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Thread: Cheap time builders

  1. #1
    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default Cheap time builders

    I'm a student pilot and have about 20 hours towards getting my private ticket. I'm starting to really enjoy flying and want to purchase a cheap time builder aircraft (much to the chagrin of my fiance) so I can continue to fly relatively cheap after I get my private certification. I can't continue to pay 130+ an hour to fly for much longer and figure owning my own will be cheaper in the long run. I've been picking up the Trade a plane from the flight school and it looks like you can get a 60's to 70's model C-150 for fairly cheap. I have also heard that Champs and Taylorcrafts are great starter planes but have not seen many of them advertised. Just wondering if anyone had any tips on where to look, what to look for and other advice on getting a time builder in to 20K or under range. Any other advice for a student pilot and first time buyer is also greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I bought a T'craft I found on Craigslist last year. Barnstormers.com and ebay are places to look. I think the best way to find a deal would be to keep an eye out when at the airport. I was up at lake hood about two weeks ago and saw several planes with for sale signs. Just make sure you do your reaserch and get a pre buy inspection from someone not associated with the plane.
    At sea, it's force not reason that confers sovereign rights

  3. #3
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    Default No such thing as a cheap plane

    Trust me, there is no such thing as a cheap time builder! There are lots of planes for sale out there that most of us couldn't afford if they given to you for free. Maintenance will eat your lunch. Look into joining a flying club, there's a good one at Birchwood. Buy the book, "How to buy a used aircraft" and believe what it says. Be very careful about partnerships, it can be just like a marriage, really good or really bad. If you do take the plunge, get a pre-purchase inspection that a mechanic is willing sign it off as an annual inspection if you decide to buy the plane. Have the inspection done by a mechanic that does not know the seller and has never worked on the plane before. There are many great mechanics out there but there are also those that will pencil whip an annual and cost you big bucks. Start looking for a machanic before you shop for a plane. Ask other airplane owners who they use and ask other mechanics who is good. I told my wife that my plane was an investment. I just didn't tell her it was a bad investment!

  4. #4

    Default

    Champs are great starter planes and easy to fly, check Alaskaslist and search craigslist for aircraft, airplane, etc, AeroAlaska has ads too, but they have dropped off since Alaskaslist came on the scene...

  5. #5
    Member alaskabushrat's Avatar
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    Default 172

    There is a 172 on Craigslist right now for $14,000

  6. #6

    Default Cheap??

    Check with Bank of America for repos. I bought a Cessna 150-M repo from them last April for 7500 bucks, put 1500 into the engine doing an annual and now have a decent basic aircraft. Not cheap but you can spend alot more. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Trade-a-plane always seems to be on the expensive side of things. Barnstormers.com, craigslist and your local airport are the best places to looks. Don't forget a really good prebuy. If you aren't going off-airport at all a C-150 is your best bet. If not, tcarts, champs, and maybe even a pacer are all good airplanes.
    -Out-of-State for school, remembering why I love Alaska so much

  8. #8
    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess I mean cheap relative to an airplane. Around 20K is the price range I am looking at.

    Yeah, I feel a lot better after looking at barnstormers.com. A lot of good deals on there compared to trade-a-plane.

  9. #9
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    Default Taildragger for time-builder

    I'll throw a vote for taildraggers.

    If you think you'll want to end up landing in the bush(es) someday, get a tailwheel airplane now. If you know you'll NEVER want to land off-airport, any style will do.
    - Off-airport: I hear stories of C150 owners that learn to fly, then try to expand their envelope a bit. Folks get itchy to try new stunts. That results in tri-geared airplanes becoming bi-geared airplanes on gravel bars.
    - Skill: I never really had skill at cross-wind landings until I bought a taildragger. You have to pay more attention while taxiing. Tailwheel aircraft just require a higher level of skill. You'll be a better, safer pilot.

    Besides, chicks dig guys that do it old school. (Ok, my wife tolerates my Pacer flying.)

  10. #10
    Member avidflyer's Avatar
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    Default

    150 on craigslist right now for 16,000

  11. #11
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default try a Pacer

    FBX summed it up. 150's are a great airplane but the nose with tuck fairly easy. Next time you are looking at a 150 check where the nose is bolted to the airframe, and think if it twist those parts when it lets go. Pacers are a good bang for the buck, 4 place, bagage area, ability to carry weight. They aren't a super cub but they don't cost like a cub either. I've flow my pacer out of Seldovia lots that 1800' with hills on the ends. Also flew it up from Bangor ,Me. with two of us in it. The only advice is buy something that is useable now and doesn't need a bunch of stuff to make it airworthy unless you like that sorta thing, which losts of people do. Then get something like the project listed above that is complete and needs assemibly. Just know that takes time to learn how to do it right. I've tried the homebuilt deal and have owned two Pacers and have one for sale with floats alaska. Also have a 150 for the wife, each has a place and a mission it does. Just got a C-180, even more big fun, just lots more gas, is there no winning? Have fun is the key and even the search is fun.

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