Taxonomy Tag Cloud

Introduction and knowledge seeking
Kevin Scott
20 Posts
Hello follow members. I'm new to this site as well as learning to fly. Having recently retired I'm moving forward on a dream I had little time for in my working life. Now, free of the day to day grind this old dog wants to learn a few new tricks. As of this point I have a grand total of 4 whole flight hours, impressive I know. I maybe wanting to move to quickly but I have been plowing the web for aircraft to buy. While I know generally you get what you pay for I still need to keep things within limits my wife can live with. That being say I have been looking at Pipers Arrows and Archers, Cessna 172's but mostly Mooney M20's. As for price I'm holding the line of 80K or less. What I'd like is to pick some of the brain power of those who know the real processes of pre-purchase inspection, purchase processes cost of ownership. Ideally I'd like to buy an IFR Cert. and update cockpit and ready to fly. While that's my wish list I'm realistic enough to know my price point makes that tough to attain. 

So, if any of you would be willing to set this old dog on the correct track with some imparted wisdom, I'd be ever so thank full
41 Replies
Ronald Levy
1217 Posts
First, I strongly recommend against buying a plane until you are a lot farther along in your training.  I also recommend against buying a complex plane like a Mooney or Arrow until you have a lot more experience, as the insurance cost will be prohibitive and your training will be significantly extended.

That said, AOPA has some excellent information n buying and owning a plane on its website.
https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/aircraft-and-ownership
 
Kevin Scott
20 Posts
Hello Ron, if I may call you that. Thanks for responding so quickly and pointing me in a helpful direction. I have been told to hold off buying until I have at least completed my training. At my age I'm not crazy about buying a beginners plane an than slowly buying and selling multiple planes on my way up to a desired plane. Perhaps you and others might suggest a good approach that I should think about using to reach the desired aircraft as quickly as possible. My current desire is a the low wing design 4 place and IFR cert. cockpit. Speed is not a priority but welcomed. Ron, you mentioned insurance being prohibitive, would there by any major benefit buying a complex plane an being trained for proper operation of that aircraft? To help with my understanding and education in defining complex aircraft, currently I understand that to mean retractable gear, constant speed prop. Are there any other factors I maybe unaware of? Now, I'll dive into the aircraft /ownership section you suggested

Thank you.   
Ronald Levy
1217 Posts
Kevin Scott:
Hello Ron, if I may call you that. Thanks for responding so quickly and pointing me in a helpful direction. I have been told to hold off buying until I have at least completed my training. At my age I'm not crazy about buying a beginners plane an than slowly buying and selling multiple planes on my way up to a desired plane. Perhaps you and others might suggest a good approach that I should think about using to reach the desired aircraft as quickly as possible. My current desire is a the low wing design 4 place and IFR cert. cockpit. Speed is not a priority but welcomed. Ron, you mentioned insurance being prohibitive, would there by any major benefit buying a complex plane an being trained for proper operation of that aircraft? To help with my understanding and education in defining complex aircraft, currently I understand that to mean retractable gear, constant speed prop. Are there any other factors I maybe unaware of? Now, I'll dive into the aircraft /ownership section you suggested

Thank you.   

Well, "Ron" is the name I've been going by since about kindergarten back in the 50's, so feel free.

My recommendation for going "up the ladder" would be to do your Private in a simple primary trainer, and then move up to something in the Archer class (150-180HP, fixed prop, fixed gear) for instrument training, and then do a complex transition to an Arrow or the like, and build some retractable time in that.  That will make the insurance company a lot happier when you buy your own Mooney or Commander or the like.  And yes, there is one other factor involved in "complex", and that's flaps, but there aren't too many retractables which don't have flaps.  For more on transitioning to complex airplanes, see the Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 11, "Transitioning to Complex Airplanes."

Side note: Not much point in buying an Arrow when a Grumman Tiger will fly just as far, just as fast, with just as much payload, and without retractable gear to worry the insurer considering a low-time pilot.  If you're going to go retractable, get something which gets you a significant speed improvement over the fixed gear airplanes, and as Arrow isn't that, even though it's a great flight school trainer to get the complex endorsement and build retractable time.

And yes, it's now possible to get your Commercial Pilot certificate in an airplane with fixed gear, but unless you're looking to fly for hire or become an instructor, there's not much point in chasing the CP ticket.  Of course, for safety and skill enhancement reasons, I still encourage getting training in the CP maneuvers and flying to CP standards, but you don't have to take any FAA tests to do that.

Kevin Scott
20 Posts
Hello Ron I'm chuckling a bit cause some people insist on use of their full name. For me it was the early 60's to get to kindergarten, not that far behind you. Ladders, while I can see the wisdom going that route I'm thinking of how long the steps will take. This late in the game I'm thinking I'll run out of time before I get the one I really want. I'll be taking a look at Grumman Tigers. I'm not locked into retractable gear just the low wing design, basically for the looks factor. I'm not sure why but, there seems to be many more Mooney M20's for sale in the price range I'm comfortable spending, then the Pipers, Bonanzas or even Cessna 172. That fact does rise my eyebrows a bit, are older Mooney's full of issues that put people off ie. high maintenance or AD's. The Pipers I've noticed the wing spar AD can be an expensive fix. There's just so much to learn and be aware of before buying a plane, I wonder if I'll ever get to a comfortable level in buying one.

Ron thanks again for your information I find it very helpful.   
Ronald Levy
1217 Posts
Kevin Scott:
 I'm not sure why but, there seems to be many more Mooney M20's for sale in the price range I'm comfortable spending, then the Pipers, Bonanzas or even Cessna 172. That fact does rise my eyebrows a bit, are older Mooney's full of issues that put people off ie. high maintenance or AD's.
Yes, especially fuel tank leaks.  And if you want to know about Grummans, start with grummanpilots.org.
Kevin Scott
20 Posts
Ron
I took a look on the web for Grumman Tigers, I only came up with 3. I like the jet fight canopy but, they look a bit tight. Id like to find a site with interior dimensions for the Tiger as well as other aircraft. On my second flight hour my CFI and I were assigned a Cessna 152. While I'm not a big guy nor is my CFI we're both around 180lbs. I'm 5'8" he's about 6ft. Well, I found it hard to get in and out of the 152,so much so that after we returned I told the office manager I didn't care about the extra expense I wanted the172 for the rest of my lessons. He laughed when called the 152 a flying tuna can. I recorded the fight on video and when my wife saw it she said you guys looked cramped and uncomfortable. 
I'll take a look at grummanpliot.org. I have noticed many mentions of tank resealing and or blatter installs on the Mooney's. To my thinking having blatters are a better fix for the issue.
Thanks again.