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Thread: 50k budget?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default 50k budget?

    I know it's been done before but its been a while. With a 50k budget what would you buy that had the most versatility. Would going to a 60k make much of a difference? Off pavement and float. I know there are a thousand variables. Not really sure of the right q's to ask but something that can carry 2 with a decent payload. What would be the pro and con's of something with a STC for auto fuel do? What gives the most bang for the buck. Please supply some of your reasonings. Starting the research now so that I'm ready when we get our property sold and can get moved. Would you get something from the lower 48 and bring it up or get one from up there, Why? Any and all input and insights would be greatly appreciated? I've learned that when in doubt ask the experts

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    Not an expert, but this is how I went about it.

    First off, if you spend the full 50k up front will you have any left over to fix the little things. My mechanic has always said that whatever the purchase price is add 10% to fix all the things your mechanic will find or things you want changed, added, fixed. Hopefully you will know what needs work before the purchase (good prebuy inspection). Some of these things will need work right away and some can be budgeted for in the near future.

    To pick the type of aircraft. Write down all the things you will want to do with your airplane, including landing and take off distances (big strips or itty bitty). Then make a list of all the aircraft that can complete the mission. Then start crossing off all the expensive ones, until you are left with the ones you can potentially afford. Then start looking. When you find a possibility give it a look. If it looks promising have a buddy who knows more take a look and if he likes it tell your mechanic to go take a look.

    Buying aircraft in alaska generally means they have the mods you may want and may be well used. Lower 48 aircraft may not have the mods you want, but may be in better shape. Plenty of great aircraft up hear and I suspect plenty of marginal in the states. Treat them on a case by case basis no matter where they are from.

    Auto fuel gives you more choices to fuel from, but plenty of guys burning 100ll in the sticks also.

    Kitfox, Taylorcraft, Maule M-4, Cessna 170/172, Piper 20/22 all have a good fun to buck ratios, but there are lots of other choices also.

    JB

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    Depending on what you want I'd look at a GCBC with metal spars or an older C182 (manual flaps). I saw some of both in the L48 for under 50K they can be found up here too but there are fewer to choose from. The slow down in the economy hasn't really hit Alaska like the L48. You also would need to factor in the price of bringing an aircraft up from the L48 to really tell if it's a good deal. Personally I'd buy local because I trust the people whom I would choose to do my pre-buy plus I like to touch and feel for myself. My .02.

    Jeff

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    I agree with the two previous responses. It sounds like your looking for something with wheels and floats. Your budget might be a little low for that. Also keep in mind that a hard landing on floats can cause a lot more damage than on wheels. Corrosion is also a bigger concern for float planes. No matter what the seller says, assume it has been in salt water. Figure out how much weight you need to carry, how far you want to go, how fast you want to get there, that should help you narrow down your selection.

  5. #5
    Member algonquin's Avatar
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    Default C-180

    For 60 you can get into a nice 180. I found one last fall for that kind of money ifr, kx155, 4000tt, 900sfrm etc. you just have to watch the trade papers and internet and be ready to jump when you find a good one. The good one sell fast if the price is right, you will also see the same planes listed for months, which means there is something wrong with them or the price is too high. Use the estatmater on trade-a-plane for a price, it very accurate for price and you will see which one are over priced. Don't get discouraged, made offer's on a half a dozen plane's until I found one that the owner really wanted to sell and not just impress people that he owned a 180 in gold plate. The 180 market is a little diferent, so if you want about anything else except a super cub, you can really deal right now in the L48. don't be shy about offering 10 or 15 below asking price or even book.

  6. #6
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    I agree with the advice of taking your budget, and buying something less expensive than that. You want to be able to have an airplane that you can afford to fly as often as you like. Don't forget, its not just fuel burn. But also oil, tie down, annuals, unexpected maintenance, bushwheels, etc.
    That is why I have a 65hp Taylorcraft on 26 akbushwheels. At under 800lbs I can pick the tail up easily all by myself! It sips 4gph at about 85mph (with a climb prop). With 24 gals of gas I can fly for 6hrs. Not that my bladder would usually last that long! I've been on the tundra, beaches, and sandbars. It also makes for some great ski flying! It does limit me however (not having an electrical system), I cannot fly at night. Tcarts also only have two seats. Being that it is just my wife (and a dog) for now that is not a big deal. If I had a family it might be different. So for me, it is just the right balance of economy and fun.
    -Out-of-State for school, remembering why I love Alaska so much

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