New Pilot
Jesse Dyer
4 Posts
I just took my PPL check ride last Friday. Passed. I currently own a 172n. I am also a A&P.   My family wants to sell the 172 and get a bigger plane. I am up for a bigger plane, but I want to keep the 172n due to it almost being paid for and also cheap to maintain and fly.   Any advice?  They are wanting something 6. Seater and good useful load 
3 Replies
Congrats! Nice job - 

I owned a Bonanza S-35 with 6 seats (small rear ones) once (own a Yak 52 now).... I really liked it. Maybe you'd like the Baron  with a 470 or 520? Maybe a newer Bo? Prices go up...  As an AMT you know what to look for in used planes for your spend plan - I recommend many good ones out there. Need to think of 1 vs. 2 Engines. I like low wing, such as the Cherokee 6 line - but many like the Cessna 205/206 type.
 Take a look at these links for more ideas:

I owned 2 then 3 planes for awhile (the Bo, a 39 Waco HKS-7, and the Yak), and two+ planes is surprisingly more of a juggling act that I wanted... Not just costs, but managing hangars (important in AZ), timing one's dealing with annuals etc etc... (The Bonanza annuals you like know are not small LOL). Good luck, and again, congrats!

CFII/MEII, retired Naval Aviator

Ronald Levy
945 Posts

Two types which come to mind for your mission and current experience level are the Cessna 206 and the Piper PA32 Cherokee Six.  While Paul is correct that a Bonanza might fill your requirements, your low experience level and lack of an instrument rating at this point would make insurance expensive and possibly unobtainable for a high performance complex type like that.  The big back doors on the 206 and PA32 also make loading the family much easier than in a forward-door-only 35-series Bonanza.  In addition, both the 206 and PA32 are good platforms for instrument training, which if your family is involved (i.e., planning on traveling) is a necessity.  The 206 has the advantage of being similar in many respects to the 172 you're flying now, but since it appears all your experience is in Cessnas, finding someone with a PA32 and bagging a flight would be a good idea -- you just might like it better (or not, but if you don't check, you won't know).  Also, you should get your spouse involved in the selection process, because "if momma ain't happy, nobody's happy" with the new plane.
After passing the test 10 years ago I found it challenging to rent from my flight school and started searching for a family-sized airplane.  In that I trained in a 172, I was thinking 182, but as I looked more and more, a 6-place airplane made much more sense for my mission. 600NM, four people and luggage.  Three airplanes met my criteria, all with some form of disadvantage.  T206H, a Cherokee 6 and a Bonanza.  Bonanza is fast, but with retractable gear, more limited useful load and weight and balance, I disqualified it pretty quickly as insuring would be challenging..  Cherokee 6 was priced right, but was a more challenging search.  In the end the 206 was the right airplane. I bought a T206H with a few hundred hours on it.  Insurance required 20 hours of dual in the airplane.  Tip tanks gave me extra range or  useful load and I can put four adults and luggage in the airplane and  fly for 5 hours.  Its weight and balance envelope is remarkable.  All in all a great airplane.  That said 145Kts doesn't scream through the sky and it burns ~16gph.  Good luck with your search.  Understand your probable mission as that will help narrow your search.  I at all possible, get a demo flight.  And Ronald is right,  Get the spouse on board.  It matters.