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Thread: Trying to find a new plane not all the easy

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Trying to find a new plane not all the easy

    Well there have been a couple times that I thought I was close to buying...
    In fact, I had all the cash in hand and a bill of sale ready for one plane... I even drove up to Anchorage because the seller said he would be back in town on a certain day. And he was not...
    I then almost talked myself in a Franklin engine, but nobody in my area will work on those...

    So I am still looking.....

    I would love to run across a float kitted C-172 or C-170B

    The only two down sides to a C-170B is that the legal "Float" gross weight is either 2,106 pounds on EDO 2000s or 2200 pounds on larger floats. Only the Canadians can manage a gross weight increase STC...
    The other down side to C-170Bs is that the owners think they are worth a fortune even with a tucker-out old C145 engine.....

    A 180 horse C-172 would work just fine for me on larger floats.... Like PK-2300bs....
    Big enough to take two people flights seeing, yet small enough and simple enough to make a good float trainer...
    And easy to hose out due to the local salt air...
    BUT... They appear to be a bit scarce at the moment...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    There was a fairly stock looking 170 on floats sitting at the dirt strip at hood this last weekend near the pilot shack for sale... i didnt get a chance to look at the flier to see the details. I could grab a picture of it and the flier if you want.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Is it the all red 170B ?
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    I believe so.. yes.

  7. #7

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    Just saw a C170B posted with a factory float kit, but the plane might be in Minnesota...can't tell for sure...

    http://www.backcountrypilot.org/comm...w-180-hp-13520
    14 Days to Alaska
    Also available on Kindle and Nook

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    YEs, I know the owner and have been thinking very hard about that one...

    One problem that raises its ugly head with C-170Bs is the limited gross weight. Even with a larger engine and larger floats, the legal gross weight stays at 2,200 pounds. ( It is only 2,106 pounds on EDO 2000s)
    The Canadians have an STC that adds some weight, but the FAA won't sign off on it....
    Something to do with the wing struts.

    Once you start adding a constant speed prop, bigger floats , a full panel, a vacuum system and a bigger engine, you are jacking up the empty weight considerably. Thus reducing your legal useful load.

    ANOTHER THING:
    I was on the verge of buying a C-180... But one of my insurance brokers had an interesting point.
    Right now most of my ratings clients are low time or occasional flyers. Just working stiffs who can barely afford to get here...
    About 75% of them have no (or limited) constant speed or high performance time.

    So just how much additional training time ( and money) would be required , just so I could trust them with my constant speed prop and expensive engine during the check ride ???
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Besides which, a C-180, like the Super Cub, encourages pilots to sneak a peak into the bush. The C-180 is a really great airplane, but in the hands of a newly certificated pilot, I wouldn't be too cumfy . . . . .

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    1991 bought my C-180 for $21,000, low time engine. I was at first, afriad of the airplane. Found a friend to work me through wheel landings over at goose bay (gravel is more forgiving) .... learned to fly with the ball centered on aproach ... null out descent, a foot or two off the gravel or pavement give a gentel push forward on the yoke, dance on the rudders a bit and it all starts to make sense. Payload for my 56 is 2550 empty weight is about 1600 ... but with a 260 hp IO-470 I still consider balance to be important than weight, I do not ever load to an aft CG. I have always been on wheels but when I went to high compression IO-470 Jim Detlinger the guy who did the upgrade said that the big difference is on floats. Jim has a plane similar to mine and we both love them, simply most bang for the buck.
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    Right now most of my ratings clients are low time or occasional flyers. Just working stiffs who can barely afford to get here...
    About 75% of them have no (or limited) constant speed or high performance time.

    So just how much additional training time ( and money) would be required , just so I could trust them with my constant speed prop and expensive engine during the check ride ???
    Since we assume you'd have a hand in training them prior to a checkride? How good of an instructor are you? 0-470s are pretty inexpensive in the airplane engine world. Tough engines, too.

    There's no magic to CS prop management. Most of your students would probably enjoy a high performance sign-off. I'd bet your market appeal would be much better with a 180 than what you've been offering in the past.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    How good of an instructor are you?
    Appealing to my pride has nothing to do with it... It comes down to how much money people are will to spend on additional ratings during their vacation. Most of whom are now fairly low time working stiffs, who also want to do other things during their once in a life-time trip to Alaska.
    I am more than willing to charge extra for a 14 gallon an hour plane. And charge more for some extra instruction time. It may actually increase my business with a different type of client base........ Maybe...

    If you have a burger joint that makes money, do you close it up and open an nicer Italian food place... or leave things be... ???
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    I couldn't care less about your pride, it was a legitimate statement. If you have a business plan, execute it. I didn't bring up the 180 topic, you did.

    When guys go on vacations they don't play the cheap muni golf courses. They pay to play the primo courses. I'd think that analogy is worth considering for your float flying business as well. Good luck finding what you're looking for.

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    I had not thought of the golf course analogy. Having never played golf.
    But I take you point as to offering a superior or at least more advanced service.

    And there may be something to be said for reducing the flight time between lakes
    and the time required for the cross country up to the check-rides. Being 40 mph faster on floats.
    That time could possibly be converted to other purposes.

    If you ever take me up on the lunch offer I extended two years ago, we could discuss these weighty subjects
    in the local café.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I couldn't care less about your pride, it was a legitimate statement. If you have a business plan, execute it. I didn't bring up the 180 topic, you did.

    When guys go on vacations they don't play the cheap muni golf courses. They pay to play the primo courses. I'd think that analogy is worth considering for your float flying business as well. Good luck finding what you're looking for.
    Get up on the wrong side of the bed today? You're not usually so caustic . . . . .

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    I wasn't trying to be obnoxious. Sometimes I just have a gift. Or a curse. I was just answering the question.

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    Personally, now that I have a plane with a CS prop, I would have loved to learn in one similar to what I wound up getting. Is there anyone who gives instruction in a 180 or larger? Sure it would cost more in instruction time than say a 150-152, but may be appealing to more than the super cub crowd who have no intentions of ever learning how to manage a CS prop or a H.P.sign off.
    Mr Pid has a good point.....

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Good question... I do not know if anyone if using a C-180 for instruction.
    Most places that do high performance and/or complex sign offs use something like C-177RGs, C-182s or a Piper Arrow.

    Based upon the price of Av-Gas here in Homer, today ... for touch and goes
    A PA-11 or J3 costs $31.40 an hour in fuel alone.
    A Super Cub or C-172 cost $62.80 an hour in fuel
    A C-180 or similar size engine would run about $110 to $117.75 an hour in fuel.

    Fuel is $2.50 a gallon cheaper in Anchorage so I could reduce that by spending $120 to bring down a couple hundred gallons at a time in my truck av-gas tank.

    The insurance stays about the same for instruction liability and only goes up for hull with an increase in insured value. Or number of seats insured.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Float Pilot: I think you'll lose most of your business if you go the C-180 route. I chose to get my float rating with you because of the following reasons: price, location, airplane you were using at the time, and the good reputation of your business. I had 4-5 different choices, most of them in Anchorage area, and another one - your competition on Kenai Peninsula. So, (1) the price was right. (2) I love Homer and the general area and usually go halibut fishing there every summer - so combining the two was a no brainer. (3) I had never flown a cub before, but always wanted to. Finally, (4) I did the search on forums, asked people around, everything confirmed that you provided a great service. I showed up in June 2011 and got my float rating 3 days later - great training and lots of fun! (Thank you very much). On the other hand, if your pricing was much higher than the other choices I had I'd definitely chose another place. My ultimate goal was to get a float rating for affordable price. All the other things, like a nice cabin where I stayed with my family, beautiful location etc, were additional bonuses that helped me make a choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Good question... I do not know if anyone if using a C-180 for instruction.
    Most places that do high performance and/or complex sign offs use something like C-177RGs, C-182s or a Piper Arrow.

    Based upon the price of Av-Gas here in Homer, today ... for touch and goes
    A PA-11 or J3 costs $31.40 an hour in fuel alone.
    A Super Cub or C-172 cost $62.80 an hour in fuel
    A C-180 or similar size engine would run about $110 to $117.75 an hour in fuel.

    Fuel is $2.50 a gallon cheaper in Anchorage so I could reduce that by spending $120 to bring down a couple hundred gallons at a time in my truck av-gas tank.

    The insurance stays about the same for instruction liability and only goes up for hull with an increase in insured value. Or number of seats insured.

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    Sounds like this is really is a business decision and price is important to your customers. Sounds like you know your market. I think that instruction is best accomplished in a side by side airplane, I am thinking a Penn Yan Superhawk C-172 upgraded to a 180 hp fixed pitch prop, on 2400 floats would be just about perfect.

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