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Real World Pilots....which GA plane....

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Well, if I had the time to devote to staying current then it would be a twin....prefer something with turbines that can climb above the wx.  I'd probably get my commercial and use it for income.  In a more practical sense, especially where currency would be an issue, probably a Cessna of some kind...a C337 or a single.  Easy to find someone to work on them, safe, lots of sightseeing.  Truly, there are quite a few others I'd be happy with tho.

Gregg Seipp

"A good landing is when you can walk away from the airplane.  A great landing is when you can reuse it."
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How real do you want to be?  It's one thing to play "If I won Powerball" and pretend training and insurance are irrelevant, and another to do a more realistic assessment of what I could quasi-realistically do.


When I did buy, the decision process was long, and involved a lot of research, analysis of various potential aircraft types, their capabilities, my capabilities and hours, real world maintenance costs, insurance costs, training time required, my current and potential future flying needs and desires, availability in the marketplace, avionics, financial planning and so on.  Oh, and yes - a bit of "but I just LIKE that kind of plane", but only a bit.


I guess what I'm saying is that having gone through the process, it's hard to simply say "here's what I'd get", knowing the realities of what's actually involved.  Yeah, I know.  I'm no fun.  :(


Remove a few real-world constraints and practicalities, and I'd probably give you different answers depending on current mood and day of the week.





So Scott, what did you end up buying?


My reason for asking the question is that I don't know very much about the real world decision to discussed in your post and just wanted to know what people think about when they go down this road.  Using a car as an analogy, most people would say something like a Porsche 911 or M5 BMW and I wanted to know what the equivalent would be in aviation.  

Mark W   CYYZ      

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A couple of things.  First keep in mind that this occurred in the 80s.  Choices, and the decision process would likely be a bit different now.  Second, I was definitely (oh, most definitely!) on a budget.  No Powerball here, I was simply a working guy who had a passion for flying, a supportive spouse, and was a bit frustrated by some of the tradeoffs and uncertainties involved with renting, especially for the kind of plane I wanted to fly.  But I wanted to get the most plane I could for my budget and experience level.


I lived (and still do) in Colorado, and wanted a capable, go-places aircraft that could carry 4, where 4 would usually mean 2 adults and 2 children (lighter), and could deal reasonably well with high-altitude flying and on my budget I knew there would be compromises, among them the fact that there was no way I could afford new.  I was still moderately low time, but did have a complex sign-off and a reasonable amount of retractable time.


IRL, you end up trading off a lot of things and I won't bore you with the whole process of elimination (there were a lot of very specific things which drove the eventual choice), but what I ended up with was a 1979 Piper Turbo Arrow IV (PA28RT-201T).  I got the turbo-charging I wanted, modest speed (especially at higher altitudes) and range, sufficient load hauling for my needs and I could insure it at reasonable cost after 10 hours of instruction in type.


Part of the reason for my response was simply that - before I actually embarked on this real-world purchase path, this is not a plane that I would've put on my blue-sky, I won the lottery list.  In reality, though, it ended up being a very satisfying and appropriate choice given all the real-world limiters.



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Depends what realistic is. PC-12 without a doubt. But then again, its a fully IFR 9 seater turboprop which retails around 4 million...


Cessna 208 EX on Floats? Again not too realistic...


For me, Cessna 400 hands down. I've got nothing against the Cirrus Gen 5 but something about the Cessna always brings me back to it. You can fly these planes like their a 172 or bring them up to the flight levels and fly them like a Phenom (although they aren't that quick!)


Time to start saving I guess :P

Cameron Caldwell


King Air 200 Pilot



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General Aviation, Money not an issue...


How in hell has the Beech Starship not come up in this thread?  :huh:

Name available upon request



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If money was no object, personally I would take a Super King Air 350i, twin turboprop, gets you around quick and is still quite fuel efficient, uses JET A1 which is typically cheaper than 100LL, and you can single pilot with the right rating a King Air 350i.




right now I am a student pilot at Cirrus Aviation which is based out of KSRQ, I currently fly a 1999 Cessna 172 SP with a Nav II Package.


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Depends what realistic is. PC-12 without a doubt. But then again, its a fully IFR 9 seater turboprop which retails around 4 million...


And with any of these, if the purchase price knocks you back a bit, then you can basically forget about operating it.


As owner/pilot after owner/pilot would tell you - buying is easy, it's the costs of owning and operating that's expensive.



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Either a C172 or 182 because they are much cheaper to maintain than anything else.

X2 if I were limiting my flying to recreational sight seeing here over Maryland's Eastern Shore. extending down perhaps over the Virginia and North Carolina coast, thus avoiding the Baltimore and Washington Class B airspace and the Washington DC ADIZ.  But if I were making occasional trips to see family in central Indiana and western North Carolina I would quickly change that to a Beech Bonanza A36 for the altitude, speed, and range.  Beyond that, if I won a Super Lotto I'd quickly bite off the extra operating cost of a Beech Baron B55 or B58.   Oh! If that were a Mega Super Lotto I'd spring for a HondaJet.  Up to FL410 and 430 knots and classified for single-pilot operation.

Frank Patton
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                        There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit! - Benjamin Jowett


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would you buy if money was not a problem. Now I would like to keep it reasonable, no private G5's or anything, I am talking about a typical GA aircraft. Would you buy a single engine or twin? I am not a real pilot so this is difficult for me to answer but I was thinking that the Beechcraft Baron G58 might be a great choice in terms of reliability, range and safety (although I am sure many would argue that a twin is not always as safe as a single). Interested in your comments on this.

This will be hard to swallow but a Beech Baron will not climb or at least struggle to on one engine on takeoff if a failure occurs.


I like the idea of twins but you would want to have enough power on one engine to get you off the ground.


I like the Piper aircraft. I'd love one that is pressurised, has lots of power (can be a single) retractable landing gear and a glass cockpit. Though I am old school I would love a traditional style cockpit too.


In Australia there is a cheap affordable aircraft you can buy. It is called a Jabiru and it is in the ultralight category though it looks like a C152. I don't know much more than that. I have seen it though.


To maintain safe operating of your aircraft you don't cut corners. Always service your engine and ALWAYS do your checks, eg drain for water from the fuel tank. If you get lazy then that is what causes crashes along with stupidity, taking risks, and not practising your emergency checklists.


Being confident to handle an aircraft in an emergency will almost ensure you never get into one. If you ever do you'll more than likely land it successfully and walk away. Those not expecting it will have it happen to them. That is if you don't train for it it will probably happen.





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