Best affordable plane for IFR?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Blueangel, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I am looking at an affordable plane on a budget yeah I know oxymoron to use to finish IFR training and build time toward commercial and ATP ratings. Thinking something for under 100k that is still a good cross country plane and can be used for commercial rating as well. Mission is me and a friend for average flights 100-500nm each way on west coast.

    Scott
     
  2. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    $100k will buy you a decent example of a LOT of makes/models, save for a Cirrus or some of the other newish airframes. You're going to need to narrow your focus a bit more to get decent advise.

    How fast do you want to go?

    High performance and complex?

    Can you hangar it?

    What's your operational budget look like?

    What's your current experience look like (aimed at insurance)?

    You say it only needs to carry you and a buddy; how big are both of you?

    What part of the country are you in (will you benefit from a turbo)?
     
  3. Walboy

    Walboy Line Up and Wait

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    Get a PA-28, fixed gear. Parts are plentiful. Any A&P can fix them.

    Rent the complex for required commercial flying. The cost differential between renting and operating for the minimum amount of time you actually need to fly a complex is pretty small. On the other hand, a couple of maintenance hiccups as an owner of a complex airplane can be a costly setback.
     
  4. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    Ideally between 140-200kts cruise speed. Looking at buying hangar home at place like Pine Mountain Lake since I work from home and don't need to commute into an office everyday. Yes, HP and Complex.

    I have 250 hours so far total time. I am big guy and so is my friend so 400lbs total between us. I live in California so turbo would help.
     
  5. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    I'd say an Arrow but that's not HP. Go with a Bonanza.
     
  6. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Even better as regards building time, go with a twin.
     
  7. gov98

    gov98 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, I have an arrow 180 so I am biased; that said. For inexpensive with 20 hrs complex I was able to insure my 30k arrow for $700 and my January annual was $~650. Now... If I had been willing to fork over 50-60k probably could have gotten nicer avionics as it is I'm looking to upgrade my avionics to get what I want in there.

    But an arrow 180 with the right avionics equipment is going to be the most efficient get you through your commercial you will find (I think). Problem is my 180 is about 138 Kts. Kind of wish I could have the arrow II with 200 hp but the extended body drops that planes speed down to mine.

    People will say Comanche is way to go too. It may be. One of my buddies owns a Comanche great plane. His maitenance is more than mine pretty regularly though not orders of magnitude greater but it adds up but it goes 160ish knots down low pretty regularly. Was looking at one point at a 182rg great plane. Was about 25k more with an engine with 1000 hrs more than the Arrow. The most recent annual on that one was a little over $2500. And the insurance was double when I got quoted. But about 150 kts regularly. Nothing's free I suppose. All cost benefit. For the flying I do... From so cal to nor cal can't really beat the overall cost efficiency of the arrow. BUT I regularly battle discontentment with the speed. But I'd struggle with that at 160 kts too... It's a flaw in my humanity. (Discontentment)
     
  8. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Cleared for Takeoff

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    Bonanza. It's got enough power for the High Performance endorsement, the speed, low cost, complex, and a good ifr platform.
     
  9. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm very fond of the Super Viking, but two big dudes up-front regularly really rules it out (the cabin is snug upfront).

    The Arrow is decent, but slow IMHO. If you can get one under $100k, and you can stomach the possible maintenance on the TSIO360, the Turbo Arrow is a great little airplane, fast and a good useful load on most. The engine is a little finicky (and expensive) and the older models without an automatic wastegate can be tricky to learn on takeoff.

    A 182RG is another good candidate.

    Really, the most comfortable airplane you're going to find in that budget is probably a Bonanza or a Debonair (same basic fuselage). Parts are plentiful, maintenance will be more than say a 172, but not measurably more than any other complex airplane. Fast, comfortable, good useful load, really pretty hard to beat.
     
  10. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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  11. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    If you really want useful time towards the ATP (assuming your goal is to get hired in airlines) buy a twin. You can get pretty nice ones under $100K, maintenance is very likely to be higher, but you're getting multi time which will mean much more in hiring. (As I understand it. I'm not a pro pilot. I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night either.)

    John
     
  12. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Yup, that was my thought too.
     
  13. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would suggest,a light twin.will meet all your training needs. If your worried about fuel burn,pull the throttle back.
     
  14. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Hope you keep us updated on what you get when you decide! I'm in the same boat you are right now, except that I have a Cherokee 180 that I'm selling. It's basically got everything I needed for IFR and commercial except that it's not complex OR HP.
     
  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you're building hours why does the speed matter? I'd be going for low fuel burn, and I'd probably end up with a experimental for your mission.


    That said, I don't understand how you need your own plane to build hours for the ATP, you should be getting paid for all the hours from CPL-ATP
     
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nowadays with the ATP rules, seems quite a few airlines don't care about multi time as much, if at all, however since July of a few years ago you now need 50hrs multi before you can get your multi ATP, plus you'll need that expensive ground school and sim time before you can even take the written.
     
  17. Skymac

    Skymac Filing Flight Plan

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    I did 99% of my IFR and Single Comm. in a 172N that I bought. I did the single IFR first and then I got ready to take the Comm Checkride and then found a twin to rent, flew it for 10 hours, took the Multi-Comm Checkride in it first (added the approaches to get the multi-ifr) then on the same day flew the 172 for the single Comm Checkride. Of course the single had to come last since it didn't meet the requirements for complex configuration on Comm Initial.

    After buying the 172 and since selling it, I pretty much got all of my ratings done in it, minus my private and would never look back on it. I shopped around, found a deal, treated it right, and actually made money on the sale. Being savy and cutting off little potions at a time, all said and done I have around 20k invested in every rating including the SEL-CFI... Aircraft ownership isn't for everyone but if you take your time, properly care for the plane, and roll some lucky dice, it can really pay off.
     
  18. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    The best bang for your buck would probably be a 6-pack m20c. 140+ knots, low fuel burn, and you can get a pretty well equipped one under 40k. Very stable planes, good climbs, and good speed
     
  19. Flavius Renatus

    Flavius Renatus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Piper Comanche 250, a solid 140kts TAS at 12.5 gal hr, and can push 150 kts burning 14 gal. More room then a Mooney, with Tip Tanks you got 1,200 lbs of useful load.

    With a budget of 100k you can find a real nice one.

    Flav
     
  20. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    I've had schools approach me about leasing my TR182. It's a great airplane for my missions but not sure it would be right for yours. The C177 Cardinal RG might be good though. Maybe the 172RG but it's kind of a dog. :dunno:
     
  21. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    Twin Comanche would be a great choice if you are serous about working as professional pilot.
     
  22. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Commanders are great IFR platforms. Stable, drop gear on glideslope - hardly need to touch power until final - and heavy enough to reduce turbulence.
     
  23. Skymac

    Skymac Filing Flight Plan

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    I also meant to mention a Bellanca Super Viking, will burn a little more fuel if you hammer on it, but pull it back and save on gas. They are solid planes and can be bought fairly reasonable. I took my CFI ride in one.
     
  24. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    E series bonanza. Buy it for the gas in the mains. Fly it until the check ride. Park it on the ramp for the next guy. (Save a little money and don't fill it all the way up. )
     
  25. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well if you really want to spend money and want a X/C ship.

    For 100k you could also get into a nice IFR /G C180 skywagon, good speed, land anywhere, good IFR platform, hauls a boat load and they hold their value like crazy. Lots more options when you don't need a sissy airport for landings.
     
  26. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The Viking is a great airplane, but pilot and passenger size really needs to be taken into account. They're not roomy up front. Two big, broad-shouldered dudes up front for very long isn't too much fun.
     
  27. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the tips! I need to find something fairly local in southern California due to work commitments not being able to travel to far away to look and buy. Not much selection in the San Diego area unfortunately.
     
  28. bullwinkle

    bullwinkle Pattern Altitude

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    How about a good old 182?
     
  29. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Controller will let you search by state. I found 75 ASEL aircraft under $100k in Cali. I don't know enough to be able to say which of them are close to you but the below is fairly close and had a couple Mooneys. But you know, you might want to hire a broker to help you out with a national search. If he finds something you really like and it passes the pre buy inspection, you should probably just go ahead and fly out for the final look see and let a ferry pilot bring it to you if you don't have the time to do it yourself.

    http://www.americanairsales.com
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  30. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    You add two conflicting restrictions to the request. to train you do not need to go fast or across country. TheCessna 150 is the best aircraft for low cost IFR training. building time is the objective, you do not want to go fast to get that done.
     
  31. brien23

    brien23 Line Up and Wait

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    The ATP pipeline is changing, the old ways of moving up the ladder are gone for now. If you are planning on the airlines you need to do a little more research of what is going on now.
     
  32. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I would agree on the 150 plane if I was 130lbs and the CFII also lightweight but that's not the case. Now a Piper archer or 177rg could work.
     
  33. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Why an Archer? Just curious. You're the second person I've heard that mentioned that model. Since it's not RG why not go with a Cherokee or Dakota or some other fixed gear model?

    Archer's really don't have a ton of extra stuff going for them except a newer airframe over the older planes.
     
  34. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    Archer is a good IFR platform and leaseback plane for after I finish the instrument rating.
     
  35. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Right, but, it doesn't really fit into your original requirements right? HP/Complex/RG 140-200 knots.

    Also, why spend 100k on an Archer when you could spend 40k on a Cherokee and get the same stuff? Actually cherokee's outperform some archers too..
     
  36. GLMS_NC

    GLMS_NC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    182 or a Bonanza. Both excellent platforms.
     
  37. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    At this point the Bonanza, 182RG and Mooney work. Commander is hard to find parts for as they no longer are in production. Yeah I know about the COG but thats still a stretch if an airframe part goes bad.
     
  38. KLRDMD

    KLRDMD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    1967 Mooney F model with the manual gear, hydraulic flaps & PC. Cheap to buy, dirt cheap to own and maintain. 145 KTAS on 9 GPH, 1000 lb useful load and four seats you can use.
     
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  39. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I am seeing Mooney F models in same price as J models so if I bought a Mooney I'd get a J or 231.
     
  40. hindsight2020

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    Indeed. But to be clear, the semi-tapered PA28s have superior climb and glide qualities to the hershey bar wing, and the post-78 wheel pants are 7 knot pants over the zero knot improvement of the classic wheel pants, which makes the Archer/Warrior II objectively faster than the cherokee 180/160. Is it 60K's worth of a difference over a classic cherokee? Of course not.

    I used to own a warrior ii and now own an arrow ii. I miss the semi tapered wing terribly. The glide qualities of the pre-III Arrrow are horrible. Every now and then I pull the throttle in the pattern and play "can I make it". I just laugh as I sink short. It's such a pointless pursuit. Alas, money talks and I was able to get into a waas and OEM autopilot equipped II for a lot less than a comparable III. Life is a compromise for us working stiffs.