XC Airplane for 2 + kid?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by juansg, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. juansg

    juansg Filing Flight Plan

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    Juan Sanchez
    Hi all!

    I'm a ~200hr private pilot in Sacramento, currently working on my instrument. I've been thinking about buying a plane (or getting into a partnership) for a while now. For a long time, my top choice was a Vans RV6, 7, 8 or 9. They look awesome, and you get great performance for the price. I'm now starting to consider a purchase more seriously, but we're planning to have a kid very soon, which means a 2 seater wouldn't be an option anymore.

    My mission: cross country (i.e. Sacramento to Los Angeles/Vegas), basic IFR (steam gauges + GNS430W?), can fit 2 relatively small adults (160lbs and 125lbs) plus a kid.
    Budget: ideally 50-80k.

    Most of my flying has been in C152 and C172. The 172 is an obvious option, but I would love a plane with a bit more speed for longer cross countries. Finding a used RV-10 would probably be the way to go, potentially slightly over my budget and they seem to be really hard to find.

    Any recommendations?
     
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  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Cessna 182. But might be tight on that budget; they've really climbed in price in recent years.
     
  3. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Check out the vintage Mooneys. Lots of bang for the buck.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  4. Volitation

    Volitation Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I went with the R182, simple transition from the 172.
     
  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Grumman Cheetah and Tiger might work.... often well kitted IFR ones can be had in that budget range.
     
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  6. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    We did a lot of cross country flying in an Archer II, we liked it. Should handle 2 typical adults + kid fine.

    That said it's only slightly faster than a 172.
     
  7. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    That’d be reaaaally tight. It would have an engine close to TBO if it had a 430 or better at that price
     
  8. darrell

    darrell Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm admittedly biased but this seems like a good fit for a Cessna 177. Very comfortable/roomy in the back seat. Two big doors. RG is a little faster and has an injected engine, B model is a bit cheaper.
     
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  9. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Second the Tiger. Our club has one and it’s a fantastic plane to fly. The question to ask though is how much luggage are you planning on? As the kid grows if everybody is bringing stuff a 4-place airplane is going to run out of useful load pretty quickly.
     
  10. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Same mission as yours, six years so far without complaint, post 72 arrow II (stretch backseat). Wife loves the backseat with the kid. I came in under your bottom price range too. Capex is a bigger inflection point for me than speed, so it works for us. An addt. 50k to get the six banger didn't pencil out for me.
     
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  11. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Tiger/Cheetah or Mooney F/J should be a good match until the child is more adult sized. Baggage space is enough for a weekend trip, maybe a week if you pack light. Becomes tight if you’re packing baby stuff like car seats, pack-n-plays, toys. Babies tend to have to travel with a lot of stuff.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude

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    An arrow would be great for 2 adults & 1 kid. Faster than an archer on about the same fuel. They're pretty cheap too compared to 6 cylinders like the 182 or Dakota. If you're planning more than 1 kid though, I'd be looking hard at a Dakota or Skywagon rather than having to upgrade in a few years. Me, my wife, my 11 and 7 girls, and full fuel (no bags) are right at the archer's max gross, and I believe the arrow has lower useful yet. Of course im heavier than a standard faa human.

    Eta....I missed that you guys are light. An arrow would work great, a Mooney might be even better.
     
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  13. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    With all the accoutrements that bringing a baby along entails, I like the 180 hp Cardinal as an option. In my recent experience shopping with a friend however, a FG Cardinal is going to be pretty banged up below about 90-100k. 120k gets you a RG 'forever' Cardinal. A hangar mate just bought a very nice example of an RV10 for @ $115.
     
  14. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Caravan. Either Dodge or Cessna. The thing about kids isn’t weight, it’s volume. Strollers particularly come to mine as potentially troublesome.

    Seriously, i would second Tiger/Cheetah. If it is family in LA or Vegas, maybe leave a stroller and other peripherals at each location so you don’t have to carry.

    Good luck.
     
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  15. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    I was shocked when I looked at Controller a couple weeks ago! I need to raise my hull coverage at renewal! :D
     
  16. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

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    Nice, another Sacramento person! Hit me up if you want to safety pilot for me in my 182. I’m based at SMF.
     
  17. PatternBreak

    PatternBreak Filing Flight Plan

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    Due to your light weight pretty much any 4 seater is going to be able to fit into your mission. Like others have said an: Archer, Warrior, Cardnial, the entire tiger line, 172 or at the low end of the budget a: Cardnial RG, Arrow, E F C Mooney, RV10 (veryyy hard to find them for sale sadly) If for whatever reason you want to go more exotic theres also the: Super Viking, Sierra/Sundowner/Musketeer, etc.

    Luckily you live in a big enough city there should be plenty of clubs/partnerships you can join and try out flying with their aircraft. I'd assume there's also expensive hangers in Sacramento so that could be a factor in wanting to own and operate your own airplane.

    Once you narrow your list down a bit get the POH pdf from online and see if you like the fuel burn and performance of the aircraft (Im sure W&B will be no issue) If you do consider a cardinal I'd highly sugest cardinal flyers online.
     
  18. PatternBreak

    PatternBreak Filing Flight Plan

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    There are some nice RG'S under 90k. Mine had mid time airframe and half time engine GTN650 okay paint/interior for high 70's. Cardnials seem to be priced pretty low for what they are

     
  19. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Same. I had an appraisal done just to be sure. Crazy.
     
  20. juansg

    juansg Filing Flight Plan

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    Juan Sanchez
    thanks everybody for the recommendations! Other than the usual suspects, I'll also take a look at the Tiger, Cheeta, and the Arrow.
     
  21. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    The Tiger (AA5B) is a good three person airplane with gear. I flown a rental Tiger up to the Adirondacks with three adults and a boatload of camping gear. The Cheetah (AA5A) or Traveler (AA5) is a little tighter on useful load for three adults, although it might work with two FAA-size adults and a child. The latter two planes are ideal for 2+anything you might want to carry with you. For example, my AA5 has an actual useful load of 651 lb with full fuel (222 lb). With any of the lower power Grummans, I would highly recommend one with the high compression STC, which dramatically improves climb performance. Ten extra excess hp on takeoff makes a world of difference.
     
  22. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    With a kid, consider the six-place. Eats strollers and baby baggage with ease.

    (only half-jesting).
     
  23. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    A Cardinal 177 or 172 XP.... along with the 182 either of these can be had for a few dollars more than what the 172s are selling for these days
     
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