Airplane Recommendations -New Pilot GA

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by DocSoCal, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. DocSoCal

    DocSoCal Filing Flight Plan

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    What is your opinion on the plane below to start in, complete VFR & IFR ratings in, then go to twins?

    1966 Cherokee Six with Lycoming 300 engine K1G5D. Rebuilt in 2018 50 hrs. ADS-B compliant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  2. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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  3. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Don’t assume the entire family will enjoy flying.

    I figured my wife would like it least. I’ve considered selling it a few times and she said I better not! She loves it.

    My son (almost 18 now) who I thought would love it was nervous the first time, tried a second time, and does not like it.

    My daughter, almost 20, considers it “just transportation”. No flying for funsies; The mission on the other end of the ride is what matters.

    Figure the family out before you buy. Realize they may change attitudes as they grow too.

    Start your PPL in a rental, send them up on a discovery flight, and go from there.
     
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  4. perwahlen

    perwahlen Filing Flight Plan

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    I read your earlier posts and was thinking of the Cherokee 6. Not a bad plane to learn to fly in and it does have the useful load that you could (maybe) fit your family and minimal luggage and some (not full) fuel into it. As many others suggested, start out by learning in a single engine more basic plane. I'd also suggest renting initially. Then get a feel for what can fit your easier missions with the family. The Cherokee 6 is not a bad option, the A36 Bonanza would be better imo. With a family of 5 going on trips you described the useful load will undoubtedly be your biggest limitation. Remember the useful load should be at least the combined weight of all family members + whatever luggage you want to/need to bring (everything from iPads, toothbrushes, flight charts, snacks and drinks) + the fuel including reserve (AVGAS weighs 6 pounds per gallon). Do that math carefully for the trips you are planning and be conservative on the fuel planning. My guess is that you will find you are looking for a plane with at least 1,100 - 1,200 lbs of useful load.

    Twins, although not necessarily that expensive to buy (...or well, compared to singles that is), are very expensive to operate. You now have two engines that drink fuel, require maintenance and as other have mentioned, can fail. Over challenging terrain and flights over water they are obviously superior from a safety perspective but many pilots with families are comfortable flying well maintained, reliable singles as well.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
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  5. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I'm also going to say a fixed gear PA-32. A Cherokee six or fixed gear Saratoga. The mission calls for a six seat airplane with a healthy useful load but OP also needs something that isn't hard to handle and won't look too scary to an insurance company. I wouldn't want to see what the insurance premiums for a retract with a student pilot are right now... if you can get insured.

    A fixed gear PA-32 won't be much harder to fly than a typical trainer Cherokee. In your area with the high terrain a turbo might be nice but it might be hard to find a fixed gear turbo PA-32. They exist, at least with aftermarket conversions but they're not common. A turbo is good for taking off at higher elevation airports and climbing high, however you'd probably be fine in a non-turbo just be mindful of density altitude.

    OP also mentioned pressurization, most piston aircraft of the type you'll be looking at aren't pressurized. Typically if someone wants to go high they get an oxygen system instead.

    There are nicer planes out there in OP's budget... Turbo retractable gear PA-32s, A36 Bonanzas just to name a couple. If you really want to go that route, try calling insurance companies to see if they'd cover you and about what you'd be looking at for premiums. Sometimes it's better than we'd think, you never know. Still, a really nice fixed gear Cherokee six could be had in the $100-150k range and it would be a great starter plane. That would be my vote.
     
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