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

  1. #1
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Should I buy a 2nd plane- " fast family hauler"

    Looking for feedback from those who have been there/done that.

    I've read some other posts similiar to this on sc.org- but I figure each situation is different. I.e. some people have grown kids (mine are infant/toddler) or different reasons.

    So here goes:

    A bit about me/my life:
    1. Family of 3, soon to be 4.
    1. Financially I could swing it- but I loathe being wasteful of resources.
    2. I am working- but have decent freedom to work when/where I want
    3. Early 40's

    If I bought 2nd airplane I would like to keep the cub. I'll call the 2nd plane "fast hauler." Probably a 185- I like tailwheels. I don't want to make this about the plane choice though- I have other threads on that.

    I keep talking myself into/out of it.

    My reason for wanting, other than airplanes are cool, is I would like to be able to take my wife, 2 year old, and eventually new baby due later this year. (question on ages to come.)

    I am hesitant for a couple of reasons:
    1. Hassle of owning two planes vs one.
    2. Concerns about how much would I actually fly the fast hauler? I'm flying my cub about 100 hours a year right now (but that's with 1 kid.) Generally 2 hour flights around the area and back to homebase. I don't go too far because I need to be on the ground early for winds (my buddy who has 180 claims I would actually fly the "fast hauler" more because it would shrug off the winds/thermals in Central Oregon better than the cub.) I also need to be home because- well I have a wife and kid- so overnights away aren't ideal- for me or for them.
    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.)


    The pros I have as the following?
    1. Fun adventures with family
    2. Ability to fly to overnight destinations that I wouldn't want to do visit without my family.
    3. My mother and sister live a 7 hour drive or a 2 hour flight. I would hopefully see them more.
    4. Access to a vacation home with family which is a 6 hour drive vs 1.5 hour flight. I understand "real time" is driving to airport, prepping plane, flight plan, etc- but for kids it would be 1.5 hours of travel. 6 hours in car with kids is brutal.
    5. My 180 buddy claims I will actually fly more locally as it will handle Central Oregon winds/thermals better.

    Cons:
    1. Hassle mentally of 2 planes to own/maintain
    2. Will I fly it enough? (side question: how many hours a year does a plane need to fly to not have the negative effects of sitting?)
    3. Financial opportunity cost of 2nd plane- either for investing or buying other experiences (trips)


    The timing of my life feels pretty good because I figure I have decent flexibility time wise right now. My kids aren't in school yet so we have flexibility there too but they are real young which perhaps makes flying with them impractical? My wife doesn't work.

    Timing feels not right because perhaps flying with an infant and a toddler on 2-4 hour trips is not really feasible (input?)

    I guess even if they are too young- I would want to get at least 50 hours in the thing probably before I flew with them- to get proficient and comfortable. Almost all my time is cub like aircraft time and I'm under 150 hours TT. Even if I bought it now- I may want to fly it for 6 months before taking the family up.

    I guess there is possibility I could get the fast family hauler, and decide I actually fly that more than the cub. I doubt it- but my 180 buddy seems to think so. For local stuff I'm not sure that is possible- but maybe. It would be hard for me to justify the 9 gallons more per hour and less nimble flying characteristics. We have strong crosswinds most afternoons and lots of thermals in central Oregon.

    Anyways- input appreciated. If you have personally gone through this and ended up buying- it would be great to know how it worked out. If you regreted it or not. Things to think about.

    Even if I don't get any feedback writing this was helpful for me to formulate my thoughts.
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  2. #2

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    I have supercub and C-182. Like both but they are beating the hell out of my savings. Probably would choose 182 if I could only have one. Just more versatile. My 182 will go into most all the Idaho backcountry strips at least once.

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Just throwing this out there but if your not comfortable in a Cub with 20 mph winds your not going to be happy landing a 180 in the same winds?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    I know you said you don’t want to discuss aircraft type here, but you need to. Your stated insistence on the “go fast” plane being a Cessna 185 raises all kinds of alarm bells in my mind, while reading this thread.

    Frankly, there’s no way you’re going to be even vaguely competent in a 185 in 50ish hours. That’s enough to get scared though. But, let’s say you get there. Your statement that you have gusty crosswinds a lot…..better build those 185 skills FAST!

    But, then, flying a 185 50 or so hours a year is not really going to be conducive to proficiency either. In fact I’d hazard to suggest that what you’re suggesting is an invitation to disaster.

    But even if you don’t break the 185, will you ever get and remain comfortable in the airplane sufficiently to put your family in it?

    Now, if you were to suggest that the second plane might be a 182……I’d say go for it. Much easier to get acceptably proficient in, a great family hauler, fast and gusty crosswinds? Bring ‘em on!

    MTV
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    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Just throwing this out there but if your not comfortable in a Cub with 20 mph winds your not going to be happy landing a 180 in the same winds?

    Glenn
    Yeah. Ability to fly in more wind is very low on my driving forces to buy- but I would imagine 2000# vs 1000# might help a bit. Again- it's not a big driving factor.

    The other considerations far outweigh it- namely taking the family along.

  6. #6
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    I know you said you don’t want to discuss aircraft type here, but you need to. Your stated insistence on the “go fast” plane being a Cessna 185 raises all kinds of alarm bells in my mind, while reading this thread.

    Frankly, there’s no way you’re going to be even vaguely competent in a 185 in 50ish hours. That’s enough to get scared though. But, let’s say you get there. Your statement that you have gusty crosswinds a lot…..better build those 185 skills FAST!

    But, then, flying a 185 50 or so hours a year is not really going to be conducive to proficiency either. In fact I’d hazard to suggest that what you’re suggesting is an invitation to disaster.

    But even if you don’t break the 185, will you ever get and remain comfortable in the airplane sufficiently to put your family in it?

    Now, if you were to suggest that the second plane might be a 182……I’d say go for it. Much easier to get acceptably proficient in, a great family hauler, fast and gusty crosswinds? Bring ‘em on!

    MTV

    Points well taken.

    Perhaps I should look at 182. I just have a love affair with taildraggers that is probably irrational. I also like landing on dirt- which I know the 182 can do but...

    Maybe what I need to find is someone to partner on whatever the plane is.

    Anyways- input on the other stuff- like how easy to fly with children- would be great.

    Thanks.

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    Do you have an Instrument rating? Don't bother getting something to use as a traveling plane unless/until you do. Just my opinion of course, and I am very familiar with the local weather in your area since I don't live that far away. We get a lot of pretty skies around here. But I still wouldn't plan on traveling anywhere with an airplane full of family without an instrument rating.

    Which of course is not what you asked.... Sorry...

    I like the idea of it if you can afford it - very easily. If there is any potential for financial difficulty, then no. I suspect having two children in those age ranges is going to be challenging no matter how you transport them. People have done it for years though; you wouldn't be the first. I would be interested to hear from those with experience if the children behave any differently in an airplane than in a car. I have no experience with any of that. I might suggest waiting - to see how the behavior is in a car. Of course their behavior IS dependent upon your parenting, so you do have input there.

    How about examining last years travel. How many trips to where ? How many of those trips would have been made in the (as yet unbought) airplane had you had it? What would have been the relative cost delta - and effect on convenience and ease? Were there any trips you wanted to make that didn't get made but would have had you had the plane? Sort of examine your use patterns that might be effected by this plane. That might give you a better picture of exactly what you're going to experience with the plane if you get it. Just an idea.

    Either way I wish you the best.
    Last edited by RedOwlAirfield; 09-02-2022 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Correct Mispelling
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    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedOwlAirfield View Post
    Do you have an Instrument rating? Don't bother getting something to use as a traveling plane unless/until you do. Just my opinion of course, and I am very familiar with the local weather in your area since I don't live that far away. We get a lot of pretty skies around here. But I still wouldn't plan on traveling anywhere with an airplane full of family without an instrument rating.
    Instrument rating is on the list. I would like to train for instruments in the plane I plan on flying (as opposed to a rental- which I'm not sure is even available.)
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    G44's Avatar
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    I would say go for it if its a 182 or 206. I agree with MTV said above. Seriously, consider a nose wheel airplane for the utility family hauler. Keep the Cub for your tailwheel fix.
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    I’d buy a second plane if you can hack it, I’d buy a Cessna 206. Lots of room, plus you already have a T/W. Who do you want to impress with a 185 anyways.
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Developing new flying skills like Instrument/Commercial/Upset training is good as long as the airplane is also capable of flying in the conditions you'd routinely expect to encounter. Before I'd commit to a new ride I'd carefully consider what conditions you'd feel comfortable subjecting a growing family to during the flight. Bad things can happen to good people and equipment. Then decide what airplane will offer the most safety first and utility second. Which is why big well maintained road vehicles are chosen to transport large families.

    Gary

  12. #12
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I agree with your 180 buddy. A good 180 is probably the best all-around airplane there is. Goes fast enough, lands slow enough. My 930# useful load after pilot and average fuel are on-board is helpful, too. My Cub and 180 both get pretty close to 10 mpg so economy isn't really a consideration unless you figure time is money, and the 180 wins that one. If I could only have one airplane, my 180 is an easy choice.

    You're a pretty new pilot, right? It sounds like your choices are based on what you want to like, not what you actually like. Give yourself some time. The right airplane will reveal itself.

    Want some more advice? Skip the second airplane for a few years and buy a hangar home. Living with airplanes is the best aviation decision I ever made and I wish I did it a long time ago. I'd rather have one airplane in my garage than two across town.
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-02-2022 at 03:34 PM.
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    Have you considered renting a plane to fulfill your travel needs? Try this for a couple years to see if you actually would use it enough to justify owning one.
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    I think a hundred Cub hours is a bit light. Get a minimum of 500 before you load your family in any airplane.

    An instrument rating is a license to learn, and not an approval to go out in heavy weather in a light single anything. Get the rating. Do not fly your family in instrument conditions until you can say you average one approach to minimums in actual weather without an instructor per month for, say, six months.

    If I were in your shoes I would get a Mooney 201 with O&N tanks and glass attitude and HSI, and with an autopilot that can reliably do an ILS. And stay VFR.

    Opinion.
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    And just 75 years ago.....

    Gary
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    Formandfunction's Avatar
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    My savings gets halved by inflation every ten years but all my real property at a minimum keeps up with it. In that respect I think real property is much more valuable than paper money over any decent period of time. Maintaining property is key to securing it as an investment and can be overwhelming if you collect too much stuff.
    As for the kiddos I wouldn't consider age in any equations because they will be grown in a blink of an eye.
    I would say go for it if you own the facility to store it and have the extra cash. If not I would say buy the facility first.
    Last edited by Formandfunction; 09-03-2022 at 04:37 AM.
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    Wish I had the money for a 180 or 185 as my “second” airplane. My first is a PA-16, but it is still all apart in the garage and a long way from flying. As a fast hauler, I just got a Twin Comanche. Needs some work but should be flying within a month. Got it cheap enough and paid cash so I’m not going to put hill insurance on it. This should be a nice fast comfortable airplane. It is IFR equipped with autopilot and up to 1000 mile range. Has just short of 1300 lbs useful and carries 90 gallons of gas. I could buy 6 of these for what you would spend on a 185! Of course this is not a back country airplane, shortest field that would be “comfortable” is about 2800’.


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    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Wish I had the money for a 180 or 185 as my “second” airplane. My first is a PA-16, but it is still all apart in the garage and a long way from flying. As a fast hauler, I just got a Twin Comanche. Needs some work but should be flying within a month. Got it cheap enough and paid cash so I’m not going to put hill insurance on it. This should be a nice fast comfortable airplane. It is IFR equipped with autopilot and up to 1000 mile range. Has just short of 1300 lbs useful and carries 90 gallons of gas. I could buy 6 of these for what you would spend on a 185! Of course this is not a back country airplane, shortest field that would be “comfortable” is about 2800’.
    I was just going to suggest a Comanche (single) for the reasons you point out above. Cherokee six or 235, or even a Dakota if you can find one. Nice having that Lycoming engine.

    I really like my 180 (especially now that it has new cylinders), but there is a lot of bleed over between the missions of the Super Cub and the 180. There are not too many places I go now that I would not be comfortable in with the 180, and if we are going more than 100 miles or so... well..

    I often think about trading it in on a "late model" (something newer than 1955 ) 182 or 206 with some glass, interior, Lycoming, and a really nice autopilot... Might have to trade them both in to get that....

    sj

    P.S. I recently flew a 210 with a stol kit on it (Robertson I believe). It cuts the performance numbers in 1/2 (take off and landing). Most impressive stol kit change I have ever seen.
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    I had a 185 converted and took the factory course up in Renton. I agree it made a real difference, but do not remember "half."

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I had a 185 converted and took the factory course up in Renton. I agree it made a real difference, but do not remember "half."
    Certificated stall speed of the stock 185 is given as 49 knots CAS. Robertson's CERTIFIED stall speed (as in flight tested and documented to the FAA for certification) is 37 knots. That's from the RSTOL POH Supplement.

    Eleven knots stall speed change is HUGE, and it's real in my experience.

    MTV

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    stewartb's Avatar
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    For the first 20 years of my flying a Cub would not have been a good choice. Wife, kid, dog, gear. Who stays behind? My airplane’s primary role is a family transport. Cabin freighter. Lumber truck for friends. I still can enjoy some solo flying in the 180, as well. My Cub is a toy. Not all Cub owners will say that but I can. Purpose of the airplane is the discussion Cardiff needs to have in his own head. Not for a second airplane. For the primary airplane.
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    I had 2 planes for many years. One for business (Twin Comanches or a Bonanza) and one for flying unlimited aerobatics and air shows
    (Skybolt, S1T Pitts, Extra 230, Extra300). Business paid for most of the of the travelers through depreciation, expenses deducted for maintanence, fuel, hangar, engine,etc. A couple of air shows a year showed some income so tax deductions helped pay for the toys. Without Uncle Sam helping with the expenses, I would have been flying a cub. Now just low and slow in my Tcraft all on my nickel

    Jim
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    Mike - half? A huge difference - I will give you a good solid difference, but I note that most are now going to Sportsman, or just cuffs, or maybe VGs, and I have recent experience with all of those. They make a difference, but none cut takeoff and landing rolls in half.

    I remember impressive performance in the pattern (50 years ago) - with a 15 knot headwind and just me and light fuel I got Cub-like performance. But zero wind and normal load it was just "better."

    I took no measurements - something I only started to do about 15 years ago - so I suppose it could be half - but if so, why are folks not getting Robertson kits installed now?
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    SJ's Avatar
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Mike - half? A huge difference - I will give you a good solid difference, but I note that most are now going to Sportsman, or just cuffs, or maybe VGs, and I have recent experience with all of those. They make a difference, but none cut takeoff and landing rolls in half.

    I remember impressive performance in the pattern (50 years ago) - with a 15 knot headwind and just me and light fuel I got Cub-like performance. But zero wind and normal load it was just "better."

    I took no measurements - something I only started to do about 15 years ago - so I suppose it could be half - but if so, why are folks not getting Robertson kits installed now?
    im pretty sure you cant purchase new RSTOL kits these days.

    The next best thing you can do to a Cessna wing is install a Sportsman kit.

    Now, add a Sportsman kit to an RSTOL equipped 185 and you have a truly amazing performer, which is rock solid when real slow.

    MTV

  26. #26
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    im pretty sure you cant purchase new RSTOL kits these days.
    You can, according to this website: https://skyway-mro.com/
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  27. #27
    flagold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    I was just going to suggest a Comanche (single) for the reasons you point out above. Cherokee six or 235, or even a Dakota if you can find one. Nice having that Lycoming engine.

    I really like my 180 (especially now that it has new cylinders), but there is a lot of bleed over between the missions of the Super Cub and the 180. There are not too many places I go now that I would not be comfortable in with the 180, and if we are going more than 100 miles or so... well..

    I often think about trading it in on a "late model" (something newer than 1955 ) 182 or 206 with some glass, interior, Lycoming, and a really nice autopilot... Might have to trade them both in to get that....

    sj

    P.S. I recently flew a 210 with a stol kit on it (Robertson I believe). It cuts the performance numbers in 1/2 (take off and landing). Most impressive stol kit change I have ever seen.
    Before your post I hadn't thought about it, but I like the Piper idea - they're very quiet compared to the Cessna products and a lot easier on a little kid's ears. They sure were on mine.

    I had a 182, 180, etc., they're both rock solid & the 2500 truck series of the light planes - but operating on pavement with the family, I'd go 182 any day. Chuck Yeager ended up a landing upside down in the ditch with his 185 and he's not exactly low time.

    Just some more to think about.
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  28. #28
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    You can, according to this website: https://skyway-mro.com/
    Try ordering a kit and report back. I’ve heard stories, but no verification.

    MTV

  29. #29
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I've never flown a 180 or 185, but I've watched and listened to and ridden with some extremely talented and experienced pilot friends with 180s. Even for those guys, that spring gear can be a handful, especially in non-ideal conditions. I've been flying my PA-12 for almost 50 years, and I would not trust myself in a 180 without competent instruction. When I was a couple hundred hour pilot I probably would have been less hesitant - not knowing what I didn't know.

    If I were on the market for a family go-fast I'd probably look at a 182, or 210, or 206, or 36 Bonanza or big Cherokee or Comanche or - - - well, something along those lines.
    Last edited by Gordon Misch; 09-03-2022 at 10:44 PM.
    Gordon

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    Ask your insurance company about 185 vs 182.....
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  31. #31
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    When I was a couple hundred hour pilot I probably would have been less hesitant - not knowing what I didn't know.
    I've been holding my tongue waiting for someone to mention this. A student pilot with dreams is eager to learn. A newly minted Private pilot has a license to learn. When a pilot accrues around 200 hours he begins to think he knows all the answers. By the time he has 600 hours, he knows he has all the answers. When he approaches 1000 hours he is beginning to think he doesn't know it all. After 1000 or so hours he realizes there is still a lot to learn. He then starts to become a safe pilot.

    It strikes me that Cardiff is approaching that 200 hour mark. Be careful Cardiff. In the past there have been a lot of "doctor" stories. People who have the funds to buy any airplane they want. They get a new Private license, rush right out and buy a new Bonanza or Malibu or some other high performance airplane to take their family places. The next thing you know, they are mentioned on the evening news, not in a very happy report.

    Getting an instrument rating has been mentioned. Yes, this is a very useful learning experience and does give you the authority to fly in the clouds. However, procuring and maintaining proficiency to safely fly in the clouds with the distraction of a wife and kids is another story altogether. It takes a lot of time after getting the ticket to become at ease in the IFR environment. IFR flying particularly solo, is a highly concentrating affair. Outside distractions can spell disaster. Maintaining proficiency to the FAA's standards is only for paperwork requirements. In order to become and to maintain proficiency one must fly within the IFR system a lot. If not, when the chips are down and the weather drops to minimums, well........................ Getting the ticket to be able to keep you out of trouble is more likely to get you into trouble, if you do not "live" within the IFR environment.

    If you still wish to get a second airplane for those special trips with family, get one of the many mentioned fixed gear airplanes, with a nose wheel. There are several good ones. With the fixed gear -18 as your primary airplane and a retractable airplane for the secondary airplane ......... well far more experienced pilots than you have neglected to extend the gear. This is particularly more of an issue when jumping from one type to the other.
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  32. #32
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Excellent post Pete. Well said.

    Cardif - listen to the advice from skywagon, he has a lifetime of experience, has "been there done that" and is sharing his vast knowledge with you. Heed his advice.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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    I’m glad internet forums weren’t around when I bought my 180. All I got from my circle of high-time pilot friends was encouragement. Any pilot needs to exercise good judgement in any airplane they fly, every time they fly it. Nose draggers aren’t exempt.

    Spring gear isn’t a problem. Regardless of what is said about it it doesn’t bounce airplanes into the air any more that bungees do. Excessive airspeed coupled with a sudden increase in AOA is responsible for that. Control what you’re supposed to control. On days when the conditions aren’t fun I can go in and out of places when my Cub neighbors won’t fly. Don’t underestimate the utility of a stock-winged Skywagon. Sometimes heavier wing loading is a good attribute. Skywagons are wonderful airplanes. So versatile. Very durable. And these days, very valuable. There’s good reason for that. There’s nothing wrong with a nose dragger if that suits your purpose. There’s nothing wrong with a tail dragger if it’s what you prefer. Learn to fly whatever you buy and enjoy the ride.
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  34. #34
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    With all due respect stewartb, how much time did you have in your XP before you moved to your 180? How much time (not hours, but years) have you spent instructing others from all walks of life how to fly a variety of airplanes? Cardiff is a brand new pilot. We (except for Bob Turner) only know him through this forum. We will advise him from a conservative safety conscious perspective based upon decades of witnessing aviation events happening. If we were based at Cardiff's airport and had a close personal understanding of his abilities, then we might be more aggressive in our recommendations with caveats.
    N1PA
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  35. #35
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Me? 200 hours in my XP almost exclusively on floats. Transitioned into a 180 on tires with about 6 hours of Tom Warleigh’s time. Loved every second of it. Highly recommend the same for Cardiff.
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  36. #36
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    OP- great group.

    Really appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge here.

  37. #37
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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  38. #38
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I think we started all this back in 1869

    https://youtu.be/XPcpHna944E


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Giant


    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  39. #39
    Cardiff Kook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Thats it!

    Its a fun little surf town buried in the metropolis of Southern California.

    I have since relocated to Central Oregon but lived there for many many years.
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  40. #40
    flagold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Thats it!

    Its a fun little surf town buried in the metropolis of Southern California.

    I have since relocated to Central Oregon but lived there for many many years.
    My gold claims were on the Umpqua and off the Rogue - Myrtle Creek/Merlin areas. Matt Mattson gold in any search engine will get you on them and more.

    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.

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