Cessna 150 buying advice

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by hoosier150, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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    Found a 150G with 4800TT and 1240TSMOH. Been sitting in Southwest since 2011. Needs radios and some avionics. No corrosion. They guy accepted my $5k as is offer once I see it in person. Seems like a relatively good buy (so far). What am I missing? I know at the very least I could sell it for parts and recoup my money if needed. Will be using it to finish my flight training. Feedback appreciated.
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Borescope the cam.

    Welcome to PoA and good luck.
     
  3. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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    Great idea...thanks!
     
  4. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    with those hours, and it flys buy it.

    clean the plugs, change oil / filter, run it 2 hours, (test fly) change the oil again. see what's is in the oil.
     
  5. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    You can not do that without disassembly.
     
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  6. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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    can’t test fly because no radios and some avionics. It’s also been deregistered.
     
  7. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You are likely already underwater on this aircraft. The amount of stuff that you'll need to fix will likely cost more than another aircraft. Moreover, unless you're an A&P you'll have to pay one to either do the work or supervise you. There are other 150's, Cessna made lots. I get to repeat this, there are no bargains in aviation.
     
  8. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    That is going rate for a complete 150 project. I bought two of them for that price. You may get lucky and get it flying for not much money or you may have to do a lot of work and spend a lot of money. On one hand you get lucky and you got a bargain 150. On the other you dump a bunch of money on an engine but at least you know what you got and you have invested what it’s truly worth.
     
  9. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Why? Is the AWC still with the aircraft? Be sure you will be able to register the plane without issue before you spend any money or time with the aircraft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  10. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-Flight

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    The deregistered status is the issue from my perspective. It may have been done for property tax purposes, or there may have been some other issue, But it adds another level of complexity in getting it flying again. If it no longer has an AWC, then it's just a bunch of parts until you can get an AWC for it and that could get very expensive. If there are no logs for it, you'd need to have an IA put in the time to make sure it conforms to all the requirements for that model in order to get it airworthy. Not insurmountable, but probably not cheap either.

    Engine wise, 8-9 years is a long time to sit, but in a very dry climate, corrosion may not be a big issue.

    I recommend you spend $290 on a Vividia VA-400 borescope and AirBox to connect to an iPad, iPhone or Android based tablet. You and find them bundled at that price on Amazon any day of the week.

    That will let you pull a spark plug from each cylinder and inspect the piston for condition, the cylinder walls for rust, wear, proper cross hatching, and aluminum scuff marks, and the exhaust valves for non symmetrical heat patterns and any signs of excessive heat, warping or excessive deposits.

    Also take the time to pull the inspection panels and use the bore scope to view and record as much of the interior as possible for condition, corrosion, fluid leaks, wrinkles cracks, etc.

    If it were still registered and more or less flyable I'd get a pre-purchase inspection done, and if it looked promising spend a couple hundred more on a fresh annual inspection. In this case, that's not really a cost effective option.

    On a Lycoming engine you can't remove the valve pushrods to inspect the cam without pulling a cylinder. However, you can pull a push rod to inspect the cam without pulling the jug on a Continental, and you are potentially buying a 150 that most likely still has an O-200 in it. It is however still invasive, so you'd want an A&P on hand to do that, if everything else looks good.
     
  11. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-Flight

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    Pay the $400-750 for a prebuy by an A&P/IA. No exceptions.
     
  12. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is this the one at KSZP? If so I have some back story... PM me
     
  13. Bacho

    Bacho Pre-takeoff checklist

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    meh, on a $5k project he better be able to handle that on his own.
     
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  14. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

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    You've made your flight training more comprehensive by adding an "aircraft management" course right in the middle of your PPL. A bit like starting a math and physics double-major in the middle of your english degree. A good aircraft management course involves about 500 hours of "instruction", and many tens of thousands of dollars for "lessons" which will be served to you at random intervals by shady individuals, shops, sellers, and vendors of every description (hereafter "Aviation Businesses"). This might appeal to you. It did to me when I went this route.

    You'll be a better pilot for it at the end. You might even complete your PPL and added ratings into the bargain. :D

    When done, you'll be ready to sit in an online forum and grumpf at new posters with authoritah. A benefit with immense and nigh-incalculable value.

    It's a C150 for 5 grand. Parts value, as you note, exceeds the sale price. At the end, you may have a 30K C150 that you only spent 30K for. :D Odds of having that 30K C150 that you spent 50K+ on are pretty good too. It's still fun, cough cough, sorta, if it doesn't hurt you that much.

    Buy it.

    $0.02 (at $0.05 salvage value)

    - Mike
     
  15. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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    I suspect a bit of sarcasm?
     
  16. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

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    Usually, but not this time. Scars of someone who has taken the "aircraft management course" 8 or 10 times over 17 years of flying and for some idiot reason still owns a plane and loves every minute of it.

    I have on three separate occasions bought a plane for 60 grand, invested 60 grand into it over the course of a year or two, and sold it for -- 60 grand.

    I've owned 5 or 6 C150s. Some were bought turnkey, some were bought from widows in similar condition as you describe. I sold them all for about the same money, and the ones from "the auction" or "the widow" cost me far more than the turnkey ones did.

    BUT... I am very adept at smelling aviaion BS and chicanery now, and I know ways to juggle the age-old "fast good or cheap -- pick two" vendor selection method. All skills I could have remained blissfully ignorant of, had I played the game the way everyone else plays it. And probably had high 6 or low 7 figures added to my bank to boot.

    At some point you may try bigger and faster planes, partnerships and leasebacks, or buying or starting entire aviation businesses like flight schools, maintenance shops, or fuel islands, or get mixed up in jet charters. All massive wealth-destroying enterprises that pay you back in stories and scars and lessons.

    I'm quite serious. If you get bitten hard enough by aviation, these lessons are yours for the buying. The C150 is just the first taste. It only takes money. 5 grand is cheap. You can learn to love it all or hate it all right now for the price of a sh^tty Kia with a salvage title. That's a cheap win in MY book, even if you lose. Ya know? :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  17. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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    Good info...thanks!
     
  18. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Roached out 150s are a gateway drug.
     
  19. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    You plan on going with a G1000 for a radio or something?
     
  20. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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  21. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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  22. hoosier150

    hoosier150 Filing Flight Plan

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  23. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Curious - why spend the $5,000 to buy vs. getting your ticket? $5g will get you a lot of the way to PPL.

    You can buy after you have your ticket, or rent and leave the risk to others.
     
  24. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-Flight

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    It probably depends on what you want to do with the ticket once you get it, as well as whether you view learning to fly as a "destination" or as a "journey" that's enjoyable all by itself

    Around here, 40 hours split about 50/50 dual and solo with a C150 or C152 renting for anywhere from $100 to $130 per hour wet and an Instructor costing you $50 per hour adds up to a minimum of $5,000. Add in some ground school, written test and check ride fees, and a class III medical exam, plus considering not many students complete a PPL in 40 hours, and you're looking at closer to 50 flight hours and around $7,000 to $8,000 by the time it's all said and done.

    However, if you buy something like a C150 that will cost you $25-$30 per hour in fuel (less if you go with an autogas STC and manage the logistics of that) and $25-$30 per hour that you should be setting aside for maintenance, annual inspections and eventual engine overhaul, you're now only paying out about $50-$60 per hour. Plus of course $600 or so per year in monthly tie down fees and maybe $1000 per year in insurance.

    The annual costs are fixed so the more you fly the lower the per hour cost, and the lower per hour direct and indirect costs mean you can fly more. About twice as much more when solo for the same dollars invested. Plus, you usually have more flexibility in scheduling as you just need to schedule the instructor not the aircraft. For solo flights you have even more flexibility. Once you are signed off for solo flight in the local areas, you can fly solo in the local area and that equates to more landing practice at surrounding fields and more fun flying those extra hours integrating and practicing what you have learned without the stress and pressure of dual instruction.

    In the end, you won't save a dime and in fact you'll probably spend more as you'll fly a lot more - but you'll have a lot more fun doing it.

    Plus if you are so inclined, taking care of an aircraft is enjoyable. If you have solid mechanical skills it's not unreasonable to expect to find a mechanic who will let you do some of the work on a project like what the OP has in mind, provide some mentoring and sign off on it.

    The knowledge gained on the maintenance side, even just FAA approved preventative maintenance under 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix A, is an asset for a pilot. You'll learn a lot more about your aircraft, as well as general aircraft operation and maintenance - and it will make you a much better and much more well rounded pilot. For example I don't know many student pilots or private pilots who rent aircraft that are inclined to spend their free time reading up on aircraft engine operation and maintenance. However, I know a lot of aircraft owner/pilots that do exactly that. That's due in large part to the fact that if they break it they are the person paying for it, but it does make them much better and much more conscientious pilots in terms of better understanding and practicing proper engine management in flight.
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Do you want to wok it as a project? paper is fixable.

    It take time.
     
  26. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-Flight

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    I'm conflicted.

    Part of me, the same part of me that takes in half dead stray cats, wants to take it home and bring it back to life.

    However part of me is screaming "No, been there, done that, have the tee shirt, and can't afford another one." It's one thing to buy a beater that's airworthy or close to airworthy that you can fly and enjoy while you slowly upgrade it in small bites as time and funds allow. It something else entirely to start so far behind the power curve that you might not ever be able to climb out. I draw the line at bringing it home on a trailer. I did that ONCE.

    As is, it doesn't have the bare minimum of required instrumentation to fly, even if the engine and airframe were basically sound and you got a ferry permit for it to get it to where ever you plan to work on it.

    You can get by on a handheld radio or less, but to legally fly it VFR you need some minimum instrumentation per the A TOMATO FLAMES mnemonic:

    A – Airspeed Indicator (properly marked for the aircraft per the aircraft's POH)
    T – Tachometer (properly marked for the aircraft, which it looks like you have)
    O – Oil Temperature Gauge (looks like you have it)
    M – Manifold Pressure Gauge (not applicable to a fixed pitch C150)
    A – Altimeter
    T – Temperature Gauge (CHT) (looks like you have it)
    O – Oil Pressure Gauge (looks like you have it)

    F – Fuel Gauges (looks like you have them)
    L – Landing Gear Position Indicator (Not applicable to a C150)
    A – Anti Collision Lights (Not applicable as it only applies to small aircraft certified after March 11, 1996)
    M – Magnetic Compass
    E – Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) (I'm guessing it's missing, or at least needs a new battery)
    S – Seat Belts (just a guess that they're gone as well)

    You also need all the placards specified in the POH, although you can do them with crayon on sticky notes if you want, so that's not a big ticket item in the short term.

    Getting the missing bits re-installed is going to take a fair chunk of change, particularly the pitot static instruments.

    There's no right or wrong about buying it or not buying it, just go in with your eyes wide open and fully understand what you are taking on. And, when you go to look at it, go willing to walk away from it if you find serious issues like corrosion in the wings or fuselage, an unserviceable propeller, or an engine that's not worth anything more than a core and/or may have suffered a sudden stoppage and needs a complete tear down.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  27. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-Flight

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    I’m assuming this guy never has owned an aircraft before? He mentioned he is flight training now? Uhhhhhhh......
    It would be akin to allowing someone to buy a used BMW lol. I hope they have a heavy wallet.

    A flight club at my airport charges $495 to join, $65/mo, and $20/hr dry for a C150/152. $40/hr dry for a PA28-180. I hope the OP is considering the flight club option.
     
  28. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Looking at the picture personally wouldn't be something I was interested in at that price unless you are an A&P or know one who will supervise. Unless your plan was just to part it out. There is more than 5K in used parts there but selling them takes time and is a hassle.

    For me to be interested in rebuilding that I would want it for free and even then I would be really worried about breaking even.
     
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Every piece of rubber in the thing is likely toast. Every instrument in the thing he needs. Odds are the engine needs some serious work. The list goes on. You can very, very easily blow through $10K, and after buying the thing for $5 that's $15K, which is all it's worth in that condition. If the engine needs an overhaul you can double that. Also, you're probably talking about a year's work to really restore the thing. For someone older who wants a project and doesn't mind being a bit upside down it might be OK. I'm upside down on my aircraft, but I plan on keeping it a long time. But for a low time student pilot I can't think of anything worse.
     
  30. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    The restoring of a 150 can exceed $50k, the engine is $18K, total strip and paint $15K, replace the windows, $1,500.
    It adds up quickly.
     
  31. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Do you also read tea leaves?
     
  32. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Ouija board...:rolleyes:
     
  33. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    An intelligent person doesn't need a crystal ball to see where this is going.
     
  34. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    It's a 50+ year old unregistered 150 with no radios, and only one set of controls. Assuming you want to get your certificate some time in the next year, sell this one for parts and either join a club or rent.