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

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

  1. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Don't dismiss James' recommendation for a seaplane. I'm a dumb**** airline guy too, but got my SES about a year ago and had a friggin' blast. Cessna 185 on floats, baby!
     
  2. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    So I read $2100 per month plus $40/hr for the nut and maintenance and hangar? That seems doable.
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Exactly! That’s what I’m talking about. All you rich guys going cheap when it comes to buying aircraft. Just like my brother. He’s a controller and makes way more than me and flys a C150. :rolleyes:

    Both my aircraft equal my annual salary and annual operating costs are less than 1/4 of my annual salary. Get off your *** and buy a serious XC machine. All that TSP / 401K crap doesn’t matter. Get a gratuitous money pit while you’re young enough to enjoy it!
     
  4. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Funny, I don’t feel like a ‘rich guy’. I’d guess I’m in the bottom 50% of folk on this forum.
     
  5. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I have to make a couple quick observations first:

    #1 How the heck did you get the username Captain? Seems like handle would have been taken!

    #2 I always find it interesting that ATP level pilots don't know just what they want...nothing at all wrong with you asking...just always figured you guys knew all the planes, etc.

    Several questions:

    Are you a CFI or CFII?

    Lots of pilots (older ones) often have a side job. Do you have any side job that you could use to justify some business trips in the plane to get some tax relief?

    Do you really need more than 4 seats...only asking because 5+ seats eliminates the wife friendly Cirrus options?

    Where do you live in FL...more specifically, what airport would the plane be hangared at?

    If you can think of it another way, what is your max budget you would want to pay per hour...$150, $200, $300, etc? That might tell you whether rental is a better option.

    Same goes for hours you think you'll fly each year? Less than X may be better to rent.

    Do you think one of your kids wants to learn to fly? Same plane?

    As an owner I would suggest at your income level to own the plane outright (cash.) Save for about 14 months or so. Use that time to research, try out different planes, figure out the hangar, figure out a mechanic and maybe a valid business use. Then put down whatever you've saved minus $7k or so for the annual. While you are researching you might find a 6 seater or 310 / Barron that someone wants a partner in. Living in your airspace ADSB out will be a must so another thing to understand before you buy.

    My wife flew for the airlines for awhile. She still remembers the 911 effect and as good as you guys have it now it can also go the other way fast. Sure would be nice to own it outright if times are tough or your 1st class medical becomes an issue vs not being paid to fly and stuck with an airplane payment...especially when you're in a position now to be able to avoid more risk.

    I hope you find the right plane for you. Ownership can be awesome. But then again the next annual might have surprises. We finally got sick of our old windshield so this annual us more than others. Just the windshield and labor are about what I spend on a week long dive trip in Cozumel.
     
  6. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    yup, see my new signature line :D
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

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

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    Yes, I was referring to a Cessna 310.

    I'd agree that the expenses are definitely higher - about 30% per mile when comparing a single to an equivalent twin (in the case of a Lance, you'd be comparing it to a Seneca, but a 310 is close). But it's not just about miles in your case, it's also about hours and traveling. So a Lance sounds like a good option. If you get too much "fun" plane then you'll find you don't use it as much because you feel like you need to go someplace. I definitely have found that as I move up the ranks.
     
  8. Stephanie B

    Stephanie B Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Knew a guy who had a 210 for traveling and a Champ for fun.
     
  9. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Storm season is mostly over, try renting several planes, taking the kids with you as you get checked out, and see how they respond to the idea of flying with Dad in small planes.

    Try both high wing and low wing, the family is more likely to prefer high, for the active sight seeing, and there are small side advantages, the sun does not bake you on bright days, and the wings shed rain while you open umbrellas. Doors on both side are a plus in my family.

    Low wing has the advantage of simpler retractable gear, for higher cruise speeds.

    I flew Piper for my instrument and commercial tickets, and liked them, but my family is an active follower of the world beneath us, and my sons often know just where we re from looking and following on the chart.

    Most of my time has been in Cessna 150, 172, 177, and 182. In addition to the training, I have flown 2 Beechcraft twins and a Piper twin, plus right seat one time in a Piper Navajo Chieftain (Very nice plane).

    I suspect that for the longer time of ownership, a six seat single would fit the needs best, but the interval of finding the connection the family makes with family flying, a rental would be money well spent.
     
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    TriPacer.

    You'll thank me later.
     
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  11. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    As a fellow Florida resident, there is nothing better to flying over endless traffic. Two of us left around the same time (2am), I arrived in PA 9 hours later, he took 21 hours to get to TN.


    Tom
     
  12. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Nope
     
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  13. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Captain, you might be thinking of Beechtalk or the twin Cessna forum. POA is just a bunch of regular old guys and gals.

    the other places are nice too, but a different demographic. We welcome everybody here, as long as you like airplanes!
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    If it were me, I would pay off the mortgage, the cars and be maxing out the retirement plans first. But what do I know.

    Retired age 55.
     
  15. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The insurance is 100 a month and I’m a new pilot. All In about 1050 a month without flying it. Pretty easy at your income level. Though I do have an eab. Much easier to maintain and operate.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  16. skmoore63

    skmoore63 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey Captain, I too am an airline (Cargo) Captain. Bought a ‘65 Mooney C about 5 years ago. Already had the house and all vehicles paid off - wrote a check for the airplane. Have enjoyed every minute of it, flying about 150-200 hours per year commuting to work and taking trips mostly with my wife.

    With a couple of kids to travel with, the Lance provides a great cabin with baggage capability. If you haven’t flown one, try it out. The Lance glides like a...well, it doesn’t glide in my book. It just falls gracefully. But i think your family would enjoy it. I flew Cessna 210s in college and loved them, but the cabin is not as comfy as the Lance and the gear might be very expensive to fix if certain problems crop up. An A36 Bonanza is a sweet ride, really a good 4 seater with some baggage capability. More expensive to buy but flies great. It can haul quite the load of the Lance but it is a pilots airplane.

    I’ve looked at twins and still might get one. My insurance would triple, tiedown in Memphis (where I work) would double, fuel and maintenance would be more also. But my wife really likes the Lance/Saratoga/Seneca cabin and also would like a real air conditioner. So we are looking at Senecas. Not many good ones out there in my price range. I’ve looked at Barons, they fly great but are less comfortable for me than my Mooney (I’m 6’3”) but I might do one anyway for the quality of build and the joy of flying it.

    I discovered with the Mooney it’s better to pay an above average price for a well equipped and maintained airplane than to get a low cost “good deal.”

    Best wishes on your purchase! I am
    So glad I pulled the trigger on the same idea a few years ago. Worth every penny.
     
  17. Ted DuPuis

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

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    Having been a member of the Twin Cessna forum for probably 7 years and a member of the MU-2 forum now for close to 2, I'd agree that those groups have a much higher average household income than we do. That said I have found both groups to be very welcoming and I've never felt like anyone's looked down on me for being the "poor folk."

    Beechtalk, I've got an account there and logged on a few times, definitely did not feel welcomed, but everyone's experience is different and many prefer it there.

    PoA, we run the full gamut of incomes and backgrounds, and I'd venture that Captain's stated income puts him solidly in the top half earning bracket, if not top quarter.
     
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  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The lance would be a good choice,don’t forget to figure in the sales tax in the purchase price. Florida is not aviation friendly when it comes to sales tax
     
  19. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    True for buying, but maintenance and avionics is tax free.


    Tom
     
  20. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    I think Rgbeard had the best answer in post #5, for a mission of evacuating a family of four adult-size people when a hurricane approaches.

    An A-36 Bonanza is what I first thought of. It would allow loading a bulky item, in case that’s needed in the evacuation.
     
  21. Black GTS

    Black GTS Filing Flight Plan

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    Best bang for your buck would be a Lance. Need extra room? Done. Need extra useful load? Done. Need to haul extra bodies? Done. You can afford it and afford to fly and maintain one without pinching your new salary. Little more on the training than a 4 seater but for an all around hauler with decent cross-country speed, seems like a no-brainer. Of course, I just bought one but I spent almost 2 years investigating what my next plane should be and ended up here.

    I'm also in Florida; KBOW.


    Ron
     
  22. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Generally speaking:
    Buying a plane is a PITA. (Going through it now)
    Selling one is even worse.

    There is not a plane on the market that EXACTLY meets anyone's mission.
    The best you can do is find something that is occasionally close enough to get by.
     
  23. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can close on the airplane in another state and avoid the sales tax. I’ve flown to SC and KS to do closings and avoid the state sales tax.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  24. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m a situation similar to yours. I went with a Cessna 310 Q. I paid cash for it and am redoing the panel now. I would definitely look at the 310. It’s a lot airplane for less than a single. It costs about $4-500 to fill up but one trip gets you about 900nm. I do a lot of round trips without getting gas and taking advantage of cheaper fuel where I keep the plane.

    Because we go to training so much Avemco gave me a pretty good discount. I pay about $2200 a year in insurance. I had zero 310 time with that policy. Now that I have the avionics in, I’ll have to adjust the Hull value and insure it for more. It will probably raise the insurance another $1k.

    I did form an LLC and put the airplane it. I also pay $500/mo for a hanger. Hangers are expensive where I live because of supply and demand. I was lucky to get a new hanger and more spacious box hanger vs a T-hanger for that price.

    When it comes to hangers, you also need to budget for supplying the hanger. I have cleaners, tools, bench stock screws, chocks, an electric tow bar, and of course the important items such as a fridge, beer, and cigars.

    You also have to budget for recurring mtx. I brought a plane cheap and it has been sitting. I knew there were going to be unusual mtx costs. I’ve had several minor mtx issues but I’ve spent about $1000/mo in repairing those issues.

    Regarding an air conditioner, be sure to checkout ArticAir’s portable AC. This is not a swamp cooler or ice box. This is a real AC. I’m having it installed in my 310. My mechanic has even decided to be a dealer after seeing this.

    https://www.arcticaircooler.com/category-s/1477.htm

    Feel free to PM me with any questions. I bought my 310 in March and have done a lot of work on it since then. It’s been an expensive year but it will all be worth it when it’s done.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  25. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Not sure what state you live in but most states require you to prove you’ve paid tax before you can register it in your home state.
     
  26. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I have 3 kids no car pmts and slightly larger mortgage + prop taxes. 401k is maxed + 529s and other retirement/emergency savings.

    $300k doesn’t support a Lance, IMO. If your wife is totally on board and happy with the home etc. maybe, but I would think it would be tight.

    I’m really surprised at all the comments around larger/bigger/faster and no problem with your income (unless that’s sarcasm).

    I think you should downsize your budget to something you can pay cash for or get a partner. How much fun flying are you planning to do after getting home from the airlines?
     
  27. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Tampa exec (KVDF) is almost walking distance from Busch Gardens.

    If $300k doesn't support a Lance, $150k doesn't support a C150.
     
  28. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    This is why I keep asking about the OP's budget, which we never get an answer to. Talking about overall income when trying to figure out how much plane you can afford is pretty much worthless, IMO.
     
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  29. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    The practical way to approach airplane ownership (for most pilots) is to start with a simpler aircraft to experience ownership and gradually step up to a more complex aircraft. There's no hurry and no need to own a $250,000 airplane right off the bat. You may find that the simpler and less expensive airplane suits your needs just fine. A partnership may be an even better way for you to experience the reality of ownership at a fraction of the cost. Whatever approach you take, having a large financial cushion is better then not having one. Good luck!
     
  30. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    OK.. here comes the obligatory cautionary post..
    My wife and I raised three sons. Our combined income never exceeded 1/3 of what you're currently making, and most times it was closer to 1/4 or less, although truth be told for the last several years of our full-time working lives it was because I was maxing out my 403b. Except for the first year or two of our married lives, before we had kids, we almost NEVER had less than five digits of savings, and were well into six digits before I even considered buying into a SHARE of a cheap Cherokee. Didn't own a plane outright until we had NO debt, including paying off our mortgage. With two teenage sons and a mortgage (meaning, you own a house where you may need to drop five figures at ANY time for a roof, major repair, who knows), five figures of savings is MANDATORY. The idea of taking on debt to finance an expensive plane because you just got a very, VERY nice bump in pay is not very clear thinking in my opinion.
    If I was in your shoes (and I never HAVE been, nor ever will be, so what do I know), I'd pay off the debt you DO have as fast as possible (especially the car loans, unless they're ridiculously low rate loans), max out every retirement plan you have available, and then set aside a specific amount per month to SAVE towards a cash airplane purchase. Once you've proven to yourself you can do that comfortably, then the amount you've been comfortably setting aside to buy the plane will turn into the money it takes to use and maintain the plane, and you'll know you can do it.
    One of the worst mistakes you can make when you all of a sudden have more money is to start spending it all and assume it'll always be there. A friend of mine, wonderful fellow, hit the lottery years ago to the tune of $1.5 million. He was broke a year and a half later, and now works at Lowe's. I've never made more than than $90K/year gross (before 403b contributions... that's gross salary), am debt-free, and just barely crossed the seven figure mark to allow for a nice life for the rest of our time together here on this earth.

    Don't finance unless you have the money to pay cash but your CPA helps you find a way where financing is actually beneficial in the longterm. If you were a happy family living on what you made before, CONTINUE living that way, bank the rest, and THEN buy the plane.
     
  31. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    LOL... if you're the bottom 50%, then I must be the underlayment.
     
  32. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    To each his own. If you’re single or DINK or retired, the C-150 or bigger works on $150/year.

    If you have young kids and a spouse or anyone relying on you, I don’t believe the C-150 is in that equation unless you pay cash for it with an engine reserve saved, and your debts are paid off (mortgage on primary residence being your call, but no student loans, auto loans etc.) retirement plans maxed + extra safety net savings and college or whatever for those kids funded. Plus, braces or whatever shouldn't be a struggle or you’re looking at buying adult toys before being really ready (braces aren’t happy occasions but the event shouldn’t financially impact your lifestyle)

    Once you’re squared away there, go for it, and with 3-kids and a SAHM wife, $150 didn’t cut it for me.

    Others clearly view it differently. I’ve been laid off. I want 12+ months salary saved liquid, but definitely at least 6 months.

    I know people who’ve gotten livably sick (no life insurance to the spouse but they were unable to work).

    Things happen. Not that easy to monetize a plane.

    Real easy to stop renting one if your income situation changes.
     
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  33. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    You could always partner with someone. That is what I did and it’s has worked out great so far.

    Also, unless you have 6 months worth of expenses in your savings account, don’t buy an airplane.

    When you do buy one, buy an A36.
     
  34. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The tone of your post is radically changed when the acronym for your wife is misread dyslexicly . :D
     
  35. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Agreed @atbroome !!!

    I will say I never thought “I” could afford an airplane which plays into my thinking. I grew up in a blue collar family neighborhood where that wasn’t even a consideration. No motorcycles or boats or fun items that didn’t directly benefit the family.

    But once I got laid off, I became even more conservative. I essentially haven’t flown since being laid off despite making almost 2x what I made then. Might go back this year if Basic Med works out.

    S&M wife could be fun too! A bit intimidating for me (maybe that’s why she’s unfulfilled).

    @Captain get the Lance. What do I know. I’ve been conservative and miserable the last 15 years. Go for it.
     
  36. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe you haven't met the right one...you're in Fla! IMG_2573.jpg
     
  37. Paraclete Aviation

    Paraclete Aviation Filing Flight Plan

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    Steph, I'm in the market for a 210 if you still know of one? Message me details please!