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Thread: Cub ownership

  1. #1

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    Cub ownership

    Hey guys,

    just wondering, but never knew how many people owned cubs without being career pilots themselves and the diversity of occupations... Just curious as to when in life were you able to afford the bird in addition to the mortgage and necessary vehicles? With the price of avgas and maintenance, your monthly costs? The idea of being able to afford a tail dragger and actually fly it on a regular basis..how often do you fly?

    Thanks!
    Daniel

  2. #2
    SC3CM's Avatar
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    Cub ownership

    Daniel,
    You'll find the full spectrum here. There are really young people who have bought a plane they can afford to fly often and have a absolute blast. There are others where money is not really a huge consideration when they buy the plane they enjoy flying.

    Bottom line is, if you want it, there's a lot of opportunity to figure something out even if its a little creative. The people here really could care less what you show up in as long as you live to fly.

    Most of us are not career pilots.


    Rene

  3. #3
    Snert's Avatar
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    That is easy. My wife works and hates going shopping.

  4. #4
    royevansii's Avatar
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    Re: Cub ownership

    Most Cub owners I know are just airplane nerds. I just happen to be a paid one.

  5. #5
    irishfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snert View Post
    That is easy. My wife works and hates going shopping.
    LOL.. thanks for answering for me Snert!!!

  6. #6

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    I agree with Rene. Also, there are inexpensive Cub alternates you can purchase and still be able to fly with similar monthly costs as owning/maintaining a car. Champs are one. Change your lifestyle to enjoy the important things in life! You only live once, and its only for a few short years so have fun while your here in good health. Besides, the longer you wait the less disposable income you will have with the kids college, tax increases, etc... I fly every week as long as the weather is good.

    Most fun flying with the supercub crowd on our adventures up north in NE. The experiences and stories are priceless. So are some of the posts here!

  7. #7

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    bought my tcraft 85 hp gps and lights in college ..not that long ago 10k fly weekly 20 ish an hour...i do 100 is in maintenance a year and about a 1000 in fun add ons

  8. #8
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    Just bought my first airplane, a j3 cub, 3 months ago from another member here. Not a career pilot, and I am flying 10-15 hours a month. I'm an electrical engineer not that it matters much. Can I afford it? Nope - but where there is a will there is a way. I drink less beer and make my own lattes. I still eat PB&J's just like my son.

    Loving it. Ticking off my bucket lists. I started my mid life crisis at 22. Now I'm almost 43, and that damn bucket list just keeps getting bigger not smaller in spite of my best efforts.

  9. #9

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    try skydiving!

  10. #10
    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    Daniel
    as for my self i took up flying 11 years ago after a move from Ill to Tn i drove trucks for 42 years i now live on a fixed income I also own a Taylorcraft it will do almost every thing a cub will do at a very reduced cost now as far as this site and the people here there the absolute best fun group that you can get involved with and they will help a new owner to make air plane owner ship work

  11. #11
    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Redtail86 : Tell us about you---where are you? what do you do? I am a retired construction mechanic/welder. There are many paths to cub ownership. Having learned to fly in a Super Cub-150 (some 37 years ago) I was spoiled from the git go. Have always wanted a Super Cub. I settled for second best and got a PA-12 that I really couldn't afford. Spent 15 YEARS rebuilding/ modifying. Have now had more than 12 years of the best flying ever. Find I really don't need a Super Cub for my kind of fun. Yes that includes a fair amount of off airport fun. Managed to get 2 daughters through college and maintain a household. Yah, I drive an old Chevy with 200 plus thousand miles--but so what? I do get to fly !!!!

  12. #12

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    it is all about priorities...im off work so my wife and i commute together each day in steal of a hyundai we bought couple years back for $300...we cook most of the time and bring lunch to work...have a 20 inch tv that is 20 in thick or deep...still have the donated furniture..we have ahouse payment as our only debt....but we prioritized on what we enjoy...my plane her horses and living on the lake.... I found myself here by accident...if i had found a good deal on a 152 i probably would have bought it not knowing anything about taildraggers and big tires...boy am i glad i got this one right

  13. #13
    flymore's Avatar
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    Daniel
    I have been in this "business" of flying airplanes for 35 years. I started out like many in 150/152's and worked my way up through business jets. For the last 13 years my paycheck has come from flying for an Airline. Somewhere along the way I let the passion and true love of flying GA slip away. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of flying a month with Bill Rusk about 9 or 10 years ago and I can honestly say that during that time the urge (some might say curse ) to fly GA and taildraggers was reignited. He helped me through "the what airplane to buy" process with lots of demo rides in a variety of planes. I decided on the J3 and went the partner route which worked out really well. Three owners with different schedules made the experience a pleasure. With all expenses divided by three the cost was easily managed. We flew about 150 hours a year however that airplane was significantly damaged by winds associated with a good ole Oklahoma tornado and had to be replaced.

    The partners needs wants and/or desires changed and we each own our own planes now (still great friends).

    I have a CC/PA18 and all I want to do is go fly and give other people the joy of flight. Last year the age span was from 5 years old up to 85. Being able to put smiles on other peoples faces has been a gift I was given. Thank you Bill and S.J.

    On average I would say I try to fly weekly even if it is for only 15 minutes before sundown. I am blessed to have my plane 70 feet away so little trips are easy. Last year we flew it about 75 hours or so and Steve Pierce keeps it in great condition in spite of my help.

    As for the cost, about $85 an hour to fly (insurance, fuel, annual, engine reserve). When were we able to afford this you asked. I will let you know when that day comes.

    You will find the people in this group to be some of the most hospitable, caring, and knowledgable people you will ever cross paths with. If you have more questions feel free to call me 405 204 7745
    David Childs

    "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right!"
    Henry Ford

  14. #14
    royevansii's Avatar
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    To be honest with you Daniel, I was in your shoes for the last 10 years of my life. I've always wanted to own an airplane, yet never had an advantageous opportunity to do so. I've perused Controllers, Trade-a-Planes, and Barnstormers so much these last 10 years I think I need to get in the business of selling these things! I've even called sellers on aircraft and assembled what I thought were going to be partners in the deal only for them to fall through at the last moment.

    The Cub I'm working on literally fell into our hands by a matter of happenstance. Surely, she was broken down in a few hundred pieces, but it sure did help set the acquisition cost to an acceptable level! And, getting to restore the Cub I figured would be more than an investment of our time and efforts, but also a great working resume of my ability to keep her flying once she's done.

    Seems like, just with most things in life, it's all about being in the right place at the right time. That is unless you're made of money. Since I fly for a living, I have to rely on the former.

  15. #15
    flyby's Avatar
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    I'm in a similar place in my life. I'm 24, not quite two years out of college, and have a very large tower of student debt staring at me. I got married a few months ago and unfortunatly am still living on one income.

    I think everyday 'How am I going to afford flying'?? The wife cringes at the thought of even paying 30k for anything flying related. (She's in for a treat). Luckily I've had a good start on a job in the agriculture industry. I'm no doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I had plenty of distractions in college that did not contribute to my GPA (note that I married one of those distractions).

    I'm very blessed to be born into a flying family. If want to get a flying fix I can head back home and toss Dad some gas money. He has an RV8, Grandpa has the SuperCub, I try to help out where I can to get an hour in either. I'm planning on giving up a vehicle payment for airplane money. Some people pay off a 5 year loan on a new vehicle and then feel the need to go get another one. Two new Chevy pickups just bought you a pretty decent SuperCub. I'll drive a piece of rust around if it lets me have means to fly.

    Live frugally, sacrifice what you don't need, help others. Keep the passion for it and it will come in time.

  16. #16

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    flyby, you need to figure a ligitimate reason you need to fly in your AG job, looking at crops, parts run, insurance photos, whatever... and get back into steady flying that way.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  17. #17
    flyby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    flyby, you need to figure a ligitimate reason you need to fly in your AG job, looking at crops, parts run, insurance photos, whatever... and get back into steady flying that way.
    I managed an aerial spraying operation in NE last summer for the company I work for. I got to light up and taxi an Air Tractor 402, that made me grin. I come from a line of aerial applicators (all long retired from it). If my current job goes south, I'm pretty sure I know where I'll be headed.....

  18. #18
    nanook's Avatar
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    I took a year off from working for a living and attended A&P school. The one year program was pretty condensed and required complete focus. I figured that the only way that I could afford to fly was to be able to maintain my own aircraft.

  19. #19
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    I bought my first Champ when I was 22 and with the exception of a 3 year hiatus in the late '80s to buy a house, have kept between 1 and 3 aircraft for the last 35 years depending on the condition of the bank account. Over the years I have built 3 planes, including the SuperCub Clone that I fly. I am not a career pilot nor particularly high up on the wage scale. My last car payment was 33 years ago. I pay for my planes with the $$ that would go for payments if I owned a new car and truck, so enjoy driving my old 300,000 mile Honda. I've always worked with the local maintenance shops and done all the hands on maintenance, then eventually got my A&P then went to all Experimental aircraft.

    -CubBuilder

  20. #20
    sjohnson's Avatar
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    I don't know if this applies to your particular situation, but I'd recommend the route I (sorta) took: join a flying club or find an FBO where you can fly lots of different types. Get your training and endorsements in other people's airplanes (OPAs). Use that experience to figure out what type of flying you really like to do, then buy that type of plane and stick with it. Use a partnership (no more than three pilots) if you need to spread the cost.

    When I started to fly, I didn't know anything about Super Cubs and fell in love with one at the FBO I was flying at. I got my tailwheel endorsement in the 80s in the Cub I own now. I bought it ~14 years ago as an inexpensive beater, and have been flying, upgrading or restoring it ever since, spreading the cost out over many years. Restoring is not the cheapest route to acquiring a cherry airplane, but its cheaper than buying several different planes until you finally get the one you're going to keep.

    Only build an experimental if you really like building. If you like flying more than building (like me) then you're likely to get frustrated before you're done. If you don't know if you'll like building, help another builder out on theirs.

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