Plane Ideas for Recurring X-Country Mission

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by tylerjewell, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi All:

    I'm a fairly new pilot, 120 hours training in Bay Area flying. Should have my PPL finished before EOM after the (4th rescheduling) of the checkride. Everything from weather, location, DPE availability, and mechanical have made that experience fun. Going to start on my instrument rating immediately.

    I'm considering a relocation to Portland with work that would take me into KPAO a few times a month. It would be fun and educational to make that flight in a plane that I own instead of using the airlines. It's roughly 490nm if you take a safe VFR route or 460nm with a high altitude IFR route. I'd expect most of the flights would be under IFR.

    I'd like to gather various ideas on planes that I could purchase that would make this mission enjoyable. It would usually be 1-2 passengers, maybe the occasional 3rd. A little bit of light baggage. Trying to keep total flight time ~3 hours would be ideal.

    The plane would be hangared in the Portland area. Access to a good mechanic or service center with experience on the make/model would be ideal.

    Overall total cost of purchase - probably <$400,000. I'm a bit indifferent on the total operating cost per hour or how old the plane is. Creature comforts are not as important as good avionics.

    Been looking at Cirrus SR22, Apache Arrow IV Turbo, Cessna 182 Turbo, Mooney Acclaim.

    Are there others that y'all think I should take a look into?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    $400k and you don't care about operating costs gives you a lot of options. Interior cabin space a concern? If you don't mind a small cabin, maybe a Super Viking. I don't remember what their useful load is though; might be tight with 3 passengers. Cherokee-6/300? When you say "high IFR" how high are we talking about?
     
  3. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    P210?
     
  4. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    460nm in 3 hours. Ground Speed of ~155kts. Cirrus would work. Bonanza, and a whole host of twins. C310, B58, etc.
     
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  5. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    What's an Apache Arrow?
     
  6. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    upload_2019-4-15_14-51-58.jpeg
     
  7. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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  8. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    I think the OP wants to stay away from twins because it allows to start sooner, without waiting for the Multi-Engine rating (not mentioned explicitly, just my deduction). I'd just get a 2007 Cirrus and be done with it. It's going to be an airplane to swap out for something better in another 10 years, I'm sure. No need to overthink it. The biggest issue is going to be finding a hangar spot.
     
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  9. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, correct. I am not entirely ready yet for twins. It wasn't my plan to get the ME rating, unless I was thinking about changing careers and getting into aviation full time. Not there yet.

    For the person who asked about flying altitudes, I'll be ok 12,000-20,000 MSL, though not entirely excited about sitting with Oxygen masks for up to 3 hours. That doesn't sound like too much fun.

    You all gave me some additional planes to research and think about.
     
  10. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Go get one of those Cessna/Columbia TTx at Van Bortel...
     
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  11. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A $400k budget will buy you a whole lot of airplane. You could go for a rather new, NA Mooney Ovation, as they have a legitimate ceiling of FL200, eat up any MVA along your route, and will burn less fuel with less engine maintenance than the Acclaim, especially since you've no need to be at FL200 all day long. In fact, you can buy a good one of those for $250-300k, with G1000 and WAAS.

    You could also go for an older, less expensive plane in a Turbo 182RG.
     
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  12. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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  13. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    We love our 182...but this doesn't seem to be a 182 mission, not even a RG model. I would also exclude 206 and maybe even 210.

    It would seem a SR22 or Mooney or TTX. Might also want to partner 2 ways on a newer SR22.

    Not familiar with Oregon/Portland area flying in winter...will he need FIKI and/or Radar to meet the dispatch rate?
     
  15. N1120A

    N1120A Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Radar isn't as big a deal, but FIKI might not hurt, or even non-FIKI TKS for unexpected ice. Again, this is where an Ovation fits the bill. Lots of FIKI and TKS, faster and more efficient than the Cirrus.
     
  16. gacoon

    gacoon Pre-Flight

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    >Not familiar with Oregon/Portland area flying in winter...will he need FIKI and/or Radar to meet the dispatch rate

    Yup, unless he wants to scud run down the coast.
     
  17. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Having flown both a Mooney and Cirrus, the thing that stands out to me in his post is that he doesn't care so much about operating cost. That to me tips the scale to the Cirrus as it is much more spacious than a Mooney, even though it is less efficient.
     
  18. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Piper Malibu?
     
  19. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I thought the same, but $400k gets a mid-90s Malibu with the finest in King avionics of the day. A newer Cirrus is probably the better value proposition if that is the budget.
     
  20. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    As a 182 owner that regularly does 250nm XC trips for most of my flying...SR22 all day long with that budget.

    I love my 182. It does a lot of things really well, but speed in not one of it's shining stars for long XC trips.
     
  21. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    T-6 or a Bo'. I thought there what "they" say.
     
  22. GBSoren

    GBSoren Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll throw another option into the mix. Trinidad TB21. In the teens they'll cruise at ~180TAS. Seems like they get a lot more hrs before over haul than the they're getting out of a lot of the turbo Mooney's I see on Controller. Probably due to they're only putting out 250 hp.

    They'll have 2 doors and a lot more room inside, most have TKS (although not FIKI). Plus, you can find one for half your budget and for a low time pilot it's probably the easiest high performance plane you'll find to fly. I bought my TB20(non turbo version) when I was still a student pilot, I found it easier to land than the 172 I'd been flying!
     
  23. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Reasonable facsimile
    SR22 with TKS. Kind of a no-brainer.
     
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  24. c310flyr

    c310flyr Pre-Flight

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    I think you need to build up some serious hours of experience, possibly with a mentor, before you plan on making trips of 920 plus nautical miles every 10 days or so in a high performance airplane with 2 or 3 others.
     
  25. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    This really is what the Cirrus (Turbo) was made for.
     
  26. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for all of the inputs. Given that there are a few different choices to work through, I'll start a spreadsheet and share with the group once there is some meaningful comparisons to show.

    My initial thinking was a non-turbo SR22, but some of the others suggested are worth taking a look at. FIKI is probably going to be a necessity in the Portland area.

    I wouldn't see myself making a purchase until after completing instrument rating, and would imagine that my total time would be closer to 250 hours by that point.

    One concern that I have is availability and access to local certified mechanics and CFIs that have time in the make / model I purchase. I will need to do some discovery to see if this is a factor.
     
  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    The mission could be done in a 172 if you wanted to. But a Cirrus or a Bonanza are what most would choose for that kind of flying. But since you've added bit about not caring too much about operating costs, I'd say you might as well go for a Cessna 414 or 421. With $400k you pick one up, gut the panel and convert it to glass and still have some left over to cover the first oil change.
     
  28. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I'd do your instrument in your own plane. you'll know the speeds and the automation cold when you get your ticket
     
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  29. Cici

    Cici Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The great thing about Cirrus is you can readily rent the airplanes and train in them before you plop down the cash. The bay area option is at KSQL. https://jatoaviation.com If seriously considering a Cirrus, I would recommend doing your IR training in one. Worst case if you have a bunch of time w/ G1000.

    I would caution that you need to watch the weight with any of these aircraft. If looking at 2 or 3 people (adults I assume) w/ FIKI (+75 lbs to fill the TKS tanks up), O2 and A/C, it will be a stretch to get 500nm legs with IFR reserves. I did it the other day in a 22T G3 (reduced MTOW of 3400 lbs), but we avg'd over 200 kts GS and peaked at 245 kts! Most G5/G6 turbos weigh just over 2500 lbs with all the goodies and you need to 85 lbs for full TKS and full O2. Start doing the math up to 3600 lbs. I also think finding a plane with the 3600 lbs MTOW @ $400k will be tight, but probably doable.

    I've put about 3000 nm in Cirrus in the last 2-3 weeks. I love the plane to death. Unfortunately, it won't fit my family of 5 much longer.
     
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  30. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    for planes, i'd look at the SR22 options. Pros and cons to turbo since you won't be going over high ground, the real advantage would be to give you a strong climb rate to get out of the ice.

    Other singles to consider would be a deice 210, Bonanza or the Mooney. Since it's mostly you bombing back and forth I think a Cherokee six would feel too slow after a few laps

    I think SR22 is your leader and if you look at twins, probably a 310, Aztec or Baron in that order, with full de-ice
     
  31. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    @tylerjewell - your scenario is too fun to let go :) So more questions if you don't mind.

    Will this be purchased under a LLC?

    Are you planning to depreciate it?

    Do you have other partners?

    Are doing this for a company you own or to get back and forth as a employee of a different company?

    If you are working for a company will you be flying on company time?

    Are you going to buy or rent a hangar at your home base?

    Were you planning on parking it on a ramp (fees) at your destination or having a second hangar (own/rent)?

    Lets say your final operating costs (gas/oil/mx/repairs/annuals/hangar/financing/etc) come out at $400/hr - does that matter?


    ….one other comment that comes to mind. When I was looking a buying a hangar, this guy with a sweet SR22T commented on fuel prices. I was like "I think they are kind a high" after learning we used the same FBO 100LL fuel truck. He told me he had worked out a deal as he buys so much fuel from them and it was a darned good deal!!! So if you get serious and will be buying close to $15K worth of fuel you might want to meet with the FBO managers at each location and work out a discount in advance. Actually, that topic alone might sway you on what airports your decide to use.
     
  32. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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    Well, this is getting fun now. Lots of questions and guidance is quite appreciated.

    I haven't gotten far enough along in my analysis to determine if I will put it into an LLC, depreciate it, etc. The liability protection certainly seems advantageous, but haven't yet figured out if there are any tax advantages with sales tax in my state or offsetting costs. I may use the plane a bit for work-related travel such that my company could reimburse me for some expenses that they would have otherwise had to spend, but it's hard to estimate how much or how often that might occur. I would generally think that is a less likely scenario rather than a more likely one. This would be traveling for me as an employee, not for a company that I own, so cannot have the company take any partial ownership involvement. The type of work that I do has me working 24 hours / day, so you could argue that any time of the day that I am in a plane, it's on company time...

    There will be no partners. No sharing. It's all mine. Mine Mine MINE. :)

    I will rent a hangar near Portland. There are a number of nice outfits there that are plausible. Unfortunately, I think the destination in the Bay Area would have only ramp fees, and it would be difficult to hangar it during the week.

    I have been estimating that my operating costs would be in the $320-$400 / hour range, and for this quality of life and freedom, that felt about right. I think I could get an older SR22T that clocks 210 knots and that would likely be the operating costs. Though I am now quite intrigued by some of the other recommendations suggested in the thread.

    I am guessing maybe 40, 5 hour round trips / year, and another 10 or so family trips. So that is about 250 hours of flying per year which sounds glorious to me.
     
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  33. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    What do your company policies say about employees traveling by personally owned aircraft?

    Some employers prohibit it.
     
  34. tylerjewell

    tylerjewell Filing Flight Plan

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    It's complicated is the answer on the official policy. As I am related to investments and there is employment policy and then investment fund policies which aren't always identical.

    But ... I don't care as much as technically, since I am calling the Portland area my "home" and Bay Area "work", this is a vehicle for commuting, not traveling on work business. So the number of times I might want to use the plane for making a work related trip would be quite minimal and can deal with those work policies when the time comes.
     
  35. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    I figured 150hrs a year so my $400/yr should be high...so probably closer to $350/yr all in operating costs as you said.

    Yeah, I figured you would have some flights that are related to work. I so want to do this for my work but I don't think I can. And if you haul other employees with you I think it gets even more complicated. Maybe the real question is...can you afford to just always pay for the work travel out of pocket...as a worst case. If you overall financing and operating costs don't teeter on this number being in your favor then its a non-issue.

    I would sure think that spending $400K on a airplane should also be looked any way possible to minimize taxes paid, etc. There are others here. Maybe you should start a separate thread specifically on how you would buy it, license it, depreciate it, taxes, etc.

    Others things to consider are that different airports fall under different jurisdictions and have different taxes. And different states have different tax advantages for aircraft owners doing things like installing avionics (MN state has a small break here for example).

    Since you can spend that nice amount of money on a plane, you can also afford to rent something and get a feel for it. Maybe you could find a Cirrus CFI and rent a plane for a run down there and back. Make it all IFR training and Cirrus signoffs. Do it in a SR20. Maybe just one trip and you will be like...."I'd rather buy 200 plane tickets with my $400K"
     
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  36. Cici

    Cici Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think $400/hr seems about right. My rental joint just had a bird go down because a PFD died. 2 aren't allowed FIKI because the panels won't wet out. dual bats, dual alts, dual computs, dual adahrs. One thing goes down, no IFR. I like to read through all the maintenance issues weekly to remind myself how renting fits my mission profile perfectly (which is probably only 50 ish cirrus hrs/year). And those are all 2-3 year old planes that do the "Cirrus 50 hr."

    A SR22T won't true out at 210 kts unless you're in the upper end of the service ceiling "in the 20's." I plan 180 TAS w/ 18 gph burn cruise (mid teens on altitude in winter). Descent I do 750fpm,14 gph same true. Climbing is 105 kts, 33 gph and 800 fpm. I usually climb a bit faster and land with an extra gallon or so.

    I did do an 1100 nm trip the other day and logged 6.7 total. I had a quick fuel stop, so maybe 6.5 if I flew w/o stopping. I had awesome tailwinds and maybe 12 kts or less headwinds on the way back. Flying IFR, you also can't just go point to point. You may get it, but it's not prudent planning IMO. Plug the route into Foreflight and check out the route advisor.

    All this is to say, I think the OP's planning is a bit on the aggressive side except on the $400/hr cost. Read thru COPA, many of the owners say their op costs are in the 700's to 4 figs, but I doubt they're doing more than 200 hrs/yr. Many also say they "wrote a check" for the plane, which I take to mean no financing.