I've had it with Type Certificated aircraft...

IK04

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Taking into consideration the ridiculous cost of purchasing, equipping, maintaining and modifying "Certificated" aircraft, I have determined that any future chance of my owning and flying an airplane or gyroplane will mandate an E-AB aircraft.

If I want an airplane that can carry more than me and four hours of fuel and won't require avionics that cost more than the rest of the airplane for under $(what I paid for my house!), what choices do I have?

For the price I can afford, I would be stuck with a 40 plus year old airplane with a runout engine and ancient instruments, radios and gauges. Nope. I'm tired of that endless cycle of fly-break-fix!

My cool little Cessna will be for sale someday soon, when it comes out of its nearly year long annual inspection. It will be an awesome bargain, since so many parts were replaced, including the entire exhaust system. I plan to take the proceeds from the sale to buy and build an aircraft that suits my needs and doesn't compromise performance, utility or comfort for cost of ownership.

Sure, I'll end up spending big bucks to get a flying machine, but I won't have to put up with all the BS of waiting for parts that no longer exist, or begging a mechanic to sign off some work.

I know my skills, knowledge and experience are adequate to get this done and the satisfaction of doing it myself is the icing on the cake.

I will gladly fly as an instructor in somebody else's aircraft, but I'm not going to own one myself any more.

I'll make decisions later on which way to go, but my mind is made up. :p
 
Taking into consideration the ridiculous cost of purchasing, equipping, maintaining and modifying "Certificated" aircraft, I have determined that any future chance of my owning and flying an airplane or gyroplane will mandate an E-AB aircraft...

...My cool little Cessna will be for sale someday soon, when it comes out of its nearly year long annual inspection. It will be an awesome bargain, since so many parts were replaced, including the entire exhaust system...

The private GA recreational flyer world seems to be inexorably moving in that direction.
@hindsight2020 can give us a PhD dissertation on the topic of certificated vs E-AB. ;)

What type of Cessna have you been "rebuilding"?
 
Experimentals break down too. Sure parts are cheaper and easier to find, but well maintained certified aircraft can have excellent dispatch rates. I tried to find an experimental that could come anywhere close to the stats of my certified craft for a budget of twice what I’ve put into it so far, but it don’t exist.
 
Sure parts are cheaper and easier to find
Engine stuff costs just as much. There are experimental avionics options that cost less if you are into that. Then, for a ride like mine, airframe parts do not exist (Kit manufacturer out of business), but no big deal - I know where to buy aluminum / steel / fabric.
 
The private GA recreational flyer world seems to be inexorably moving in that direction.
@hindsight2020 can give us a PhD dissertation on the topic of certificated vs E-AB. ;)

Nah, I've already said my peace. I'm out of the business of perma-jousting in here over what in the end is a religious argument for many. It's all good. Others can do whatever the hell they want. It's a hobby. :thumbsup:
 
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T
If I want an airplane that can carry more than me and four hours of fuel and won't require avionics that cost more than the rest of the airplane for under $(what I paid for my house!), what choices do I have? :p
I will wager that a nice 172 will cost you less over a 10 period, than anything you can build.
 
I'll make decisions later on which way to go, but my mind is made up. :p
My Sport has run an average of $3000 a year for parts and labor. That's off the top of my head, I'll bet its less than that if I pull the recites

That also include parking, outside tie down $60/mo
 
Oh yeah, I forgot.

There are no hangars or covered parking available in my area for the next 10,000 years. Whatever I build has to go home with me on a trailer or fit in a box.
 
Oh yeah, I forgot.

There are no hangars or covered parking available in my area for the next 10,000 years. Whatever I build has to go home with me on a trailer or fit in a box.
We need to work on changing that down there... I've had an idea on a spot in that area near the family ranch.
 
Come over to the dark side...

My last two annuals cost under a $100 each. They do take 3 days of my time.

I don't know how the average certified aircraft lives with the fear of the $5000 to $10,000 annual. I'm guessing this may be one of the reasons there are so many derelict aircraft.
 
A nice, old 172 with $80,000 worth of avionics, maybe.
try a val-com 2000, plus a transponder. and a iPod. and a $18,000 1959 172.
and when the needs arises a rebuilt 0-300-D.

look out the window and Fly.
 
I'm finding myself trying to make a very similar decision.... although for my first aircraft.

and also no hangars for me either so probably outdoor tie down for me. One of the airports here I think does have some tiedown space. I'm not so sure I want to deal with trailering because I can imagine just ending up not flying many days because of the hassle to go get it and hitch up (I'd be storing it eleswhere, HOA), then the assembly, then getting it disassembled after, re trailered, re-stowed.... seems like just too much work and time for a quick flight.

For years I've wanted to build something, but time is the issue for me....and a gyro sure does look like it could be a good time. Quick to build too.
 
Doesn't really make sense to me to dump an airplane that you have finally sorted out. Don't get me wrong, EAB is the way to go if you can live with a 2 seater but I wouldn't offload an airplane I had spent thousands sorting as you are likely not going to have any more issues for another 30 years.
 
Oh yeah, I forgot.

There are no hangars or covered parking available in my area for the next 10,000 years. Whatever I build has to go home with me on a trailer or fit in a box.
An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel won't be hard to find. An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel and fold up and go on a trailer after every flight will be more of a challenge I think.
 
I wouldn't offload an airplane I had spent thousands sorting as you are likely not going to have any more issues for another 30 years.
Do you have specific knowledge of the aircraft in question other than what's been posted here? Because that's a pretty tall claim to make if you don't.
 
I can't buy an experimental that will outrun my Mooney, not unless it is about as old. I've never had such a bad annual, I tend to fix stuff as it breaks. Of course, I'm making a call later to see if a Superior Air Parts crank shaft, that will be part of a soon to be released AD, was placed into my engine. That right there could change my tune mightily.
 
Do you have specific knowledge of the aircraft in question other than what's been posted here? Because that's a pretty tall claim to make if you don't.

He is talking of putting thousands into an old Cessna air frame so unless he is talking a Bamboo Bomber or a 310 I can't imagine what else could go wrong on an air frame that would require a significant investment. But again I get it! I have one of both. My Cessna 150 cost me more to own and maintain than the Venture. I too had to fix all the previous mechanics screw ups but now it's sorted and It should provide another 50 years of service.
 
E-LSA is the way to go. After taking a 16-hour Light Sport Repairman Inspection Rating class you are allowed to perform the annual condition inspection on any E-LSA you have an ownership interest of (after applying at the FSDO for the Cert). You won’t get a 4hr range but at least you have more control on who does the annual. Also, S-LSA’s can be converted to E-LSA. Note that this does not apply to vintage aircraft that meet the definition of an LSA (Ercoupe etc).
Experimental Amateur Built (EAB) either at least an A&P or the original builder (after acquiring the repairman cert) can do the annual condition inspection.
LSA is the way to go for now until the Fed comes out with something that parrots the Canadian “Owner Maintenance) category for vintage birds. This category permanently brands the aircraft as “Owner Maintenance” and it cannot be converted back to Certified.
IIRC, a US S-LSA converted to E-LSA can be converted back to S-LSA.
 
We've owned the Mooney 14 years now (holy cow!), and I have to say I'm very pleased with the aircraft. In that time the only major things have been one prop and hub overhaul, new gear discs, and of course the new engine and firewall forward last year. Other than that, it's been small normal wear things and AD compliance.

Although I'd love to try another plane someday, this one has been so damned robust and reliable that I really don't want to take a chance on another aircraft. Seriously, this has been one solid bird, totally happy.
 
You will have engine and prop issues with every airplane the only difference being the freedom to work on it your self which is more and more valuable every year.
 
I think the worst mechanical problem (other than my self-induced prop strike) were flat tires.
 
My cool little Cessna will be for sale someday soon, when it comes out of its nearly year long annual inspection. It will be an awesome bargain, since so many parts were replaced, including the entire exhaust system. I plan to take the proceeds from the sale to buy and build an aircraft that suits my needs and doesn't compromise performance, utility or comfort for cost of ownership.
Sounds like you ought to fly it some to get at least a little return for all the money and heartache.
I will wager that a nice 172 will cost you less over a 10 period, than anything you can build.
Build, sure... plus you'd spend that ten years flying instead of building. Buy, well, I'd take that wager. Just being able to do all of your own maintenance and repairs is a factor. Not needing to source factory built parts with documentation is another. If any upgrades are needed or desired, the gap starts to widen. Just for instance... I spent a grand total of $1400 and change to equip for ADS-B IN and OUT, and a couple hours of my time. Of course there are dogs out there in the E/AB world, just like anything else, but there are plenty of well built, well maintained experimental airplanes to be had. Many already have some of the desirable attributes that will cost you extra when buying TC -- things like GPS driven autopilot, no vacuum gauges, modern glass panels, stuff like that. But you know all of that.
An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel won't be hard to find. An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel and fold up and go on a trailer after every flight will be more of a challenge I think.
To be fair, I'm having trouble thinking of a type certificated airplane that meets those criteria too. I'm sure the POA Champions of the Arcane will come up with one... maybe not one you will ever see for sale, or would want to own.

The number of seats you need factors greatly into the question. If you only need two, then a world of opportunity opens up. If you require four seats, then it narrows down some... but there are still some out there.
 
Sigh. TANSTAAFL. There's lots of good reasons to go E-AB just as there's good reasons to buy a standard certificated aircraft. The problem is the variables involved in such a decision make blanket comparisons pointless until you get to into specific mission requirements and aircraft capabilities & performance. In my experience, generally E-AB aircraft are less expensive to acquire and maintain for like standard certificated aircraft of the same model year from a strictly dollars perspective, but you have to ignore opportunity cost. For example, My RV-10 cost me roughly $175K to build and my condition inspections to this point have run me the cost of oil, filters, some crush washers, and 1 set of main gear tires and tubes, etc. Which dollars wise is a bargain compared to a like performance "new" factory aircraft. However, I paid a premium in "sweat" equity and time in exchange for money. Avionics, as mentioned above, are where you can really save some money in E-AB. Everything else though basically costs the same as for the rest of GA (if you are using common aircraft components, eg Lycoming engine, etc) minus potentially any labor (which could be a wash if you're willing to get your hands dirty with A&P "supervision"). There are of course exceptions to all of this. YMMV......
 
An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel won't be hard to find. An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel and fold up and go on a trailer after every flight will be more of a challenge I think.
Avid Flyer / Kitfox (at least the early ones) have about the best fold and go system that I have seen. As far as 4 hours of fuel goes, just add the necessary capacity. If it don't fit in the wing, just make a bigger header tank. Snot a big deal. I've got 4 fuel hours in my ride, but not the folding wings.



 
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When I had my Kolb (which has easy 10 minute wing folding) I kept it at the airport, folded, inside my trailer, on an outside tiedown spot. I only brought it home for the winter or to work on it.
 
There are no hangars or covered parking available in my area for the next 10,000 years. Whatever I build has to go home with me on a trailer or fit in a box.

An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel won't be hard to find. An experimental that can carry more than a pilot and 4 hours of fuel and fold up and go on a trailer after every flight will be more of a challenge I think.

Sounds like an RV-12is is in order:
 
https://www.trade-a-plane.com/searc...&model=172&listing_id=2379139&s-type=aircraft

what is wrong with a flying a good old 172 as a fun flyer.
a 0-300- is now selling at less than 20k, dump the old radios, and installing basic VFR equipment,
then look out the window and smile :)
Ah yes another perfect example of the craziness of aviation. Someone who has used up an airplane but still expects a premium price. old radios and an engine past TBO. Sure it may be fine for another 1000 hours but on the other hand it could crap the bed before you get it home. So you spend 20k on the airplane, then another 20k on an engine, then another 10k for avionics and suddenly you have 50k in an airplane you could buy with a low time engine for 30k. Someone out there though will undoubtedly buy it then when faced with a 20-30k repair bill it will sit like so many others.
 
Ah yes another perfect example of the craziness of aviation. Someone who has used up an airplane but still expects a premium price. old radios and an engine past TBO. Sure it may be fine for another 1000 hours but on the other hand it could crap the bed before you get it home. So you spend 20k on the airplane, then another 20k on an engine, then another 10k for avionics and suddenly you have 50k in an airplane you could buy with a low time engine for 30k. Someone out there though will undoubtedly buy it then when faced with a 20-30k repair bill it will sit like so many others.
you read into a lot I didn't say.
show me how to fly with less.
 
I would be stuck with a 40 plus year old airplane with a runout engine and ancient instruments, radios and gauges. Nope.
I hear you man.. I'm so disappointed in the current state of GA. And honestly, even if you are super rich and can afford a brand new (insert your choice of single engine piston) you are still stuck with, you guessed it, 100 year old engine technology. Plus, the costs are astronomical, even if you are making something like $700K / yr, is it really smart to spend more than a year's salary on something that realistically fits 2-3 people, that, after 10-15 years will cost the equivalent of a car to rebuild the engine?

Absurd.
 
Sounds like an RV-12is is in order:
According to Vans, almost no RV12 owners store their plane with the wings removed. I think the two person requirement is a deal breaker for most.
 
I really want to be a buyer again of an aircraft, but I can't justify the costs for some of the reasons stated above. And I kinda want everything in one. I want to be able to get out of the state in an hour or just cruise around for breakfast gigs. I love low wings because you can get something cost-efficient to fly that goes fast for pretty cheap, but I hate the view obstruction. And yeah I know, buy for 80% rent for 20%, but if I'm buying I'm flying it for 100%. I'm not renting something else. Seems stupid to do that. Why pay rental costs and the fixed costs for something sitting on the ground?

Having bought in the past I also don't really want to go through thousands of dollars of STC's just to modernize something 40-60 years old. I'm not a grease monkey and I have zero mechanical aptitude (and no desire to learn tbh) so experimental's are right out.

Wish I could be happy with a 60 knot cruiser like a cub but if I want to go somewhere I don't want the aircraft to be slower than the traffic on the road. I've been looking on and off again for almost 4 years now since I sold my Cherokee for something that "fits" and I still haven't found it. I stopped flying rentals entirely because they are generally horrible condition-wise or entirely unavailable when I am in need. I keep up my medical hoping I'll find something that'll work, but I'm losing interest. Maybe its just time to hang up the headset entirely and move onto a cheaper hobby.

If I bought again I'd probably look hard at an older Bo or maybe a 182. I've kinda also been eyeing Mooneys..dunno. I do know a few people that built an RV (actually it was a bunch of hobbyests and some high schoolers) and I think they are almost done building another one, maybe they are done, dunno. Flew in it and it was just too small.

The market just seems overpriced right now. Waaay too hot. There's a lot of 9K airframe time aircraft with run out engines selling for like 40k and instrumentation from the 70s. Maybe all of these are being sold by folks who inherited them rather than the original owners? They see aircraft and think, jackpot! Gonna keep looking but it sure is frustrating...
 
Nothing, if a '58 172 is something you'd like to fly. I've never met a 172 I liked much less would want to own. And I'll concur with the other comments, while $20k isn't outrageous for a 60+ year old plane with a motor that's 300 past TBO, it ain't exactly a bargain either.
Are't we forgetting the 20 for a re-built 0-300- that would still be 40 with new av-gear, and engine.
removal of old radios doesn't cost anything except time.
Val-Com 2000 =. valacionicsCom2000.php

Transponder = https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/garmin_gtx335promo.php

used engine = https://www.texasairsalvage.com/main_view.php?editid1=227970

it can be done.
 
Sounds like an RV-12is is in order:
To be fair, the wings are removable... but it's not something you want to do (twice) every time you want to fly. If you own an RV-12, you'll want a hangar, or a tiedown spot and a really good cover for it.

That said... it will outperform an old 172 in nearly every respect. Shorter takeoff, better climb, faster cruise, slower stall, shorter landing, way lower fuel consumption, omnivorous (MOGAS, Swift, or AVGAS), new avionics, autopilot in most cases, the list goes on. It won't beat it for seats or useful load, naturally. And nice examples can be had down into the $50K-$60K range. There's one on Barnstormers right now listed for $59.9K.
you read into a lot I didn't say.
show me how to fly with less.
Over the long term? It's a crapshoot whether that $20K airplane is going to cost $20K, or $40K, or a bunch more. I'd be willing to bet it's going to need some upgrades to fly in Class C or B airspace, and that's not going to be cheap. The prospective buyer can do the math regarding fuel cost over a few years, but it sure is nice flying wherever you please without thinking about how much the gas is costing you. If cheap flying is your only goal, an old Chief or Ercoupe is going to be tough to beat... but this exercise is like comparing apples and bowling balls already.
 
Ialso don't really want to go through thousands of dollars of STC's just to modernize something 40-60 years old. I'm not a grease monkey and I have zero mechanical aptitude (and no desire to learn tbh) so experimental's are right out.

Why? Lots of people buy used experimental and then still have an A&P do all the work just like a certified plane, but with cheaper parts and more options.
 
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