Searching for first plane

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by apr911, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi POA,

    On a search for my first plane and would like to get some input on other options I might not be aware of. I'm a CPL SES/SEL CFI/I with hi-perf, tailwheel and complex endorsements (and about 50 hours in each; only 10 hours SES). I've been toying with getting an MEL but I'm not career bound so its not something I necessarily need (unless I get a twin).

    The primary mission I've been looking for is doing longer cross-countries (minimum of about 175-200NM, generally more) in a stable IFR platform at a speed that balances the economics of my time against the economics cost of the plane. I've been ideally looking for something in the 155+kts range and 15gph. Most trips would be just me and/or a passenger but have occasional need for a third or 4th (or usage of the space; thinking I might do some volunteer Pilot n paws missions) so preference would be for a 4 seater. I know, buy the plane for the 80-90% of your missions is the common mantra and all that but long term, I see myself outgrowing a 2 seater and growing into a 4 seater so if its feasible, I'd like to get the plane that checks both today and tomorrows box.

    I've had a bit of a love affair with Bellanca's since getting my tailwheel endorsement in a Citabria and I thought I was pretty well set on a late model 79/80 possibly 77-78 Viking as the plane of choice but haven't been impressed by the ones that have come to market as of late and I've had multiple people lately tell me to avoid it, including a couple Viking owners, due to declining support and parts availability... I feel like the warnings go beyond the typical "wood wing" concerns but also feel like this describes a significant portion of the aging GA fleet (e.g. try replacing the V-tail of a Bo) though I admit parts and knowledgeable experts are easier to find for some aircraft over others. I've been directed towards considering a twin commanche or seneca or other similar twin as a reasonably priced alternative with decent support but I'm not yet sold on the idea.

    I am working on a budget here so the more reasonably priced the better but I can probably go as high as about $150-200k mark though I'd prefer something more in the 60-120k range. Steam gauges are fine but would like to avionics stack to be reasonably current (e.g. at least a 430 WAAS)

    My other thought is to abandon my primary mission's speed and/or seating needs and go with something that checks boxes of my secondary/tertiary missions: Secondary - Amphib, nothing quite as fun as flying floats and flying in Central Florida, there's plenty of opportunity to build some seaplane time; teritiary - something just plain fun to fly (e.g. something like a vans tailwheel, citabria, etc) but these are even less the mission and I have access to a SeaRey that can be rented solo for $250/hr wet...

    Thoughts?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Bonanza
     
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  3. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    182RG for the former mission.

    If you can sacrifice a bit on speed I'd say 180/182/185 all of which are great on floats and amphibs and still pretty quick on wheels.

    Vikings are gorgeous airplanes, I agree.
     
  4. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    First, I think you're smart in looking at a 4 seater rather than 2...partly because that'll give you some baggage options w/ 2 up, and partly because 2 seaters are kind of limited. You've got experience in a lot of different aircraft, and I think fun should be added into the equation.

    So my suggestion is: 180 with a float kit. Or a 180, and put floats on it later. It's practical, and fun.
     
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  5. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's currently a sellers market but if that load makes sense for you: TB20. There's still factory support for parts, they cruise at 150, 4(5) seats, and many on market meet your avionics ask. Downside is GFC500 is still being worked on and don't expect to be first in line for new avionics STCs.
     
  6. chemgeek

    chemgeek En-Route

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    For 200 nm trips, do you really need 150+ kt TAS? A C172, Cherokee 180, or Grumman AA-5X would all be very good IFR 4-place aircraft with ample room for 2+baggage and 120 kt or so cruise at 8-10 gph. And simple maintenance. We're talking about 20 minutes difference for a 200 nm flight.
     
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  7. Martin__

    Martin__ Filing Flight Plan

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    When it comes to speed, the obvious part is the actual physical speed. The good "speed-feeling" of seeing 150-160 TAS on the screen/dial in cruise is also worth considering imo, even if it only saves you a smaller amount of time.
     
  8. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    My Arrow got 150 TAS on 65% power, no problem. You just need to get a plane marked in mph. :)
     
  9. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

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    If airspeed indication is what you want...just plumb the static system to a venturi..... (or your vac pump)
     
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  10. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    250/260 Comanche
     
  11. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mooney M20. Pick the variant (C, J, ..) that suits you.

    Is that the normal wet rate for a searey??
     
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  12. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Well, bonanza and Mooney have been said....so RV10.
     
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  13. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Pre-Flight

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    Cessna 185
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    M201J or K
     
  15. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Line Up and Wait

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    AA5B will see 135Kts TRUE airspeed at altitude.
     
  16. bfmetcalf

    bfmetcalf Pre-Flight

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    Maule? Good factory support, can be put on floats, decent cruise speed (supposedly up to 150 kts...) depending on options, good useful load and relatively cheap. Insurance rates seem to be the biggest issue with them though.
     
  17. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    I've never seen a Maule cruise over 125kts of any horsepower or configuration. That being said I do agree that a Maule would be a good option for the OP.
     
  18. JustSomeGuy

    JustSomeGuy Filing Flight Plan

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    Have a Bellanca; previously had a Mooney Acclaim. Good airspeed, very pleasant handling. Not recommended for a plus-size couple. Better to get one with updated electronics as with most aircraft in your range; some limits to electronic upgrade options, particularly autopilots; need to use a Bellanca-familiar shop, and I STRONGLY suggest a hangar.
    We all think ours is ‘the best’. Balance range vs speed vs useful load vs price:value ratio in the current market; while I LOVE Mooneys, I wasn’t willing to part with the current premium. Price for value is I believe attractive for Super Vikings.
    To each his own. Good luck!
     
  19. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Actually fly

     
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  20. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    i doubt he could find one in his price range
     
  21. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Fixed it for you

    They are great airplanes from what I’ve read. Impossible to find
     
  22. pfarber

    pfarber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bede BD-4C can get you in the air for less than $40k.. but you gotta build it. And that mean plans, no kits. 800 hours is about 6 months-ish build time.
     
  23. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    The BD-4C looks like a nice plane. The 180hp version has a good useful load at 1150 lbs.
     
  24. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    On floats.
     
  25. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Indeed interesting. I saw one at Osh this year and wondered how they would fly.
    That wing loading at 23.X makes me wonder how it glides power off.
    And from the looks of it, they caulk/adhere the ribs to the spar... no ribets? :frog:
     
  26. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    https://glasairaviation.com/sportsman/

    This will check all your boxes. You can switch back and forth from floats- tail wheel- tricycle. There’s one at my airport and it’s I pretty cool plane for sure! Might need to stretch your budget a bit but not too much.
     
  27. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    First airplane I thought of when I read the OP was the 2+2. Great airplanes.
     
  28. William Pete Hodges

    William Pete Hodges Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Except for floats a navion fits nicely into your specs.
     
  29. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you keep the options to a minimum, you could probably build one for $250K in two weeks in their two weeks to taxi program.
     
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