Benefits Of Flying With Tach Time

When you use the 184 Flying Club's plane, your flying hours are billed using tachometer time. What does this mean? There are two main methods of tracking a plane's usage: the tachometer and the hobbs meter. The hobbs meter usually starts and stops with the engine, and counts hours in real time -- much like a taxi cab's meter.The tach also starts and stops with the engine, and measures to the 1/10th of an "hour". However, the tach runs proportional to the engine RPM - it runs pretty close to "true" time when you are in cruise. But at low power settings (pattern work, taxi, etc) it runs slower. Therefore, depending on the type of flying you are doing, the tach time might be about 20% less than what a Hobbs meter would give you. When you fly with other clubs or flight school, you will see that tach time is recorded as well as Hobbs, and you can see this difference. However, you pay for Hobbs. Aircraft maintenance is based on tach time (thats why its recorded also), and fuel consumption is also more proportional to tach time, so many feel it is more "honest" way to measure time. One hour of touch and goes will cost one hour of lying time on the hobbs while it might 40 minutes of the tach. In the long run, you save thousands of dollars. Generally, flight schools and other for-profit organizations all charge by Hobbs. Clubs, non-profit ones anyway, pretty much all measure time by the tach. Below is a graph showing how quickly you start saving money flying on tach time vs flying with an average FBO or other club. It takes less than 10 hours before the savings equal the cost of the initiation fee!