Want to buy a plane. What's your take?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Captain, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    So, figure I'll spell it out...spill my guts...and watch what ensues.

    I want an airplane.

    I live in a small town on Florida's east coast and I have dreams of me flying over I95 evacuating my fam over bumper to bumper traffic during some future hurricane evacuation.

    Also, my boys are 16 and 14 and feel I've waited too long already to buy a plane. I want to get them up in the air and excited about flying before they leave the nest. It may be too late already I fear...

    I make decent money for the first time in my life. As a family we bring in just under $300k with a $2k mortgage payment. Cars are another $500. All the credit cards are gone (paid...and that's saying something btw.)

    So what do you think I'm looking at? I was thinking a Piper Lance...but maybe that's too much? Where should my head be and what should I be thinking?

    I'd welcome any and all opinions. Thanks!
     
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  2. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Buy a Cessna 195. That way you get style points during the evac.

    should we assume you have zero flight hours? Go sign up for lessons in the club rental plane. See how ya like it, finish private training then think about purchasing.
     
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  3. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Sorry, should have mentioned. I'm an airline pilot. Captain even...
     
  4. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Jesus if 300K is decent money for the first time in your life, we're all screwed. Please don't tell me you self-report as middle class too?

    Ribbing aside. Yeah it might be a little late for your teen boys to get the bug, if they haven't displayed interest in dad's vocation thus so far. I suppose no harm no foul in getting a Lance, but you might end up flying solo a lot if your family is not into the spam can. If you've had them hooked on airline travel benefits, yeah that could be a problem for sure. In that case, I would focus on something fun. A 2 seater aerobatic airplane is what I'm planning on doing when I head for the airlines after mil retirement, since I otherwise find transport flying boring (did it for 4 years, didn't care much for it).

    The world is your oyster my airline captain friend. You got money, and time is the one thing you're wasting imo. Go for it. Good luck!
     
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  5. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    The Lance is a great option, IMO. But then, again.... I have one, so that's a predictable response.

    I love the PA-32 as a family truckster. The "Chevy Suburban" of the skies. But also there's the C210, Bonanza and other similar birdies.

    HAVE FUN!
     
  6. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    We are not as good at this as we used to be. Took until post #5 to hit the Bonanza. ;)
     
  7. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Oops, I missed the screen name! My son is 17 and he doesn’t have any airplane interest. He likes cars right now. Wife is kinda wanting to get her license now that I’m flying.
     
  8. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You haven't really told us what you plan to do with the airplane. Go up and fly a little and come back vs. transatlantic flights with the extended family from Bolivia have slightly different airplane requirements.
     
  9. texasag93

    texasag93 Line Up and Wait

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    My son is 14 and doing his flight lessons with a friend of mine (the CFI is 79). His smile is ear to ear when he finishes (only 5 lessons in). Put them with another pilot for a discovery flight and see if they like it. DO IT TODAY!

    As for buying an airplane, buy something that can take you, your wife, and the 14 year old with luggage where you want to go. That gives you the option to take the 16 year old, who will be out of the house soon, with you if needed.

    Evacuating and flying over I95 can be done in most airplanes with 4 people sans luggage.

    The options depend on your families weight. Not kidding. I have a friend who, with his wife and 4 kids, can fly in his Saratoga. His family could have been in The Wizard of Oz.

    Hang around a GA airport and talk to guys with airplanes. Ask them what they like and dislike about their airplanes. Get the 16 year old a summer job pumping 100LL at an FBO.
     
  10. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Good point. I was thinking Lance cause I could get all of us in it (I think) for evac in the event of a hurricane.

    When the big one isn't on the door step I'd like to take peeps up to A) show they've been looking at the world sideways, and B) go local (within say 500 miles) and see stuff. Trips to KEYW or KATL or KPNS...that sort of stuff. Maybe just KTPA and go to Busch Gardens for the day.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Jeez you make $300K a year and only want a Lance??? Your plane budget should equal your annual salary. In that case, anything less than an Aerostar 700 and you’re shorting yourself. The kids and the wife can fend for themselves. Live a little!
     
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  12. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    with your experience, you might be able to get into a dry lease with someone that's got a nice traveling plane (A36/PA32 or a nice twin). that would let you spend a year flying before buying. you could also look at an equity partnership.

    or heck, just buy :)
     
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  13. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    You seem happy to tell us what you earn, but that doesn't give us any idea what your budget is. How much do you actually want to spend?
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

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

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    A Lance is a good option for the mission. I would avoid the turbo version for keeping costs reasonable. Plus you’re in Florida - you have no real altitude needs from a plane.

    If you step up to a 310 you get a better cabin with the cool factor and ramp presence that goes with a 310, plus more speed. But more ownership cost to go with it, albeit not a lot more.

    If you want to take people up so they can see the ground, remember low wings are bad for seeing the ground. I have always been a low wing guy as I didn’t like how a 172 wing blocked my view during turns in the pattern during my private training. However now that I’m flying the Mu2 I realize how much of the ground view I’ve been missing all these years. Just one consideration. Of course high wing would mean a 210, 206, 207 sort of plane which isn’t as nice of a cabin.

    So I think you have your head on straight with the idea, and then your kids get the bug find a place that rents a PA-28 for initial training and when they’re done with their private getting complex, HP, and instrument in the PA-32 will be a natural transition.

    Or train them in 172s and it won’t be noticeably different.
     
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  15. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    ....and why haven’t you paid off your mortgage?
     
  16. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Honestly I'm sorta new at making decent money. Last January my airline pay was just $87 per hour. Now with a new contract and upgrade I'm at $208. Add wife's $74k annual salary and you get just short of the $300k I mentioned.

    Up til now the plan was to dig out of debt. We've done that now minus the house and cars so I'm a bit hesitant to add debt to buy a plane. Our saving are lite (4 digits, not 5) but with the boys at 16 and 14 I sorta don't want to wait....
     
  17. Stephanie B

    Stephanie B Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I know of a decent Cessna 210 that's for sale.

    But my thought: Figure what you can afford and then step down a couple of notches.
     
  18. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    you're also within striking range of being a real Bahama regular if you wanted to be. Might consider a twin?
     
  19. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I guess, this is tough, and I fell you. since you're just out of debt, do you want to set a 401k monthly goal and pay the cars off and then do it. Ie, say you want to get 15% into 401k and get the two cars paid off. then you want to pay cash for the plane?

    how old are you and when do you want to retire would be my questions. I'm not suggesting you wait a long time, but you also don't want to dig a hole now that you're getting some oxygen. I guess you could also look at a 100K airplane with a plan to pay it off in a year or at most two after buying?

    anyway, I hope we see you in your dream plane very soon, smiling ear to ear!
     
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  20. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I tried to also mention the out go. $2k mortgage and $500 cars. That's it plus food and *stuff.
     
  21. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I'm 47 and I also get a 13%defined contribution from the company. In addition I add 13% of my pay to 401k so with 26% going towards retirement I feel 'pretty good' despite being 47 and behind schedule.
     
  22. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    OK, please don't take this wrong, i'm just going to say what I would do in your shoes, based on the little I know about your situation.

    I'd ensure both wife and I had 401k set to max.
    THEN
    I'd save 10K/month towards a plane, figuring it'll take several months to buy one, so I'll have 30K by then. Buy a 100-150k plane.
    keep putting the 10k/month in so it's paid off in a year, then it turns into 2k a month for flying/mx/hangar/etc and you can put the other 8k/month into whatever you want in life
     
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  23. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    damn, good job. ok, forget retirement then. you could boost it a few points (you'd hardly feel it) to max you and wife's 401k, but other than that, great job.
     
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  24. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Our household makes 1/6th of that and that is me working alone at 28 with a wife and newborn :eek:
     
  25. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What type of flying do you want to do?

    For your money, I’d go DHC2 or helio on amphibs
     
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  26. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    your point being?
     
  27. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    No worries, not taking the wrong way. Really liked the post.

    But $10k per month seems out of reach. How much do I need for down payment to finance a plane?
     
  28. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I don't have a seaplane rating and don't see me getting one.
     
  29. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I’m so sorry to hear that, I hope you get better soon ;)
     
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  30. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I wouldn’t get to wrapped up in squeezing the whole family inside for a trip, you have airline standby for that.

    I’d error on the side of a suitable trainer for any potential future pilots, cheaper too.

    That puts it the the Archer, Warrior or similar airplane category. I’ve known more than a handful of younger flyers decide to take it up seriously after a year or more in college, even when it was available growing up.

    I’d make the jump, cut back on vehicle spending. You can always get out down the road if need be.
     
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  31. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Oh, I missed your post and it was a good one too. When you say '310' you mean a Cessna 310, right? I can't imagine taking on the cost of a multi to be honest.
     
  32. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Ok, that's funny.
     
  33. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    [​IMG]
     
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  34. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That's great. So you have what, somewhere between 12-14 grand a month of disposable income? How much of that do you want to spend on an airplane? All of it? Stop effing around and get a TBM or a King Air. :) But most people don't spend every dime of their disposable income on an airplane - which is why I asked the question. What are you comfortable spending?
     
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  35. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Sorry that was a typo. I’d save 10k per month while looking and use it for down payment. Then I’d pay off the note after buying as fast as possible.

    I think 20% down is normal so 30 k gets you a little less than 150k

    You’ll have costs to buy

    Prebuy
    Tax
    Registration
    Getting it home
    But that shouldn’t be too bad unless you do a lot of upgrades post purchase


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  36. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    One other point of view for you to consider... My rule of thumb is no more than 10% of net worth collectively in toys (cars, planes, guns, whatever). I think above a certain income level and assuming you do not use debt to purchase toys, it is more meaningful to index that way than as a percentage of income, which can vary year to year.
     
  37. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Taxes?

    I’d wager if he’s making that and works in the industry he knows how to get around greedy states, plus setting up a LLC and taking the depreciation deduction off his income
     
  38. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Yikes, I don’t know any of that...


    So hopeless
     
  39. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We put 25k down on a 115k RV9. Payment is just over 600 a month, insurance for this new pilot was 1200, and hanger is 350. We put 40 bucks per tach hour away for maintenance and engine. It’s all been really affordable for this middle class family living in Commifornia. It helps that the RV does 160 knots in 7 gallons per hour! Yes. We max out the 401k as well, plus more in the retirement department. Just get a solid plane from the get go. No projects. There will be less unexpected costs. Good luck!!


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  40. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you’re being serious, I’d talk to your CPA, plane in a LLC, look at renting it from your LLC, take delivery in a friendly state, depreciation, lots of other stuff, but if you work it right it should be good.