64-Year-Old Pilot Lives in $4,000/Month Airpark to House His Airplanes

Joe Sobczak searched for a home with only one thing in mind, a place that could house his airplanes, and that’s when he found a residential airpark at the Pine Mountain Lake Airport.

He purchased the 3-bedroom, 7-bathroom, 5,000sq-foot home with a 3,600sq-foot hangar for $698,000 in 2017. According the CNBC Make it, he has a $4,000 per month mortgage.

Speaking to CNBC Make it, he said “It’s a phenomenal social environment because you have an immediate group of people who have common interests. The services are somewhat limited, but the trade-off is easily offset by the serenity and peacefulness of the community.”

Around 90 homes with hangars have deeded access to use the taxiways and runway at the Tuolumne County airport in the residential airpark, said the report. In his own hangar, Sobczak keeps a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor Plane, which he purchased with another pilot for $175,000.

Maintenance cost is split between both pilots, but repairs are done by Sobczk as he is an FAA-certified A & P mechanic. Sobczak who is a test pilot works primarily out of the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Rather than do a three-hour drive to work, he takes a 45-minute flight, on his plane, to nearby San Carlos Airport, then drives the remaining 15 minutes to the airport. To Sobczak, airplanes are safer and totally under his control.

The former U.S Air Force fighter jet pilot calls this home his favorite out of the three he owns. He enjoys the “quiet” and the freedom of just “taxing and taking off.” He is well aware that a time will come when he won’t be able to fly anymore, he is still looking forward to being a “part of the social community of pilots and former pilots in their eighties that live in the airpark.”

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