Why Do The Duggars Own a Fleet of Airplanes?

It seems like Jim Bob Duggar has something up his sleeve, and it has something to do with aviation. John Duggar is famous for his penchant for flying. Not only did the second oldest Duggar boy propose to his now-wife in an airplane hangar, but the pair also held their reception in one, too. It’s all about flight for John Duggar, but something hinky is going on with the Duggar family in the aeronautics space. The family officially owns eight planes.

How much do all of these planes cost?

An average private plane can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million depending on the size of the aircraft, its age, and whether it is coming straight from the factory or being purchased secondhand. In Touch surmises that the Duggars probably shelled out a cool $200,000 for the plane that is often featured on Counting On. The family then went on to purchase an entire fleet. Several of the planes allegedly came from ALERT, the program associated with the now defamed IBLP, the ministry the Duggar family is tied to. It is possible the Duggar family is into their aviation business for over $3 million.

Cessna 177RG Cardinal RG (Photo by: aviation-images.com/UIG via Getty Images)

While the Duggars are known for buying used and saving the difference, purchasing a plane isn’t like running down to the thrift store to grab a vintage tee-shirt. There is a lot that goes into owning an aircraft. According to The Balance, storage for a single plane generally costs around $300 per month. Aircraft owners also need to pony up for regular maintenance and inspections to make sure the plane doesn’t, you know, fall out of the sky. Insurance per aircraft can range from $600-$2,000 a year, depending on the type of craft and how many hours it is flown each year.

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To operate a plane, an owner is looking at between $100 and $200 per hour including fuel costs. Since the Duggar family owns eight planes, all of the operating and storage costs have to be multiplied by eight, which adds up to a lot of money.

What are they doing with the fleet?

The Duggar family has registered all of their planes under Duggar Aviation LLC. When they purchased the first plane, tax aficionados surmised the family was attempting to avoid a luxury tax by buying the plane under the name of a business. Now that they have eight total aircraft, it would seem like they are running a legitimate business – except the jets appear to be solely used to cart their family and friends from location to location.

According to The Hollywood Gossip, there are several other Duggar boys who are interested in piloting. Josiah is allegedly pursuing a license, and Austin Forsyth, who married into the family in 2017, also fancies himself a pilot. Several of the younger boys are rumored to have aviation aspirations, but it doesn’t seem like the family is turning the hobby into a full-fledged business anytime soon.