Choosing my first plane

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by whiskeyone2, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    I will try to convince the insurance companies to recognize my hours for their purposes of assessing experience and risk. At least I can tell them in 2k flight hours I've never had a gear up landing (knock on wood).

    Higher insurance costs would not be prohibitive, just another factor for me to consider. Maintenance on a retractable might be more of an issue. Mooney discs vs oleo vs Cessna tubes?
     
  2. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maintenance on Mooney gear is about as cheap as it gets in the retract world.
     
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  3. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    it makes sense to call a more powerful plane “Tiger”. It makes a lot less sense to call slower plane “Cheetah “. I would pick a different cat for the second one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  4. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hey, the Grumman that did Mach 2.5 was called the Tomcat
     
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  5. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guess if they ever build a spaceship it’d be called a pussycat
     
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  6. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    69CB5D0D-DCA9-49D4-847C-8AEA338F01B9.jpeg
    No fancy feline name applied here:
    <image above, iPhone still misbehaving>
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  7. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey, Space Force is going to need something!
     
  8. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Ooooooohhhhhhhh! You talked to avemco! They are not the guys to ask for anything besides a 172 from what I hear. Go find a goooood broker who will work for you and shop all the underwriters except avemco. Some in this thread or search this site for broker recommendations before you let insurance dictate what your options are


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  9. Unkljohn

    Unkljohn Pre-Flight

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    Jus
    t out of curiosity, what kind of headsets are those?
     
  10. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agreed! Talk to Travers and associates. They will hook you up

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  11. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    I believe those are the 4 Paws Aviation headsets. I was also looking at a set for my dog because they claim to reduce more noise than the Mutt Muffs.

    Thanks for the suggestion! I will check them out
     
  12. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    They are indeed 4Paws
     
  13. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Since you are working toward your commercial rating one factor to consider is §61.129 (3) (ii)

    (ii) 10 hours of training in a complex airplane, a turbine-powered airplane, or a technically advanced airplane (TAA) that meets the requirements of paragraph (j) of this section, or any combination thereof. The airplane must be appropriate to land or sea for the rating sought;

    If you get a Mooney or Arrow you can do the training in your own airplane. If you opt for a C182 the good ones will come with an autopilot and at least a GNS430. You might need to add some instruments to get it to be considered as technically advanced. I believe dual G5s or an Aspen, a GPS like the Garmin 430, and an autopilot are all that are required for TAA aircraft.
     
  14. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thankfully, I have those 10 hours covered already because I did a large chunk of my Instrument rating in a 172 with a G1000 and autopilot.

    I would still appreciate having all those things though, it makes it harder to find a plane like that. I think a GPS and coupled autopilot are my minimums for cross country IFR, but G5's, an Aspen PFD or a nice graphical engine monitor would all be really nice bonuses
     
  15. Case Garrison

    Case Garrison Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m following this thread closely. I too am a military pilot. 1700 hour helo Bubba in my case, but I’m Navy so I also have 100 or so hours T-34C complex HP retract time and another 50-60 hours GA time.

    So far no issues with the insurance thing. Got a quote for a Mooney for $1500 per year on about $50K hull value.

    When you find the perfect ride, let me know so I can bid on it too
     
  16. Jacksonpop

    Jacksonpop Filing Flight Plan

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    For me, Cessna 182 is great.
     
  17. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    Ok, so I did some math. I used a 1065 NM trip on Foreflight I have planned for April and used the built in profiles for the planes I am considering. This is to define fuel efficiency. I know fuel isn't the only cost, but arguably the largest variable operating cost.

    Important assumptions: I used the full power profile for each plane. I set the altitude at 9,000 for each plane. I know this isn't ideal for all the models, but I'm assuming I have my dog with me and we're not on oxygen. The Foreflight profiles are based on book values, and we know those were pretty generous in the old days.

    I used the flight time and fuel used to create a gallons per minute number. Turns out this number holds true even in changing winds. Then I used this gal/min to calculate how much money I would spend to get to 500 hours (assuming $5/gal).

    So the difference from fastest to slowest aircraft was 2 hours for this trip. The difference in cost to 500 hours from cheapest to most expensive was $6,000.

    Surprisingly, the first Piper Arrow was the cheapest (generous book values I think, seems unrealistic so I didn't include it). The faster planes, Mooney and Bonanza v-tail were most expensive. But surprisingly the Arrow II and 182 took the same amount of time to get there, but with the 182 using the most gas of all! The Arrow and Mooney used the same number of gallons for this trip, but the Arrow took 2 hours longer.

    The 182 can carry a bit more, has two doors, and is better suited to grass strips but at a high fuel cost. Fairly foolproof and does everything. Second most expensive (Socata TB20 was first).

    The Mooney is appealing as a cross country plane, but almost defeats my original goal of time building. I could fly slower, but who does that in a Mooney? Also, complaints of cabin comfort and stiff ground handling.

    The Piper Arrow is a trainer. But having my own trainer that is on my schedule isn't so bad. I could move up later with lots of complex time. I do like the lower baggage door vs the Mooney so the dog doesn't climb on the wing. He could hop in like he does in the truck.

    Bonanza V-tail was as fast as the Mooney but with higher fuel cost. Also it seems they are tricky to load with aft CG concerns.

    In summary, I don't know if this makes it easier to decide or just muddles the process more. I think a compromise between time built and cross country capability is the answer for me, but I fully realize now there is no such thing as a perfect plane.
     
  18. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    ^^ Not to put a wrinkle in your calculations, but you can always fly a Mooney at Arrow speeds at significant fuel savings(probably better than Piper), but you can't fly an Arrow at Mooney speeds at any cost. This is, of course, discounting all other reasons to buy one or the other.
     
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  19. Jon Huxley

    Jon Huxley Filing Flight Plan

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    M20J owner here. Mooney gear are very robust and require minimal maintenance. Airplane should be put on jacks at annual and gear pre-loads checked (factory tool required) so maybe a couple of hours additional labor at each annual. Discs should last 10-15 years, and should come in well under $2k to replace all of them. Make sure corrosion free (especially the steel roll cage), and check for evidence of fuel leaks. Tanks can be patched, but budget $8k to reseal them. I've owned mine for 2 years (2nd Mooney) and the most expensive maintenance item so far has been replacing the alternator (circa $1k), but like any airplane there will be good years and bad years as far as maintenance costs go. Very stable instrument platform; I can do coupled approaches (KFC200 a/p) with an Aspen PFD, which provides for lots of utility.

    An honest 155KTAS at 10GPH are still good numbers even today (158KTAS when light on a good day at 75%), but ergonomically they are not 95-percentile airplanes. I'm 5 ft 10 and I'm very comfortable in it; my wife is shorter and cannot reach the rudder pedals. Definitely recommend going for a ride in one to make sure it fits and you like the handling characteristics. If I didn't have the J I'd be looking at an A36, but as previously noted, A36's are not cheap. Older 35's might be worth looking at but I can't offer a qualified opinion there.
     
  20. whiskeyone2

    whiskeyone2 Filing Flight Plan

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    To provide some closure, I bought a 1983 Mooney M20J. Flew it back home yesterday! North Carolina to Texas with rain, headwinds, and still only one fuel stop.
    • It is tight on the inside, but not uncomfortably so. I will purchase the rudder pedal extensions to help with the height issue. I find that with the seat full forward to reach the pedals, there is no more elbow room on the left side.
    • Insurance DID recognize my military hours, and I got a very reasonable price. Only required a checkout with a M20J instructor. We did 9 landings, a short cross country, and were done in 2 hours flight time. Flew it home the next day.
    • I looked for a 1982 and newer model to be able to have rear seats that fold down flush. Helps me justify it as useful cargo space for luggage or the doggo. A compromise over the 182.
    • 155 KTAS and 9.x GPH the whole way home! (8000 ft)
    Thank you to everyone for reading and providing some great advice! I am looking forward to many more hours in my new-to-me Mooney.
     
  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    M20J. For sure. Fast well built, comparatively low cost, good fuel burn. Just a little cozy.

    Skip the high wings. The 182 has its applications, and fine it carries a lot, but otherwise you're burning 14 gallons an hour to go 135 knots, that's deplorable.. after a few trips you'll be wishing you had gone with something faster

    SR20.. not worth it for the cost and performance

    Arrow.. meh, just not that exciting
     
  22. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Given your size and the size of your passengers a Mooney could be a great choice if the seating position doesn’t bother you. Even if it does you can acclimate quickly. Being a sports car driver, sitting with my legs straight out in front of me feels natural. Flying my Son in Laws 172 is like sitting on a bar stool. I really don’t like it. It’s a matter of what you get used to.

    An M20 J could very well be a great choice for you.
     
  23. jd21476

    jd21476 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    2,000 hours of military time and the insurance company wont recognize it???? You flew "non-traditional" aircraft and you do not have complex or high performance time. Were you a drone pilot?....possibly a REAPER?
     
  24. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    You made an excellent choice. I bought mine in NC as well. Congratulations!
     
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  25. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Grumman did...they called it “Apollo” and put man on the moon.
     
  26. Vincent E. Smith III

    Vincent E. Smith III Filing Flight Plan

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    I recommend the Mooney. I just sold my 1966 M20E that I used to instruct my daughter for her commercial and complex. We were in a partnership with an A&P/AI which helped tremendously. The Mooney was solid and fairly stable for instrument flying.
    Vince


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