will I do before the 2200 hour overhaul?

Note: Total costs include the overhaul reserve. Because of this high time ships may appear significantly more expensive to operate. Remember that much of this cost is offset by the lower purchase price of that ship. To see how much it will cost you to operate after it's been overhauled, reset the time and age to 0. All prices are US dollars.