I have a 1979 Cessna 182rg, and made the decision to upgrade all my avionics this year. Added a Garmin G500: 'traffic' information, upgraded my satellite weather, moved to a big screen and can pair my avionics with my iphone and ipad. I also decided to splurge on a newly minted back-panel. Total: Just under $40,000 additional on the airplane. (Going to spare you the technical details.)
After waiting 3 months for all this work to be completed, I finally was able to drive to New Orleans airport (KNEW) to collect my airplane. And it looks beautiful! At least to me, it looks beautiful. Most of the beauty is going to be the added enjoyment of flying and being able to 'see' on my panel the other aircraft that are flying around me. (No, most pilots are unaware of airplanes flying around them -- we are all trained to be constantly scanning for aircraft -- that is the primary means of collision avoidance. Especially for small business operators like me.)
I can imagine how nice it will be to be flying over the wide open, watery areas of Southern Louisiana coastline, and being able to know where the helicopters, seaplanes, and other aircraft are operating around me. I can almost feel the joy of photographing the beautiful waterways through the open window of the airplane --- and feeling the wind on my face.
Well, ...that is until my landing gear failed while landing at the Gulfport Biloxi International airport. Fortunately, my friend Randy was flying it home for me when this happened...he was able to take off before we had a prop strike, and recycle the gear to get it back down...landing it with only a damaged tire.
Now my airplane sits in the hangar at a new airport...awaiting a mechanic to determine the cause of the landing gear problem.
Anyway, long story short. Anyone in this business (aerial photography) has to do it because they LOVE it! (If you didn't get it: Operating an airplane is expensive.) Obviously, I love it. And I patiently await the repair, and a future of beautiful flights!