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Thread: Zenith 801

  1. #1
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    Default Zenith 801

    Hi All

    One of my hunting partners has gotten this idea in his head to buy a plane for his hunting trips. I have tried to tell him that by the time he gets his license and his plane, pays the storage, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, it will be cheaper and easier to charter one (if it flies, floats or f***'s: rent it). He is in his mid 50's and in good shape, but for the number of sheep hunts he has left...He did go on three last year though. He is dedicated and very picky.

    Anyway, he is looking for a STOL and has come across the Zenith 801. It is a kit plane, which is okay if you have the time to build it and you are not going to fly commercially, which he obviously is not. I believe the kit is around $30,000 and the engine, prop, instruments etc are on top of that. He is mechanically inclined but sometimes is a bit of a duct tape and bailing wire guy. I know it will have to pass inspection though. If I seem a little concerned, just remember that he will want me to hop in the plane as well to go hunting.

    My opinion is that if he must get a plane, it would be better to find one that has been taken care of and is ready to go, or buy into a partnership. I have suggested a Wilga, Husky, Super Cub, Stinson, Cessna... He is pretty set on a 4 seater which I believe rules out the SC. I know that if he can afford it and it gives him pleasure, then what does it matter? I have read some of the other threads concerning bush planes, but would like some input/advice from those that have been there/done that. Thanks.
    It's the journey, not the destination.

  2. #2
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    Default Grizzly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by brno375 View Post
    Hi All

    One of my hunting partners has gotten this idea in his head to buy a plane for his hunting trips. I have tried to tell him that by the time he gets his license and his plane, pays the storage, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, it will be cheaper and easier to charter one (if it flies, floats or f***'s: rent it). He is in his mid 50's and in good shape, but for the number of sheep hunts he has left...He did go on three last year though. He is dedicated and very picky.

    Anyway, he is looking for a STOL and has come across the Zenith 801. It is a kit plane, which is okay if you have the time to build it and you are not going to fly commercially, which he obviously is not. I believe the kit is around $30,000 and the engine, prop, instruments etc are on top of that. He is mechanically inclined but sometimes is a bit of a duct tape and bailing wire guy. I know it will have to pass inspection though. If I seem a little concerned, just remember that he will want me to hop in the plane as well to go hunting.

    My opinion is that if he must get a plane, it would be better to find one that has been taken care of and is ready to go, or buy into a partnership. I have suggested a Wilga, Husky, Super Cub, Stinson, Cessna... He is pretty set on a 4 seater which I believe rules out the SC. I know that if he can afford it and it gives him pleasure, then what does it matter? I have read some of the other threads concerning bush planes, but would like some input/advice from those that have been there/done that. Thanks.

    Duct tape and bailing wire have no place on an airplane that requires top of the line performance, on occasion. Tell your friend that, in my opinion, he couldn't do any better than a Cessna 180.

    It performs well, is an honest airplane to fly, carries impressive loads, operates from small ----- and rough ----- spots, and won't really cost him an arm and a leg. Tell him to look for an older model with complete log books, so he'll know whether or not it has sustained any damage.

    I doubt that he can do any better for a "bush" plane when it comes to performance, cost of operation, and reliability. For my own part, I wouldn't go out of town in a kit plane, no matter what it was.

    That's my humble opinion after around 20,000 bush hours.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks G1, I'll pass it along.

    Today he sent me this: http://www.airbum.com/pireps/PirepSherpa.html
    It's the journey, not the destination.

  4. #4
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    Default Griaaly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by brno375 View Post
    Thanks G1, I'll pass it along.

    Today he sent me this: http://www.airbum.com/pireps/PirepSherpa.html
    WOW !!! That Sherpa is one fine airplane, no question about it. Any idea when it will be certified? And a ballpark cost?

    I'm DEFINITELY interested in the little beast!

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default

    G1

    Here is their web page http://www.sherpaaircraft.com/ It sounds like things did not go according to plan, but they are still at it.
    It's the journey, not the destination.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brno375 View Post
    Hi All

    One of my hunting partners has gotten this idea in his head to buy a plane for his hunting trips. I have tried to tell him that by the time he gets his license and his plane, pays the storage, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, it will be cheaper and easier to charter one (if it flies, floats or f***'s: rent it). He is in his mid 50's and in good shape, but for the number of sheep hunts he has left...He did go on three last year though. He is dedicated and very picky.

    Anyway, he is looking for a STOL and has come across the Zenith 801. It is a kit plane, which is okay if you have the time to build it and you are not going to fly commercially, which he obviously is not. I believe the kit is around $30,000 and the engine, prop, instruments etc are on top of that. He is mechanically inclined but sometimes is a bit of a duct tape and bailing wire guy. I know it will have to pass inspection though. If I seem a little concerned, just remember that he will want me to hop in the plane as well to go hunting.

    My opinion is that if he must get a plane, it would be better to find one that has been taken care of and is ready to go, or buy into a partnership. I have suggested a Wilga, Husky, Super Cub, Stinson, Cessna... He is pretty set on a 4 seater which I believe rules out the SC. I know that if he can afford it and it gives him pleasure, then what does it matter? I have read some of the other threads concerning bush planes, but would like some input/advice from those that have been there/done that. Thanks.
    a) To build any plane will require a great deal of time, money and expertise. Tell your friend to do his best budget estimates for time and money. Then......double the money budget and triple the time estimate. Then add another 10%. He'll be getting close. I'm not joking.

    b) If he isn't a pilot now? Owning a plane and flying a plane are different. I would suggest that a new pilot is at least 5 years away from minimum proficiency to even consider taking a plane into sheep country. Even then I wouldn't want to go with him as a passenger.

    c) On the ownership side of things? As for sheep hunting? 4 place planes are better suited to ferry passengers to where Supercubs take them into the mountains.

  7. #7
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    Default Zenith 801

    First, he's got to get his license, no small hurdle, then get the $ together to get an aircraft....then get the experience to fly into sheep camps, which are ussually VERY remote, and inhospitable....

    for about 3 hunts a year or so....be safer.....and far more secure by hiring a well experienced bush pilot with a properly configured aircraft to get him and his hunters up there...it certainly will be cheaper than all the above!!

  8. #8
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    Default decision making???

    Not much of a decision. I could pay for at least 3 fly in hunts a year for what I spend in my airplane expenses in a year. Then you don't have to worry about the bears or wind destroying it while you are out hunting either. I do all my own maintenance and if you do the $ it still doesn't pay. Plus, he is YEARS out from landing on rough short gravel bars to go hunting if he is just learning to fly. Save your time and money.

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