What to do from here

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by LoLPilot, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey guys and gals. I wanted to get your take on something that I think is probably a “no-go,” realistically, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to ask for outside opinions.

    Hopefully in the next month or so I’ll finish my instrument rating. I’m not going airline. This is just a hobby for me, although one day I’d like to get commercial and CFI just to do some side gig stuff.

    I’m not entirely sure what to do from here. I’m a PhD student working on my dissertation and I work a few other part time jobs (teaching, consulting, etc) to help with cash flow. Renting from the FBO I’m training at is somewhat prohibitive from a cost standpoint and difficult from a scheduling standpoint. Clubs around here are in the $180 a month range and most are equity with a $10k or so buy-in. Then they are typically either about $65 / hr dry or $85-90 / hr wet for something like a Cherokee or a 172. There are only a handful and most of them are full. I may have an option to buy into a 5-way partnership for $12k and then $110 / month.

    The other option is a pseudo-partnership. I have a friend who has her PPL and said that she would get a hangar if I got a plane. It would be something slow and simple like a Wag Aero Cuby. It’s attractive to me because I want to fly tailwheels and nobody around here rents them. I’m fairly good with wrenches and I feel pretty comfortable that I could learn what I need to learn to work on an EAB. I am also an EAA member so would have access to them. I’ve already written off maintaining IFR currency until I’m out of school. This would just be a way to have something that flies when I want it and if either of us wanted to take it for a few days to do a short trip we could. I’d have to finance but the payments would be less than club dues and hourly costs would be less. Insurance would make it a wash but scheduling would be easier. Mx is the big unknown. For reference we are talking $30k airplane here.

    So I’m pretty sure that is a terrible idea because there is undoubtedly some massive cost that I didn’t think of. But seeing as how there are people here who have been flying since the time I was running around in diapers I wanted to get the opinion of the forum. Is there a more cost effective way to get airborne and be able to put entries on my logbook on a semi-consistent basis that I am overlooking?
     
  2. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’m far from an expert but you might want to share what region you are flying out of. Those club costs seem downright outrageous to me. Maybe someone local to you might have an idea. My club has two levels of buy in: $4500 and $2500. Monthly $55 and $45 dry in a 172, $55 in the 182. I would think the safer bet for you would be a club ... but not at the costs you mentioned. Would your potential partner chip in on mx costs?
     
  3. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    St. Louis area. There aren’t many clubs I have found and most cater to maintaining IFR airplanes. I’ve already determined that’s out of my budget. Breakdown of potential partnership would be I buy plane and put her as named on the policy but she gets non-owned insurance. She pays hangar. We each chip in an hourly cost and split mx costs.
     
  4. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Buddy of mine is selling a WagAero Cubby. He bought a Super Cub, but he LOVED that Cubby. Tons of fun, inexpensive to maintain and fly.
     
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  5. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    How are you planning to maintain your currency with your newly minted instrument rating? That alone was a factor that drove me to getting my own airplane, and stopping the rental nightmare.

    I would believe that a partnership with an instrument aircraft would be the best bet for you.

    I get that a small cup type aircraft is fun, and all that. But does it do you the best at the end of the day?

    St. Louis weather is something else! I grew up there and live there until I was in my mid 20s. I remember the weather very well. The instrument rating is what allowed my family to get from point a to point B with predictability, otherwise we were stuck. To work on your instrument rating and not have a plan to keep it current would be a huge waste. Just something to consider
     
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  6. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s pretty much what the target is lol
     
  7. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m either going to let it lapse and do a bunch of recurrent after I graduate or maintain currency by using a sim that rents for $35 an hour at a school.
     
  8. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    DC metro area - $4K buy-in, $85 per month, $85-88 per hour wet. C172M, G-530, STEC autopilot, etc, - pretty well equipped. There are clubs around here with MUCH higher costs, however, both buy-in and per hour. We have a waiting list.

    I think you're thinking is sound - heck, buy Xplane and keep your IFR hand in a bit so you'll remember SOMETHING when you get back to it. . .
     
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  9. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    I don't feel "trapped far below my skill level" in my 80 mph ragwing. It's a different skill set, to be sure, but different skills for different missions. Owning an inexpensive classic or experimental (my choice would be exp for the lower mx costs) is a great way to get the feel of airplane ownership without spending the big bucks. I just smile whenever I hear some of the other guys talking about avionics upgrades that cost more than my whole airplane.
     
  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Two thoughts.

    Usually when I focus on one goal I do better. So PhD or whatever, do one thing for now.

    Equity ownership is great. Think about your exit strategy down the road and discuss with the other person. Owning is a bit like being happily married.
     
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  11. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks! Almost - I am meeting with my advisor today to talk about submitting my proposal so very nearly ABD! My field is Logistics, Ops Research, and Supply Chain Management. There is a 182RG around that I may be able to work something like that out but I think the owner figures something like $150 / hr operating costs.

    I did my tailwheel in a Super D. Far cry from a cub, for sure, but I loved the simplicity of it. I found something very alluring about it and even if I had the option to own something like an IFR cross country hauler I think I might prefer the simplicity of OWNING something simple and VFR and then having a club membership or renting something more capable when I wanted to travel.
     
  12. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Says me get your damn dissertation done and worry about flying after you score a good job.
     
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  13. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hahaha. I doubt you watch him, but AvE on YouTube yells at his camera all the time a phrase that works for humans too...

    “Focus you f***!”

    LOL. :)
     
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  14. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for your reply. I intended "trapped" to indicate the lack of an exit strategy, not to impugn the (countless) merits of mastering a "90 mph ragwing." That you're pursuing advanced ratings tells me that you have visions far beyond "low and slow." That 182RG sounds very tempting at that price for someone of your caliber; pursue it carefully. Of course, if the "low and slow" thing has become more appealing (with your leg hanging out the open door), I am not one to say that's wrong (at all), just that it hits me as a little in-congruent with advanced ratings.

    Just cheap advice. Good luck with your advisor and committee; I don't think there is a more wonderful adventure anywhere. Remember that at the moment you complete your defense of your PhD (an inch wide, but a mile deep), there is no one on Earth who knows more about the subject than you. Publish it. A proud goal, but be humble. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  15. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, as much as I understand the desire for the Cubby and keeping the VFR-type flying to scratch the itch, I can't imagine there's any sort of cost savings to you by going club or partnership. The part where you need to be honest with yourself, is estimating the number of hours you are likely to fly. Chances are, renting (while cost prohibitive on an hourly basis) is probably the right choice from an overall cost and financial risk standpoint. It's not ideal, but the flying club buy-in and monthly fixed dues will buy a butt-load of rental time, especially if it's the case where it's just 172s or equivalent in the flying clubs. Just spend the cash to rent when the feeling strikes you and then you can reassess when you've completed the PhD or your financial situation has changed.
     
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  16. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    Once you complete your Ph.D. and obtain gainful employment, your options broaden considerably. I went from pauper postdoc to a well-paid faculty position and airplane owner in about 4 years. If you own a simple light single, costs can be manageable on a decent salary. My first plane, an AA-1A, cost me about 1/3 of my annual salary, but I had enough savings to swing it by then. Haven't looked back from there. You can always rent the odd trip until you become more financially stable.

    Everyone who has not owned an airplane thinks it will "save them money." It will not. It costs about the same to operate your own airplane as it does to rent. But if you own an airplane you have an enormous fixed acquisition cost. The main reason to own an airplane is convenience and personal confidence in its condition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  17. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Kinda like re-loading (ammunition): It's not "cheaper," but you get more shooting (flying) for your money.
     
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  18. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can get married, or not get married, either way you'll regret it: Benjamin Franklin.
     
  19. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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  20. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Cleared for Takeoff

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    Commute up to Peoria and fly mine.
     
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  21. alaskan9974

    alaskan9974 Pre-Flight

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    Why not look at a Mooney? Simpler then a 182RG, 2 less cylinders, less complicated gear. Stable and economical. Decent ones in the 30-45k range. I would own one if I could.
     
  22. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Playa fo real
    That exactly. I outright owned a Turbo Arrow for several years. It was fun but a financial disaster. I entered in a co-ownership in an Arrow II and it was refreshing. But yes, he needs to get his priorities sorted out.
     
  23. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If we're talking experimental vs certified and we assume budget and mission can be met with either, I would take experimental every time.
     
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  24. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We are definitely talking experimental. With the clubs around here it definitely makes more sense to rent, and that doesn't really allow me to do what I want. I want to be able to go places like Oshkosh, Gastons, etc. Even the clubs around here charge 2 hrs per day that the airplane is gone. That's one of the reasons I'm not planning on Gastons. If I rent from my school I couldn't rent a 172 because they need them for instruction. I could get one of the complex or hipos, but at that point in time the trip would cost me almost a grand to have the plane sitting.
     
  25. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    My cub is "optimized" for travel - no daily minimum (C-172) - just can't have multiple, multi-day reservations scheduled. If you want a week in August and another in September, you gotta finish the August trip before reserving for September. It works OK . . .
     
  26. ByrdmanFL

    ByrdmanFL Filing Flight Plan

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    I would buy a C150 or 152 before a Cub. If you ever need to unload it quick, you should be able to get your money back out of it, plus other than the coolness of the Cub, which I think is awesome, it seems a lot more versatile. Hell, you could possibly lease it to a CFI or flight school if you needed help with it financially until you are out of school.
     
  27. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Cub idea is mostly to build tailwheel hours. I eventually want an RV4, 7, or 8 and to get insurance to be more reasonable on those I want tailwheel experience beforehand. I have my endorsement but only about 12 hours. As far as certified I want to stay away from certified aircraft. If I want to put a G5 and a navcomm in a PA-11 I don’t want to have an encyclopedia of 337’s. The other thing is if I ran a leaseback I’d never fly it because I’d want OTHER people flying it:biggrin: