Looking for a simple reliable plane

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Cajun Dave, Sep 15, 2020 at 8:04 AM.

  1. Cajun Dave

    Cajun Dave Filing Flight Plan

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    He everyone. I’m a new pilot and I’m looking for something to take short 100 or 200 mile day trips in. I want to build hours while using it for work. Flying is a bit more fun than driving. I’d like something efficient and that flies well. I probably won’t have passengers very often if ever. Any ideas? It might be a unicorn but it’s worth asking. Thanks.
     
  2. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Depends on your budget but I'm thinking an RV 4 or 6. Want to go slow and super stable and cheap to operate I'd say a cherokee 180. Yeah I like low wings. Haha
     
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  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Without any mention of your budget, I’d say for only a 100-200nm radius, any of the basic training airplanes (172, PA28, DA40 etc) would suffice, especially if you’re looking to build hours and not particularly in a big hurry.
     
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  4. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Cessna 172. But be prepared for sticker shock. Even older specimens with high-time engines are priced astronomically high. It's crazy...
     
  5. Flocker

    Flocker Pre-takeoff checklist

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  6. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    You mentioned day trips, so is that 200-400 round trip in a day?
    I’m thinking closer to 400 in a day where you also work may require a faster airplane. For example a Cessna 152 would be close to 5 hours of flying time, that’s 13+ hour day.
     
  7. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-Flight

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    Cessna 150 for sure - simple, less expensive to own and maintain, and optimize smiles per gallon
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Something like an Avid Flyer for low cost and simple (you want one with a Rotax 912).
    Something like a T-18 with fixed prop or Wittman Tailwind if you want speed.
    If you prefer something with a type certificate, Cessna 120/140/150 would be fine.
    YMMV
     
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  9. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    The faster LSAs will outrun 150s and 152s and have cruise speeds close to 172s at 5-6 gph instead of 8-9 gph. Buy a low time used SLSA and recertificate it to experimental so you can perform your own maintenance.
     
  10. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like a simple 2-seater would fill the bill. An AA-1X is a pretty fun ride for a 2-seat aircraft, and is dirt-simple to maintain. The O-235-C2C in the A and B models is bulletproof, and these models are quite easy to fly. I owned an AA-1A for time-building after my PPL and I put 400 hours on it in 4 years. You can fly 2.5 hour legs with 1 hour reserve and block at 108 kt/125 mph at 6 gph. And you can get an autogas STC if desired. I could outrun any C-172 in our training fleet with this little plane.

    If you want a little more more carrying capacity, a PA28-140 is another good, simple low-wing aircraft. C150/152s are also great little 2-seat airplanes, but they seem to come with a price premium.
     
  11. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Good suggestions. Also the RV-12 is becoming more popular for good reason. Faster then a 150/152, and new.
     
  12. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Find an old Cherokee.. they don't have the extortion-like pricing of 172 (typically) and are very honest, stable, generally solid airplanes. Also.. since there are thousands of them out there you'll have plenty of ease getting repairs typically

    The RVs are nice, but I gathered from your post that you're not interested in entering the world of EA. When I hear "simple" I think of a 172N.. no fuel pump, handful of gauges, and a rugged solid frame. I hate highwings however so I would suggest a Cherokee, plus they fly better and look cooler

    I like Grummans, they're fun, fast, easy planes to fly and fairly simple and straightforward using the typical GA-flightschool-worhorse engine.. but it's somewhat more unique than a 172/PA28.. should issues arise with the plane your best bet is to have something everyone knows, IE, 172/PA28
     
  13. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Since you are a first time poster would you mind answering some of the questions they previous posters have asked. We get trolled way too often and its nice to know you are real and will interact. I am curious what you budget is? Where in the country (or world) you will be flying and what ratings you have. Anything else until you answer those questions will result in a Cirrus, Bonanza, Grumman, Toga, Lance, Rv 10, RV 12, RV8, etc, etc, etc.
     
  14. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    To Tantalum’s point, there are lots of really nice warriors and Cherokees around. The only Achilles’ heel I find with them is that the avionics can be very dated. One of my best friends just sold his 150 HP warrior for nearly 172 prices because he had a pair of G5’s and newer radios.

    This is one of my favorite stories featured a couple years ago in AOPA magazine about a young man who found a ramp rat Cherokee that could be saved. He negotiated with the owner and bought the plane for $1000 on the premise that he would make the plane airworthy and fly it and use it for his personal training and not as a flip.

    His experiences are chronicled in the blog link below to the penny of everything it cost and his maintenance experience over the last couple of years.

    Blog: http://www.thisoldcherokee.com/?m=1
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 9:53 AM
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  15. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm guessing "Cajun Dave" is from Louisiana and he says he's a new pilot. His post was early this morning and it's a weekday, so he may be at work and unable to post until later.
     
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  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Not my intent to rush and expect it could take a few days or maybe more. Just nice to have a bit more early interaction vs 5 pages of speculation.
     
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  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    the piper 28 is a fantastic airplane, and it's great to own too because it doesn't carry that "trainer" stigma
     
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  18. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  19. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Grumman Cheetah or Traveller. Much cheaper than a Tiger, just as fun, faster than a 180 HP Cherokee (or 172, but we knew that). For a 100-200 mile mission, they work great, and only burn about 8 GPH.
     
  20. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Cessna 120/140... great article on them in March 2020 Flying Magazine.

    dirt simple to maintain, gives ya that TW Street cred, very fun to fly, does just fine cross country 5gph at 100mph...

    Why get something with a bunch of avionics to keep up when between her basic instruments and foreflight ya have all the tools necessary for VFR trips...

    They’ll start the conversation for you at every gas pump...
     
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  21. MountainDude

    MountainDude Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That may be the best value in GA right now. Wow.
     
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  22. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020 at 12:30 AM
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  23. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    the article happens to feature two pics of my panel too .

    I do find it a great value... I have her and 1/12th share in an equity club w a 180hp 172... so for $25k I have two planes to fly depending on the mission and it’s shocking how little I need the 172...

    ive taken my 140 from Nebraska to MI when I bought her and twice from MI out to the Rockies in Idaho... flown properly they are far more capable than a lot of folks may think...
     
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