New Pilot First Plane 90's Bonanza F33A

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Mwboucher, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Mwboucher

    Mwboucher Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mwboucher
    Hello,

    Newer pilot here looking for advice on purchasing first plane. I've recently finished PPL and currently building time renting. Looking to buy a plane that I can grow into and use for actual cross country flying in the future. Plan to also do my Instrument on the plane I buy and thinking about F33A.

    What do you all think about newer pilots learning on a Bonanza? I realize there is a learning curve, with the work load and speed/sensitiviy, but how much more risky do you'll think it could be? Any personal experiences?

    Any info/experience is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Deelee

    Deelee Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Messages:
    594
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Deelee
    The answer to the "what plane should I buy?" question is always...

    ... Bonanza.

    All joking aside, you will need to get your complex and HP endorsements. And your insurance company will want to see a certain amount of hours and landings dual before you can solo and/or carry passengers. I don't know about a Bo, but when we got our Arrow, I was a new-ish pilot. For the first ten hours it felt like I was hanging on to the back of the tail. After I settled in and got used to it, I found myself ahead of the plane and very comfortable. Probably a steeper learning curve to get ahead of the faster Bo, but I would think if you spend enough time with a good CFI you would get to a point where you are comfortable.

    Your insurance will be pretty high, though. Probably want to start working on that IR if you haven't already. I have heard getting your IR brings the rates down on complex/HP aircraft.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  3. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    27,155
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    An F33A is an easy plane to fly. If you're a fresh PPL with no instrument rating it will take some growing into, but nothing that's insurmountable. Insurance may have some more stringent requirements because of the current market. Instrument rating will help. The plane is ultimately docile, I wouldn't worry about it form a safety perspective so long as you grow into it appropriately.

    I've got about 10 hours or so in an F33A and I liked flying it. It can fit 4 people in it but it's more comfortable for 1-3.
     
    Deelee and Mwboucher like this.
  4. Mwboucher

    Mwboucher Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mwboucher
    Thank you for the feedback. I'm curious roundabout the figure for the insurance. Will check it out.

    Thanks
     
  5. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    27,155
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iFlyNothing
    I haven't priced insurance recently and never priced single engine insurance, so your best bet will be to find a well-recommended broker (I would avoid the big companies like Avemco - they seem to never have competitive rates and have poor service) and see what you get back for numbers and terms. Sometimes you can negotiate terms but if you're a new PPL coming in you probably will have less ability to do that. But if you have a desired instructor, for instance, you can try to get that person approved even if he/she may not meet what the insurance lists to start.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  6. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    27,524
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Get it, pay out the nose for insurance the first year, should come down after you fail to gear the thing up. Be prepared to do lots of dual, the world goes by a lot faster in a Bo than in a trainer. Do be prepared to get your IR, going that fast you tend to fun into weather.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  7. JCranford

    JCranford En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    2,545
    Location:
    North TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JCranford
    There’ll be a learning curve and insurance will kill you but if you’re thinking about a 90’s model you can probably afford it. Go for it.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  8. simtech

    simtech En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,877
    Location:
    mississippi
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Simtech
    A bonanza is easy to fly and the transition isnt bad at all. I just bought a Bonanza V35 last year and love it, I came from a Cherokee. Insurance...yeah get ready. Last year I paid $2250 with 450 hrs and my instrument rating and ) complex time. This year it actually went down a hundred bucks. So still sticker shock from $450 for my Cherokee.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  9. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,955
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    I think the F33A is a great choice.

    I think 1990s vintage is a bad choice unless you have some highly specific rationale for it. They got really heavy as the years wore on, and performance suffers. Sure you can strap on STCs, but a light airframe is preferred IMHO. In addition, the high hull value for a low time pilot is a perfect recipe for a nutpunching from insurance.

    I like highly upgraded 33s from the late 60s and early 70s personally.

    $0.02
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  10. JEB

    JEB Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2019
    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Sunny SoCal
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JEB
    Beech 33s are great planes. Schmoo is right, don't limit yourself to the 1990s. If your budget for the initial purchase allows, an older A36 is even nicer. 33s and 36s cost the same to operate with the exception that insurance on the 36s can run a little higher because it's a 6 seat aircraft. Some insurance companies will cover the plane as a 4 seater if you plan to keep the 5th and 6th seat in the hangar.
     
    Mwboucher and Ravioli like this.
  11. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,699
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
    They’re very easy to fly and great flying airplanes. One of my favorites
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  12. simtech

    simtech En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,877
    Location:
    mississippi
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Simtech
    Yep, I did that with my V35. The 5th seat was already removed when I bought it, I signed a form saying ill never ever have the seat in with a 5th person. Saved me hundred bucks, every bit helps. Plus not sure how a 5th person other than a small kid would ever fit in the 5th seat of a V35.
     
  13. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,546
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Check_my_Six
    This....but it can be done. Just not the cheapest way to go.

    Vertical speed management is where your learning will begin. In the typical Cessnas and Pipers you have plenty of time to begin the descent....in the Beech you'll have to "plan" when to begin the let down. 10 "minutes" out and losing 5,000 feet at 500 ft/min works....but I recall as a new owner getting to the airport and being at 4,000 feet and having to do a few laps to get down....lol.

    Recall that 10 minutes ain't 10 miles.....and is much further out than you might be use to.
     
  14. EugeneR

    EugeneR Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Eugr
    If anything, losing altitude in a Bonanza is much easier than Cessna or Piper. Just need to slow down first.

    As for the OP’s question, IIRC Lufthansa used F33A as their initial training fleet in their Arizona training center. From zero to Commercial.
     
    Mwboucher likes this.
  15. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,126
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    Great idea. I sold an A36 share to a new pilot (100 odd hours in 172s). Insurance was not a problem, they just gave us a number....

    Get good transition training from an instructor with Bonanza time. Dont worry about getting the HP and complex endorsements before you buy. Insurance will require you to fly X hours with a instructor anyway, he/she can sign you off for the endorsements during that time. Once you are comfortable with the plane, continue to your IR.

    Dont get too hung up on model year or specific avionics. Buy the nicest IFR equipped 33 series you can afford. There are some well maintained birds in the hands of older guys thinking about hanging it up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
    Mwboucher likes this.
  16. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    6,579
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    When I started flying faster planes one of the most valuable bits of inside given to me was to manage things by time and not distance..

    "I have 3 minutes to the FAF" is much more urgent than "I have 10 miles to go" .. which, in a $h!tb0x rental 172 is a freaking eternity
     
  17. Proflig8tor

    Proflig8tor Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Proflig8tor
    MHO a F33 and even a 33-35 is a spectacular airplane to own and operate. I've had a Debonair (33-35) a F33 and A36. In 14,000+ hours of flying; the Boeing 757 and the F33 tie for both being just terrific airplanes that do everything they need to do with plenty of margin for safety. The "control harmony" of the 33 is just perfect, they land easy, stop well; machines that make the average pilot look like a deity. The F33 handles like a Miata, but has the stability required for instrument flying. The "surprises" are usually good surprises, like how that FAT, high angle of incidence wing and relatively large tires make easy work out of short and soft fields. We tend to think of an F33 as a serious cross country machine, and it is, but it does fly-in sort of missions well too. Just a great all around aircraft.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 0520, but the O-470 (33-35) and the later model O-550's are the more bulletproof, longer lasting, motors. If you decide to operate the engine "lean of peak" ensure you have good engine monitoring equipment and take the time to learn the technique. I've operated mine for years reliably - tried to teach it to my partner in the A36 and he managed to burn all 6 exhaust valves between annuals.

    There are many mechanics familiar with the type and they are easy to work on. That big open cowling really is a safety feature. Take a look at the logs for fuel bladder replacements. Look for corrosion in early airplanes. Be aware that the old King Flight Directors and old autopilots can be expensive and time consuming to keep running in their final days. They are not a "deal killer" but ensure they are completely squawk free before taking the airplane.

    If you are somewhat inclined, the Boananza takes kindly to owner-maintenance. Get the right lubes and keep an eye on bearings - save yourself money over the long haul. If you keep an eye on your own airplane at 50 and 100 hours, or know a mechanic who can kind of walk you through the finer points of "progressive maintenance" then the annual inspections are no big deal. If you show up for an annual with a squawk list coming in the door; it can get expensive. Join the American Bonanza Society. They are a treasure trove for operational, maintenance and just all around good ideas.

    Bottom line, the F33A is a very confidence inspiring airplane. Looks great and flies even better.

    The A36 (for only being about a foot longer) is a whole lot more of a truck than the F33. It is heavier on the controls and while it is capable, I've never found the A36 to be as much fun and I'd be less inclined to do some of the flying I have done with an F33 in the 36. Just got out of a King Air 200 yesterday and just like the A36, it is very capable but not something I'd do an extra touch and go in for fun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    weilke, Mwboucher and schmookeeg like this.
  18. cowboy85

    cowboy85 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    matt porter
    I did a similar thing a year ago, PPL training was split between a 172 and a warrior. Spent a year not flying before I bought my P, a 63 model. Insurance first year required 10 hrs dual and 15 hrs solo before carrying passengers.
    I find the plane easy to fly, things happen faster at first but I felt comfortable after the required 25 hrs. I have my hull insured at 100k, and pay around 4k for insurance.

    Come on in, the waters fine!

    Matt
     
    Mwboucher likes this.