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HelicopterOff Topics › Best bang for your buck private airplane?
12-22-2008 09:34 PM  8 years agoPost 1
jfint

rrApprentice

Simi Valley, CA

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Question for all you private pilots and especially and aircraft mechanics. What is the best bang for you buck private aircraft with the following small caveats?

- 4 seater preferred
- I think we are thinking IFR capable also
- probably needs to be aluminum airplane.

The planes that immediately came up in discussion are Cessna 172, Cessna 177, and piper warrior. Is there something obvious we overlooked? We aren't just talking purchase price here, but maintenance, cost of overhauls cost of annuals.

I'm in a small group of people considering purchasing.

Thanks
-Josh

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12-22-2008 10:03 PM  8 years agoPost 2
Lomcevek1

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Eagle River, Alaska

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If you are looking for bang for your buck you can't really go wrong with a trusty ole Cessna 152.

Think of the mission at hand. More often than not people that buy a four place airplane find themselves flying alone for a better part of the time. If that is the case then a 152 is perfect and you can always rent a four place plane should the need arise.

You are talking about a difference of $20,000 to $25,000 between the two. I turned a friend of mine onto a good deal we found on craigslt for a Cessna 150 good flying shape for $7,500. They burn very little gas and are a blast to fly. A little extra $$$ and they are great IFR trainers.

If you MUST have a four place airplane then a 172 is another great choice. the 177 cardinal is a good airplane but there are not that many of them made and parts are spendy. They are sporty and cool looking though.

older 172's are coming up with a few issues to look for. Cracks in the doorposts, horizontal spar buckling, and the nose tunnel is a weak spot if you hit the nose gear too hard (ie don't force it on the ground), also corrosion by the pulleys in the upper rear doorpost.

One thing more important than ALL of the others is to get a pre-purchase inspection. ZNow there are no guidlines for a prebuy so it can vary from looking out the window to see if it is an airplane to a complete annual. Talk it over with a mechanic who has not seen the airplane before and it will be MORE than worth a few hundred dollars for a good look through.

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12-22-2008 10:18 PM  8 years agoPost 3
westwindpilot

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Glendale, AZ

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What about an older piper archer or cherokee?

Great airplanes.

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12-22-2008 10:40 PM  8 years agoPost 4
tarmack

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Ky USA

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Mooney ... 150Kts at 9GPH.

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12-22-2008 10:41 PM  8 years agoPost 5
jjeaster222000

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Bedford in

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our club has a 1966 piper Cherokee we love it!!!

Team Synergy

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12-23-2008 12:05 AM  8 years agoPost 6
merlin3

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dayton, ohio

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friend of mine has a 177rg and it's great. Great cruise and very roomy and the way the doors open makes it very easy to get in and out of. Night and day difference between it and a 172. They're also very different airplanes as the 177 is a complex aircraft and most 172's aren't.

Justin - Team Horizon, Team Byron
2-700x, Trex 700n, small helis

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12-23-2008 01:09 AM  8 years agoPost 7
JVheli

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Milwaukee,WI USA

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your airplane

I have been an aircraft mechanic my whole adult life (over 20 years) and have worked on/flown club aircraft. So I humbly offer what I have seen as shortcomings in others aircraft ownership adventures!

1. Establish a monthly budget each of your potential members can afford. By monthly budget I mean hangar space, engine and prop reserve, annual estimated airframe maintenance, hull insurance, etc.

2. Establish an initial purchase amount agreement that you can all afford.

3. Then you will likely have your aircraft chosen FOR you by the prior steps. I like the 172.....

4. Before anyone commits to anything, hire a lawyer to draft ownership covenants. I have seen strong friendships go astray over way less money than an airplane.

5. Hire an A&P to inspect your choice prior to signing. (He will be the only one that is NOT excited about this 172, so his/her opinion is important.)

Best of luck to you. Safety first and always!

Jeff

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12-23-2008 01:48 AM  8 years agoPost 8
MooneyDriver

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Kent, Ohio

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The acquisition cost of a Mooney is higher as is the cost of maintaining it.

If you want to maximize your flying time, (log lots of hours), you'll log more time going from A to B in the 172 or the Cheerokee.

If you want to minimize your time going from A to B, get a Mooney. In the 201, I get 17-18mpg. What other practical machine can move 4 people (legally) at 180 mph with such efficiency?

I flew a 1966 M20C for a few years and the cost of maintaining it was 1/4 the cost of maintaining the 201 I fly now. It did about 165 mph with similar efficiency.

If your primary goal is to minimize all out-of-pocket costs while building maximum time in your logbook, the 150/152 (aka "kite" absolutely is the way to go.

Hope that helps a little!

-Neil

Hey man, why does my lipo get bigger every time I charge it?

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12-23-2008 02:45 AM  8 years agoPost 9
Puffy929

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N W Ohio

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what about the cherokee 140??? it is cheap on the upkeep and initial cost if you go used.

TRex600Nitro YS 50 JR9303Converted to 2.4 TJ Pro

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12-23-2008 03:05 AM  8 years agoPost 10
evoflight

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Westchester, NY

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You have to be more specific about exactly what you'll be using it for. Is it going to be for flying around within 100nm radius from your home airport for fun, or is it going to be used to travel?

Let us know exactly what your mission is going to be as well as luggage/weight that will be carried (including people). If you are going to use it to travel how often will the trips be? What is the preliminary budget that you have in mind?

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12-23-2008 03:57 AM  8 years agoPost 11
FILE IFR

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Anytown, USA 01234

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The planes that immediately came up in discussion are Cessna 172, Cessna 177, and piper warrior. Is there something obvious we overlooked?
You'll want to consider TTSN, SMOH and SPOH (especially a CS prop).

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12-23-2008 06:03 AM  8 years agoPost 12
Flying Tivo

rrKey Veteran

Monterrey,NL,Mexico

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cut the BS!

Just get a Phenom 100

If life throws at you lemons......Squirt some lemon juice in the eye of your enemy!!!!

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12-23-2008 06:20 AM  8 years agoPost 13
jfint

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Simi Valley, CA

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There is some very sound advice in here guys and I appreciate it. Since I am likely the least informed of the group, the only one going considering this deal who doesn't already have a liscense, my goal is to learn maybe doa little weekend traveling, destinations probably withing 150 or so miles for me, with my wife and I and an overnight bag.

My friends have very similar mission in mind with the longest being weekend trips to the bay area from Los Angeles, with weekend luggage. The originally thought was that a 4-seater would be much more appropriate to this sort of itinerary, but I have another friend interested in selling his very nice 150 at nearly half the cost of a similarly equipped 172 or 177.

Lots to mull over, lots of little financial planning to jot down before making the plunge.

Thanks for the input.

-Josh

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12-23-2008 06:21 AM  8 years agoPost 14
VKGT

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Sanford, NC

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Skylane 182!

Although 172s are a dime a dozen, get something that goes a little bit quicker

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12-23-2008 07:02 AM  8 years agoPost 15
Lomcevek1

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Eagle River, Alaska

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I would say jump on the 150. I have talked a few friends out of buying four place planes and they are grateful for it. You should have no troubles finding a flight school that would have a plane available for you to rent. Just go through whatever check rides they require and your good to go.

If you are going to learn to fly then hell Deffinatly get a 150. You can always sell and upgrade later. I am just about finished with my license and a 150 brought me all i need.

SOLO CROSS COUNTRY

There is a small vid I made on my first solo cross country in alaska.

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12-23-2008 07:38 AM  8 years agoPost 16
Rob_T

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..

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Why do you want 4 seats? Will you fly with 4 adults? FAA standard adults weigh 170 pounds - but the US average male is quite a lot more than that these days. So if you want to fill all 4 seats (maybe with colleagues from work) then you need to keep a sharp eye on useful load - most 4 seaters including some very expensive plastic planes can't manage 4 real people with full fuel - never mind trying to carry any bags too!

My Cherokee-140 can carry about 710 pounds. It has 4 seats. Take off 300 pounds for full fuel and you're playing with 410 pounds between pilot passengers and baggage. If I just "fill to the tabs" I have 216 pounds of fuel which gives me a few more options.

The complex planes mentioned (Mooney, 177RG) above will cost you more in maintenance and insurance. Both are fine planes (in fact I might consider either when I upgrade my 140 after I've stopped paying for the kids to go to university!).

You'll get more plane for your money with a Piper than most other brands- plus they tend to be simpler and cheaper to maintain because of that. However, "fit & finish" are better in other brands.

For a "real" 4 seater, start with a Cherokee 180 or Archer. Prices go up from there.

IFR means having the minimum equipment for the planned flight - you can pick your means of navigation between GPS and VOR (maybe even ADF if you're lucky to live where that is practical) - a single VOR receiver is enough to make you IFR legal if the pitot-static and transponder checks are up to date. (But flying an approach on a single VOR receiver and toggling between 2 frequencies is not easy...) Be aware that an IFR GPS will cost you $300 a year to keep legal (or more depending on model and coverage area), but VOR receivers have no running costs (there is no database to update and the pilot can sign off the required checks). You can buy a Garmin GNC300XL-TSO GPS refurbished for under $3K which is an approach certified GPS and communications radio. Or you can spend well over 10K for the latest Garmin toys.

Autopilot? If you're thinking real IFR plane (rather than something that is barely "legal" to get the rating in) then you should include an autopilot in your spec.

Are you a pilot yet? (Even if not, you may find the AOPA discussion bord a good place to start.)

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12-23-2008 12:26 PM  8 years agoPost 17
ErichF

rrElite Veteran

Sutton, NH

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Lomcevek1

Thanks much for posting that video...brought back memories! I did my solo long X-Country through Homer, too. I remember that spit like it was yesterday. My route was Elemendorf AFB-Kenai-Homer-Skwentna-EDF. I didn't get back until dark, either...was April 95. I did my first solo at Birchwood.

Erich

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12-23-2008 12:38 PM  8 years agoPost 18
tarmack

rrNovice

Ky USA

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For the circumstances you mentioned I would then have to agree, a 172 fits the bill perfectlty. Just be carefull and get a full inspection including oil analysis....lot of junk and crooks out there.

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12-23-2008 12:51 PM  8 years agoPost 19
Raptorchief

rrVeteran

Kalkaska, MI USA

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My 2 cents worth.

Cessna 206, think about it, if your going to haul 4 people, plus what ever they bring, top the tanks and take off from almost anywhere in the summer then think 206. Fixed gear and easy access to everything makes the annual cheaper, if you can close the doors it will fly!, does IFR great, gets you where your going in a reasonable amout of time. Mark

I'm not a pilot, I'm a crash facilitator!

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12-23-2008 02:46 PM  8 years agoPost 20
1stPlace

rrApprentice

Ohio USA

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I've been in the aviation business since 1993, an A&P since 1995, and an IA since 1999, and owned my own shop since 2000.

If you must have a genuine 4 seater, capable of hauling 4 people and baggage, than there is no comparison to a Cessna 182. It is the best bang for the buck, PERIOD!

If you are not going to spend that much, than a Cherokee 140 is the best bang for the buck. I've owned one for about 6 years now, and love it! No repairs other than routine inspections and preventative maintenance has been required. Annuals are pretty cheap too, since there isn't much to them.

Personally, I don't like Warriors. They are underpowered. If you want a long wing Cherokee, go for an Archer.

Like JVHeli said, GET A PREBUY!!! That is imperative! The mechanic knows exactly where to look for problems, and it will save you future headaches that can get very expensive!

Keep us posted

Diejenigen, die nicht lernen aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit bestimmt sind, zu wiederholen.

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