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10 Dec 2019, 01:39 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


Greenwich AeroGroup



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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 11:51 
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Two thoughts:

If you can fit yourself, passengers and luggage in the Meridian, then it’s the obvious winner. Easier to fly for a low time pilot, easier to insure, easier to maintain, less expensive to operate and maintain. If you need more space / payload then go King Air.

If the destination is a Mustang, it might be a better deal buy it now, and contract with a pro pilot / CFI to do the flying in the left seat, and you sit right seat and take on more and more duties as you learn. Start with running the radios and talking to ATC, then programming the FMS, then running the autopilot, learning checklists with challenge / response, emergency scenarios, etc. After some amount of time you will be ready for your type rating and insurable.

Will the pro pilot (contract, not full time hire) cost more than the transaction costs to buy a King Air, fly it, sell it, then get the Mustang? That would be worth spreadsheet time to figure out.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:03 
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Username Protected wrote:
Two thoughts:

If you can fit yourself, passengers and luggage in the Meridian, then it’s the obvious winner. Easier to fly for a low time pilot, easier to insure, easier to maintain, less expensive to operate and maintain. If you need more space / payload then go King Air.

If the destination is a Mustang, it might be a better deal buy it now, and contract with a pro pilot / CFI to do the flying in the left seat, and you sit right seat and take on more and more duties as you learn. Start with running the radios and talking to ATC, then programming the FMS, then running the autopilot, learning checklists with challenge / response, emergency scenarios, etc. After some amount of time you will be ready for your type rating and insurable.

Will the pro pilot (contract, not full time hire) cost more than the transaction costs to buy a King Air, fly it, sell it, then get the Mustang? That would be worth spreadsheet time to figure out.

The elephant in the room is not which airplane would be more comfortable or cheaper to operate. With 300 hours, experience and wisdom (which comes from mistakes) is what is required. Get the airplane you want (Mustang) and some grey hair by your side to help you become a professional.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:20 
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Joined: 10/30/10
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Company: Ten Bits Ranch
Location: Terlingua, TX
Aircraft: H35, F90, C182
If you have flown both, I bet you have your answer already.

If you fly passengers in both, ask them and you will definitely have your answer.

KJ


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:45 
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Lots of advice so far. Good stuff. I tend to agree that as a 300-hr pilot, a SETP is probably the best choice. A King Air would be great for the logbook, but it’s biting off a big chunk of risk that might be unnecessary. I skipped the TP class altogether and went for the Mustang because the transition really wasn’t much different. Unfortunately, the hardening insurance market has altered upgrade paths for lower time pilots.

Also, don’t worry about how many passengers you’re not taking. Instead, focus on the most you’ll need to take. I fly my Mustang solo a fair amount, but I never worry about empty seats. It just doesn’t matter. Demo as many planes as you can, learn as much as possible, and pursue the next step. Enjoy the journey.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:53 
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Joined: 10/23/19
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Aircraft: Cirrus S22T G3
Amazing responses and advice and I take it all in.

You can get insurance on basically anything but the Q is do you need 1 Brinks truck or 2 full of $.

Mustang thoughts: Insurance was close to $60K first year, 100+ mentor pilot hours, plus $20K type rating. That $ commitment and time kind of took the fun out of it for me. Plus, it echos what others are saying - you're not ready for that leap. Not that it can't be done, its a serious undertaking and requires 100% commitment. I'm realistic with myself and my wife and just didn't feel like I am in a position to make that leap at this point.

Eclipse thoughts: There are 3 in the hangar with our Cirrus at KSDL so I see them regularly. They are amazing planes and I could spend time in the right seat of those on charter flights as a SIC when clients want one despite Single Pilot Cert. I just need to get my commercial rating which is planned anyways. I may do this from time to time just to do it but again, can't commit to being on someone else's schedules regularly with my current biz commitments. As far as owning one, the performance is great but when I think of 'private jets' - the Eclipse isn't what I think of which is my personal opinion. Another thing - jets are expensive when things break. 1 of them recently had an engine issue which was denied on the engine programs and cost $110K to fix (don't know the details). Talk about a bad day that I'm not sure I could swallow without massive pain points.

I love the comments on 'experience' because I agree 100%. I file IFR everywhere despite the weather for the experience. Departures out of McCarran, Long Beach, John Wayne, Austin, Scottsdale in heavy Class B airspace is so valuable IMO for where I want to go. Point well made and taken on my statement of 'plenty of IFR.' I should say I have a good amount for the time I have and take it very serious. I flew the SID out of Eagle in the Cirrus behind a G550 and in front of a CJ on Labor Day. That was some amazing experience that you can't get flying in circles at the local airport.

TBM Thoughts: I love the TBM. Other than the wing spar in the middle of the Meridian to hop over, its essentially the exact same cabin. I think a 700 C2 or 850 could be like the Mustang, a final destination vs a stepping stone. To get a nice C2 with the Garmin 600s and 750s, its $1.3M all day with good maintenance history.

Aircraft for Private Aviation: We do this because we love it. Even for the ownership of the Cirrus, I can fly the next 10 years on Southwest for less money than the Cirrus ownership in 1 year (haven't put #s to it, just a statement in general). Its just a lifestyle that we enjoy. Its possible that the KA or Meridian is the final stop. Wants and needs aren't the same thing and everything has a monetary value. But its a big commitment for any purchase we make and appreciate the thoughts and feedback. Its the aviation community bond and safety we all strive for.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 12:56 
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Username Protected wrote:
Lots of advice so far. Good stuff. I tend to agree that as a 300-hr pilot, a SETP is probably the best choice. A King Air would be great for the logbook, but it’s biting off a big chunk of risk that might be unnecessary. I skipped the TP class altogether and went for the Mustang because the transition really wasn’t much different. Unfortunately, the hardening insurance market has altered upgrade paths for lower time pilots.

Also, don’t worry about how many passengers you’re not taking. Instead, focus on the most you’ll need to take. I fly my Mustang solo a fair amount, but I never worry about empty seats. It just doesn’t matter. Demo as many planes as you can, learn as much as possible, and pursue the next step. Enjoy the journey.


Thanks and great advice. The insurance is the game changer right now for sure. One of our missions is in your area - Grants Pass.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 13:18 
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Aircraft: Cirrus S22T G3
I have 2 G500 and 2 GTN 750
It would take a huge leap in technology for me to want to upgrade from this simple to operate combo. [/quote]

I agree - that is a great setup.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 13:24 
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Username Protected wrote:
TBM Thoughts: I love the TBM. Other than the wing spar in the middle of the Meridian to hop over, its essentially the exact same cabin.


Not in my experience. The TBM seats slide back on rails as far as you want to go, and there is much more headroom and it's easier to get into. The pilot door is a game changer too.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 13:33 
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Username Protected wrote:
TBM Thoughts: I love the TBM. Other than the wing spar in the middle of the Meridian to hop over, its essentially the exact same cabin.


Not in my experience. The TBM seats slide back on rails as far as you want to go, and there is much more headroom and it's easier to get into. The pilot door is a game changer too.


Too bad Beechcraft never got the “pilot door memo” and only installed them on the planes that needed them least.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 14:21 
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I'm 6'4" 220 lbs. Meridian is muy no-bueno.


6'3" 225 here. I thought i could fit into almost anything, if required having formerly owned 340A and currently a Solitaire. Meridian was just too snug. No way I'm stuffing myself into that cockpit for any flight beyond 60-90 minutes.

The M600 is at least practical but well beyond the OP's stated budget. The M500 is entirely impractical with full fuel max payload of <400lbs. At least it sounds like he doesn't need max range so may work but I would be concerned how that impacts its resale if OP intends to flip it in 2 years.

We were choosing between TBM930 & E1000 which are more $$ than M600 but not THAT much more given their utility vs the M600. I spent less than hour discussing the M600 w/dealer and declined test flight, as much as I was impressed with its interior and avionics. In OP's shoes, at his budget, The Solitaire and C90 and much better choices, especially if VLJ is the near term goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 15:29 
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I think if I were in the OP's shoes, I'd go with the King Air. More expensive, slower, more fuel.

However, they are good transportation machines and getting multi-turbine time is probably going to do more for your goal of a light jet.

The other upside is availability of pro pilots. You can have another head in the game after a long day working and flying home in the dark, or have a chance to sit in back and prep or talk with your colleagues. Lots of insurance-acceptable King Air pilots out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 16:05 
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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 17:22 
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Is there a reason that the JetProp isn’t under consideration?


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 17:44 
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There are some different seat and cockpits out there in the Meridian. The later models are probably the best of the bunch using higher density foam allowing thinner seats, more travel over the spar and a wider cockpit due to redesign of the side panels, as well as fold flat seats if needed. I am 6’2 and used be 220 but seeing my own mortality have slimmed down a little. Even without the Pilot seat all the way back, I am comfortable and actually like the P46 cabin over the TBM. The copilot seat is tighter due to the non moveable oxygen cabinet. I don’t need more leg or headroom, but the extra 2-3 inches in cabin width, the slimmer pedestal and absence of the ladder on the left leg well compared to the TBM gives me more legroom.

I would question anyone 6’2 or 6’3 that says they don’t fit in a P46. Something doesn't add up. ;-) You heard from 6’5 Michael and one of the more prominent P46 instructors is also 6’5. I know a 6’7 PA46 pilot, he is not a small 6’7 either. So maybe experience came from an older airframe, or the seats were set up wrong, or there was a lack of desire to make it work (the OJ glove technique ;-)). Getting into any cabin class plane usually requires a technique that is quickly learned, the P46 not excepted. The true test is how it feels Once in the saddle and the P46 is as comfortable once in place as any cabin class plane I have been in. I have been in most of the modern single pilot turbines that are still selling, and some that have not survived the test of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade: Meridian or King Air C90
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2019, 17:48 
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I think the Eclipse would be the easiest transition to make from the Cirrus with 300 hours. Also the fastest and cheapest cap cost. All turbines have potential 100k gotchas. King airs and TBMs are expensive to maintain too. You’d have a lot of wiggle room to spend on mx with the low acquisition costs. I don’t hate Meridians but the early models I looked at with 3000 hours on them seemed to be pretty worn out compared to other brands.


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