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 Post subject: Beech vs. Piper
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:24 
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I'm looking to buy a plane to earn hours toward a Private and then onward to a Commercial License and these two planes really stood out from the rest. Should I buy a 1967 A23A Beechcraft Musketeer Custom III, 6 SMOH, 160HP fuel injected, new paint, interior, and basic avionics for $28,000, or a 1963 Piper Cherokee 180, 0 SMOH, 0 prop, new leather interior, paint and basic avionics for $30,900. I don't know much about planes yet, and would appreciate some help.


Last edited on 21 May 2012, 12:19, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:39 
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Phillip,

I think you're going to find that most of us here would recommend the Beech. You're on BeechTalk after all :) .

If you go to PiperTalk, I think you'll find that they will most likely tell you to buy the......

Beech! :D :duck:


Welcome to BeechTalk and best wishes for your training endeavors as well as plane ownership efforts. :cheers:


blue skies

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:42 
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Hi Phillip,

Welcome to BeechTalk! :thumbup:

I think you will want to confirm whether either of those airplanes will meet the definition of "complex" aircraft. If I remember correctly, the Commercial practical exam must be taken in a compley aircraft. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that would mean: One of over 200HP, controllable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear. :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

Good luck to you in your pilot license pursuits. We need more pilots in GA.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:45 
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Buy your last airplane first. Rent til you're ready to do that./


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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:51 
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Username Protected wrote:
I think you will want to confirm whether either of those airplanes will meet the definition of "complex" aircraft. If I remember correctly, the Commercial practical exam must be taken in a complex aircraft. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that would mean: One of over 200HP, controllable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear. :shrug: :shrug: :shrug:


A complex aircraft is one which has manually or automatically controllable pitch propeller, flaps, and retractable landing gear. To be legal to fly a "complex airplane" under 61.31, you need a sign-off (endorsement) by a flight instructor.

A high performance aircraft (according to 61.31) is an aircraft with an engine of more than 200 horsepower. To be legal to fly a "high peformance airplane" under 61.31, you need a sign-off (endorsement) by a flight instructor. List of high performance aircraft includes: Cessna 182, Cirrus SR22, and Cessna 350/400. Note that these aircraft do not have retractable gear.

Airplanes such as our Bonanzas and Barons, etc. are both high peformance and complex.

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Last edited on 21 May 2012, 09:54, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:52 
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Mike,

I'm a little foggy as well, but I thought complex only required the prop, flaps, and the gear? I thought high performance required the over 200 hp.

As for the commercial, my interpretation of the FAR 61.129 is the pilot must have 250 hrs of which 10 of those hours must be in an airplane with gear, flaps, and controllable pitch prop. I am wrong often, so you CFI's feel free to knock me down. I'm just reading it out of the book.

As for the airplanes, either will be fine for your private. If it were me, I wouldn't buy either, hold off on buying until you get into the instrument, and hopefully have saved enough to be able to look at something in the complex HP category. I bought a sundowner thinking I could do my instrument and then fly it for several more years, but soon got tired of 2+ hour cross countries at 120 kts. Just my .02

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 09:57 
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Most flight schools around here use Mooney M20's, Piper Arrows, or Cardinal RG's or Cessna 172RG's for the commercial rating. None have over 200HP, and are therefore not high performance airplanes. All have retractable gear and CS props.

There may be more insurance liability for training in high performance, complex airplanes. Or it may be that the higher horsepower complex airplanes mostly have more seats. :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 10:01 
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You might save some money by owning the aircraft you are training in. Before 2008, when older airplanes were holding their value or appreciating a little, the numbers worked more in your favor. Now, you have to figure not just the operating cost, maintenance of the plane and interest but also the depreciation. Figure you are going to own a trainer for a couple of years, do a couple of Annual Inspections, change the oil six times or so, plus the cost of interest and depreciation and you get an idea of what your training through commercial will cost. Add in sales and use taxes, maybe a commission to sell the plane and of course an instructor and pilot supplies. (Those add up, a new Ipad, foreflight, a big watch, some books a flight bag and you're talking real money.) Then look at what a rental and CFI will cost you. Compare the differences and see how much economic sense it makes.

Having said that, training in your own plane is nice! I did my instrument rating in my Bonanza and found it to be a most most pleasant way to do things. Of course, I was following Jason's rule of buying my last plane first, except I traded my J35 for an A36 later. Now, a couple of kids in the picture and I'm flying a Rent-A-Arrow. Go figure. (The moral of the story, kids are more expensive than airplanes.)

HTH
Alan Bradley


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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 10:14 
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What do a 747, a T-38, and F-104 all have in common?

None are complex or high-performance aircraft. They all lack a controllable-pitch propeller, and none have over 200 horsepower.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 10:29 
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Username Protected wrote:
What do a 747, a T-38, and F-104 all have in common?

None are complex or high-performance aircraft. They all lack a controllable-pitch propeller, and none have over 200 horsepower.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help buying a plane.
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 10:41 
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This is where I differ many others. Determine your finances first. If you think you will change aircraft within a few hundred hours it may be worthwhile to rent. If you do not think you can make the larger financial commitment but plan on enjoying the first plane you buy for years. Either of the two you proposed should be able to the majority of what you are asking.

Once of the key things you do not want to be doing is counting pennies when you fly. Either by thinking about the rental cost or the cost to perform the annual maintenance... The mentality to count the pennies may lead you into taking short cuts which can hurt you (or even kill you).

I suggest you set the following budgets up if you buy:
1. Annual Training Budget (paying for instructor time)
2. Aviation Toys (e.g. iPad with Foreflight)
3. Slush fund for the "oh crap". Figure out how much you are going to save toward a mechanical issue, or how you get access to funds when it does happen. (in this case I am a fatalist)
4. Fixed costs (annual inspection, tie down, insurance....)
5. Variable costs (fuel, oil, cleaner...)
6. Upgrade budget

If you rent, you just determine the budget for rental and training. Lower risk, but depending on mission and what you are trying to accomplish may be less or more. No way for me to guess.

Tim

Good luck,

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Beech vs. Piper
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 13:34 
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Buy something that is easily sellable. For learning I'd get either a 172 or a Cherokee. Where the density altitude is a factor a 182 would work. My kid got his private a couple of years ago in a 57 182. Any of those are easy to sell when the time comes. The Beech will be a regional thing. You couldn't give one away out here but may be different where you live.

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 Post subject: Re: Beech vs. Piper
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 15:08 
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The Musketeer will be a much more solidly built plane than the Cherokee, but Scott is right that if you plan to sell before long-term ownership, go with the popular ones: Cessna or Piper.

For training, I don't see the necessity of a C182: I did all my training in a Cherokee 140 and C172 in New Mexico (hot and high) and just learned to deal with density altitude.

Now, if you want to use the trainer to haul more people than pilot and instructor, that's a different story.


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 Post subject: Re: Beech vs. Piper
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 15:10 
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I did all my training in an Archer. I've never set foot in a Cessna.


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 Post subject: Re: Beech vs. Piper
PostPosted: 21 May 2012, 15:52 
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I did all my training in an Archer. I've never set foot in a Cessna.

I love the Cardinals, and think they are great first airplanes, especially in the fixed-gear model. My Cardinal had a spacious cabin where if you removed the second row bench, you had 7' of room to haul stuff or even sleep in the back. The large doors were easy to get in and out of, you never had to move seats. The high wing blocks the sun and keeps you in the shade most of the time, and gives you an unobstructed view of the ground, etc.

One could argue that the RG Cardinal is one of the best looking planes in flight... see pic.

The P210 turbine conversions are much nicer than the A36 turbine conversions, in my opinion.


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