Intro and approach to ownership (Chicken/Egg)

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Bug H, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    Many hours reading PoA - just now singing up! SEL VFR w/HP - ~200 hrs/last flight over 10 years ago. I'm about to retire from military (age 54) and eager to dust off the logbook and resume some training with the goal of ownership someday! Flying club/FBO aircraft rental experiences, were "okay," but I was rarely able to XCTY with wife and dog...

    Within a year, I expect to be living in San Antonio, College Station, or Corpus Christi. These locations will pretty much describe my 2 adult + bags mission range as well (occasional ABQ runs). However - ZERO hangar availability in all locations.

    Would I be wrong to buy an airplane BEFORE having a hangar secured in any of these locations?

    Maybe that's a chicken before the egg discussion, but the Texas elements can be tough on a tie down.

    This would be my first plane (considering C177 and C182 due to ease of entry for spouse with physical challenges), and a budget of <$75k and fixed/variable of ~$12k/yr.
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome could take some time to secure a hangar, go for the plane ,get some good covers.
     
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  3. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Glad to have you aboard - welcome!
     
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  4. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    sup.

    I wouldn't let not having a hangar get in the way of purchasing the right plane for you, but I would be realistic about a hangar actually opening up in the near future. I got on a hangar waiting list long before I purchased, then the right plane found me and she spent about 2 months on the ramp before the hangar opened up. I was NOT happy being on the ramp with the pleebs, but I was not gonna let this plane go so I did what I had to do. if you're getting something like a Cessna, sure, those can stay on the ramp but something nice like <enter any low wing here> should be kept in a hangar.
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    If you make it to the DFW area, hit me and @JCranford up and we'll engage is some consumption of food, beverages, and hangar flying.
     
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  6. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    I like the prospect of that Mike ...and Gig em!
     
  7. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route

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    It’s amazing how fast you you move up the waiting list when you have an airplane on the ramp and are buying gas.
     
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  8. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Ejection Handle Pulled

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    HDO, a few miles west of SA, almost always has hangars available. David runs a good ap/ia team there, and it has a monster set of runways (4) (was used to train the navigators for D Day). CVB, about 20 miles closer, has hail sheds available. Work fine- mine is stuck there under the shed along with a 310, a36, couple 150s. Long runway, mostly nice and laid back tenants. I’m next on the list for Kestrel on the south side of Canyon Lake in Bulverde, but you could be number three. Just give Doug (owner) a call. Very nice guy. Full size non-T hangars. Probably best part of SA to live as well, next to the two air parks and the lake. Stinson might have hangars (have material on ground ready to go), but the jokers at city hall are holding up approval. Little weird landing Stinson though - you end up buzzing funerals on final.

    What base are you retiring out of?
     
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  9. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Welcome to the POA.

    How is that area for hail? I've been outside for 20+ years. Covers in the winter. I have been in a hangar for the past 2 years month to month. I must say it is nice.
     
  10. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    It is? Been parking outside for three years and on the waitlist for four. I assume the waitlist is a completely corrupt scherade at this point at my airport... (I’m obviously totally not jaded by this situation).
     
  11. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route

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    Ok, maybe not universally, but I’ve seen many situations where folks have been told how long the waitlist was and then all of a sudden when they bought their airplane that a spot “opened up”.
     
  12. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Welcome to POA! Good luck on the hunt!
     
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  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    I've been told that at Grand Prairie Airport (Not convenient to your needs) the pecking order is: Ramp planes have first dibs on the Shade hangars, Shade hangars have first dibs on T-hangars, and T-hangars have first dibs on box hangars.

    Basically, if you're paying in the system you get faster upgrades when needed.

    One of the people who told me said he was in to a T-hangar in 4 months, then he actually put his plane there. While it was ramp and shade he kept it down South.

    So, finding hangars is like finding airplanes. Gotta go to the airport and ask around. Phone/interwebs doesn't quite cut it.
     
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  14. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Funny you ask...the other day I was farting around west of SA at 2500 feet and could see a small concentrated cell about 50 miles east...turns out it was a hail storm...with air temps in the mid 90’s. While that definitely isn’t common- it does happen.
     
  15. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    Good stuff, GrummanBear - LOVE your avatar pic/paint job! A decade or so ago I did a checkout in an AG5B Tiger at Flying Tigers in Houston/Hobby- One of the best handling machines in my logbook!

    Thanks for the tipper in SATX area. I ran some "travel time to airport" to airport based on potential house location (near Sea World) to plug into the "donut theory" of mission effectiveness (fly vs drive). Here's what I got:
    Hondo: 43 min
    Castroville: 22 min
    Kestrel: 41 min
    Stinson: 23 min

    I've also looked at San Geronimo airpark (~20 minutes). EAA chapter there, single (narrow) runway. I do not think they have fuel, but I see hangars pop up from time to time.

    I think I would be leaning toward Stinson if I end up in SATX. "Back in the day" I flew in there and was greeted with cold water and assistance with taxi to downtown - seemed like a great place! I think they have some flight schools there too, which I would love to plug into for recurring training. I visited a while back for hangar waiting list - answers did not seem very straight forward, but I understand "I don't have a plane yet, but am interested in a hanger spot" is not the most appealing business case from their perspective either...

    Speaking of "funerals on final" (and not to sound macabre), my family plot is just off the departure end of Easterwood/KCLL RWY 34. I encourage anyone reading this in 2050 to give me a wing wag as you clean up!

    BTW, retiring from NAS Corpus Christi
     
  16. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    To directly answer your original question, I would buy the right plane while looking for a hangar or getting on the list. You're more than likely not going to get the plane and the hangar at the same time. Unless you're buying a REALLY expensive/nice/new plane, a little time on the ramp isn't an issue with good covers.

    I'm active duty military and finding hangar space is always an issue. I bought my Archer before having hangar space, bought some really nice covers, and then moved from that city before ever getting near the top of the list (the airport was building new hangars, though, and I would have been able to get in if they finished).

    The base I moved to, I had a met a couple folks in the aviation community from some prior time spent there. I sent an email or two and one person got back to me who worked the desk at a flight school/club saying they knew somebody who would have a hangar opening up on another airport. I reached out to that person who was indeed renovating a hangar that they planned to rent when it was done.

    I moved, brought my plane to my new city, it sat on the ramp for 4 months, and then moved into a hangar in a metro area where you do NOT get a hangar by just waiting around. I just happened to catch the person before they had somebody confirmed and since it's their privately owned hangar they didn't have a general "wait list" going for it. I got lucky, especially living in Florida.

    I've thought about getting on wait lists at an airport at any base that I MAY be moving to, but I'll end up wasting money while doing that assuming they require a deposit that's lost if you don't take the hangar when you get the call. At a minimum, as soon as I get an assignment notification the next day I'm calling airports!

    Good luck and welcome!
     
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  17. GrummanBear

    GrummanBear Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Hit me up this summer if you want to fly the Gru. You might be in luck with Stinson later this year. It is also my preferred due to location; I checked with the guy running the show there this morning and he said the city lifted the hold on construction. Worst case, CVB might end up being a good interim for you as well if you get the plane first.

    EDIT: Call Jimmy @ Ocotillo if you want to get one of the hangars being built at Stinson
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  18. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Depends where you are, I am sure. FBO manager told me I got a hangar because he was tired of me emailing him every week.
     
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  19. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to POA.

    Get on the hangar waiting list.
    Take your time looking for the perfect plane.
    Buy the plane and a good set of covers. The covers will probably cost less than a month hangar rent.
    If a hangar opens up before you have the plane, you have the option of taking it or not.
     
  20. Ken Whitson

    Ken Whitson Pre-Flight

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    You mentioned College Station Easterwood. Have you checked out Coulter Field (KCFD)? A little over 2 years ago, I acquired a 10-year old airplane, put my name on the wait list and used a tiedown spot for about 6 months. I then moved to a community hangar that usually held only my plane and one other. After about 6 months of that, I moved to an individual hangar that became available. The hangars on the field are a mixture of no-door, push-door, and newer electric-door. The community hangar appears to have open space available. There is some talk of hail/shed hangars being erected, but that is probably a few years away at best. I have no information about the current state of hangar availabilty. If you find yourself in the area, give me a shout.
     
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  21. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    they are finishing construction a new row of T hangars at 5C1. Don't know if they are all spoken for already, or not. Lots of private hangars there also, and from time to time there is an index card on the bulletin board in the FBO advertising space.

    The other side of the runway is the residential side, where you could build your own.

    There is a whole airfield and hangar near Seguin for sale on Craigslist.
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Being born and raised in the B/CS area, my vote would be to retire there. Not that I am biased or anything....

    And I would check out Coulter Field.
     
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  23. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Can't fly a hangar, just saying.
     
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  24. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Wish we had shade sheds, not so much for the shade but for rain and snow.
    In the late 70's I spent time at NAS Pensacola, our planes went to Corpus Christie on training flight often. I never made it there being a ground pounder..:(
     
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  25. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wait a sec, Active duty and own your plane. I'm currently active duty as well and my wife has hinted at the idea of getting a plane after I retire as we will more than likely settle down somewhere. How much of a pain in the rear is it every time you transfer? Not sure of your branch or how often you move but we move every 3-4 years. I think I can safely say I've got 2, maybe 3 more moves in me before I retire but still thinking it would be better for me to wait. Unless you say its actually not as bad as my brain thinks it would be. Do you allow your archer to be used by local flight schools to offset the cost or at least keep it flying when on deployments?
     
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  26. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    That doesn't bother me as much as having to do a runup when you see a group under the tent across the street there. But my parents are there. While they wouldn't want me to be rude to others, they'd be happy for me to fly.
     
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  27. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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  28. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    I'd take a shade shed over tie down any day! Hail and radiant heat worry me with these pricey investments. Hey, AKBill, I did a couple of stints at NAS Pensacola and had a great time there (best beaches I have ever been on). We're enjoying Corpus and evaluating follow-on opportunities here. It's not too bad, but it's also not necessarily a General Aviation "hotbed." I embrace the challenge though!
     
  29. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    Man, this is quality INTEL - Thanks GB! BTW - I would be stoked to just SEE your bird - That thing is awesome!
     
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  30. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    I like it John! I can't remember where I saw it, but somebody recent posted info on "good covers" (with a lot of "Concur" and "Hurumph"-ing afterwards). At this point, someone jumps in and says "Use Search," so I'll do that and see what we can com up with as far as preferred vendor.
     
  31. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks Ken - I sure will! I contacted the "city owned' manager and placed on the wait list. He remarked that a community hangar spot is opening up at $400/mo soon. Seems a little steep for a single 4k x 75 runway operation... If I was lucky enough to end up with a vintage Bo, I would likely shell it out. I might shop Navasota also (?) if I end up moving to B/CS. Same distance from my brother's home south of town.
     
  32. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

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    I would love to! I've already been doing some serious "Zillow-ing" there - I'm not sure of opportunity in second careers, but that's more of a LinkedIn discussion. See previous note to Ken - I'm the new anchor man on the wait list!
     
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  33. Ken Whitson

    Ken Whitson Pre-Flight

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    That hangar is owned by the Bryan Business Council, and yeah, kinda steep. Navasota has been the "relief" airport for those waiting hangar space at Coulter, so maybe space is available there. Coulter is about 15 minutes from my house; Navasota airport is closer to :25. That :10 extra travel time seemed like an eternity. Perception rules all. One other thing: there is an A&P and an IA at Coulter. Don't know about Navasota.
     
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  34. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not gonna lie, it's not easy. It wasn't bad with the last move since, as I referenced, I was able to get a hold of a hangar pretty quickly and at least had a verbal agreement before ever even departing my duty station. But you do have to understand that it will inevitably see some ramp time so don't go get your dream plane yet if you're not ok with it getting some sun and rain. Also, have an exit strategy. Are you ok with selling the plane, perhaps under value, if you think you'll be stuck somewhere for 4 years without the chance to fly it much? Would you be ok with a leaseback during that time frame instead to know that it'll still be your plane when you move again?

    I have not leased it back to a school yet, but wouldn't be opposed to it if I'm stuck with a long deployment (or bad assignment where I won't be flying it). I hate the idea, to be honest, so would only go that route if I can't find a better solution like having a trusted pilot friend added to insurance to keep it running and flying. I was just out of town for work for 3 months and then this whole COVID thing happened as I'm getting back home so my last flight was 1 January. I'm based under a bravo in a state with shelter in place/stay at home orders and can't justify joy-flying until they relax some restrictions (maybe next week!).

    So, is it worth it? Probably depends on where you may be stationed here on out and the likelihood of getting into hangar while there. Seems like we have a similar TIS. When I have to move again, I'll have 7 years remaining before being retirement eligible (so a minimum of 2 moves left, most likely 3 moves since I doubt they will be as long as 3-4 years each). My plan right now is to hold onto this decent Archer throughout that time period and look to upgrade the aircraft once I'm in a hangar that I think I'll be able to stay in for a while!

    Maybe you can grab a similar aircraft now and get your "forever" plane when you're free as well.
     
  35. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm retirement eligible now but plan to stick around until 30 unless its no longer fun. You bring up some great points, many of which we have considered. With me being Navy, my next duty station will likely be a USS something and if they have a busy underway schedule it will likely eat into any flying time.
    I too am basically under a Bravo in a state with a stay at home order, but flying is listed as okay to do. I can only take passengers that live with me but flying is reduced a lot as there is basically nothing to do even if we fly somewhere. Heck, my favorite airport diner is closed and not offering takeout so flying to that location is kinda pointless right now. I really hope the covid calamity stops soon so places can open back up and we can start enjoying fun flights.
    Back to the topic of a plane, I need to get her in the air with me so we can discuss what her preferences are. Right now, she thinks the Cessna is a better vehicle while I enjoy flying pipers more.
     
  36. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just have her create an account and ask that question on here! lol

    But really if you can justify an older C-152 or PA-28-160 that's not very expensive and you can tolerate it being on a ramp, I say go for it. Your financial situation may determine what you can justify and what you can't (again, if you have to sell it at a "loss" if you get tied to an unfavorable deploy/dwell cycle). That may also give your wife some time to figure out how she likes it so that when you're ready to buy your perfect plane she can compare.

    Also, I'm an Air Force guy in a career field where I'm 99% sure my remaining assignments will be stateside with only 1-2 more overseas deployments so it's a little easier for me to plan longer term. I fully intend on upgrading from 4 to 6 seats after retirement but again, it'll be the first time that I can get into a hangar before getting the plane!
     
  37. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    May as well have her ask which oil is best at the same time. At least on my motorcycle forums that seems to be the equivalent of what is better, high wing/low wing. Should I start popping the popcorn now???
     
  38. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    The Cardinal is better for entry, but if I wasn't doing aerial photography, I'd go for the 182. And I'd put myself in the Stinson camp. That was home base for years and I miss it.
     
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  39. Todd82

    Todd82 Line Up and Wait

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    This was possibly the best sentence ever written on POA yet nobody took the bait
    :devil::ohsnap::stirpot:
     
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  40. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PoA ain’t what it used to be. Won’t stop me though.
     
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