Dreaming about airplanes

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by spiderweb, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I have come to realize that at some point, I will probably want to own a plane. For now, I am doing little more than playing with ideas, but these are my ideal birds. They are good birds for a lot of pilots, in fact, because they are so good at what they do. So, what I thought I'd do here is reveal my thoughts on these airplanes, and then see what you think:

    1) C206. This is probably the easiest of the four to fly. It is also probably the slowest. Of course, a turbo 206 might be faster than a NA C182RG. I guess the strong suit is good comfort, the best for useful load and passengers, all at a reasonable speed.

    2) C182RG. This would get me more speed than the 206 (especially if turboed), and still has pretty good room. This plane is also not really difficult to fly, as long as you remember to lower the gear, and reduce MP slowly! The real downside is the gear system, but I believe (but do not have evidence) that this problem is overrated.

    3) Saratoga. This is a good, solid flyer with nice speed, better with turbos. I have about thirty hours in a beautifully equipped Saratoga, so I know how pilot friendly the bird is. Minor nits are how low one sits, and how fast you fly final (faster than Cessnas, for sure). Useful load is not as good as Cessnas, especially with later models. Then again, the range is quite long, so one can easily trade some of that for more butts (or cellos) in the seats.

    4) Seneca. This is the only twin I should really consider. From what I understand, maintainance and insurance requirements aren't as onerous as for the C310 or Baron. At the same time, the Seneca is a better performer than the Seminole (duh) and others like the Twinco. From my experience, the Seneca give you about 10-15 extra knots above the Saratoga, plus that extra engine. A turboed, KI Seneca will have almost all the capability I could want for my level. (We'll talk again after I reach 1,000 total time, with 200 in HP and complex.) I could get up to the flight levels for those easterly trips, and take advantage of some tailwinds.
     
  2. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Ben,


    No experience with any of the planes on your list. My list is C-150, C-172, C-182 and PA-28R-200. The C-182 and the Arrow are a wash for top speed (difference just isn't work getting excited about) and the C-182 has got to be lower maintenance (gear down and welded). It certainly is more comfortable!

    Why are you looking at a 206? I can see some special cases where the load capacity would be worthwhile, but otherwise you're burning an awfull lot of 100LL for no particular benefit.

    Always fun to watch these discussions. I'll be interested to see who wades in and with what great insight.

    Ghery
     
  3. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    My special case is the durn cello. I can fit the thing in a C182 but it has to go slanted in the back seat. That's fine if you are only bringing one other passenger, but I am planning on traveling with my trio. We also have to have room for a couple of bags and a violin. The only reason I even listed the C182 in fact is that I'm hoping that there is a mod out there for a three-seat version. Otherwise, the C206 is great for loading (with the rear bench removed) and comfort. I know the Saratoga and Seneca will easily take care of a trio plus bags and two instruments (third instrument is a piano which we do NOT take with us!). It would be a lot of money, but I would factor that into what the promoters pay when we agree on a flat fee for performance + transportation and lodging. :cheerio:
     
  4. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ben,

    You pay a lot more for that extra space in the 206 while probably not using it much. (except for the cello, which may be a deal breaker, I don't know). And Turbo, doesn't buy you much, especially in the east, except more maintenance and shorter longevity. I think Mark Shilling has one of the perfect, all around airplanes in the 182RG. I sometimes kid about Cessnas, but the 182 is perfect for almost any mission. Not needing the room, I would go Mooney 201 if I could justify it, but that won't give you cello room. How many people do you need to fit in the plane with the cello?

    (you knew this was coming).....If its just two and the cello, the Tiger's back seats fold down to provide a ful six feet of cargo space. I've had two full size road bikes (not little mountain bikes) in there for trips. Its also enough room to fit two people in sleeping bags (if your not the size of NFL lineman :)
     
  5. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Find your way on tour to Central Illinois, Ben. We'll get you some Seneca time :)
     
  6. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does that go for the rest of us too? :D Actually, I'm off to C09 for lunch in a few minutes - but I guess that's northern Illinois. ;)
     
  7. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    I agree with Anthony on the turbo. It's a lot of extra maintenance/operations hassle for not much benefit. Occasionally debates break out about turbo for some of the mountain (and when I say mountains, I mean real mountains) flying around here, but the fact is, half the planes even out here that do a lot of mountain flying aren't turboed. I had a 30,000-hour bush pilot friend who swore he'd never get a turbo again, that the hassle just wasn't worth the extra performance.

    Why aren't you considering a C210? I'm not an expert by any means, but I understand that they are much more efficient for what you want to do than the C206. And they certainly are big enough.

    Judy
     
  8. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Those fold down seats are a real plus, I know. Depending on how often this would really happen, though, I'd need room for three, plus bags, and a cello and violin. I really need a six seater, I think. :confused:
     
  9. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    You can bet if I get any where near there, that I'm taking you up on that! :dance:
     
  10. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Good question, and I don't have a good answer. I suppose that when I though of a six-seat Cessna, the slightly longer C206 sprang to mind. I know that this might be the solution to the C182RG dilemma, too, since the C210 is like an overgrown Skylane. Right, and as I remember, there are fixed gear C210s, as well. Are they as fast as the C206s? Hmmm.....
     
  11. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ben,

    I understand there may be a Seneca for rent/training in the Philly area. Check out Horton.

    You're about where I've been. I love my Commander, but for the flying I had been doing I needed to step up. I pretty much was focused on the Seneca as a twin (for K-Ice, range, etc). I like the new Lancair 400 as a single, but it has no deice. A guy was trying to convince me on a Malibu, and that could be attractive, but you gotta baby the engine (he ran his engine to TBO, but that's the rare case).... my insurance agent even suggested the Malibu and putting in the JetProp conversion - that's pretty pricy.

    Since the job picture is changing, I'm not doing anything till I figure that out. If it's a deal where I will still do long-distance flights, I'll be looking at the Seneca as kind of a first option.

    If you go that way, the insurace agent recommended finding a way to get about 100 hours of twin time, and as much Seneca-series time as you can before purchasing. Also, there is a training center in Louisville that has a Seneca II sim w/reasonable prices for weekend sessions.
     
  12. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    Ben,

    Don't rule out an A-36 Bonanza either. It's a great SUV airplane and older ones are not completely out of line $$$ wise. Also, be sure to check on insurance rates. An insurance agent has told me that the C210 is especially high to insure because of gear-up landings. I can't confirm this but I'd sure check into it before I got too interested in a 210.

    Chip
     
  13. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    You just passed the limits of my knowledge about C2XXs. A C182 is all I ever wanted, so I haven't paid much attention to anything else. What I said earlier was just stuff picked up hanging around the Cessna Pilots Association web forum. Surely there's someone around here who knows enough about C2XXs to give you better info.

    Judy
     
  14. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ben,

    You know a Cherokee 6 has the same interior room as the Saratoga and the Seneca right?

    Not as sexy, fast or neat but it just may get the job done for less overall dollars (insurance, maintenance, fuel burn...)

    Len
     
  15. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    All good points. For me, with just over 300 hours, I can't even think of the jetprop or even the Malibu. But again, call me in 1000 hours.

    OTOH, I am serious considering the Seneca. We do have one on field, as well as a C310 for multi training, and my current CFII MEI can do the training for me. Now I'm seriously considering doing the multi before the comm.
     
  16. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I had just assumed that the A-36 would be the most expensive to acquire, maintain, and insure. I do have about five hours of F33 time, and I liked what I saw. I know the A36 does fit the mission. I'm going to need some serious promotions before I can do this, it may turn out.
     
  17. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    To me, the C206 is just a bigger, slightly slower C182. I LOVE the C182, though, and feel that the C182RG is one of the best all-around singles out there.
     
  18. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I do. For me, though, the best fixed-gear six is the C206. My CFII has been trying to convince me to get a Lance, which he has owned in the past. The Lance is really a Saratoga with some actual useful load. It is also usually cheaper, so I really ought to substitue the Lance for the Saratoga in my "dreams."

    You know, though, past conversations with Bruce and others have sorta convinced me that the KI Seneca is probably eventually the best airplane because it can handle quite a lot of weather and is, therefore, the most reliable thing I could get without going turbine. Think about this: how often could a KI Seneca NOT fly when something like a Meridian could? Maybe 2% of the time? But those cases, probably OK for the airplane's capability, are probably not OK for mine.
     
  19. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm over 1000. If you get a lot of retract/complex time, insurance will be a lot happier.

    If you can get some time, the comm is much easier than instrument. If you get that, then the multi-add on becomes cake. Heck, I had a friend that took the commercial and instrument rides at the same time.

    Just my 0.02.
     
  20. John J

    John J Line Up and Wait

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    Ben;

    Think of the Straight Tail Lance as well. It is a little bit cheaper to buy than the Saratoga. Still has the left rear door to put the Cello in. Plus you have the nose baggage compartment so that you do not have to croud the cabin area with baggage. It is easy to fly and fuel burn is the same as the Saratoga. They will cruise in the 155 to 160 knot range depending on power settings etc. Weight and Balance issues are not complex either.

    Good luck with your hunt;

    John
     
  21. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Good points. I have already substituted "Lance" for "Saratoga." My CFI says the Lance is a Saratoga with some useful load, LOL!

     
  22. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even a mid 60's to late 70's model 35, would probably fill the bill for a threesome with cello. There's a fair amount of room behind the second row of seats in the ones with the extended baggage compartment, and I doubt that you'd run into aft CG limits. In some you can remove one of the rear seats if you needed extra room for the instruments.

    The 36 would be nice, especially the big double doors in back, but they do command a much higher price than a v-tail.
     
  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    For those of you dreaming of a twin please be careful, there are 2 killer ADs due out soon, on the C-3&400 series, and the Beech Barron.

    The FAA has expressed a concern with the aging aircraft syndrome. The T-34 is going to be the poster child to see how far they can go. The thinking within the A&P ranks are that if the FAA is successful in getting the T-34 out of the skys they will try for the Baron because it is the same spar. and we all know Cessna wants their older aircraft totally gone to open a new market.

    Be careful, keep your ear to the ground, and do your home work.


    Tom D.
     
  24. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Having flown all of these airplanes, the Saratoga is my hands-down favorite. The nose baggage compartment increases loading flexibility immensely AND it gets those baggage compartment stowaways out of the cabin, which makes for a nicer environment. Club seating gives it a limo-like feel in back, so your passengers will be arguing over who HAS to sit in front with you. (Don't take it personally.) The newer Saratogas do have some useful load issues -- in that there isn't much -- but you can get around that by shopping carefully or by looking at refurbished older ones. It seems most Pipers are bought by dealers and then sold, so the dealer packs 'em with stuff to raise the price so they can make more money, just like in the car business. Be patient and you'll find one that's not loaded with extraneous trinkets. Plus, it seems your concern is more with space than useful load, with only 3 humans to worry about.

    John mentioned a straight tail Lance, and that certainly should be a consideration. It doesn't handle quite as nicely as a Saratoga, but it's still a good airplane and tends to have a very good useful load.

    None of the airplanes on your list has notable bad flying habits. But as your first ownership experience and with 300 hours, I would recommend crossing the Seneca off your list. Twin, retract, turbos, maybe known ice ... that's a lot of capability but also a lot of complexity first time around. If you like Senecas, maybe think about a Saratoga just because it'll make the transition easier when you step up.

    Regarding the 210 rather than a 206 ... I am not one of those who routinely urge first time buyers to avoid retracts. Heck, my first airplane was a Mooney. And I don't think retract per se is necessarily a maintenance, operations, insurance or cost headache. However, the 210 is an exception. There are several gear incarnations, including gear door mods, that make buying one a tougher nut to crack, relative to the other airplanes listed. You get good speed out of them, though, and that may make the difference to you.

    As for the Bo's, well, they are the Holy Grail of singles, and a 33 might also be a good contender, depending on budget. I personally don't like the dual yokes in the older models because they intrude on the cockpit so much. The throwover is much better, but for transition purposes you may need to rent a dual yoke for a while. The balance part of W&B becomes more important, but again because of your mission requirements maybe that's not an issue. You would have to practice putting instruments in, though, because the baggage door accommodations are not up to the 206 or PA-32.
     
  25. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hortman at PNE...215-969-0311

    http://www.hortmanaviation.com/DesktopDefault.aspx

    I don't know what the requirements will be to rent a twin from Herb but it is worth a phone call.

    According to their website they have a Saratoga on the rental line as well.

    Here is another interesting aircraft. This one has been listed for sale for a long time...at least a year maybe more.

    http://www.controller.com/listings/forsale/detail.asp?guid=3C110E68504849CCA28F48E2CF95495B&pcid=20&etid=1&OHID=1079378&setype=1&nh=0&listURL=catid%3D6%26setype%3D1%26man%3DPIPER%26mdlgrp%3DSARATOGA%26PG%3D3

    Len
     
  26. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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  27. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Well, it's small wonder. Look at the price tag! That's a heap of money for an 81 with an engine that well past mid-time and without modern avionics. Seems to me they have put an inordinate $$ value on the deice equipment.
     
  28. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Thanks for your thoughts. There is a lot to think about yet, I see!
     
  29. Jim Chumley

    Jim Chumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Much of what I recall about 210 caveats have to do with fuel management problems. In fact, my father was partnered in a nice 210 that went into the ground due to fuel mismanagement.

    Jim


     
  30. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Ben:

    You can try the A-36 when you come to Dallas next. With four seats, there's a ton of room in back.
    We can take the B-55 up also, but it has a little less room. Our flying club has a C-33 and F-33. Perhaps Spike can take you up on one of those. The V-tail won't be much differnet inside than those.

    Best,

    Dave S
     
  31. Lawreston

    Lawreston En-Route

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    How about some Seneca time the next time you hit(touch down, that is) LEW?

    For those unaware, that's Auburn-Lewiston, Maine. It's far from the largest airport Bruce's Seneca has seen, but it's probably not the smallest; and my photos showed it to be in great form upon departure.

    Dreaming? I'm still in the hunt for a replacement a/c; will stay within the C-150 or C-172 field of dreams; sufficient for my needs. Cameras don't need much space in that right seat, or the other person's lap; and the clarinet is smaller than a cello.

    I'm just getting a chance to sit and study the POA workings, and manipulate.
    Chuck, Bruce, Brian(and rest of "team"): it's a winner.

    HR
     
  32. rfbdorf

    rfbdorf Pre-Flight

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    Hey, Ben, if you remove the aft bulkhead of a C-182 to check the battery, and forget to reinstall it, the neck of your cello will have plenty of room in the baggage compartment!
    - Richard
     
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  33. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Here's a question: have any of you ever seen a C182 with the individual rear seats (as opposed to a bench)? If so, all one would have to do would be to remove one of those seats!