Any regrets moving up to better plane

4RNB

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4RNB
I'm pondering what a future with a faster plane could be like, perhaps as a 2nd plane alone, with a partner, or just moving up from a 172 to a 182 or better.

It seems from what I read that many GA pilots start small and slow, move up to larger or faster if able, and settle back down to small and slow. Is this true such that I ought just stay slow and small?

Have you made this kind of move and do you have any regrets? Where are you on the ownership spectrum?

Thank you.
 
I wanted more speed than my 172 could provide. I considered a 182 but the speed delta wasn't sufficient for the expense. I found a nice V-Tail and never looked back. Our trip from Florida to Alaska would have been a chore in the 172 as would have our several trips to the West Coast. 110kts vs 170kts is substantial. (We may have been able to eke more out of the 172 but that plane had constant CHT issues at higher power).

In the 172 we got used to having ATC ask us to keep our speed up. I still remember the first time ATC called us in the Bonanza with "N246, Slow Down!"

Privately owned but would be interested in finding a good partner.
 
Someone once told me the delta should be 50 mph or more if speed is an issue. That was easy moving up from the 120.
 
“Better” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s really about your primary mission. So far, I haven’t met a pilot who flew primarily for travel complaining about a faster airplane. Or a pilot who loved private unimproved fields complain about a low and slow taildragger.
 
Exactly. You have to look at how much you're flying and what kind of flying you're doing.
Going from 100 to 150kts is nice, but if 95% of your trips are one hour long $100 hamburger trips, it might be difficult to justify the additional airplane, maintenance and insurance expenses.
 
Someone once told me the delta should be 50 mph or more if speed is an issue. That was easy moving up from the 120.
For a while I've considered moving from my 180 to a 210D or 210E (strut winged 210) since they really cover my mission exactly. But for only a 15-20 knot improvement it's just not worth the hassle and trying to sort out another plane.
 
Hang out at your local mx shop and listen and learn. These 'fast' planes seem to come with an exponential increase in mx cost.

Flew my friend to pick up his twin Cessna last week. After an annual with some exhaust work and two prop overhauls he was $76k lighter on his trip home.

I did hear him report field in sight while I was still an hour from my home drome, but at 6gph/100mph that extra hour didn't cost much.
 
“Better” is in the eye of the beholder. It’s really about your primary mission. So far, I haven’t met a pilot who flew primarily for travel complaining about a faster airplane. Or a pilot who loved private unimproved fields complain about a low and slow taildragger.
If you can afford to leave a little earlier and you enjoy the scenery when you fly, that's a cheap upgrade to an otherwise good airplane, like a C182.

As a C206 owner for 40 years, I'm happy to have traded down a little speed in favor of the comfort and utility of the Stationair. Keep in mind that useful speed increases generally involve retractable gear and those associated costs, including insurance, which are recurrent.
 
Where are you on the ownership spectrum?
I should add I’m off the ownership spectrum. Flying clubs and rentals (both FBO and private). Although one or two types have generally predominated, the ability to fly the airplane that fits the mission of the day has worked out well over the years.
 
I fit the profile you described, but this is just a data point:

The peak of my plane ownership was the factory demo Cirrus SR22 I bought in 2003. I had moved up from a Grumman Tiger, which was also a great plane. No regrets - many wonderful hours flying a very capable plane, and at the time I could afford it.

But the hourly costs and unforeseen maintenance issues made it just a bit rich for our tastes, and in retirement both a fixed income and no real need to get places fast, along with medicals becoming problematic, led me to sell it and move to my Light Sport Sky Arrow in 2007. It’s all I need to satisfy my flying itch and much, much less expensive. Plus, taking it EXPERIMENTAL now allows me to do the vast majority of the maintenance and even the Annual Condition Inspections.

As an aside, BasicMed now would allow me to get back into a “real” aircraft, but right now I just don’t see the need.

Stipulated that the calculus might be very different for someone closer to the beginning of their aviation adventure rather than towards the end, and level of discretionary income.
 
I went from a Cessna 172 to a V-tail Bonanza to a Cherokee 140. Sold the Bonanza when I retired from full time work and was having trouble staying current on instruments. Sold the Cherokee after a few years because I wasn't using it enough to justify the expense. Since I fly multiple airplanes each week as a CFI, I don't miss ownership.
 
Went from a Cherokee to a bonanza and have never regretted it. Just do it!
 
Moved from a Cherokee to a Comanche. Absolutely no regrets. The speed, comfort and convenience of the Comanche beats the Cherokee any day and twice on Sundays. Only thing is, I fly less hours. Not because I fly less, I just get to my destination much faster.
 
This is a great subject I had a aircraft brokers license in the 70 s and 80 s I bought and traded many planes from 150 s to a turbo commander I was in business then we kept the commander for 2 years. I loved it but finally figured out it cost to much to maintain we went back to a R 310 great plane , if I could afford it I would have a citation now and self insure it but I can’t I love fast planes , I use a plane to go somewhere, we fly our Glasair RG from Mn. to Las Vegas and cal. A couple of times a year it’s a 7 to 8 hour trip it is the most fun plane I have ever flown it’s like a sports car , as mentioned the mission and your resources are the deciding factor and of course how many people you need to haul there’s just 2 of us so it’s easy. My favorite of all time is the bonanza I have had almost every model, for 4 people they are the best in my book I wish you luck in your quest , and it’s a lot of fun shopping for the right one.
 
They interviewed Hank Williams and his thoughts are kind of like airplanes they asked him what kind of women he liked and his response was. New ones
 
Each person’s (heck, each mission’s) definition of “better” will be different. Better doesn’t necessarily equal faster. Better might mean more affordable, or designed for backcountry, or self-maintained, or STOL capability, or more spacious, or a host of other things.

I’m perfectly satisfied with my Musketeer. The performance is just fine for the trips we do, the maintenance isn’t onerous, and I like the simplicity of fixed gear and prop. Would a faster plane be “better” for me? No.
 
This question is kind of like asking someone if they regret moving up to better women.
Those can also be high maintenance and unaffordable. And when you don't take care of them properly, they will end up in the shop a lot, with the mechanic's greasy hands all over them.
 
I'm pondering what a future with a faster plane could be like, perhaps as a 2nd plane alone, with a partner, or just moving up from a 172 to a 182 or better.

It seems from what I read that many GA pilots start small and slow, move up to larger or faster if able, and settle back down to small and slow. Is this true such that I ought just stay slow and small?

Have you made this kind of move and do you have any regrets? Where are you on the ownership spectrum?

Thank you.
In my case I started with a 35K 172, then it is misc small updates, then it was a 58K panel update, then it was a new 30K engine.
I think to myself you got to fly this thing before thinking about upgrading to a faster plane. And flying it I have been since 2018. 1400 hrs so far, 650 off the engine so far. I have been reluctant to move up to another faster more expensive plane. I know what I got now, really not ready to do it over again with another plane.
Both of my flying friends send me 182 ads to look at but I am not ready to make a move.
Besides I get to fly their 182 and Arrow II so that keeps the upgrade bug at bay for now.

Didn't you say you have been out of your 172 for 2 years now upgrading?
Luckily I do all the work on my plane so I can keep it flying with very little down time. That is easier to do with a 172 verses a hi performance complex aircraft.
Get your plane back and fly it for a while if you can afford to.
 
I've bought and sold a lot of aircraft, mostly for business purposes, but have owned 6 for my personal use. The first and last ones have been ~100 knot airplanes that are cheap to keep. I've found that I use the airplane a lot more when things aren't a hassle and when I don't have to think about the expenditures. Did I enjoy the bigger, faster airplanes I've owned? Absolutely, but I didn't enjoy them nearly as much as I have enjoyed my first airplane and my current one. Everybody is different however, which includes their reasons for flying. Their responses will reflect this.
 
In my case I started with a 35K 172, then it is misc small updates, then it was a 58K panel update, then it was a new 30K engine.
I think to myself you got to fly this thing before thinking about upgrading to a faster plane. And flying it I have been since 2018. 1400 hrs so far, 650 off the engine so far. I have been reluctant to move up to another faster more expensive plane. I know what I got now, really not ready to do it over again with another plane.
Both of my flying friends send me 182 ads to look at but I am not ready to make a move.
Besides I get to fly their 182 and Arrow II so that keeps the upgrade bug at bay for now.

Didn't you say you have been out of your 172 for 2 years now upgrading?
Luckily I do all the work on my plane so I can keep it flying with very little down time. That is easier to do with a 172 verses a hi performance complex aircraft.
Get your plane back and fly it for a while if you can afford to.

Flying more is the plan but does not keep me from wondering and window shopping
 
Still a student pilot so limited frame of reference. Train primarily in 172's and am totally happy with them. An opportunity came up to buy in to a 182 that has 4 other owners so I took it and have it waiting for me when I get my PPL/endorsement. My primary consideration wasn't speed but useful load. A 172 is fine for a couple of people, pilot included, but I'd like to be able to take more than one other adult in the plane without having to plan out every ounce of weight. From what I can tell the 182 should sit in a sweet spot load wise.
 
Luckily I do all the work on my plane so I can keep it flying with very little down time. That is easier to do with a 172 verses a hi performance complex aircraft.
That is one major benefit to the simpler, cheaper, slower plane. Owner-assisted annuals and maintenance keep downtime to a minimum.
 
C182 to P210 to C421. Havent regretted any moving to the next plane.
 
That is one major benefit to the simpler, cheaper, slower plane. Owner-assisted annuals and maintenance keep downtime to a minimum.

I assist my mechanic on my complex HP airplane and it's saving me some $$$. Really, the only major difference between the Cherokee and the Comanche in terms of annuals is, two more cylinders to check and the landing gear. ADs are what they are. There are less complex planes with more ADs than the Comanche and there are more complex planes with less ADs than the Comanche. Other than that, assisting on annuals and maintenance, there is no difference between a complex HP and a non complex, non HP airplane.
 
Exactly. You have to look at how much you're flying and what kind of flying you're doing.
Going from 100 to 150kts is nice, but if 95% of your trips are one hour long $100 hamburger trips, it might be difficult to justify the additional airplane, maintenance and insurance expenses.
That is exactly where I’ve been stuck for the last 5-8 years. Would really like something faster than my Tiger, but at the end of the day, I just don’t do the travel flying I used to. The Tiger is great for what flying I do these days.
 
I'm pondering what a future with a faster plane could be like, perhaps as a 2nd plane alone, with a partner, or just moving up from a 172 to a 182 or better.

It seems from what I read that many GA pilots start small and slow, move up to larger or faster if able, and settle back down to small and slow. Is this true such that I ought just stay slow and small?

Have you made this kind of move and do you have any regrets? Where are you on the ownership spectrum?

Thank you.
Often had the urge to do the same, but 2 things have always stopped me:
1) I know what I have now. The idea of buying someone's plane and dealing with deferred mx and gremlins that will only be discovered during ownership is not appealing, either from a monetary or down-time perspective. A prebuy is nice but it's not possible to capture everything.
2) I have a sense of caring about my plane that is borderline irrational. It's carried me safely across the country multiple times. Day flight/night flight, on paved runways and grass, through mountains and over lakes. It's done a lot for me. I would lose sleep and legitimately feel bad if I sold it to someone who treated it with less care. I know it's just a machine, but it's got sentimental value unrivaled by anything else I've ever owned.
 
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It's a hockey-stick style graph, knots vs. BS. As you add knots, the BS shoots skyward rapidly.

Most people like being in that comfy spot just before the rise gets unbearable, in a Bonanza. :)

View attachment 125940
This chart is incomplete and demonstrates the error of omission. For EAB the curve is flatter and shifted to the right.
 
Have you made this kind of move and do you have any regrets? Where are you on the ownership spectrum?
I wouldn't say regret, but sometimes I miss my Cessna 140s or my Luscombe, and often I miss my Little Toot Biplane. I love my 182 though. It's faster, more capable, easier to handle in wind, etc. I sure loved those lazy afternoon flights in airplanes that burned 5 gph...

Someday when I no longer need a photo plane, I'll go back!
 
Don’t get distracted by all the analyzing and left brain activity here.
Being able to say you have the fastest plane on the field is all that matters!
(there can be value in the pride of having a better ride)
 
I sure loved those lazy afternoon flights in airplanes that burned 5 gph...
:)

My baby Beech strikes the right balance for me. It's roomy and comfortable and has enough useful load and speed for trips of a few hundred miles, but I can still feel good about pulling it out of the hangar to go buzz around slowly and enjoy the local scenery. It's not a great plane for flying from Florida to Oregon (though it could do it, a few miles at a time), but that's not what I need.

Monday was a beautiful, cool, CAVU day here, so that evening I took SWMBO up for an hour and we flew low over local lakes and horse farms, gradually making our way up to Howey-In-The-Hills before turning back. We watched the sun sink, greased the runway as the street lights were turning on, tucked the bird back in the hangar, then went out to dinner.

I wouldn't do that sort of relaxing scenic flight in a high-performance twin, nor would I load up spouse and luggage into a Cub to go away for a week. But my Mouse will happily do both. For me, it's the perfect compromise.

"Better" is relative.
 
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