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Thread: Should I buy a 2nd plane- " fast family hauler"

  1. #41
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Before I'd fly the young I'd seek a physician's advice. Their ears are developing and that can make them sensitive to changes in air pressure, unusual movement, and sounds. No need to develop an avoidance at an early age to flying or riding in a road vehicle for that matter. Some of us may recall that experience from our youth.

    Gary

  2. #42

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    My daughter grew up in airplanes, jet boats, and on snowmachines. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m pretty sure she’d agree. So many good memories. If you don’t share your adventures with your kids, who will?
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  3. #43

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    The Twin Comanche was mentioned, I’m interested in one but am concerned about maintenance and parts availability, any advice is appreciated. I’m multi and IFR rated,
    Steve

  4. #44
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s kregel View Post
    The Twin Comanche was mentioned, I’m interested in one but am concerned about maintenance and parts availability, any advice is appreciated. I’m multi and IFR rated,
    Steve
    Love that airplane. The later ones had a different airfoil on the stabilizer which made them less touchy on landings. If you want speed, the single engine PA-24B and C models were faster.
    N1PA

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by s kregel View Post
    The Twin Comanche was mentioned, I’m interested in one but am concerned about maintenance and parts availability, any advice is appreciated. I’m multi and IFR rated,
    Steve
    Parts are available, you just need to look. Like all old airplanes, they require some attention, particularly the gear system. There is a 1000 hour AD that can be costly. I’m up to almost $5k just in parts for that inspection. Takes about 30 hours to do the inspection. If you are looking to buy, best to find one that it was just done. The singles have more ADs than the twins. Just have someone that knows Comanches review the logs to be sure the heavy hitters are done! Insurance on twins can be prohibitive. Kind of like seaplanes. I’m planning on just liability for mine.


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  6. #46

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    Thanks for the response, I’m aware of the gear and stabilator AD’s , I have a full coverage Ins quote of 4900. Just nervous about parts availability in the future.
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  7. #47

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    If your wife is interested in flying, then definitely get something you can use to fly the whole family. We got a 4 place Bearhawk when our kid was born and haven't regretted it. Theoretically it doesn't get in and out as short as the Cubs, but it gets into almost all the fun places in the north east. And it can hauling the family and our camping gear, bikes, or skis. We just took it to Alaska and back for an epic adventure. It wouldn't have been the same for just one person to fly and leave the family behind.

    As for headsets and little kids, our baby was less than a month old on his first flight. We bought ear muffs targeted at rock concerts. We never had an issue with him pulling them off or them falling off. Usually he just fell asleep as soon as the motor started. Now he complains if he has to sit in back. He wants to be up front flying.

    Emilie

    P.S. Give your wife the Cub as a hand me down and everyone will be happy.
    Emilie

    Airplanes: Blue RV-4, Bearhawk 4-place
    Read about my flying adventures

  8. #48

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    Get a Cirrus SR20. Do their free transition training. An older used SR20 (2003 - 2005) is highly safe, fast, capable and economical. The SR22 is more than you need right now. Flying a Cirrus is also a great way to make sure that the few truly judgmental jerks in the aviation world will avoid you.

    The Cub and the Cirrus have different uses. I have both (and a Maule). I fly the SR20 for moderate distances (3-6 hour trips) and the Cub just like you do because it's the funnest plane in the world. The Maule is going to be more and more for backcountry camping as I retire, but that's a whole different story.

    There are no better stores of financial value than carefully chosen planes and carefully chosen real estate right now, given the devaluation of other paper investments through inflation.

    The wise old men on the forum are correct. At your experience level (no IFR), you are probably not a strong pilot yet. But if you don't actually go flying like THEY did at the beginning, you will never improve. You will find that putting your wife and kids in the plane with you is the best incentive ever to become the best pilot that you can be.
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  9. #49

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    Twin Comanches, I had 2 of them and put about 2500 hrs on them. One A model and one B counter rotator. The last one was 170kt which was fast for them. They are faster than the singles by quite a bit. They are maintanence hogs if they were not continually cared for. Get tip tanks. Good ones a great and will fly off on one engine if not real heavy. Won’t carry much ice.

    Jim
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  10. #50
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    I can't believe no one has mentioned this very old saying before, but here it is.

    If it flies, floats, or, ...er...ah.... giggles in bed, it is cheaper to rent.

    That's the first alternative. The second one is a partnership. In that case, like a marriage partner, choose wisely.

    I am a long time PA-11 owner that will also be in need of a transportation airplane eventually. A Cessna 185 or 195 would be my ideal, but I can't justify the expense when a Cessna 182 in equivalent condition and age is cheaper. I prefer tailwheel airplanes as well, but I don't prefer them tens of thousands of dollars worth. I'm not sure the value is there in any of those airframes when I would only be operating the airplane 100 hours a year or less. A partnership with one or two partners makes ownership in a second airplane much more viable. A tricycle gear airplane opens up more partner prospects and helps reduce the cost of hull insurance. A fixed gear airplane helps in this regard as well as lowering maintenance costs.
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  11. #51

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    My wife was pregnant with our first when I learned to fly. Doc didn’t quite know how to respond when we asked all the ‘noise’ questions, but did a little homework. I don’t remember when our ears develop, but babies do hear inside mom! Our Doc suggested some type of covering while flying, which worked out to be a thick coat as it was cold. Once our kids were born, we used the silicone plugs that some infants wear while swimming to keep water out of their ears. That worked like ‘muffs’ and never came out inadvertently. It really didn’t matter much, though, because as has been mentioned the kids all went to sleep quickly. We took our kids with us and never had any major issues. We also did some competitive shooting and the same applied for hearing protection whilst shooting. Good luck with your decision.
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  12. #52
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    Build some hours, save some money. Get the instrument ticket, not so much for launching into the clouds but the training and the ‘what ifs’




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  13. #53
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    Great dilemma. I’m in a similar boat. PA-18 and a maule m5, which has been my family hauler around idaho, and I like it a lot. The barn door is great and it flies fast than the cub. Problem is a friend let my wife sit in a bonanza, and now she likes it way more (some friend). I suppose it’s more suitable in the sticks than a Mooney. I’m not a good enough pilot to take the whole fam to challenging soft strips anyway. For me, cub is the local play machine, maule (like Steve) for >100 miles, and the thought of a 160+kt for that 500 mi radius would be sweet. Maybe a club is the way to go…


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  14. #54
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    Right after I got my private certificate, I joined a flying club with a 172 and Cherokee 180. It was an equity club, meaning you had to "buy in" to the two airplanes. Cheapest flying I have ever done in my life (did almost all my other ratings except multi / MEI in the club planes - which later included an Arrow). It also exposed me early on to the world of maintaining airplanes and had a great group of mentors.

    As others have said, a good partnership or club is a great way to share costs. I have been in both. People always say airplane partnerships are bad, but if you carefully define the understandings of the partnership in advance (plenty of examples out there), it can be really great.

    sj
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by flagold View Post

    To the point, I've had a re-think - I'm not sure I'd be flying any infant and toddler just yet. They're still developing and the noise would be excruciating. I don't see how to keep them protected.

    I have engines running in my brain 24/7 - I'd sure hate for that to happen to them.

    I'm probably in the minority here. Good luck.

    /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\



    This in a nutshell.
    First time you take them down from altitude or have to get home on a hot day, you'll lose a young pilot.
    Start out with short early morning flights when they are old enough to enjoy it. then see how they develop
    You might have one that really can't handle much traveling in anything.
    Then maybe when they (and You) are ready for traveling pick the airplane you can be proficient in and go for it.

    Edit.
    That does not preclude you from getting one now, and really getting proficient in it for when the time comes that you can do family outings.
    But we all know what will happen if you have it.
    Last edited by S2D; 09-08-2022 at 10:33 AM.

  16. #56

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    OP - we all start at like you, dream big! Very few people actually fly enough recreationally to "justify" maintaining two airplanes. If you can do it and accept that both of them are toys and that you are throwing away $50k or whatever a year then go for it.

    Agree with the other comments, expecting the family to be ready to pick up and roll with limited time in your desired platform without being IFR probably isn't the best idea.
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  17. #57

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    When I was going through a divorce, my youngest was only 2 or 3. She had been flying since she was a month old, so not new to flying. At the time I was working weekends towing gliders. The weekends I had the her, I would strap her in the back of the SuperCub and she would ride back there all day. Some days well over 30 tows. Never bothered her, most days she would nap back there a good part of the day.


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  18. #58
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    All this chat of 206's got me looking at those. I still like the 185's but a 206 may be the smarter choice I reckon.

    Nearly all the 206's I see are "turbo." I know nothing about turbo's. I do know they keep you engine thinking it's sea level up to 17,000 feet.

    When would a buyer want to be looking at turbos? When would they want find a naturally aspirated?

    Thanks.

  19. #59
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Stay away from turbo'd engines unless you have a specific need for one. The maintenance costs are considerably higher than naturally aspirated engines and, or maybe because, many operators do not run them correctly. They need clean oil, close monitoring, and correct cool down procedures.

    Web
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  20. #60

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    Probably going to regret saying this but buy a nice maule and just get by . Kids grow up fast and soon you will be flying a lot of the time with no need for 4 seats. I have gone back and forth on cubs, maules back to cubs, back to maule and now a scout. I too fly in your neck of the woods. NEVER have wanted a ifr ticket with the mountains between my farms . If its that bad I stay on the ground. just my twow cents.
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  21. #61

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    Nope. Buy a 180.
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  22. #62
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Interestingly my rough insurance quote for a 206 was higher than it was for a 185. Not sure how that is possible. Same year and hull.

  23. #63
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    With 6 seats the insurance goes way up!

    Brad
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Interestingly my rough insurance quote for a 206 was higher than it was for a 185. Not sure how that is possible. Same year and hull.
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  24. #64
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    Buy a 185, you won’t be disappointed. Loved my 180 but the 185 is superior is so many ways.

  25. #65
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cub yellow View Post
    With 6 seats the insurance goes way up!

    Brad

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    Pretty sure 185 is also classified as a six seater

  26. #66

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    My 180 had 6 seats before I gave the rear seat to a friend. My insurance has always allowed me to choose how many seats to insure.

  27. #67
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Pretty sure 185 is also classified as a six seater
    The 5th and 6th seats in a 185 & 180 are an optional bench in the baggage compartment intended for "little" people.
    N1PA

  28. #68
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Pretty sure 185 is also classified as a six seater
    No. Certain serial numbers had an option for two extra seats 'way back'. But if you look at your weight and balance calculations, those pax would be limited to a couple 3rd graders.

    Web
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  29. #69

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    Data point. My 180 has 3190# gross. With me at 230 and wife at 125 up front, I can carry two 150# passengers in the second row and two 100# passengers in the third row and be in the CG envelope. It’s unlikely you’d fit more than 200# into the rear row.

    Even with only one child, I found my 2800# gross insufficient. My plane was a factory seaplane so doing the 3190# gross increase was simple and worthwhile. I view the third row seat much like I view a third seat in a Cub. There’s no easy path of egress in an emergency. I wouldn’t put anyone in that position. Especially not a child who’d need help. 206s are no bargain for passenger egress, either. Even for the front right seat.
    Last edited by stewartb; 12-03-2022 at 01:24 PM.

  30. #70

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    Lot's of good advice here, I have had a PA-12 and (one at a time) a 206, a Cherokee 6, a few Bonanzas, even a Beaver, and near free use of a 182. Had 2 for perceived maintenance shop needs that I justified to myself because hey, I am in aviation. Never really panned out to be a great idea business wise.
    The 182 was free use but I maintained and hangared it and ended up to be the most all around practical even dismissing the free part. The 206 was normally aspirated with Sportsman cuff and the big aft door. Really liked that one but at the time the value went high enough I would have been stupid to keep it. Cherokee 6 (300) was a buss but worked just as well as the 206 for my needs and the family always seemed to need the space when it was available.
    All-in-all, be really, really careful on getting something well supported. Consider the fuel burn on the heavy haulers and really consider the rental notion for at least a little while. Try them on like shoes and buy the best one for the hike you really are taking. My decisions were mostly opportunity and impulse (Beaver) driven. Luckily I did fine on owning and selling all of them but that doesn't mean free or profitable.
    As an A&P I see folks getting into aircraft that have excellent qualities in theory but eat them alive in costs due to lack of support. Waiting for a skin or gear component that is sketchy in approval, high priced and months out can defeat the whole experience. Folding gear is a money wallet that tends to empty each time the gear doors open and in my opinion is not justified with flight legs less than a few hours in length. My Bonanzas were a mixed bag, 6-700 mile trips to bid insurance work was a sweet spot but running parts locally was a real loser.
    Just one more opinion on the pile. But I do work on primarily Cirrus so take it for what it is worth.
    Ken
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  31. #71
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    A person can have as many planes as they want. The drawbacks are costs of ownership, storage, and maintenance. Your flying time will be divided between them.
    As to the question of flying with small children cross country. My daughter owns and flies a Cessna 170. She also has a 15 month old child. She says she can fly the child successfully on about 50% of her attempts with about 1/2 hour trips. The ear muffs stay on only while the child is asleep. When she wakes up it’s game over. Some days they only get taxi practice done. Your experience may be different.

    I have raised 3 children and two of them are pilots. The concept of family trips in the plane sounds inviting but my experience was they didn’t happen very often. Non pilot passengers don’t like any turbulence. If they ever get air sick it is game over for future trips. Getting great weather predictably on both ends of the trip doesn’t happen very often where I live. If you have time to spare then go by air certainly applies to small plane GA cross country flying.

    If YOU want to fly another type of plane be sure to get some flying experiences in the make and model before you put it on your wish list. Facts and figures give you some idea about a plane but flying or at least riding in it gives more information.
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  32. #72
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    206s are no bargain for passenger egress, either. Even for the front right seat.
    Depends on the model. My only 206 time is in a P206. Just like a 182 for right seat egress. Also just like the 182 when both have a top hinged jump door conversion.

  33. #73
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    Bearhawk Model 5

  34. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    I don't go too far because I need to be on the ground early for winds
    Do yourself a favor and quit keeping yourself on a short leash over winds. What you need, specially if you want to load your family in a tail dragger is the exact opposite. Take a month off and fly your cub to Alaska, or Bermuda for the matter, but don't stop every time you feel a gust or bumps are going to keep you down. Don't be silly about it and press into a gale, but there's no better medicine for directional control and confidence than total immersion.

    If your skill set is on par, there is minimal to no difference in where the steering wheel is, if your skill sets are lacking, then they are lacking... wherever the steering wheel is.

    Lastly, the heavier tailwheel may have more of a tendency to stay straight if your skills are such that you are keeping it straight. On the other hand, let one get over centered, and there is just that much more mass to make coming back impossible.

    Sounds to me like you just need to fly more, and the good thing is it sounds to me like you just want to fly more as well.

    A late big engined 180 would make a spectacular family station wagon.

    Take care, Rob

  35. #75

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    I would agree with Rob. Don't let winds keep you down, It would not hurt to get a good instructor and make him/her earn the money on a real windy day to help show you a few pointers. Another thing that will help tune up you sills is stop landing on dirt if a tar/cement runway is available. So every landing and takeoff at home field should be on the main runway. Dirt and grass is very forgiving. You have enough hours now that a bitch slap from the runway every now and then is a good thing. Your not running Bushwheels so tires are not an issue. When I had my Pacer at about your number of hours I made myself land only on hard runway when possible. It really helped clean up some lazy habits. If you do go up in big winds do have a bailout if things just are not working for you that day.
    DENNY

  36. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    3. How easy is it to fly with young kids? Toddler and an infant? Is it even feasible? Will the kids keep their headset on? Will they need tended to in their car seats? Could my wife tend to the children in flight? Would she sit in the front with me or in the back with them? I would want them in their car seats. Given this would be a travel plane- how long could our legs be? (Input from those who have done it is appreciated.)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This one, has spent his whole life commuting in a 180...

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    Although he thoroughly enjoys cub flying as well. My folks, my kids, and now their kids have all travelled extensively in our airplanes. Hard to imagine what the ride would have been like other wise?

    Take care, Rob

  37. #77

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    Great post, Rob. My family is more comfortable in my Cessna than in any family car. It’s how we get to where we want to be. Good weather, bad weather, no problem. If it’s bad enough? Don’t go.

    My advice? Skywagons are great in the wind. Experience is the best teacher. You start with a personal wind limit and come home to winds that exceed it. You land successfully so you raise your limit. That’s how it goes. Your limits will vary with currency. If you fly a lot 35 mph isn’t a big deal. If you haven’t flown lately you’ll be more conservative. Use common sense. At any rate, from my narrow-minded perspective? A Skywagon is FAR better in the wind than a Cub, so don’t set your goals based on your Cub experience.
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  38. #78
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    Geeze, 35 KTS no big deal? sorry, that is not very good advice. Most commercial outfits I know don't even consider flying in that because the risk level, and once down you still need to taxi. I don't leave home base with a loaded 206 at 30 KTS, doesn't mean I can't handle it, but the risk is not worth the reward.

    Owning two planes increases the cost, especially if you are paying a shop to maintain both of them. Having one for fun, and one for travel is a great plan, but it is important to stay current in planes you fly, especially if. you want your family to be comfortable.

    I find it comical that we are talking about 'go fast' planes and everyone is saying skywagons... sorry, they are not really fast. Great planes, but your mission is to travel, with family in comfort, (think about wife comfort), you need her input here. You will fly more in a plane she likes! A Cherokee 180 will carry the same load or more, as fast as a Cessna 180 on less gas and for a whole lot less dollars!

    As finances do seem to be a consideration, is a flying club, rental or partnership an option? Until kids get to school, it is easy to find a 4 seat plane you can all fit in. BUT, as they get older and bigger, useful load becomes a factor. At some point everyone gets 15 pounds and we need to fuel every 2.5 hours... but the normal phenomenon that is often overlooked is that family trips become less and less often- sports, birthday parties, school concerts all take up weekends when you want to go, so you end up staying home more and more.

    This is not to say they don't happen, but it might only be once every few months that you can get everyone to go. If you can make a family trip with all of you four times a year- renting are real go-fast plane for those trips makes sense.

    Pete has some great points about retractable gear. Unless you are keeping current and get yourself good flight reviews every year in that retractable plane, it might not be the safest choice. I would also look for a nose wheel plane, and probably a low wing because the ride would be nicer, and passengers more often like to not feel hiding under the wing.

    Cherokees are fast and inexpensive by comparison. You would want to be careful about the wing AD.

    There are some other quick plants, the Cirrus for example, that will make traveling enjoyable and flight duration short enough to keep family happy. My bride does not do well after 1.5 hour legs. Just a factor to think about.

    Another idea for you might be to visit the local flight school and discuss leaseback options. The plane stays flying enough to justify ownership, and you get some monetary help with ownership.This would also give you better access to transition and recurrence training in your plane.

    One other thought about two planes, Own the plane that does 80-90 percent of your needs. Rental of the other 10-20% is const effective.

    Lastly, if you want your wife to join you, take her with you to look at types of planes, and take her in the different planes. When she smiles and says yes, you have won the battle.

    Best of luck.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  39. #79
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    I find it comical that we are talking about 'go fast' planes and everyone is saying skywagons... sorry, they are not really fast. Great planes, but your mission is to travel, with family in comfort, (think about wife comfort), you need her input here. You will fly more in a plane she likes! A Cherokee 180 will carry the same load or more, as fast as a Cessna 180 on less gas and for a whole lot less dollars!
    I have always assumed the 180 and the 182 had similar performance and useful load but it seems I was way wrong on that. I have a PA-28-180 (last year of the straight wings) and a friend has a C-182J. We sometimes go to the same places on overnight camping trips. His 182 takes a far bigger load and cruises much faster than my PA-28-180. I burn less gas.

    PA-28-180 is "fast" compared to a Super Cub or even an FX-3 but I would never have considered it a fast airplane. For fast(er) in a Piper I'd be thinking Turbo Arrow or Cherokee 6.
    Thanks Bowie thanked for this post

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    I guess I should define “fast.” Most of my time is cub time- so I cruise at 90mph. 140-160 is very “fast” to me- but not in the scheme of things.

    I guess I want a balance of speed and short field capability (not to throw a wrench in this many month discussion)- but if you look at OP I wasnt originally talkikg about airplane choice in the first place- just if I should own 2 airplanes of any flavor.

    Who knows. So many choices. This bearhawk 5 looks pretty cool though if i can find 2000 hrs to build a plane. Ha.

    Thanks for all the insight.
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