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Thread: Starter plane....read cheaper to fly/fix

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default Starter plane....read cheaper to fly/fix

    Just curious what you guys would be looking at if you had to do it all over again and start with a little plane just to build some hours and some time and not break the bank....
    not ready for a cub that would be a waste of an airplane at this point. looking for something that can be tossed on floats and maybe burn less than 6gph.
    thoughts?
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    Member High Country's Avatar
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    I would strongly recommend a Champ. I have never flown a tail dragger that is easier to learn on than a Champ. They are cheap, fun to fly and usually can burn about 5 GPH of mogas.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    PA-11 or PA-12. Gets you ready for a PA-18 super cub. Also want something you can sell. If you want a Super Cub eventually, just go get the Super Cub. You won't regret it. Especially in your line of work.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    the plane won't be used for my work, it'll just be a family thing. Someday down the road would like something that i can do a couple trips a year with on floats, don't mind flying loads in and out, just want a smaller plane that can do it with out costing a pile....i know everything on a cub/with a cub/that says cub/ costs more than everything else.

    i've been thinkin' a champ, also thinking about a taylorcraft..
    on the champs, if i put one on floats how much water am i going to need to get up with me and another person? doe those have flaps or no?
    what about on wheels, how much ground we talkin'?
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Planes that you can find for less than $35,000

    Taylor-craft (T-Craft) The old BC-12s are pretty cool. Stray away from the F-21 they have a weird fuel tank problem

    PA-20 and PA-22 PACER and TRI-PACER. They are affordable and fairly fast. Most have full panels. There was also a two seat version called the Piper Colt. They are ugly, but they really fly great.... Some Danish gal flew one from Denmark to Afganistan.

    Aeronca CHAMP.... A great tandem seat plane, but people have started to figure that out and the prices are going up.

    Aeronca Chief. The Champ's ugly cousin... They fly just fine and they do not cost much.

    OLD Late 50s and early 60s Cessna-172 with manual flaps. There is nothing at all wrong with an old C-172. They are easy to work on and you can get an old one for $25,000.... They are fast, and if you take out the back seat they have lots of room for junk.

    PIPER J-5A or J5C... These were the father of the PA-12. They were called the Cub Cruiser. Many have been modified with 100, 125 and 135 horse engines. Since they all the STOL angle or incidence on their wings like a J-3,, They are good short field planes and have more room than a Super Cub or J-3.

    A Piper J-3. You can sometimes bump into a Piper J-3 or a modified J-3 (with PA-11 mods) for $35,000 or less. They are slow, cold, lack instruments and have crappy seats... But they have a cult like following and they are easy to sell. And they are easy to buy parts and pieces... MINE BURNS 4 GALLONS AN HOUR


    PS: I have seen very good Champ, Chief, J3 and even Cessna 172 Pilots,,, get in and out of places that poor or mediocre Super Cubs pilots will not try...

    And actually flying a beat-up, crappy looking plane is always better than sitting around listening to the wannabe's talk about the Super Cub they plan to own one day in the future...
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    Citabria 7ECA ... Several out there now for around $25,000

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    thanks guys, this is info i'm looking for. i grew up in the back seat of a j-3 but i was pretty small and can't remember any details about it....none that would help me out now!! lol
    i agree better to be in the air in a flier, than on the ground lookin' up.
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    You know,,, Something that I just thought about...
    Sometimes you can find an old Cessna 120 or better yet a Cessna 140 in pretty good shape for not much money. They are a little tight inside, and they are not real fast off the ground,, But they sip gas and they are pretty fast for only having a 85 or 90 horse....
    My unlce has one with a 115 hp Lyc in it and a speed prop. He really hauls along and has flown all over the western US in the darn thing...

    A 90 horse Luscombe would also be pretty cool
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  9. #9

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    Dont cheap out, save up and get what ever you really want. You will regret it if you cheap out. I would not think reselling a plane would be a fun process, I know it was not fun for the seller of my pitts. I would crate that pitts up in a storage unit before I sold it lol.

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    When it comes to airplanes, I think a few of us would have to save several lifetimes for what we REALLY want.

    There was a Chief for sale here in Fairbanks this spring that came with floats. Seems like it had a fairly low price tag for a floatplane. A friend/ coworker ferried it up here. If you're interested I could try to find out if it's still for sale and get some details....Louis
    Louis Knapp

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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    Dont cheap out, save up and get what ever you really want. You will regret it if you cheap out. I would not think reselling a plane would be a fun process, I know it was not fun for the seller of my pitts. I would crate that pitts up in a storage unit before I sold it lol.
    Whats wrong with selling an airplane? Bought a few. Sold a few. Haven't had a bad experience. You had bad experiences with selling airplanes?


    Jake,
    You are thinking right. Buy a cheap one and fly the hell out of it. Then sell it when you want something different. I don't think most people really know what they want till they fly a bit. Expectations change after couple hundred hours.

    For instance: You may not want to be on floats after you drop your cel phone/keys/etc in the water the third or fourth time or falling in yourself. OK thats me. I like float flying but have more hunting/fishing spots on wheels. U don't REALLY realize that till you go on floats for a while. .

    If you do a little homework and have pre buy inspection and good mx and upkeep, you won't lose money. Well, its relative....Airplanes are inherently expensive to own/operate.....

  12. #12

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    I lost money on a condo so I dont like being in the selling position lol.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    There is a saying in Bavaria....

    Your death shirt has no pockets......

    In other words you can't take it with you.. so spend it and enjoy life while you can...
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    If you can find a C-150 TD, they work out well for up here.
    Mine will burn just over 7.GPH @ 88 Kts. But thats with the Lyc O-320.

    Very forgiving and light handling planes. I like the side by side seating better than tandem, and lots of storage in the extended baggage area.

    I bought mine and learned to fly in it. Nothing like learning to fly your own plane
    Last edited by Logpile; 09-25-2012 at 21:32. Reason: added more

  15. #15

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    To the OP...

    Float Pilot laid it out pretty well, and there aren't too many people more knowledgeable or helpful.

    I will only add that I was pretty much in your shoes. Because we live 300 miles from town and using the plane to get there is a convenient excuse to fly, we wanted a plane that could haul a bit of a load or a couple people and still be affordable. We ended up with a Tri-Pacer for that reason. It has worked so well for us that it may end up being the only plane I ever own. It wasn't what I wanted, but I could realistically expect to afford operating it. As a result, I'm putting 100-200 hours a year in the air. If I got the C180 or M7 that I would get if I scrimped and saved, I would probably not be flying more than 50-70 hours as the maintenance and fuel burn are both substantially higher.

    My thought is whatever you get, get something you can fly a lot. Usually the determining factor is cost, both initial and ongoing. Alex's list is a pretty great shopping list.
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    I was in the same place as you a couple years ago, BRWNBR. I ended up buying a '47 chief with the 115hp conversion. Was about 10k cheaper than any of the champs I was looking at at the time. It burns about 6 gph, cruises at 85, and is extremely forgiving to fly. Which I am extremely grateful for as a low-time pilot. Has just enough useful load and room for me and my wife, 3.5 hrs fuel, and a couple days worth of camping gear if you pack really, really light. I had no idea what i was looking for when I got it, but had a couple seasoned float pilots down here talk me into it and it turned out to be the best thing I could have done for building time and experience. I could complain about cars passing me when flying over the highway on the mainland and a cockpit I bounce my head off of with some regularity, but, heck, I have an airplane that flies, and for less than $30 an hour, so I really can't complain.

    Oh and I'm new to the forum, and want to say that I've really enjoyed reading the posts here. Always looking to learn something about flying and this seems like a great place. I just hope I clicked the right button posting this.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Btw, the T-crates, Aeronca's & Colts don't have flaps. The c-140 does (not sure about the 120) and the C-172 and Pacers/Tripacers do.

    Great intro Aeronca Driver. Got a pic of your plane?

    Tim

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The original Cessna 120s did not have flaps, the rear window on the side of the baggage bay and no electrical system. A lot of them have been upgraded. The C-140 had little flaps that really did not do much....
    The Last C-140 was the C-140A. They had a single wing strut, metal wings and a C-90 horse (200 cubic inches) engine. They are rather rare but very cool.

    The LUSCOMBE is often mistaken for a C-140 from a distance. They also made a few different models of those. They have side-by-side sticks instead of yokes. They Made the 8A, 8E and 8F,, 65 hp, 85hp and 90 hp... The 90hp makes 95 HP on take-off. There used to be one around here that was painted like a little Orca Whale... Talk about cute......

    LOGPILE is right about the up-engined Cessna 150s...
    I had one that I used to have for primary students. It was a nose-wheel with a 150 hp stuck in it.... And long range tanks....
    It would cruise at an easy 125 mph....(7.2 to 7.9 gallons per hour) .. and you could push a 130 to 135 mph cruise out of her if you wanted to eat more gas.

    With two guys and full gas it would still get off the ground in 400 feet. It climbed at over 1200 fpm and I took it to 14,000 feet over the Canadian Rockies.. Until I lost my color vision that is......
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    color vison is important??
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    I don't think there's such a thing as a "starter" plane. A trainer, yes, but when it comes time to own, buy the right plane. If that's a Cub, fine. A 185? Good choice. 206? Hard to go wrong. If you want to hobby fly? Buy an ultralight.

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