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Thread: Starter bird

  1. #1

    Default Starter bird

    In the very beggining process of getting into flying. Have been around/flown in quite a few bush rigs. Looking hard at the citabria's. Toy understanding there are several models. I believe the 7gcbc has the 150 horse with flaps, which flaps is something I would want. What about the others? 7eca, 7gcca? This is gonna be my starter plane, and maybe after I learn the fly and get quite a few hrs upgrade to an 18. Talked to a few buddies that have worked the gcbc's and say they will go a lot more places than people give them credit for. Any info on the diff models appreciated. My only things I want for sure is flaps, 150 horse, and preferably be able to run car gas. Thank ya

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Champion Aircraft bought out the Champ aircraft (7 series) from Aeronca back around 1954. Bellanca bought out Champion around 1970 or 71.

    Around 1964 Champion Aircraft introduced the 7ECA CITABRIA. ( AIRBATIC SPELLED BACKWARDS) It had a 115 horse engine, a wooden wing spar and no flaps.

    A year later they came out with the 7GCAA, which was a 150 horse version with about the same wings.

    Somewhere around that same era they also introduced the 7GCBC, This version had longer wings, spring steel landing gear and flaps.... along with a 150 horse. That is the best version for Alaska. Originally they had wood wing spars but many have been replaced with metal spars. The newer version have metal spars as well.

    They also have a 7KCAB version which is an even more acrobatic version of the 7GCAA. It has an inverted fuel and oil system.
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  3. #3

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    Right on. I appreciate that good info.

  4. #4

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    Make sure you really do your homework and that you can get your money back out of your starter plane when you want to upgrade. From what I have seen selling a plane is not that easy to do and unless your the guy with a cherry PA-18 your going to take a loss on the sale.

    I have never been an advocate of a starter anything because trying to sell something is tedious and stressful and unless you happen to have what ever the cats meow is at the time your selling your going to take a loss.

    Being on the seller end of a pre-buy .... no thanks.

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, a first aircraft can be sold further down the line to another person who is looking to start their flying adventures. Affordable Planes like Cubs, Citabrias, Champs, Cessna 150-152-170s -172s and so-on have a pretty healthy market of people shopping for them. Aircraft with a wide range of usage will be easier to sell. So a C172 is easier to sell than a C-152, and a nice C-170 will go even faster on the market.
    7GCBCs are a good all around cross country and short field plane. They have good visibility and usually have better heaters and speed compared to a Super Cub. Just watch out for spar problems during the pre-buy if it has a wooden spar.
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  6. #6

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    What about a pacer 22/20? With a few bush mods of course? A bud has one with some big rubber and a 160 & seems to do pretty well. Affordable as well...??

  7. #7
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    There is nothing wrong with a PACER. They are a touch short bodied fro my taste, but they are pretty fast and the price is right.
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  8. #8
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    Hunt'N'Photos, one of the members here, bought a Citabria as a starter plane. It's worked out very well for him and I love the photos and stories he gets from that plane.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  9. #9

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    Citabria is a good bird. If you could find one with Scout gear and Millman spars that would even be better. Millman is metal spars that does away with the AD on the wooden spars. I have no problem with the wooden ones neither. Had a set of wooden spars on my Scout and had to change them out. If you don't hit anything with them or flip them on their back I don't think they'd give you any problems, just get a mechanic that is experienced with them. I changed mine out because a mechanic said they were cracked on my Scout, they ended up not being cracked after the fabric was pulled off. Expensive mistake there.

  10. #10

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    You should be able to tell a crack with a bore scope through an inspection panel. The mechanic should have shared his screen so you could see the "crack".

    Quote Originally Posted by KLK View Post
    Citabria is a good bird. If you could find one with Scout gear and Millman spars that would even be better. Millman is metal spars that does away with the AD on the wooden spars. I have no problem with the wooden ones neither. Had a set of wooden spars on my Scout and had to change them out. If you don't hit anything with them or flip them on their back I don't think they'd give you any problems, just get a mechanic that is experienced with them. I changed mine out because a mechanic said they were cracked on my Scout, they ended up not being cracked after the fabric was pulled off. Expensive mistake there.

  11. #11

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    Been lookin/researching tcrafts. Seems like one with a 0-200 and some 29's would be a very 'cheap', fun airplane to learn in, and still be able to do a lil bush work. Small inside, but can deal with that for the price. No
    flaps of course but I think that would teach me to actually fly the thing. Would like to find one with high time, then drop a 0-200 in it and start flying the crap out of it. Do you think a guy could get a high tjme(motor) craft for 15-25k? Thinking if I buy one for tht price range that leaves me some
    money to have the motor I want/ bushwheels and possibly a few other small modifications. That's my thoughts atleast. What would it cost a guy to have a 0-200 installed? It seems most gcbc's are 40-50k, if I spend that much it almost makes since to fork up another 15 or so for a 12 or the like...also can you install a seaplane door on a craft?

  12. #12
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I started flying two years ago and bought a Taylorcraft BC-12D. I wanted to train in my own plane and have a bush-capable plane once primary training was completed. I don't have the experience to give you a basis of comparison to other plane's capabilities but it's worked out well for me. This one has the 1500 lb gross and O-200. To give you an idea of cost, mine came with floats, skis, and landing gear (no wheels, guy flew off a Lake Hood slip) for $30,000. You could save a lot by skipping the floats. Don't discount 85/90 horse T-crafts--my understanding is they are quite capable. As far as engine swap, Alaska mods, upgrades, advice I've picked up on this forum is let the other guy pay for them. You'll pay less for a "completed" plane than one you upgrade yourself.

  14. #14
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    You could save a lot by skipping the floats.
    Wash your mouth out with soap!
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  15. #15

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    My first plane was a Pa 22/20 got the plane before I had even one hour of training. It was a great plane!! I flew it all over Alaska and had skis on it for winter flying. When I got my cub I sold it. I would go back to a pacer in a heartbeat. The cub is great for getting in and out short with a load but if you can work off 700-1000 ft strips a pacer will haul a good load. Look at the T-crate that was flying Valdez this year he did better than I ever did with my pacer. Lots of good starter planes out there just get one and go fly. As stated before find one with all the mods you want to start with. A good rule of thumb is any money you put into the plane after you buy it will never come back you have to fly it out. You really don't loose money if you figure it would cost 100 dollars/ hour to rent. 300 hours is 30 grand of rental time.
    DENNY

  16. #16
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    Never underestimate the worthiness of a Cessna 172 as a first plane. Fairly inexpensive. Durable. Easy to service. Roomy. Economical. Cheap to insure. Great for all kinds of training. Solid in the wind. And very underestimated for off airport utility when wearing the right tires. And there aren't many planes that hold their value or attract the next buyer better than a 172. That describes a good first airplane in my opinion.

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    Mr. Pid got it right for a first airplane its hard to go wrong with a 172 and a couple of King KX-170 B Nav Comm's trouble free flying for the most part and just about every A+P alive can or has worked on them!

  18. #18
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    A family friend bought an older C-172 and I taught him how to fly with that plane. It was a good clean plane and he eventually bought and installed Skis on the darn thing and he flew it ALL-OVER THE STATE. He went to beaches, gravel bars and lake shores with no problem.
    Here is a pic we took out the window of my Cub when doing some formation flying.... He had to throttle WAYYYYY back...


    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx


    Another local guy has been learning in the 172D he bought from his brother. The D model was the last version of the 172 with manual flaps. It is a sweet flying plane. He now has about 50 hours and is pretty much ready for his check-ride.

    He bought it for a very reasonable price and he could sell the plane for the same or more tomorrow.
    He has paid me a wee bit over $1000 for the dual instruction and has spent about $3,200 in fuel cost for those 50 plus hours. ( 8 bucks a gallon here in Homer) He has not owned the plane long enough to have a new annual but he has already had all sorts of adventures. His long cross country was from Homer to Talkeetna and return.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  19. #19

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    I would agree with the floats comment, floats are ridiculously expensive (especially wheel floats, it just boggles my mind how they stay in business). Anyways, my dad and I took the floats off his cub and put the wheels back on. You have to have a large fork lift and a half to a full day of work. Unless you have your own hangar and an overhead lift (or a fork lift) to get them off it could be a major expense and hassle TWICE every year to get them on and off. Unless all you did was float flying and you just stored the plane in the winter.

    I don't even want to know what a mechanic would charge to take them on and off and it would be when every they could get around too it, water is freezing, oh the mechanics are busy too bad for you. Better get that secret hand shake down better.

    Quote Originally Posted by SKoerber View Post
    I started flying two years ago and bought a Taylorcraft BC-12D. I wanted to train in my own plane and have a bush-capable plane once primary training was completed. I don't have the experience to give you a basis of comparison to other plane's capabilities but it's worked out well for me. This one has the 1500 lb gross and O-200. To give you an idea of cost, mine came with floats, skis, and landing gear (no wheels, guy flew off a Lake Hood slip) for $30,000. You could save a lot by skipping the floats. Don't discount 85/90 horse T-crafts--my understanding is they are quite capable. As far as engine swap, Alaska mods, upgrades, advice I've picked up on this forum is let the other guy pay for them. You'll pay less for a "completed" plane than one you upgrade yourself.

  20. #20

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    What are 0-200 costing? Install? Is the jump from 85 to 100 that's substantiAl? I want nothing to do with floats. Wheels and skis for me. Also, is it worth it to buy down south? I know most southern planes will not have ak mods on them, but they seem to be a lot more of them and cheaper. I have a few instructors I know that would not charge me that much but plane tickets and lil cash to fly a plane up with...can a guy 'beef' up a 85 at a cheaper expense than buying a bigger motor.? I ask cuz I'm 230lbs, and even though the gross weight won't change(I think) it seems the more power the better, especially in an already underpowered plane

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