Complex and HP plane for training to acquire PPL

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Benjamin Behnke, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Benjamin Behnke

    Benjamin Behnke Filing Flight Plan

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    My brother and I have just took the leap to get our license. We figured we would do it together to help mitigate costs. A couple family member and friends of ours fly and are currently owners. We are prepared to purchase a plane. I am questioning - can we purchase a complex and hp plane to do all of our training in?
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  3. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can and many have. Just expect it to take longer to learn since there'll be more to know and everything will happen faster.
     
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    James is correct.
    But you'd be better off buying a simple, economical taildragger like a Taylorcraft, Stinson or Cessna 140 and learning to fly in that. Keep it a year, take care of it and you'll almost certainly be able to sell it for what you paid. What you learn doing that will serve you for the rest of your flying career.
     
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Insurance costs can also be prohibitive for student pilots in a HP/CX airplane.
     
  6. Benjamin Behnke

    Benjamin Behnke Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you all for the info. Curious to any other comments on this whether it is a should or shouldnt move. I will let you know how we end up!
     
  7. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Why would you be buying a complex/HP to train in? If your plan is to keep it for use afterwards, then by all means, get one and start building that time in type. If it's not your "forever" plane, then I think it'd be a waste of money and you'd be better off buying something simple or just rent.
     
  8. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got my complex and HP endorsements right after finishing my PPL. The only thing I’d say as a word of caution is that operating expenses are higher. The 172RG at my school is $43 more per hour than the 172’s and the R182 is $53 more per hour.

    A lot of that is going to be down to the increased annual and maintenance costs. From talking to the owner, gear work on the 172RG is incredibly pricey.
     
  9. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends on the plane, my amphib hasn’t been bad, nor was the PA24 I used to fly. Just depends on the airframe you go with, it’s design and how well it’s been cared for.
     
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  10. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait

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    The biggest factor is going to be cost. When it comes to costs, there are known costs and unknown costs. The price of the plane, how much it costs to fly (fuel burn), how much it costs to store, how much it costs to insure, those are all amounts you can know or have a good idea of before you start. The unknowns are things like how long it will take you to finish, how much maintenance the plane will need before you get done etc.

    When comparing doing it in a typical trainer vs doing it in a complex HP, the known costs are going to be more for the complex HP. Insurance (if you choose to have it) could be a lot more. The unknowns are where the numbers could get even bigger. Potentially a whole lot bigger.

    Learning to land is one of the challenges of getting to a private pilot cert. And students often have a phase where their landings are just downright ugly. The fixed gear of most trainer aircraft are built to take that kind of abuse. The retractable gear of a complex aircraft, not so much. Have an incident where you damage the gear on your complex plane and the cost of your training goes through the roof. Get overwhelmed and behind the plane a bit on a solo cross country as students can sometimes do and forget to put the gear down, and your training will suddenly take a whole lot longer (waiting for the plane to get fixed) and cost a whole lot more.

    Time and money are absolutely no object, then go for it. If time and cost are a factor, consider buying a good trainer, getting your training done, the upgrading to the plane you'll want to keep.
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I always question this argument...if you start in that plane and don't know any different and that is all you are trained on as "normal" from day one...how is there somehow an "adjustment" to overcome from a slower plane other than some preconceived notion from the CFI or others that started in a slower plane?
     
  12. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That

    Also many learn from the ground up in tailwheels and solo in your normal 15ish hr range.

    For the complex it’s probably going to only add to ground time, not so much airtime.

    As a CFI, shy of the student being a complete hot mess, I’d have no issue taking someone from 0 time in most of the GA complex planes.
     
  13. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    There are lots of folks who buy a brand new SR22 and complete the training. The insurance will underwrite under the condition instrument training follows immediately after getting the private. Suppose they figure the student is getting 60 hours of dual in a rather short period.
     
  14. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Oh I agree there won't be an adjustment, I just think it's more for the student to learn right off the bat with more levers and gauges. And with things happening faster, it won't be as forgiving when they mess up. But I agree that it's absolutely possible and I know people who have gotten their private in a Mooney or a Cirrus. So like I said in the earlier post, if the goal is to use the complex/HP plane after they get their licenses, then by all means they should train in it.
     
  15. Benjamin Behnke

    Benjamin Behnke Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you everyone for your insight it is greatly appreciated. After these comments I lead toward purchasing the plane we will plan to use for a long period of time after training and using it to get the PPl. I will continue to update everyone on the process. Wish us luck!
     
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  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did my PPL in a Cessna 182 (fixed gear) so got the HP part. I am guessing I might have learned to land a few hours earlier in a lighter smaller (read: a bit slower) plane. But that would just be a few hours. I don't think the HP part added that much either. But I didn't have retractable gear or fuel pumps...both of which would have taken more time and not something to make a mistake on early in training.

    Part of me wished I had learned from scratch in a HP/Complex plane. Then from day one the prop, cowl flaps, electric flaps, gear and fuel pumps would be the 'norm'.

    I say if you and your brother jive on all of the following then get a plane and learn in it:

    1.) You both know you are 150% into aviation. It is not just a interest to one or both of you

    2.) You guys get along good together. If you are always fighting or bickering or blaming this ownership thing will be terrible

    3.) You can afford all of the costs. Just because you buy it doesn't mean your training costs will be significantly lower. You'll need a hangar ($100-$700/month). Stuff will break and you will both have to cough up money quickly to repair it (think $1000+ at any time). Annuals cost money and the plane is unavailable. For a complex plane maybe expect annuals of at least $2000 (hope for less). And there is that engine reserve fund. Just because you can fly it for X gallons per hour doesn't mean its cheaper. You should probably add another $30h...$45/hr towards the engine mx. So lets say you get a Bonanza and fly it for 1hr and burn 15 gallons which is about $82/hr you'll be thinking "Heck our plane is cheaper to fly than the 152 at the FBO." But you've neglected to add another $40/hr for engine rebuild bringing it to nearly $125/hr. Now you are above the 152 rental price. So in that case, why not learn in the C152 get signed off. Wait for your brother to finish. Then get rides in other planes and figure out what you really want.

    4.) You'd be willing to form a official partnership. You both buy half and maybe gives each the option to sell to another individual. That could cover arguments (1,2,3 above) or if someone just lacks interest in aviation later on or can no longer afford it.

    ...I think your other option is to buy a decent shape 172 or Archer. Use it to learn and build hours. Use it to also learn about airplane ownership and responsibility. There will be a time when you get the real itch for speed (retracts) or grass strips or camping (tail draggers), etc. What if you want the speed and your brother wants low and slow...oops!

    I wish my brother was into aviation. He loves flying along but is not interested in getting his PPL. If he did I would easily enter into a partnership with him as we have always gotten along well regarding shared interests. Then again he spends lots of time up north fishing in Canada and would want a float plane. And I would want a TTx so right there it wouldn't work so well. Then again I am lucky. My wife is also a pilot and we both wanted the 182 :)