How the heck am I supposed to find a plane to buy!?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Freefalling, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    First post here, so please let me know if this belongs somewhere else. I am a low time student pilot paying a FORTUNE for a beat-to-hell C172 ($200+/hour, plus instructor, no digital anything). The essential maintenance is done on the plane, but it's got several things Inop and I feel like it's in the shop more than it's out. In other words, even though I am available to fly every single day, I have only accumulated 10 hours in 3 weeks because of plane availability issues (Nearly 20 students, one plane...). Unfortunately, where I live, this is the only option for training, and the used plane market is...limited, at best. I have been asking around and the only thing I've found for sale is a beautiful Cessna 210, but I'd be paying a lot more to build those hours.

    My mission goals are pretty simple: I want to be able to haul around my family (2 adults, 2 kids), guests who come to visit (We live on a tropical island), and eventually, once I have my commercial, I'd like to start giving aero-tours to help offset the cost of the fuel and maintenance a bit. For these reasons, I think a C182 is the way to go for me. I like the 172 for the most part, I like the high wing for sight seeing purposes, and I like the 182 because it's a bit more comfy inside and has a better payload capacity. I'm not stuck on a 182, but from all of my research, I feel like it's a good starter plane for my specific needs. I know that owning and maintaining a plane ain't cheap, but when you're paying $200+/hour for a plane that's almost never available, buying starts to make a lot of sense.

    My problem is that I cannot find ANYTHING for sale here. If I buy something, it's almost definitely going to have to come from the states and be ferried to me here in PR. That also means that it's basically impossible for me to go look at planes pre-purchase, because doing so means taking time off work and training to take a commercial flight somewhere, for every..single..potential..purchase. Additionally, on top of work, flight training, kids school, extra curriculars, etc... my time to filter out the insane sellers is limited, as is my patience.

    So I guess I've got a couple of questions after that long rambling text above:

    1. Does the 182 sound like a good starter plane for me? My end goal is to go IFR, commercial and possibly start up a little aviation side business here, possibly getting my CFI and CFII as well down the line. The 182 would be great for hauling small groups of people around for sight seeing, not super great as a starter trainer, but I can always pick up cheap 152s for that purpose if I go down it.

    2. Does anyone happen to have or know of a nice IFR capable 182 for sale?

    3. Is there someone who I can pay a little % of the sale price to, to just have them do the leg work for me and find me a plane? I could probably make the time to filter through the cruft and find something, maybe, but at the end of the day, I'm still very new to aviation and don't know exactly what I'm looking at in a lot of cases. I've flown a few different planes, so I know what I don't like, but it's hard to figure out sometimes if a plane for sale has one of those don't likes in it, because I don't know what year models came with which features..

    Alright, that got a bit long, sorry. In summary, I LOVE flying (Life long dream, finally coming true), I want to buy a plane because I want one, not because I think it'll save me a ton of money, I need help finding something good, solid, and safe for my family and passengers. There are a lot of little islands around here to fly to, and I want to be able to give that experience to my guests!
     
  2. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The 210 may make sense in the long run. Many people say you should buy your last plane first rather than going with a "starter" plane and upgrading later.

    There are some good brokers in the states that you could commission to perform a search for you. It would be a tough thing to turn "most" of the decision making over to them but in your case it might be the way to go. I happen to know a good broker in the Daytona Beach area if you are interested. Or maybe you can find one closer to you in South Florida where you could make the occasional visit to see what he is up to.
     
  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    There are brokers who do that. Find a plane for you and do the leg work. Yes they do it for money. Some have more scruples than others. 182’s fit your mission very well. Demand is up, supply is down. Good luck
     
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  4. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    First of all, are there hangars available? Without a hangar an airplane will rot into the ground quickly.

    Secondly, you will have to expand the shopping beyond your local airport. Trade a plane or Barnstormers will be good resources.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    The wife and I went back and forth quite a bit last night over the 210 vs 182 thing. I *really* wanted to jump to the 210 immediately, because in the long run, that's honestly what I want for the family hauling (Taking my whole family plus a guest, or my whole family plus camping gear, etc...) but we decided maybe the 182 was a better one to start with, just because it's not complex which is probably better for a beginner like me, and it's quite a bit cheaper to operate, which is fantastic when you're trying to build hours. Long term goal, maybe I want to get a job flying cargo between the islands. Low paycheck, beautiful office, and for that, I'm going to need the hours. What we decided the goal should be is something that we *can* take everyone around in, but that's cheaper to operate. That being said, if I come across a screaming deal on a 210, it'll be hard to say no.

    As for your contact in Daytona - I can get from PR to pretty much anywhere in FL quickly and cheaply, so if you've got someone you know and recommend, I'd definitely be interested in their contact info.
     
  6. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Any thoughts on going straight to a 210? Will the money I waste building hours and maintaining it be worth it if something like that is the ultimate end goal anyway?

    There are tie downs available. I know that tied down planes are moved to hangars when hurricanes roll through, but I'm not sure of daily availability of them. I honestly intend to fly every day or nearly every day, so whatever I get, it'll be used and not left to sit and rot. My local airport (NOT where I do my training) is tiny, but has lots of land available for building if zoning allows. I intend to speak with the manager after my purchase to inquire about the possibility of building a hangar there, as I'd then be about 4 minutes away from my baby at all times.
     
  7. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Another Cessna to at least consider for your situation is the 206.
     
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  8. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    No, you don't NEED a hangar. I had a Cherokee tied down for a year here in FL and had no problems. Planes don't rot into the ground quickly without a hangar. Especially if you fly them at least a couple times a week and keep them maintained. Most rental planes spend their entire lives outside a hangar and they fly just fine.

    @Freefalling beat me to it. The only reason for a hangar is extreme weather conditions, like hurricanes which (depending on your tropical island) may or may not be a problem.
     
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  9. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Ah, yeah I forgot about that one. I have looked at a couple, but haven't investigated the 206 enough to know the difference between it and the 210.
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    If this hangar is the goal, I’d start talking even before the airplane purchase.
     
  11. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    There's a lot of reasons for having a hangar other than extreme weather, but agree that a tie-down is not a showstopper. Plenty of airplanes rot in hangars too--neglect is the primary enemy.
     
  12. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    The hangar is a nice to have but not at all necessary, and certainly not something that I'm going to rush into. Right now my focus is just on finishing the training and hopefully finding something to own. Once I've got it and things are still looking good, I'll start investigating storing my plane indoors close to home.
     
  13. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Right, that was an entire other thread, but my response was in the context of this thread. And agree, neglect does way more damage then leaving a plane outside.
     
  14. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    @Freefalling I'm in the same boat as you and I'm on the mainland here in Sarasota, FL. Planes are booked for weeks or more in advance, so I have to plan sometimes a month ahead of time to even get one. We all know how unpredictable weather is, so a lot of times that plane I booked I have to cancel due to weather. Very frustrating.

    The inventory here is semi-reasonable for price, so that's not usually a concern, but doing the math I can save close to $10K per year if I buy instead of rent with the right plane.

    That said, I am also looking at buying again, but it probably won't be for a few months. I have ZERO interest in renting anymore due to the inventory available and quality of what is available. The people around here fly these rentals hard and leave them in horrible shape when they are done.

    I frequently look at trade-a-plane.com, controller.com, aso.com. Barnstormers to me is a rats nest. Horrible website design. I hear people mention it all the time, but compared to other sides, it really needs work. If they managed to spruce up the layout and keep the content they could be great, but as-is it kinda sucks for a buyer.
     
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  15. bgreenhaw

    bgreenhaw Filing Flight Plan

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    206 has fixed gear and wing struts, 210 has retractable gear and no wing strut (after 1966)
     
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  16. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah I troll trade-a-plane, controller, barnstormers, wingswap. Lots of planes there but I don't know wtf I'm looking at for the most part.

    If you can save $10k/year, imagine how much I can save here, paying $210...
     
  17. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah, after I posted that, I went to go look up the differences. Looks like the 206 may actually suit me better because I'm not doing any super long haul flights that require the higher speed of the 210, and I definitely don't need the extra maintenance either...

    Unfortunately, it looks like the 206s, for the most part, are higher than what I wanted to pay for my first plane..
     
  18. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Right, but for island hopping, how useful is it to have a retract? A 206 would be a great ship for aero-tours and the rugged gear would stand up better to training, and no gear mx.
     
  19. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Good points. For my use case, a retractable is definitely not a must-have. I think I will add 206s to my list for sure.
     
  20. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Strangely enough though, 206's are at least 20K more than 210's from what I can find, some WAY more. I guess it depends on where you are looking, but I found a 210 for like 60K on trade-a-plane. Lowest 206 on there was 40K more.
     
  21. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm thinking that if I am going to do much flying over water, I would sort of want a retract. That gear can cause problems when they hit the water before the hull does.
     
  22. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah that's also what I'm finding. I'm thinking the fixed gears might just be in higher demand because of their lower maintenance costs or something.
     
  23. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    My buddy the Broker just sold a basic but nice 172D with an engine near TBO, but great pre-buy checkout with strong compression.

    He sold it to a new Student for $20k. His plan is to sell it after building time for PPL/IFR. He’ll probably sell for the same price 100 hours later.

    A 210 is way too much plane for a student. I rented and near the end of my training I bought my 182P. It extended my training 20 hours but wanted the extra training as this was my own plane and getting experience with high perf category at the time. The extra training went to building x-country and familiarization with new and different airports.
     
  24. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm DEFINITELY open to a 172, but it's gotta be at the right price. A lot of the 172s I see are at 15,000+TT, 2500 SMOH and still asking $50k...
     
  25. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    PM me, I know a few people who can help. Another friend of mine sold his 172M with 180hp engine for $60K. It was a peach to fly with 3800 hrs on airframe.
     
  26. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    PM sent.
     
  27. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    You seem to understand maintaining it will probably more expensive than a 182. Are there A&P's in PR who can do it? Check on insurance. 210's I think aren't insurers favorite airplane. It's going to cost more. Maybe significantly more. There are folk around here who have 182's and 210's. They'll probable be able to give you some numbers
     
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you’re just getting a run of the mill 182 might be better to just rent/join a club at a better place.

    If you’re going to buy you’ll get much more value getting something less common and less of a trainer.
     
  29. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Believe me, I have looked around. There are no clubs here, and the only other school is 3 hours away, so that ain't happening either. My original plan was to get a 172 that I could then CFI in later on the side (Would need to be cheap so I didn't mind it getting abused) OR a 182 or up so that I could more easily haul family, friends, sight see-ers, whatever, around.

    At this point in my career, I'm primarily concerned with building hours, and doing it as cheaply as reasonably possible while still being semi-comfortable. That's why I'm not looking at 150s for this purchase. So a 172 would suit me (Cheap to maintain, cheap to fly), so would a 182 (Cheap to maintain, cheap to fly), but a larger A/C like the 205/206/210 are nice because I can do a lot more with them later on.

    Right now I'm leaning toward the 172/182 just because they're cheaper to get into, cheaper to fly, and I can transition both of them into other uses down the line if I want to - The 172 for CFI work, the 182 for very bare bones sight seeing operations for 1-2 passengers...
     
  30. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PA24, cruisemaster, maule, tripacer, S108, C170, lots of options.
     
  31. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Do that first
     
  32. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Not being argumentative here, but why? It's not really relevant. Local airport won't let me build a hangar? Big whoop, I'll use the tie downs at the airport 20 minutes away. I'm getting a plane regardless, where it's parked isn't super relevant at this junction, as far as I'm concerned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  33. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Slow down. You are starting to sound belligerent to people that are trying to help without knowing much about you.
     
  34. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Huh? I came here asking for advice on finding a plane / finding a broker, and I've received a ton of useful info, including from you. Someone said I need to inquire about building a hangar at the closest airport, and all I did was ask why. What part of that is belligerent? Honest question. I do appreciate all of the advice, and I did specifically ask @DesertNomad why he was telling me to inquire about a hangar first. I'm here to learn, which is why I'm asking "why".

    Sincere apologies if I've come off as ungrateful or something, that wasn't my intention. I'm just here to learn, and I'm listening to all of the advice here, and trying to understand it, INCLUDING the recommendation that I get a hangar first...No belligerence intended.
     
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  35. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    Fair point. I really should broaden my horizons some. I'll research some more and widen my search criteria.
     
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  36. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think he's more excited/eager. Remember the enthusiasm back when you started?
     
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  37. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You might check with some insurance underwriters. You probably wouldn’t have any issue getting insurance for a 182 but getting insured in a 210 for basic flight training would probably be a problem.

    A 182 sounds like a good choice based on your criteria. It will be a good choice for your immediate needs and will continue to work for yo7 as your kids age and you move onto your commercial.

    gary
     
  38. Freefalling

    Freefalling Filing Flight Plan

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    The more I research, the more I'm in agreement with you. I think the 182 (Or similar) fits the bill for what I need for the next couple of years.
     
  39. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Unless you can score a deal on a 205 out a Cherokee six 260


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  40. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Given your stated choices, just get a 182 with a decent panel.

    There’s very little reason you “need” a 206 or 210 over a 182. The 182 will still fit four normal size people and just about anything you can stuff in it. And it’ll do it on 12GPH with insurance costs that won’t break you.

    Sometimes the boring choice is the best. The 182 is not a trainer, it’s a legit cross-country family hauler.
     
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