Aircraft Purchase.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Firepac, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Firepac

    Firepac Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm thinking about purchasing my first aircraft and I'm wondering if anyone can offer some guidance so I can make an informed decision. I looking to buy used but new can certainly be a possibility. What kind of questions should I be asking and what kind of records should I ask for? And what are some of the common pitfalls that buyers often make? What's the general purchasing process like? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  2. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    Rather than asking people to dump their guts on a topic that's been widely discussed, how about reading through some threads, and then ask more specific questions?

    Just an idea.
     
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  3. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Buy new. Put us poor folks in our place. ;)
     
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  4. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    It is important to have all the numbers and know your expected annual cost of ownership (attractive purchase price may not reflect huge cost of ownership) - but this all have been covered before.
    Also you have to know what type of flying you are looking for, payload, distances, mountains, etc. This is all very basic and indeed there are existing long discussion threads on the subject.
     
  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Buy a Cirrus. Give me 1/2 ownership. Done
     
  6. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Along with the above mentioned numerous threads on POA, there are other resources out there such as these organizations and publications.

    FAA
    AOPA
    Plane & Pilot

    There are many other such resources and there are actual books that one can buy and read.
     
  7. Firepac

    Firepac Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm not worried about annual cost just what kind of potential issues a used plane might have the owner won't tell you. I already know what specific model of plane to buy. I'm not really sure what questions to ask just that I don't want the plane to end up constantly breaking down and having things go wrong here and there.
     
  8. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Share - throw us a bone. Chances are someone has one and can tell you all you need to know.
     
  9. Firepac

    Firepac Filing Flight Plan

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    I've already read those and many other sources, spoke to an AOPA consultant and spoke the owner of my FBO. I'm just using forums as an additional avenue for information. I know about the preinspection and whatnot but anything else to consider?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  10. Firepac

    Firepac Filing Flight Plan

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    Either a Cirrus SR20 or SR22 with perspective+
     
  11. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Oh you'll definitely get "perspective" on a Cirrus. :)
     
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  12. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    Finally. A piece of information. That was like pulling teeth. Damn.
     
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  13. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    So, you need to be familiar with airframe life limitations, engine life limitations and have a good prepurchase inspection done from a specialist of the platform.

    Once you understand these things, and have the report from the prepurchase inspection, you need to review all the data, consider the findings of the report, and choose your path.
     
  14. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Join the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association for Cirrus specific expertise. Get the paid version. Worth it even if you’re just exploring the idea of purchase.
     
  15. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    There also several books on the topic that go into depth. Amazon.
     
  16. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Do you have lots of money?
     
  17. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    As suggested read through some of the previous threads .If you really want a cirrus, join the cirrus type specific club. Most of your questions have probably been asked and answered on that forum.
     
  18. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Uh huh. Ok.
     
  19. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    All the detective work in the world is still point in time information.

    The one thing to consider is how your going to approach a catastrophic issue with the aircraft that shows up the day after you take ownership and wasn’t identified or disclosed in all the due diligence that was done.

    Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
     
  20. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
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  21. Ben2k9

    Ben2k9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hire Savvy Aviation for the pre-buy inspection.
     
  22. ericg

    ericg Filing Flight Plan

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    Yup
     
  23. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Buy a new Mooney Ultra, Acclaim or Ovation (turbo or N/A).
     
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  24. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    While I know you are just having fun, your comment touches on something that is true. I would never encourage anyone to purchase anything new if they can't totally afford it. But every time someone buys a new airplane, that's another used one on the market a few years down the road. That bodes well for everyone.

    Cirrus has helped the used market tremendously over the last 19 years or so. Too bad that all the other manufacturers haven't had similar success. It would be good for everyone if Piper, Textron, Mooney, etc, were adding numerous new aircraft to the market consistently. But they are not. Maybe Cessna numbers are decent. I haven't looked at sales numbers.
     
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  25. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Nah, they're pitiful. The first quarter of 2019, Cessna delivered 28 Skyhawks and 5 Skylanes. Best guess is that most of the Skyhawks went directly to flight schools.

    Edit: Don't forget, that's for the whole planet. On the average about a third of them would have been exported.
     
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  26. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I don't know how these companies are surviving.
     
  27. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Excellent advice. But you forgot the part about doubling the "expected annual cost of ownership" in order to achieve an accurate budget. ;)
     
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  28. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    In that same quarter they sold about $700 million worth of turbine equipment.
     
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  29. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Well there you go. That certainly explains it for Cessna.

    Edit: Are Beechcraft and Piper having good turbine sales, as well?
     
  30. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    If you'd like to see the details, GAMA has them here.

    Lots and lots of figures here.
     
  31. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Maybe some numbers will put this in better perspective.

    In the past decade, 2009 to 2018, inclusive, the cumulative sales figures for new piston aircraft are:
    • Cirrus: 2975
    • Textron: 3152
    • Diamond: 1522
    • Piper: 1207
    Every one of them is a cottage industry now** - and the #2 through #4 manufacturers together put 2 new airplanes into the fleet for every 1 that Cirrus did. That Cirrus, a manufacturer of some of the most expensive piston aircraft luxury baubles ever made, is now the sole "saviour" of light GA is specious.

    **Those of us of a certain vintage were learning to fly back in the days when Piper churned out 7000 Cherokees a year at Vero Beach.
     
  32. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I'm certainly not arguing that Cirrus has been the sole savior of GA. However, by your own numbers, Cirrus came within less than 200 units of Cessna and Beechcraft combined. While being the most expensive. And again by your numbers, Cirrus produced roughly 1/3 of all new sales in those years among the top five manufacturers.

    I'm not singing Cirrus' praises. But give them credit where it is due. I just wish that all of the major manufacturers could enjoy the same success. My point was that the industry will need used units on the market a few years down the road. Those planes built in the peak years of sales just keep getting older and older.

    Again, using your numbers, it's a shame that Piper is at the bottom of the list, after such huge numbers a few decades ago.
     
  33. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    How many AMUs are you willing to burn, I mean spend, I mean invest?
     
  34. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    The trend line for Textron is not positive. In 2008 they shipped 733 piston aircraft and last year it was 193. Cirrus shipped 549 aircraft in 2008 and 380 last year.

    Those figures, and that Cessna is vigorously investing in new turbine aircraft, gives me the impression that Textron is on its way out of the piston aircraft business. At this point Piper is handily outproducing them.
     
  35. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Not being a Cirrus owner I am generally interested in the OP's question too. Maybe I could ask more specific questions on his behalf.

    Q1. Is there a general model year cutoff for each where most people would recommend not going any older. For example, maybe the avionics of the first N years of the SR20 were more steam guage and the OP wants to look after model year YYYY. The same goes for the SR22, are there some early years most people would avoid due some engine change, etc? Didn't some of the earlier models have brakes catching on fire, etc?

    Q2. What are typical annual costs (not including the chute repack) for each of the models? I think I often hear of SR22 annuals being $5K/year or more. What are typical annual costs?

    Q3. If the OP has this type of money I would suspect he would at least put it in a LLC and perhaps use it for business. Any obvious gotcha's here?

    Q4. What is a good hourly rate for a SR20....I would have think well over $180/hr. What about a SR22...are we talking over $250/hr?

    Q5. How much training would be ideal for someone new to Cirrus. Is 3 days of their provided training enough?

    Q6. If he buys a SR20 is he gonna be wishing he had a SR22 3 weeks later?

    ....I've always been way more interested in the TTx myself but Cirrus makes a nice plane and its nice to get a handle of some of the bigger items before buying books, paying for memberships, etc.
     
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  36. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The trendlines before/during/after the financial crisis are similar for all of them. Cirrus sold 721 airplanes in 2006 and 710 in 2007, so last year's 380 just put them back over 50% of what they used to do a dozen years ago.

    Cessna has rationalized the number of piston models it produces, and its piston business is essentially one of splitting the training market with Piper now. They probably see that as a less discretionary market than trying to sell piston planes one at a time to private owners. If/when the training demand falls off, maybe in the next recession, you might be correct that Textron exits piston aircraft manufacturing altogether; it is certainly a much less important part of the product line up than it is to Piper.

    Your sentiment is not one that hasn't been expressed by others on this forum. But every manufacturer is trying to play a different niche segment in a market that is not growing, and probably never will again. Cirrus is not immune. It sells barely more than half the number of piston airplanes it sold a dozen years ago. I don't see what "credit" any of us should be giving them? Cirrus is the "Gulfstream" of piston airplanes, manufacturers of an expensive luxury consumer product marketed, like all luxury consumer products, as entering an exclusive club and lifestyle. I have no issue with that - they have to do that to successfully play that niche in the market. Good on them. But I don't see they've done any wonders to revive a slowly dying industry, and I don't see how Piper, Cessna or anyone else emulating that luxury goods strategy is going to do anything either.

    • Daher/Socata abandoned piston manufacturing in 2006 and now sells the upmarket TBM series personal turboprops (50 of them last year).
    • Cirrus has moved upmarket and sells five SR22/22T for every entry level SR20 it flogs. It's now moving even more upmarket with the jet.
    • Piper moved upmarket with the Meridian turboprop (56 of them last year), which outsells the piston version of the same airframe almost 3:1
    • Cessna owns 25% of the business jet market, sells more of them than any other single manufacturer, and Cessna/Beech combined have 31% of the turboprop market (and that's before introduction of the Denali).

    See where this is going? For every manufacturer.
    If it wasn't for the legacy piston fleet produced by Cessna, Piper, Bellanca and others in the 35 years prior to the deep early 1980s recessions, I'd venture most of us on this forum couldn't afford to participate in this avocation. The market for new piston airplanes is limited. And at least half whatever market remains is limited to the very top end luxury goods buyers, and most of the rest is for trainers. The whole lot of them combined, including Cirrus, can't save it. No matter what they do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  37. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  38. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Here's another question the OP should research:

    WHAT IS A PRE-BUY? What does he expect out of a pre-buy?

    An annual has a specific list of things to be checked.

    A pre-buy basically has no definition.

    One inspector may walk around it and say "yeah, I'd buy it". Another one may do like mine did; tear the thing apart and come up with a sqawk list of over a 100 items, broken down by:

    Airworthiness issues,
    deferred maintenance issues,
    cosmetic issues.

    And he still missed the fact that the AP barely functioned in Heading mode and didn't work at all in other modes. And his crystal ball didn't tell him that the starter was going to fail within about 25 hours.


    Be sure to discuss with whoevery does the pre-buy what you expect and what they expect to deliver.
    As suggested above, I have heard good things about using Savvy Aviation for a pre-buy.

    edit to add:
    If I had the money, I would definitely buy new, with warranty. Even a very late model may well have some hidden defects that caused the seller to sell.
    And I'd DEFINITELY buy an airplane with air conditioning.
     
  39. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    If you are thinking about purchasing a Cirrus I would talk to Max Trescott, he wrote books on Perspective plus he is real expert on anything Cirrus-related, he offers his professional advice-services to anyone on a market for a used Cirrus. He is a real nice guy (met him during some Cirrus 'events'), I don't know what his fees are but you are not losing anything by contacting him. If you are "worried" about number of things it could be a good investment to hire him. Folks also hire him if they want someone to pick up their factory brand new Cirrus and deliver it to them. Very classy guy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  40. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    I'm too lazy to look for a link to the current document, but I recalled making a comment about this a while ago on here: Looks like from the 2008, Revision 13 data sheet, they both now list 12,000 hours.