Want To Buy Buying a C-150 or the “best airplane one can afford”?

Discussion in 'The Classifieds' started by Chapel K., Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    In the last two weeks, I found myself pulling my hair trying to figure out which plane to buy. Am bringing this dilemma to the forum as I imagine many of you wise people have already gone through these debates. Would greatly appreciate your sharing your thinking process, suggestions and solutions.

    A little background:
    • Mid aged student pilot, no career pilot intention, done with solo, passed the PPL and IFR written exams, waiting for the PPL check-ride.
    • budget $80-120K
    • mission: in the first year or so, this "first plane" is for building experience and skills (not time building)
    • expecting 150-200 hours, annually, in the next fifteen to twenty years (hopefully)
    • mostly myself or with a CFI. I have no plan to take my family with me in the first 250 hours... Don't want to scare them too soon.
    • often destination less than 300nm; must be IFR. need to learn and get my instrument rating. I have zero mechanical experience thus would prefer to minimize the trouble whenever possible. Having said that, I am open to learn and become more comfortable with mechanic stuff
    So buying a C-150 then upgrading to IFR would allow me to learn and pass IFR. Then sell it in a year or two, and get an upgrade later. This approach has a lower purchasing price, less gas expense, paying a tie-down vs. a hanger; potentially avoiding committing to a wrong but more expensive airplane, as I have limited experience in aviation and have no airplane owner friend. On the other hand, I might miss a better experience flying the “best aircraft one can afford” and/or, get frustrated by the updating avionic process or selling Cessna then buying (upgrading) another plane.

    If you were in my shoes, what would you go about this buying?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    With that budget, I would skip the small fry and go for something that serves the regional cross country mission very well.

    the Rule of Henning, buy your last airplane first, can apply here.
     
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  3. dmspilot

    dmspilot Final Approach

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    While it has been done, a Cessna 150 does not make a great IFR machine. It's slow and not as stable as something a bit larger. It also can't carry much weight; depending on you and your instructor's weights you might not be able to file for even a modestly distant IFR XC and meet minimum fuel requirements (destination then to alternate and then another 45 minutes).
     
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  4. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Line Up and Wait

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  5. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    Thanks. That's really nice to know!
     
  6. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    last airplane first -- Cool advice!
     
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  7. MarkH

    MarkH Line Up and Wait

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    Do you want to train IFR or fly IFR?

    If you are looking for your IFR rating, I would suggest an RV-12. With a good prebuy, you can end up with a nearly new airplane, add a GPS Navigator and you have a great IFR trainer. If you get an ELSA, you can get training and do your own annuals, but you cannot fly into IMC. If you get an EAB, you have to have an A&P do annual condition inspections, but you can fly it into IMC.
     
  8. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  9. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    172. Preferably an M model. Lycoming engine, at least, since the Continental O-300s are getting old and harder to find parts for.
     
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  10. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled

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    This being PoA - Bonanza. Don't jack around.

    And with your budget a nice Piper Arrow will serve you for at least 5-10 years. A 150 is a waste of time.
     
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  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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  12. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As one who has owned 9 planes, and have enjoyed each one, I think your plan is right on. Get a C150, gain experience in flying and ownership, sell when your situation changes. Few people know what their last plane is ever going to be. My first plane was a tripacer, my last is a C 172, with most of my hours in a twin Comanche and V tail. Enjoyed them all, but they suited different needs thru the stages of life. Buying a plane cheap, maintaining them are expensive.
     
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  13. Chris Hill

    Chris Hill Filing Flight Plan

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    I had a great time getting my PPL, IFR, and 300hrs in an IFR 152. You cant go anywhere fast, or with a heavy buddy, but my wife and I traveled all over the southeast and to the Bahamas several times. Now we have a couple kids and a 172 would be a better fit.
     
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  14. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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  15. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Gotta put in a plug for a Bellanca Super Viking. Great cross country IFR machine. 200mph. Can be had for usually much less than a comparable performance metal plane. People are scared off by the wood and fabric construction, and that tends to depress prices. Get a good pre-buy, keep it hangared, and fly it regularly, and you’ll have no issues.

    This looks like a nice one. Low time engine, good avionics, and within your budget.

    https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...ER+VIKING&listing_id=2376201&s-type=aircraft
     
  16. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    People get fooled by low prices on complex aircraft. They seem to think that because it's a cheap airplane, the maintenance will be cheap, too. It's not. That Viking has some quirks that have to be watched, things like gear retraction systems that sometimes need rerigging. There are a number of ADs on several areas that are a bunch of work annually to do the checks unless the upgrades have been done; many haven't. That wing has an AD on it that requires, if you're going to do the work legally, quite some time to do.

    I did a bunch of work on one that had not been kept up to snuff. It was sad. It looked good, though.

    No such thng as a cheap old airplane.
     
  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    You just missed a PA-28-235 for $85
    0-300-D cranks no problem. there are the 172 , 1956-1986
     
  18. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    Nine aircrafts! Amazing. Very informative advice. Really appreciated, man!
     
  19. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps greatly.
     
  20. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    Cannot help but notice you have a RV-6a, how is it?
     
  21. Nathan Miller

    Nathan Miller Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Where is the dislike button? o_O
     
  22. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    you can't go wrong with a C 172. was my first owned airplane.
     
  23. Nathan Miller

    Nathan Miller Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I'd go for the 150/152, assuming you're on the slim side. Can't beat 5 gallons per hour.

    If you're 180 or higher, 172. Mine burns 8.5gph on average. At $4 per gallon at my home drone, with an average number of hours to get your PPL (let's use 60), earning your ticket in a 172 will cost an extra $840. Not insignificant, but imo a drop in the bucket compared to the entire cost of training. Bottom line- I wouldn't sweat the extra fuel burn.
     
  24. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    To pass my PPL checkride, I have done most of it, maybe another ten hours. For IFR, at least another 40-60 hours to go. Gas here in Southern California is almost $6 per gallon. Good incentive to lose some weight. lol. Appreciated your input!
     
  25. Cruzinchris

    Cruzinchris Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Beechcraft Musketeer. They have the bulletproof Lycoming 320 or 360. Good IFR platform. Roomy inside. No severe maintenance issues. I love mine.
     
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  26. MarkH

    MarkH Line Up and Wait

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    I like the Musketeer (especially for the price they trade at), but when I was shopping I was warned to look out for the models with the Continental IO-346. @Tom-D may be better able to comment than I am about that.
     
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  27. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Bonanza or a deb and thank me later. Because in the end you will end up with one. Haha ask me how I know.

    Seriously with that budget and your plan I would not waste my time trying to find a 150 then trying to sell it later and looking for another plane. It can be a pain finding just one plane. Trust me. Good luck in your search though and be patient for the right one.
     
  28. Cruzinchris

    Cruzinchris Pre-takeoff checklist

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    MarkH is correct. The Cont 346 was only offered for one year. It is a good engine, but parts are nearly impossible to find.
     
  29. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Kinda figured someone would toss the Grumman Tiger into the mix.

    Oops my apologies ... this is POA so the answer is Bonanza!
     
  30. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    OP. Great advice above for planes in your budget. There is nothing wrong with a 152 but I think you will quickly get board with it. I’d look for a solid 172, older 182, 4 place pipers, 4 place Grumman or even a step into a bonanza once you have your instrument ticket (Insurance is the likely limiting factor without an ifr ticket).
     
  31. Nathan Miller

    Nathan Miller Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    150/2's don't sit on the market long. It's a solid trainer and they are inexpensive. Even if you live in a state with a high sales/use tax (or buy in a state that imposes one without a "fly-away" rule), buying and selling is relatively quick and painless, given their low price. Getting a good prebuy examination from a trusted mechanic is essential, goes without saying.

    I've never owned a 150/2. Just 2 172's (and rented a 152 between my 172s.) Both the 172s were new to market with a lot of prospective buyers when I snagged them up. When I posted the first one for sale in 2010, it sold above asking within a week of posting it on T-A-P. When I bought my latest plane this past November, I was also scouting out 150/2s. I would have likely bought one if I didn't come across a 172 that I was sure was too good to be true.

    I usually fly solo or with one other person. I have taken a 3rd person aloft maybe half a dozen times. I'm glad I found the 172. For you - with training being your primary mission, you will fly with an instructor and you will fly solo.

    You can't go wrong with either plane. Keep us posted on your progress (both searching and buying a plane and with your training)
     
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  32. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For all of those suggesting a Bo, has anyone here gotten a recent insurance quote for a $100k+ hull retract for a low/no time pilot? As a point of reference, 3 years ago I got a quote for a $60k Tiger that was $800/yr. I have not flown since and the quotes I just got from the same broker were $1400 for $70k hull and $2200 for a $100k hull. With $1mil/$100k limits.
     
  33. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  34. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    1956-1967
     
  35. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    You're in 182 territory at $80-120k. Great IFR platform with super simple systems.

    Insurance on a Bonanza is going to be $$$$
     
  36. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Whatever aircraft the OP purchases should already be IFR capable when he purchases it. The premium for a nicely equipped aircraft is dwarfed by the price of installing avionics. Haven't seen too many IFR capable 150s. Oh they're out there, but there aren't that many.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  37. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    $2200 for 100k hull on a fixed gear? I paid $2200 in November for my first year bonanza with no complex time, but for $80k hull.
     
  38. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    Mark, As per your suggestion, I did spend some time looking at Van's RV-12 along with other models. From your logo picture, it seems you have an RV? I like the fact that most of Van's planes are newer, assuming with fewer maintenance expenses. Is that the case? My other concern is whether my CFI or examiner might have cold feet with an "experimental aircraft". Would appreciate input from everyone.
     
  39. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    172 is on my short list. Checked out your previous plane, really nice one. Good for you! How long have you had your Zodiac? What's your experience when compare an experimental vs. a certified one?
     
  40. Chapel K.

    Chapel K. Pre-Flight

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    I am pretty sure that for the first year or two, it will be only me and my CFI or CFII. Will make the decision next week. Right now, I am looking at C-172 and Van's RV-7, while they are quite different. C-182 or RV-10, the real four seats aircraft would be the right fit starting the second, if not the third, year, depending on how quickly I will become comfortable inviting my wife and kids to fly with me.