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Thread: Company plane

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Company plane

    I am working toward a business idea I have been molding over the last couple years. The scope of the business is unimportant but what I would like to one day build towards is my own company plane. I hope that at some point it will be better to buy a plane as a business expense than to give 40+ % of that money over to the feds!
    Of course the plane would need to be functional for work which would basically entail pretty standard flying to villages and towns off and on the road system. I would not plan on carrying more than about 500 lbs of cargo but I would like to be able to use it to haul my family around as well. The family consist of my wife (barely over 5' tall) and 3 boys who will probably all be over 6' and 200 lbs in their late teen years! I am about 265lbs ad 6'5" now myself.
    I would think that to travel cross country safely I would need to be instrument rated and plane should have the necessary equipment. I wouldn't plan on flying in adverse conditons but it IS Alaska.
    Then there is the kicker, I would really like to use the plane off airport...I was thinking C-180 for this, but not sure if it would be fast enough to fly to say Kotz from Anc in a reasonable amount of time. They also don't seat 5 people either that I am aware of so that means mom or one of the kids would have to stay home and I am not thrilled about that.

    I have a vision for where my company will be in 10 years and in that vision there is a plane, I just don't know what that plane is! Any ideas? Perhaps a bush hawk? Not sure if anything fits these specs! <grin> Thought it might be fun to kick around though.

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    Default Grizzly 1

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I am working toward a business idea I have been molding over the last couple years. The scope of the business is unimportant but what I would like to one day build towards is my own company plane. I hope that at some point it will be better to buy a plane as a business expense than to give 40+ % of that money over to the feds!
    Of course the plane would need to be functional for work which would basically entail pretty standard flying to villages and towns off and on the road system. I would not plan on carrying more than about 500 lbs of cargo but I would like to be able to use it to haul my family around as well. The family consist of my wife (barely over 5' tall) and 3 boys who will probably all be over 6' and 200 lbs in their late teen years! I am about 265lbs ad 6'5" now myself.
    I would think that to travel cross country safely I would need to be instrument rated and plane should have the necessary equipment. I wouldn't plan on flying in adverse conditons but it IS Alaska.
    Then there is the kicker, I would really like to use the plane off airport...I was thinking C-180 for this, but not sure if it would be fast enough to fly to say Kotz from Anc in a reasonable amount of time. They also don't seat 5 people either that I am aware of so that means mom or one of the kids would have to stay home and I am not thrilled about that.

    I have a vision for where my company will be in 10 years and in that vision there is a plane, I just don't know what that plane is! Any ideas? Perhaps a bush hawk? Not sure if anything fits these specs! <grin> Thought it might be fun to kick around though.
    A Cessna 185 will fill the requirements, and do it with ample cruise speeds. A DeHavilland Beaver will also do it, but with the radial engine (with its inherent oil leaks) and relatively slow cruise speed, I would still favor the C-185.

    You're right, the C-180 won't quite do it. Neither legally nor comfortably. While it would be possible to carry that gross weight, what for? And from ANC to OTZ, a completely uncomfortable trip for the whole family.

    A Cessna 206 would be ideal, but is limited to its off-airport capabilitites. The nose wheel isn't considered very good for bush work, usually.

    Others will have ideas from which you can begin to make a selection, I'm sure. There are some pretty nice aircraft that WILL do the job, but you will find finances in the way. Pilatus Porter for instance. A Turbo Beaver for another. A lot will depend upon your finances when you get ready to go.

    Good Luck with it . . . . .

    Mort

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    speed and safety of a light twin would sure make you happy when you're doing on airport work......but that doesn't work at all for your off-airport ambitions

    like boats or firearms you better just get several!

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    Member akaviator's Avatar
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    A Cessna 206 is probably the most affordable and realistic tool for the job. Much more cabin space than a 185, and belly pods available. With 26" mains and an 8.50x6 nose tire you can get out into some mild off airport stuff.

    I assume that being in Baghdad you're serving our country. THANKS!!!
    Last edited by akaviator; 03-20-2009 at 16:32. Reason: added info

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware that the 206 could be outfitted w/ the big tires like that.

    -I hung the uniform up a couple years ago to get away from this place. Somehow I woke up one day and found myself in a contracting job back in the desert. I am having fun though, I like the work over here.

    I am glad I don't have a spare 65K laying around right now, because there is a 150 horse cub on C/L as of this morning... If I had 65K saved to buy the perfect company plane I have a feeling I would be starting over <grin>

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    A friend of mine is a surveyor and he had the same idea since many of his jobs are in the villages. He initially got a over powered tail-dragger so I could teach him how to fly. Eventually he discovered that all (ALL) the villages have nice gravel runways. He also discovered that his back and bladder preferred a more roomy and faster plane.

    He ended up with a nice C-182 that is still working for him. He pulls out his seats and hauls all his gear and baggage on work trips. The two or three times his wife has gone with him (yes she said she would, but she does not) required replacing the seats and flying to nice places...

    When our kids got to be teenagers we looked forward to flying without them. They usually do not think you are cool enough to be seen with during that time period...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by akjw7 View Post
    speed and safety of a light twin would sure make you happy when you're doing on airport work......but that doesn't work at all for your off-airport ambitions

    like boats or firearms you better just get several!
    Agreed! I wouldn't mind having a few extra planes, at least one that flies better than my Aeronca Sedan project....of course that might hurt my incentive to finish it.

    A light twin would be the ticket if you get into any serious enroute IFR. You would need something with deicing capability if you're going to spend any time in clouds around the state. Of course that would cause a quantum leap in operating costs over a single.

    IF you just want enough IFR capability to descend through a few clouds or shoot an approach to get home, a properly equiped Cessna single would fit the bill fine. Just remember that instrument proficiency on the part of the pilot is the most important ingredient here.

    The big Cherokees do well and tend to be a little cheaper than the larger Cessna's, however, the low wing is a handicap for off airport operations.....Louis

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    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
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    I think you are stuck with a 206 or Cherokee 6/Fixed Saratoga with your boys and family; if in fact that is a primary consideration - Unless you want to spend the money for a Beaver. The 206 does just fine off airport with a Landes nose fork, an 800 nose tire, and 8.50s on the mains. It is a reasonable compromise but can't do much on hilltops with big hummocks and very short areas. The nose gear is the weak spot and does bear some on your load planning (read AFT CG) I have had one on a soft beach many times and as long as it is loaded properly it is ok. Have also flown a Saratoga with a Landes nose fork and had that on soft beaches. Little more work and faster landing speeds but pretty do-able.

    Just for braggin rights I have flown a 206 on 14" Mickey Thompson Wrinkle Wall Racing Slicks - that one you can land on a beach so soft that you have a hard time walking. But the nose gear is still the big consideration.

    You have to decide how much and what type of "off airport" work you want to do. Any of these airplanes are gonna cost you well north of 100K and your insurance company is going to limit you anyways unless you want to pay them large amounts of money for the few times you will land off airport. So you will need to decide if it is worth it to take your larger, more expensive, and possibly only family cruiser off airport. I think you would be better with a 206 or Toga for the full family trips and a 180/185 or cheaper PA14 or Cub for the off airport times. All it takes is money.

    I wouldn't worry about IFR too much as you will probably not be flying much IFR in a single. Freezing levels and mountains pretty much limit the SEL/SES IFR flying you can do around South Central and SE. Lack of navaids limit you in Kodiak and other parts of the State. Bethel Area, maybe around Kotz, and the North Slope could be IFR friendly areas but also have freezing fog and limited navaids. Instead I would go for minimal panel with the best GPS moving map I could afford with an update-able database chip (and the ability to use a marine chip if you are close to the water).

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

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