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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Fearless Tower, Jan 20, 2013.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
We did FTY-COS via PNC as a family two years ago, 5 of us and luggage for a month (3 day weekend) in the 421, it was about 1050 each way. My has decided that is too far for her to travel in one day. our total time from take off to touchdown including a fuel and very long lunch was about 9 hours westbound! To be fair lunch took way to long, but once your on the ground and getting cheap fuel, you're kind of committed to the lunch program.
The return wasn't as bad, 7 or so hours including a fuel stop. I've got 250 gallons of fuel capacity, so with less weight it's possible to make it eastbound without a stop, but only with folks that aren't offended with the pilot peeing in a Gatorade bottle.
If you are planning on really long trips with the family, the 421 is a great airplane, just not cheap to operate. (Understatement of the week)
Figure 190 knots at 40-42 GPH and $7-10K for an annual on a well maintained airplane, $20-50K on one you get a great deal on!
When did she get her multi rating?
exactly, It doesn't mean squat for the trip but it sure does for the cost. Real world a 421 doesn't get you there any faster than a comanche.
No, but it's a lot more comfortable?
FWIW, for that particular trip, 121 is only a little quicker.
DAL quickest (one stop in ATL).
With early enough arrival to get the family checked in and through the TSA, plus layover at ATL (you ain't making a 45 min connection at ATL hearding a 2 and 5 year old). It is around 11.5 hrs travel time door to door.
West bound, if you limit to one fuel stop with a decent lunch break (~2 hrs on the ground) you get there door to door in 14 hrs.
Not saying that the wife would agree to make the trip more than once.......but that is the overall time comparison.
I think the AC 685 is the only piston aircraft I would attempt that kind of endurance flying in simply due to the pressurization, quiet cabin and overall cabin comfort for pax. But the cost to operate it combined with my wife's expected reaction after the first trip makes me want to rethink the idea.
I think if you're looking at passenger comfort, the 421 is going to win out over the Commander 685 any day. Our passengers in the 690 liked the Navajo better for comfort (not speed), and a 421 is a step up from a Navajo.
As far as real world block times, it depends. With the engine overhaul/upgrade, we're doing 10 kts faster than we used to. This ends up cutting about 40 minutes out of a typical long day (1500ish nm). That 40 minutes can easily be adjusted by changes in winds, etc., but it is significant to me as the pilot. Hobbs time to Belize and back was 19 on the dot - wouldve expected about 20.5-21 with the old engines.
Another 15 kts would net similar time savings.
Wayne has correctly pointed out to me before that for most people (I'm told I'm "special" ) this won't make a difference. He's absolutely right. When you get into these long trips, though, little speed changes do make a difference.
Interesting....I have never seen the inside of a 421 or Navajo, so I suppose I'd have to believe the pax that have.
Overall, all of the banter and trash talking aside (which is at least entertaining), this has been a helpful thread.
I'm now thinking that the best idea is to relax the speed requirement, make it a standard two day trip and focus on PAX comfort.
Are you leaning toward a cabin class twin, what is your thinking now?
I agree with the two day adjustment. You can also make the stopping point somewhere interesting.
Pretty much any plane that has higher comfort vs the options already discussed will increase cost, unless I'm interpreting wrong and by increased comfort you're referring to just making the trip longer.
421As are cheap to buy, but to own...
Colorado School of Mines, Wayne.
....the rear door of the Herc is open and the amber light is on....
The one you saw in the corner last year just moved to the front during yesterday's shuffle. It had been there for 12 months for a re-build. You don't want to know.
Just do it.
I enjoy flight time, I enjoy meeting new people landing at an FBO I have not been to before. I can't believe pilots here talk about preferring driving over flying 2-300 miles. I fly out and pick my grand kids up and they live 90 miles away. Jump in a courteously car and have lunch at their school with them... well it isn't cool anymore to have grandpa show up at school so I haven't done that in a year.
Hell, I joined the EAA chapter 45 miles away just so I could fly there instead of drive 10 miles to the local one.
I guess some people like to fly and others have made a job out of it.
Right now I'm planning a summer trip to Alaska. Can't find anyone that wants to go so I'm going solo.
Geared props on 421 make for a quiet cabin. I loved mine, but with kids gone off to college I didn't need all that it offered and received a great offer to sell.
Yeah, I didn't quite understand the intent the owner had there. We might consider a 421A if it made sense, but part of "making sense" includes not having a restoration like that.
Our 310 works nicely, so we'll keep that. This year's annual was expensive, but it included 2 engines.
Careful, Ted, lest the "Annual Purists" reach out and smite thee.
That was the point!
If you subtract the double engine overhaul, it was actually pretty reasonable/cheap as far as annuals go.
Annuals are always cheap. It's the maintenance to keep it A/W that's expensive.
I thought it was Colorado Agriculture and Mining....the school currently known as CSU.
Bingo, and here is where the airlines can fail, for the price of a couple of good tickets Angie and I went from Cincinnati to Granby CO in a whipping 45 min longer than the airlines could have done it by the time you factor in driving to the airport, security, the flight, baggage claim, getting a rental car and then driving to our campground.
And for that 45 minute penalty I had my plane there and could go sightseeing with it. Angie has never flown commercial but I can say I'd rather spend the time in my plane than sitting around in terminals, sitting in an airliner where the only amenities I don't have in my piddily little single engine piston is the ability to get up walk around or go pee. So that covers me, and sleeping beauty in the right seat woke up on final at our fuel stop and again as we crossed the front range
Honestly, I am thinking that if I end up going for a fast twin to haul the family around, I would go for a good 310 and limit the long x-countries to once in a while (maybe once a year at most). If we did that, I'd probably make the west bound trip two days and possibly do the E/B return in one depending on winds aloft.
If we were to decide that a cabin twin is the best option for us and figure we can afford the op costs of one.....I'll be looking for a good Twin Beech and take it to airshows in between 2 day cross countries. From what I have gathered here and elsewhere, I'd say that if I can afford to operate an AC 685, or 421, I can probably afford to operate a BE-18 and I'd personally enjoy the -18 more, but that is just me.
I know I would enjoy an 18, I cry when I see the one rotting here at HAO
How about a T-Bone? Couch in the back and room to get up and walk around. Fast? Not remotely. But it'll haul 1000 pounds a 1000 miles on one fuel load. Fewer gas stops combined with stretching out room might be the ticket.
Think of it as a slower, non-pressurized Queen Air. Because that's what it is.
And I'll leave the house in Dallas at 0815 tomorrow morning to make a 1:12 tee time in Palm Springs, CA. Piston that.
the problem with both the -18 and the 50-series is hangar space. You can buy and maintain the t-bone for the cost of a B58 or 310R, but it's harder to find a home for one.
I do like T-bones....problem is that I suspect the maintenance/cost to operate is higher than the typcial 310. I'd bet it is easier to find a well maintained 310 than a Twin Bo.....but willing to be proven wrong.
I swear you and Privett must be long lost brothers. Do you have any african blood ?
Yeah, but you live in a hub city. For us non-hubbers, I can beat the airlines to just about any non-hub city east of Denver, and that's at a measly 150kts
Is he lazy too?
True, but it is no different than an AC 685 or 421....I don't think any of the big cabin twins will fit in a T-hangar.....which is why I said IF I decided that we needed a big cabin....I'd probably go with the -18.
Even sometimes hubs can be beat. When we were living in San Diego, it was quicker door to door to fly GA piston to PHX than go 121 and as long as you had at least 4 in the airplane, it was about the same overall cost if not a couple dollars cheaper.
Did the 121 make you buy the plane or just buy a ticket? What were your costs the other 364 days of the year if you rode the smoker?
Depends on where to where,
I saved 40 minutes of drive time to the airport, 10 minutes checking in, another hour plus for security time, then saved at least a half hour at baggage claim, another good hour on the rental car front due to the car having been left at the airport in Granby for me, then I saved the rather substantial drive time from Denver to Granby. Had we been staying in Denver sure airlines win hands down, but we weren't. So if you are mindful of when to take the plane vs the tube you can still make a case for long trips, even at 130 kts, in a 3mile/min plane it is even easier.
Straight rental costs....Duchess or 210. Only paid for hobbs.
The club in SD was the best deal in aviation I have seen.
Edit...okay I did pay $30 bucks a month for the privelage of renting there.
Door to door I'm way better off flying the 310 from Atlanta to Baggs Wy since I have to drive over 4 hrs to get to an airport with commercial service.
assuming wayne is taking a king air that is parked outside his office, how is any of that revelant?
How is it not? He asked me to piston his trip, the answer is you can't, because of the particulars of his trip.
In most cases none of that 30 minutes here or there really matters, nor does the TAS of the plane. Travel takes part of a day. Decide how you want to spend it and use that mode of transportation. Pilots and passengers have a totally different view of GA flying vs. airline travel.
A friend owns a Lear, part of a King Air and part of a Baron. The only way he can get people to fly in them is if it's free. Why? Because they "just hate those little planes."
Truest words ever. Our friends and family also want us to cover the room cost if they're going to suffer flying somewhere with us.
Their latest trend is not being willing to fly on a MD80, rather find a carrier with at least a 757, everything else is just too small.
I'd find new friends