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Chris Kelly
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Little Advice?

Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:02 pm

Alright folks.

I'm at a crossroads here and I have the following three options. I'd appreciate a little back and forth discussing the possible opportunities. I'm about to finish my PPL and I'll be looking to continue on to complete my Instrument and Commercial ratings as well. I know a few of you are ahead of me on the same journey, so I thought I'd ask.

Would you...

- Continue renting an IFR P28A at $90/$110 wet (depends on the amount of block time) to complete everything and find a complex trainer somewhere when the time comes?

- Buy a trainer, achieve ratings, sell trainer?

- Go to ATP or some other academy and do a PPL-CMEL/MEI thing?

Responses are appreciated, thanks in advance.
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

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Tom Solon
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Re: Little Advice?

Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:16 pm

Buying a trainer is what Markian did (old ZLA_MO) and he said it was a great investment.

Eric Stearns
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Re: Little Advice?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:18 am

As long as you can afford to buy a plane and then fly it a lot...it's definitely the way to go. You should figure out the break-even number of hours compared to renting, but even if owning costs a little more, the flexibility would probably be worth it. Also, consider that you might have to replace an engine or prop or something else expensive while you own it. If you do buy...plan to take it to every corner of North America (or at least the U.S. and some of Canada)...you'll learn way more doing that than you would completing some syllabus at one of those academies.

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Tom Solon
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Re: Little Advice?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:27 am

As long as you can afford to buy a plane and then fly it a lot...it's definitely the way to go. You should figure out the break-even number of hours compared to renting, but even if owning costs a little more, the flexibility would probably be worth it. Also, consider that you might have to replace an engine or prop or something else expensive while you own it. If you do buy...plan to take it to every corner of North America (or at least the U.S. and some of Canada)...you'll learn way more doing that than you would completing some syllabus at one of those academies.


Golden advice!

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Chris Kelly
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Re: Little Advice?

Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:24 pm

As long as you can afford to buy a plane and then fly it a lot...it's definitely the way to go. You should figure out the break-even number of hours compared to renting, but even if owning costs a little more, the flexibility would probably be worth it. Also, consider that you might have to replace an engine or prop or something else expensive while you own it. If you do buy...plan to take it to every corner of North America (or at least the U.S. and some of Canada)...you'll learn way more doing that than you would completing some syllabus at one of those academies.
Thanks ES. I'm definitely running through the numbers and getting a few opinions.
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

Keith Smith
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Re: Little Advice?

Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:47 am

Option #1 or #2 should be considered. Option #3 is not a good one, imho. Those are pilot mills that are generally not focused on quality. They're focused on churning out pilots that can meet the PTS, which is really just a starting point.

If you're going to buy a trainer, I'd buy one which is mechanically sound, simple and in plentiful supply. Assuming you get all your ratings done inside a year, and that the aircraft has an annual shortly before you buy it, your ownership costs will just be fuel, oil, and fixing whatever comes up. You can then either obtain an annual and sell it, or you can attempt to sell it as is. I guess that would depend on how long you've had it for at that point.

Make sure you buy a plane that has been flown regularly in recent times. If you buy a hangar queen, you're like to run into a bunch of incidentals once you start flying it.

Buy an older plane that isn't depreciating like crazy and you should do very well compared to the rental prices, unless you are unlucky on the maintenance.

Eric is bang on, btw, if you do get your own plane, try not to shoot the same approach twice :) Get yourself to exposed to as many types of airspace, terrain, approaches and weather as possible. It's not in the PTS, but you'll be a better prepared pilot as a result.
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Blogging: never before have so many people, with so little to say, said so much to so few. -- despair.com

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Chris Kelly
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Re: Little Advice?

Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:01 pm

Thanks Keith.

Around here, everyone has a Piper, so the network of parts and mechanics would make a 60s/70s/80s PA28 of some sort make a lot of sense. I'm certainly considering this option at this point as the best way to go from chatting with you all and with others locally. Now I just need to make the numbers work :)
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

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Nicholas Mokover
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Re: Little Advice?

Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:30 pm

I grappled with this question for a while, and for me I decided to rent for less of a headache with ownership expenses and drama, especially since I was also in school at the time. I decided to go to college and not study aviation so I could do something in case I broke my spine and couldn't walk again. Aviation degree is good for nothing if you don't fly I think. You might be able to go around the 1500 hour rule by 500 hours, but will you really have the money to get up to 1000 hours? A degree is still very important because all major airlines require it, as well as all the fractionals, part 135s and corporate stuff. Even if they don't have it as a requirement and you get a lucky gig, it'll be a major leg up from a competitor without a degree so consider it.

I forgot where I read it, but basically this is a huge question for a lot of people and there are plenty of interesting answers on jetcareers and pilots of america to check out; anyway, I think the one I read said that for some guy's 182 the price was about $150/hr with some maintenance here and there and including everything. And like ES said, the flexibility of having your own plane is incredible, and priceless. I also agree about the ATP flight schools, they're fine if you have the money, but everything I learned and experienced happened outside of flight training situations. I had an exact moment like this today even working my first job. Another thing that may concern you with owning a plane is trying to sell it back and the stress that comes with it. I think now is still a good time to buy a plane though, if the market continues to improve you'll be in good shape. Also what Markian did is have a partnership in a plane with 3 other guys, that way you can split the cost of everything, and it's better for everyone. The plane is still generally available if it's just 4 people flying it. I think AOPA has some partnership listings if I remember correctly. Anyway, good luck with your decision.
ZOTSOT & ZS Enthusiast, Proud Carrier of the Coveted Controller Pie

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Chris Kelly
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Re: Little Advice?

Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:56 pm

Thanks for your reply NM.

I'm about to finish my B.S. in ECE so I have that part of the equation nailed down. The reason I've started looking around is due to the lack of airplanes for rent available where I live. There's only two and only one of them is IFR certified at the moment. Scheduling can be a huge hassle, and more times than not, it's a last minute phone call here or there from one of the CFIs that gets me down to the airport in time to fly. I feel like it's only going to get worse when I start training instruments.

I'm still investigating and getting as much information as possible from mechanics, FBO managers, and others like yourself who are a few steps further along the road. Thanks to everyone for their input.
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

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Nicholas Mokover
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Re: Little Advice?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:44 pm

It's not a cherokee, but still interesting post here:

http://realcostofownership.blogspot.com ... plane.html
ZOTSOT & ZS Enthusiast, Proud Carrier of the Coveted Controller Pie

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Chris Kelly
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Re: Little Advice?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:53 pm

I've been following his threads on reddit, reading along since day one. Definitely been a good read.

I thought his conclusion was rather poorly worded. The way his math works, you would hit a break-even point around 5-6 hours. Some other guy made a spreadsheet using his numbers. So assuming no major maintenance events occur, you might be better off. Still, ownership has its other benefits.
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

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Brad Podd
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Re: Little Advice?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:41 pm

http://thetruthabouttheprofession.weebly.com/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(Mike Acciavatti, Andy Pearson, Shewan Omar)

Interesting read; realist or pessimist? Not so sure. Maybe one of our Airline compatriots can weigh in.
BP

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Chris Kelly
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Re: Little Advice?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Two more questions.

How valuable is TW time?

Should I be considering experimentals in my search?
Chris Kelly
"Sir, standby means shut up..."

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Nicholas Mokover
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Re: Little Advice?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:12 pm

I've gotten by without my tailwheel at all as have most people, but I am trying to get that done now anyway since I have a good deal. I'd say wait to get it til you have a good opportunity/deal and then get it done. Wouldn't stress about it unless you want to fly banners or fly in alaska.
ZOTSOT & ZS Enthusiast, Proud Carrier of the Coveted Controller Pie

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Nicholas Mokover
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Re: Little Advice?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:48 pm

Update: I just got my tailwheel endorsement, and it actually makes you a whole new level of pilot, so if you find a good deal, go for it. It's a bit of a different world but it really makes you feel the plane a lot better, and gain confidence in being right on the money when you need to be.
ZOTSOT & ZS Enthusiast, Proud Carrier of the Coveted Controller Pie

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