Best Plane for my Mission?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Thomas Rainey, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello folks,

    I am a private pilot with 100 hours looking to start my instrument training. While I know plenty of instructors, there are no good aircraft to rent in the area. Because of this, I am looking to purchase an airplane. I want this airplane to be a good platform for me to get my instrument rating and commercial certificate. My budget is $100,000 or less and I want to get a nice example of whatever airplane I end up going with. For example, I would rather have a nice 172 than a worn out Bonanza. I primarily will be flying alone or with an instructor, but I do have a wife and son that I would like to bring along occasionally.

    Things I DO NOT care about.
    1.) Speed--fast or slow does not make that much of a difference to me at this stage of my flying.
    2.) High wing or low wing.
    3.) Fixed pitch or constant speed.
    4.) Fixed gear or retractable gear.

    Things I DO care about.
    1.) Reasonable maintenance costs.
    2.) Parts availability.
    3.) Something that would hold value and be easily resellable after about 5-7 years when I purchase my dream plane (Bonanza).

    A few planes I have looked into:

    Cessna 172--Seems to fit the bill, but the market seems to be demanding quite a high price compared to other aircraft with similar capabilities.

    Cessna 182--Solid airplane that meets all my needs, but probably can't find one with good avionics for under $100,000.

    Beechcraft Sundowner--Very affordable alternative to the 172, but will parts availability be an issue. Will I be able to resell a relatively unpopular aircraft like this?

    Beechcraft Sierra--Seems like a very capable and affordable airplane that meets my needs, but I am concerned about the same issues mentioned above with the Sundowner.

    Please give me suggestions on what you think of the aircraft I've mentioned along with any others that I may be overlooking. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Just buy the Bonanza now. With $100,000 you can get a great airplane. Hang out on Beechtalk.
     
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  3. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    The popular airplanes for training, (172s, 182s, Archers) command a premium today. There's lots of decent airplanes with good IFR utility for under $100k today. Bonanzas, Mooneys or a Piper Arrow might be good choices in terms of value per $ spent compared to a 172.
     
  4. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    You need a Cessna 172. Why, because it is is th best instrument and commercial trainer and when you decide it’s time for some horsepower and a CS prop, you can get rid of if fairly quickly. MX is cheap, parts are very available and it’s even good for hamburger runs with your buddy.

    I own a Turbo Lance and I do not look forward to any commercial type maneuvers in it if I go that route. It’s not made for that type of work.
     
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  5. WheelSpatz

    WheelSpatz Filing Flight Plan

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    Buy something cheap with like this:

    https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...model=170&listing_id=2333408&s-type=aircraft#

    Install an avionic package of your choice and have $30,000 left over for gas, maintenance and hanger.

    And don’t be afraid of an engine with 1500 hours or more. Treated properly it will go well past TBO.
    Any of those on your list are excellent choices. Find one in good condition.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
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  6. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the advice. I've considered the idea of going ahead and buying the Bonanza now. Just couldn't decide if I could justify the higher operating costs during this period where I'm mainly trying to gain experience.
     
  7. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    I like everything about the 172 except I feel like value per $ isn't that great. But I guess as long as it's still in high demand when I sell it, then it shouldn't matter that much.
     
  8. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks! I haven't looked into a Mooney or an Arrow yet. I will do some research.
     
  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    If you're planning on doing the commercial in it you might as well get an Arrow or a Cardinal RG.
     
  10. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Just out of curiosity, what is special about the Arrow or Cardinal RG as it relates to the commercial? I thought the requirement for retractable time for the commercial was recently removed...
     
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  11. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    All he needs is 10 hours...... that’s a lot more expense in MX for no gain.
     
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  12. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Isn't the complex time no longer a requirement for the commercial?
     
  13. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    10 hours in complex or a TAA. It’s still there, but you can sub a glass cockpit.
     
  14. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    @Unit74 - he should buy a plane but then rent one for 10 hours because that rental cost will be less than the gear maintenance over some time period, and retractable has no gains?

    Sure, he said speed didn't matter, but that's about as true as 'size doesn't matter.' ;)
     
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  15. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    I just don’t see why he needs the added expense. Don’t forget the extra 800 in annual inspection over a 172. To me, it’s not worth the expense of Gear MX, the insurance and annuals. No way in hell I’d buy a PA28 right now either.
     
  16. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Or a Cardinal? There is great supportive type club, Cardinal Flyers, and you can get a fixed gear with basic instruments for well within that budget. Very affordable fuel and maintenance.

    I bought mine pre-solo and used it all the way through instrument. My son will use it through commercial by renting a complex for the 10 hours.
     
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  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    There's something to be said for buying your second plane first. Buy the Bo and be done with it. If you don't want the fuel burn just yet, pull the throttle toward you.
     
  18. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Should be easy be able to fine a 182 with Garmin 430 and two axis auto pilot for that budget. That is what I have now and my MEL for an IFR XC plane and I trained on a G1000.
     
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  19. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    FWIW, I think a pair of Garmin G5's, a GFC500 and a GNS or GTN qualifies as a TAA for the purposes of the commercial ticket.
     
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  20. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, my go-to first plane recommendation is the 182, pretty much for exactly what you stated in your OP:

    It's probably pretty hard to find an A&P that *hasn't* worked on a 182. There's a million of them out there, so parts are plentiful, both new and used. And, it's quite possibly the most easily sellable airplane there is, because they're so dang useful that there's always a lot of people looking to get into one.

    On top of that, it's faster than most trainers, so it gets you used to thinking faster without being so fast as to get you into trouble. It's a step up but not much more difficult to fly than a 172. It hauls quite a load, so it's useful as a family trip airplane, which is what many people get into aviation for, and the speed will allow you to make more trips in a reasonable amount of time (pretty much 4 hours in a 172 = 3 hours in a 182).

    And like a wise man once said to me, "The 182 isn't the best at anything, but it's pretty damn good at everything." I cut my teeth in aviation flying a 182 from Wisconsin to the east coast, west coast, and gulf coast. I landed it at the highest and lowest airports in the ConUS. I landed it on 10,000 feet of concrete and 1,000 feet of grass. Oh, and asphalt and gravel and dirt, too. I took a mountain flying course in it. I landed in over 30 states in it. IMC, VMC, buzzing a runway to chase Elk away or climbing it up to 17,500 feet. It really did it all, and I was very sad when it got flipped onto its back a few years ago.

    It's really hard to beat a 182 as your first plane.
     
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  21. dmcummins

    dmcummins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just buy the Bonanza now, as kgruber said above. Why go thru buying and selling a plane with all the cost that entails, taxes, prebuys, etc. If that’s your dream plane why settle for less?

    For a 100k you can get a pretty nice one. Or spend a little less and put some back for maintenance, you should do that with whatever you buy. You can always upgrade it later if you chose to.

    Also you would be getting your training in the plane you actually want.

    Disclaimer: I own a Debonair, I bought it when I had 50hrs in my logbook. I still hadn’t taken my checkride. It will also probably be my last plane. I’ve owned it for 7yrs.
     
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  22. dmcummins

    dmcummins Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And go ahead and look at some Mooneys also, I was interested in them also, just found a nice Debonair first.

    Your kidding yourself if you don’t think speed will make a difference. You can always pull the throttle back and fly slow, but it sure is nice to Have the option to fly faster.
     
  23. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    I appreciate your detailed response! Thanks for the advice.
     
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  24. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m a cautious pilot and I want to be careful not to get too much plane and end up killing myself. It’s comforting to know that you went straight to a fast, complex aircraft without having to have something in between to bridge the gap. Gives me hope that maybe going straight to a Bonanza (with the proper training) won’t be a stupid idea.

     
  25. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Training will take longer, but eventually you'll have your private and instrument and a lot of dual (and experience) in it.

    It can definitely get you into trouble a lot faster, and insurance will be expensive the first couple of years, but it's definitely a viable option.
     
  26. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would consider a Cessna 172 XP... and/or a Piper Cherokee 235.... the XP will keep pace with the 182 and may be cheaper to own, and the 235.... very nice platform...
     
  27. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    The 182 is a great choice, but be careful about "easy parts availability". Mine (1980 182Q) came without wheel pants installed. I wanted to buy the brackets, and found that a complete set of brackets from Cessna were about 4k... yup... not a typo. The aftermarket makes 172 brackets but nobody makes 182. The salvage shops didn't have all four parts available so I had to scrounge. I got lucky at Oshkosh and found the missing items, but yeah, just because "Cessna" doesn't mean easy parts.

    Having said that, either go for the Bo or get a 182 and see if it meets your long term needs. It's a wonderfully versatile airplane.
     
  28. Artimas

    Artimas Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is the right answer.
     
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  29. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    upload_2020-4-9_0-6-19.jpeg Thanks for the advice everyone! I ended up getting a Cessna 182S. I’ve had it for several months and am very happy with my decision.

    Needless to say, the budget ended up stretching quite a bit...
     
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  30. Thomas Rainey

    Thomas Rainey Filing Flight Plan

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    Instrument panel
    upload_2020-4-9_0-13-46.jpeg
     
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  31. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Excellent choice! And remember that it's only money!! Enjoy :)
     
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  32. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now if only my wife would let me do that...
     
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  33. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Very Nice!!!
     
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  34. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    My Customer has a PA-235 (Dakota) that he wants to sell. low time engine, and nice avionics new paints, It should sell for $100k
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  35. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    DO you have any pointers to ads or pictures?
     
  36. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    Have you considered an RV? I own a Cardinal and the maintenance is similar to any other Cessna. I have the 150hp engine and would not recommend it for a family. If you are handy and like the idea of non-certified avionics then you may want to look to a home built.
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    no, he just mentioned it to me.
     
  38. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is what happens when you post without reading the thread. :p
     
  39. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Nice. How did insurance work out? I've been told by a few rental places and clubs that insurance keeps you out of a complex HP 182 if the pilot has under 150 hours.
     
  40. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good choice ,good luck with your training. Enjoy the airplane.
     
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