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Posted: 12/20/2009 4:42:41 PM EST
I think I'm going to pursue my lifelong dream next summer and get my pilot's license.

I'd like to buy an aircraft to learn on. Nothing too fancy, something reliable and nice, with maybe enough range to fly 200 or 300 miles comfortably.

What kind of planes am I looking at?
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:44:10 PM EST
http://www.aopa.org

ARFCOM isn't too good at such questions
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:44:25 PM EST
My friend bought some kind of used Cessna airplane for his lessons. I think his reasoning was that if he were to rent an airplane to take his lessons, it would cost him like 10grands so he might as well buy one for 20
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:05 PM EST
You can get a decent 172 or Cherokee Warror for that price range. I would also consider getting a few hours in your logbook to make sure that flying is for you.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:10 PM EST
Whatever you get, install a gun turret.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:11 PM EST
Arfcom is the perfect place to ask that question, just do it in the proper forum and you'll get better info:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=1&f=147
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:17 PM EST
I would say, better get your private first then see what you like and make plans. some people like high wings and go low and slow, others like low wings and to see how fast they can go. They are kind of like women or guns, you really want to get some hands on time before you go for something long term.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:24 PM EST
$100k on the used single-engine GA market is more than sufficient.

My dad recently purchased a very nice Cherokee 140 for ~$40k.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:45:56 PM EST
Forget that!
Go to your local Cessna training center, or any GOOD (by word of mouth) FBO training center and get you private license.
THEN you can think about getting an aircraft!!!
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:52:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 4:53:12 PM EST by thatjonguy]
Icon A5

About $130,000 new and production should start in 2011.

I have my sights set on one later in life.

Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:57:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!


LSA can be pretty crippling, though - limited capacity, limited range.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:58:11 PM EST
If it flies, floats, or fucks.....

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:59:08 PM EST
172
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:03:26 PM EST
If you have the $$$, it is best to have your own plane to do your training if you plan on having a plane long term anyway. You can get a nicely equipped 172 for that kind of money, or even an older not so well equipped 210. If I were you, I'd start out with an older 172 IFR capable plane in the 40-50k range. You can always upgrade later. Planes don't lose their value like cars.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:07:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:08:46 PM EST by ti8589]
I would set 100K aside and use it for a fractional share or simple rental on a SR22 or SR20. Screw owning one outright, let someone else be responsible for upkeep. I really think fractional is the way to go, don't pay for the time its rotting in the hanger. Im just a washed up former airline pilot though............what do I know

BTW, Airplanes should ONLY be used for fun - not careers!
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:10:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By redleg71:
If you have the $$$, it is best to have your own plane to do your training if you plan on having a plane long term anyway. You can get a nicely equipped 172 for that kind of money, or even an older not so well equipped 210. If I were you, I'd start out with an older 172 IFR capable plane in the 40-50k range. You can always upgrade later. Planes don't lose their value like cars.


Good advice –– or a 182. Budget for tip tanks for better range –– Flint makes nice ones. The only time that an airplane can have too much fuel is when it is on fire.

Also, older engines often have mogas STCs –– if the Obama folks decide to pull lead out of avgas, you have limited options if your engine isn't happy on 90 octane gasoline.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:10:58 PM EST
Mooney's are cool.

A couple rides in one made me want to get a pilots license, and I fully intend to someday.

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:11:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:13:07 PM EST by AtomicPunk09]
Cessna 182. Lots more balls than the 172. You can find one used under $100,000. Heck you can even get a used 182 RG (retractable gear) for under that. Little more cost on up keep because its a constant speed prop.


Also, you may want to consider getting a twin. You'd obviously have to wait and get more licenses. They are actually CHEAPER because less people have their ME. Of course, that means 2 engines to maintain. But, they're usually cheaper and faster/ more powerful.



I'd definitely stay away from anything turbo. They're like Glocks... I mean handgrenades just waiting to blow. You'll also have to be REALLY careful when buying. Check the log book. Looks for accidents. NEVER buy anything that's had a prop strike...
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:13:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:13:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By DuraToTheMax:
Mooney's are cool.

A couple rides in one made me want to get a pilots license, and I fully intend to someday.


+1. Fractional ownership.

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:14:03 PM EST
Too bad you can't snag a nice F4 Phantom
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:15:02 PM EST
20 yr private pilot with instrument ticket here. You need to identify your "mission profile" for flying before you do anything else. Use the plane for fun only? Plan on flying with family for long distances? Are you medically eligible for years to come. Many many questions like these need to be asked and answered before you move forward. IM me and I`ll help all I can. Flying can change your life in ways you cannot yet imagine or appreciate. Some good ,,,some bad.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:15:56 PM EST
Kit built is easily the best bang for the buck.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:16:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:17:08 PM EST by 1Andy2]
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:19:35 PM EST
A 172 or 182.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:19:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Whatever you get, install a gun turret.

FAA will not approve...

Not because of the 'gun' part, but because of the 'unauthorized modifications to an aircraft' part...

Aircraft are not like cars, you can't just add and remove stuff to them - especially to the outside - without approval....
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:20:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Icon A5

About $130,000 new and production should start in 2011.

I have my sights set on one later in life.

Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!

Landing on water requires a separate rating (seaplane rating) from landing on land...

If you want folding wings, there are plenty of 'full private' Experimental models that offer this feature....
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:21:43 PM EST
Not enough info. How many Pax? How long are the runways you are going to. Are you going to hangar it?

What is your aptitude? What are your priorities? Cost? Reliability? Speed? Useful load? Range?


I had a student that owned a 177RG, it was too much for him. Maybe he could have gotten it after a couple hundred hours, but he would have been better off with fixed Gear.


I had another student who owned a Maul M5 He flew combat in 'Nam, F4's but landing that Maul intimidated him. He felt better after 50 hours of dual.


If it's going to be hangared, an M5 or M7 Maul is what I would buy. C-182's are in the same catagory. Very well rounded airplanes.

If speed is important Mooney's are nice.

For all around safety, reliability and hassle free ownership, buy a C-172.

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:22:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:25:16 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...

Well over 100K (for a USED plane) to break 300...

The Cessnas mentioned here (172, 177/175, 182) all have max speeds in the high-1XXkts range, IIRC.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:23:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
I think I'm going to pursue my lifelong dream next summer and get my pilot's license.

I'd like to buy an aircraft to learn on. Nothing too fancy, something reliable and nice, with maybe enough range to fly 200 or 300 miles comfortably.

What kind of planes am I looking at?


If it flies, floats of fucks, it's cheaper to rent. Until you get your license, rent the airplane. Otherwise, a nice used 172.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:23:41 PM EST
Not sure I would consider this "small", but apparently you can buy a MiG-31 for about five dollars.

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:24:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...

Well over 100K to break 300...

Unless you build it yourself (Glassair, etc)...


You'll spend more than 100k on a Glasair if you do it right.

For a new guy (or even an experienced one), 300 mph is WAY more than you need for general aviation.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:25:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!


LSA can be pretty crippling, though - limited capacity, limited range.


That they can, but I can't find a reason (for me) to own my own Cessna (lets say) 172. I would rather have a share in one and own my own light aircraft. It is only about 80 miles (on land) to the lake I go to so the A5 would be perfect.

Now, if I had lots of cash I would have a A5, share in a Cessna, some sort of Jet and a Bell Helicopter.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:25:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By AtomicPunk09:
Cessna 182. Lots more balls than the 172. You can find one used under $100,000. Heck you can even get a used 182 RG (retractable gear) for under that. Little more cost on up keep because its a constant speed prop.


Also, you may want to consider getting a twin. You'd obviously have to wait and get more licenses. They are actually CHEAPER because less people have their ME. Of course, that means 2 engines to maintain. But, they're usually cheaper and faster/ more powerful.



I'd definitely stay away from anything turbo. They're like Glocks... I mean handgrenades just waiting to blow. You'll also have to be REALLY careful when buying. Check the log book. Looks for accidents. NEVER buy anything that's had a prop strike...


Sure, a 182 is a "better airplane" than the 172, I love flying my 182. But learning to fly in a 182RG? The OP may be perfectly capable of that, or he may not...The 172 is a very reliable and safe airplane to learn to fly in, and it's not unreasonable to go places in once you have learned to fly.

Twins are cheaper because of fuel consumption. Our Turbo 310 can fly at 185-190 knots, but it's burning 32 gallons per hour...The 182 cruises at about 140kts and burns about 9gph...the 172, at 110kts, burns maybe 7-8 depending on what altitude I'm climbing to...the 120 does maybe 4-6gph also depending on what I'm doing, but I'll be lucky to see 100 knots...

As for "never buying anything that's had a prop strike", that is a loaded question. How do you define "prop strike"? A blade of grass blowing against the prop while it is stopped? Or an impact with the runway with the throttle to the firewall? Something in between?

There are ways to inspect for damage from such incidents...Certain crankshafts bend and others fracture...Some can be fixed and some cannot...You might be surprised to learn that I have bought a number of airplanes that had "decent" prop strikes, yet there was absolutely no damage to the engine...
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:26:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:30:49 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By valheru21:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...

Well over 100K to break 300...

Unless you build it yourself (Glassair, etc)...


You'll spend more than 100k on a Glasair if you do it right.

For a new guy (or even an experienced one), 300 mph is WAY more than you need for general aviation.

Agreed...

C-172 is just about perfect... That's what I learned in, anyhow...

Of course, I rented it from AF Services over in Korea... I did NOT buy...

P.S. For the OP and the 300mph guy (I am not going to give flying advice to Mr SuperBug Driver - he allready knows) learning to fly in too fast of a plane (one with too high of a stall speed) makes learning to land harder...

The higher the V(s0) (landing config stall speed), the faster you will have to fly your approaches... Which means less time to react, which makes it harder...
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:26:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...




You pay up front, or you pay in operating costs. 800 G's should do it for a no frills practical ride.

You could get a jet warbird for less, bit you would die or go broke in short order.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:27:40 PM EST
172 w/ good instruments
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:27:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:32:30 PM EST by valheru21]
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By valheru21:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...

Well over 100K to break 300...

Unless you build it yourself (Glassair, etc)...


You'll spend more than 100k on a Glasair if you do it right.

For a new guy (or even an experienced one), 300 mph is WAY more than you need for general aviation.

Agreed...

C-172 is just about perfect... That's what I learned in, anyhow...

Of course, I rented it from AF Services over in Korea... I did NOT buy...


I haven't bought one either. If I did, it'd be a Globe Swift or a LoPresti Fury.

Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go?

Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:28:07 PM EST
Whatever you do, NO RETRACTABLE GEARS.

I see too many errors in my line of work regarding people either forgetting to drop the gear or having a malfunction. Nothing in a small private plane should require a retractable gear.

Other than that, whatever you want.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:28:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:30:52 PM EST by trwoprod]
Originally Posted By AtomicPunk09:
Cessna 182. Lots more balls than the 172. You can find one used under $100,000.


That would work –– the R models still had the Conti 6 which you could get a mogas STC for. Add Flint tip tanks, wing extensions, Sportsman cuffs, and VGs, and you should have a nice, easy-flying aircraft that can't be crippled by leaded fuel going away overnight any time soon.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:29:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Whatever you get, install a gun turret.

hellfire missiles is what i prefer, but the $200 tax stamps get expensive
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:31:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By ASUsax:
Whatever you do, NO RETRACTABLE GEARS.


For the new guy, I agree. But, if you're going to buy... I'd buy one with retractable gear.

I see too many errors in my line of work regarding people either forgetting to drop the gear or having a malfunction. Nothing in a small private plane should require a retractable gear.


Meh... you can fuck up anything. Good habit patterns and routine preventative maintenance will prevent most problems with retractable landing gear.


Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:32:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By luvpilot:
If it flies, floats, or fucks.....


... it's cheaper to rent.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:32:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:33:17 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By valheru21:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By valheru21:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
What's the minimum you'd expect to spend on a decent plane with a max speed over 300 mph?

Hey, I'm allowed to dream...

Well over 100K to break 300...

Unless you build it yourself (Glassair, etc)...


You'll spend more than 100k on a Glasair if you do it right.

For a new guy (or even an experienced one), 300 mph is WAY more than you need for general aviation.

Agreed...

C-172 is just about perfect... That's what I learned in, anyhow...

Of course, I rented it from AF Services over in Korea... I did NOT buy...


I haven't bought one either. If I did, it'd be a Globe Swift or a LoPresti Fury.

Speed costs money; how fast do you want to go?

Personally, I'll be happy (for now) with a VNE of 170, if I can just get the time to finish the damn thing without other more pressing projects popping up...

Well, that and I have a Lyco (that's older than I am, by at least a decade) on an engine stand in my living room until I can get to the point of mounting it...
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:33:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:35:03 PM EST by valheru21]
Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Personally, I'll be happy (for now) with a VNE of 170, if I can just get the time to finish the damn thing without other more pressing projects popping up...

Well, that and I have a Lyco (that's older than I am, by at least a decade) on an engine stand in my living room...


What kind of plane are you building again? It's not an RV is it?
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:33:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!


LSA can be pretty crippling, though - limited capacity, limited range.


That they can, but I can't find a reason (for me) to own my own Cessna (lets say) 172. I would rather have a share in one and own my own light aircraft. It is only about 80 miles (on land) to the lake I go to so the A5 would be perfect.

Now, if I had lots of cash I would have a A5, share in a Cessna, some sort of Jet and a Bell Helicopter.


Just reminding the OP (and possibly others) to take the restrictions of LSA into account. If you just want to be flying around, without the need for longer flights or the capcity to hold more people or luggage, then LSA can be a very good option, especially since then you can just maintain Sport Pilot with its lesser requirements (but higher restrictions).
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:35:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By trwoprod:
Originally Posted By AtomicPunk09:
Cessna 182. Lots more balls than the 172. You can find one used under $100,000.


That would work –– the R models still had the Conti 6 which you could get a mogas STC for. Add Flint tip tanks, wing extensions, Sportsman cuffs, and VGs, and you should have a nice, easy-flying aircraft that can't be crippled by leaded fuel going away overnight any time soon.

So, what engines CAN'T you get a mogas STC for?

Lyco 320 can (all the birds I flew in Korea had one, they don't put booze in their gas)....

P.S. Remember that at this time, a 'mogas STC' does NOT work with Ethanol 'enhanced' (er contaminated) fuel...


Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:36:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By SuperSixOne:
http://www.aopa.org

ARFCOM isn't too good at such questions

speak for yourself


OP: if 100K is your honest price range look into the aircraft at Cirrus Design. a new one is a little out of your price range, but a used one would be easily attainable.


cirrus pretty much makes the best single engine aircraft money can buy in terms of luxury and amenities.

the main difference is they are side stick aircraft, so its a little bit different than most other aircraft out there.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:36:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Originally Posted By Walkure:
Originally Posted By thatjonguy:
Edit: They are not like a Cessna, they have fold up wings and are considered a light-sport aircraft. And they can land on pavement or WATER. Win!


LSA can be pretty crippling, though - limited capacity, limited range.


That they can, but I can't find a reason (for me) to own my own Cessna (lets say) 172. I would rather have a share in one and own my own light aircraft. It is only about 80 miles (on land) to the lake I go to so the A5 would be perfect.

Now, if I had lots of cash I would have a A5, share in a Cessna, some sort of Jet and a Bell Helicopter.


Just reminding the OP (and possibly others) to take the restrictions of LSA into account. If you just want to be flying around, without the need for longer flights or the capcity to hold more people or luggage, then LSA can be a very good option, especially since then you can just maintain Sport Pilot with its lesser requirements (but higher restrictions).


LSA is a very expensive answer to a question no one asked. Seriously, an underpowered high-maintenance airplane for $130k?!? How the hell is that supposed to save General Aviation?
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:37:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 5:38:15 PM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By valheru21:
Originally Posted By Dave_A:
Personally, I'll be happy (for now) with a VNE of 170, if I can just get the time to finish the damn thing without other more pressing projects popping up...

Well, that and I have a Lyco (that's older than I am, by at least a decade) on an engine stand in my living room...


What kind of plane are you building again? It's not an RV is it?

Nope... Kind of looks like a wooden RV6, though...

Turner T-40AS...

Plans built, all wood, tri-gear (I prefer the tail end of my plane to stay BEHIND me when I land)... It's a 'pickup' project from someone else, who did most of the structures work already...

Lyco 290 for power, may switch to a 320 in the future depending on how it works...


Link Posted: 12/20/2009 5:37:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By trwoprod:
Originally Posted By AtomicPunk09:
Cessna 182. Lots more balls than the 172. You can find one used under $100,000.


That would work –– the R models still had the Conti 6 which you could get a mogas STC for. Add Flint tip tanks, wing extensions, Sportsman cuffs, and VGs, and you should have a nice, easy-flying aircraft that can't be crippled by leaded fuel going away overnight any time soon.

So, what engines CAN'T you get a mogas STC for?

Lyco 320 can (all the birds I flew in Korea had one, they don't put booze in their gas)....

P.S. Remember that at this time, a 'mogas STC' does NOT work with Ethanol 'enhanced' (er contaminated) fuel...


Good point. My roommate in college had an old Stinson 108 with an STC for auto gas, which made flying pretty cheap considering gas was under a dollar a gallon at the time ('99?). But with all the ethanol in gas today, I don't think it would do him much good.
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