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Lear 24 poor man's jet?

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by rob lay, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    #1 rob lay, Feb 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I know, I know, but still! A friend is type rated in the Lear and flys one on occasion for a private owner. These things sell for $150-400k and one of the fastest jets out there! Cheaper than new pistons and even late model used ones.

    The TBO is 5,000 hours and engines known to be more reliable than pistons.

    Fuel is big cost $1,500-2,000 an hour?

    What would a typical annual run on these?

    I know most costs of a jet are in the flying and upkeep, but call me crazy. I could see in 10 years picking up one of these on the cheap. Friend with ATP and thousands of hours in Lear would left seat it for free and I could get type rated for right seat.

    Seems like the next best thing to a fighter jet and its actually useful to go places with family.
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  3. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    So THIS is where my subscription fees go??? :D :D


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  5. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    yes, that's the reality of it and those fuel costs are low. Even though plane is $150k, that shows $300k a year to operate!

    150 hours a year only $180k. ;)
     
  6. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Mia doesn't need to go to college, right? ;)

    a pilot's license is next on my list of motorized adventures but those kinds of numbers scare me silly....
     
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  8. Blue@Heart

    Blue@Heart F1 Rookie

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    #6 Blue@Heart, Feb 28, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
    I figure I can talk to maintenance on these from an avionics perspective as I have a bit of time doing work on Citation II's.

    The reality is if you have an avionics snag (or any snag really) it can turn real expensive real fast. When you get into this size aircraft is when the wiring and avionics tends to get above the head of the average AME M guy in my experience. A compass system now involves a flux valve, HSI, directional gyro, and compensator. Your artificial horizon is now a flight director which will interface with a flight computer, autopilot computer, possibly an instrument amp, the flight computer will take data off your directional gyro and so on. That's not to denigrate anyone, but a lot of avionics systems on this type of aircraft you have to be immersed in them regularly in order to efficiently diagnose issues and troubleshoot them.

    With a AME/A&P that has little or no avionics experience it is quite probable that you're going to be poking in the dark a lot of the time. That's going to drive up your maintenance costs. So make sure you have a good avionics guy, the airplane comes with good wiring diagrams (make sure there's diagrams for any non-factory upgrades), and form a good relationship with your local avionics dealer. A good avionics shop/dealer will have a loaner pool that you can use to help troubleshoot the snag.

    Hope that helps Rob :)
     
  9. Blue@Heart

    Blue@Heart F1 Rookie

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    Me too....scared me into working around airplanes instead of flying them for a career :p
     
  10. b4biturbo

    b4biturbo Rookie

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    Rob, also many of these early series Lears can barely maintain operation in todays aviation world. Is it RVSM certified?, how is the autopilot and FMS systems, are they up to date with approved!!! gps/waas and gnss systems? was it operated as per Far 135?/ 91? or air cargo?how many cycles on the gear? hours on the engines, also those
    ( engines) may not be certified as stage 3 for noise abatement so many airports will restict you out or fine you ,also these were the first gen buisness Lears, not a particularly easy aircraft to fly by todays standards with the newer wings and engines. As we have seen here at Ferrari chat ,easy to get in, but then the real trouble starts.
     
  11. Blue@Heart

    Blue@Heart F1 Rookie

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    This is a good point but a little bit overkill IMHO.

    Gear and Engines are HUGE costs, that being said if you're only operating for personal use you won't put many hours on, but you still have to be aware of calender life limits.

    Waas is not a requirement yet, but is a convenience. RVSM is a biggie, TCAS II/TAWS is another biggie right now (I just finished installing 250k worth of TCAS equipment in a number of our DC-3's in line with regulartory requirements).
     
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  13. Roger103

    Roger103 Karting

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    One of my flight students has a 24F. He obtained the jet for around $300,000. He spent alot of money to put TAWS and RVSM in the aircraft. Insurance would not insure him in it unless he gets more turbine time, so he bought a King Air 90 to do that. He found some instructor that would teach him in the 24 at the student's home airport. I have been told that the aircraft likes the dutch roll during landing approach or the student like to do it and you need to declare fuel critical while taxing out. The Lear loves to be at FL400. On the east coast of the U.S. center contollers will not allow you to get to those altitudes very quick making the aircraft sucking the fuel down.
     
  14. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #11 donv, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
    I've got some time in 24s and 25s (and a LOT of time in 35s). For the money, the 24 is a pretty good airplane-- I really enjoyed flying them. I loved climbing straight to FL430 and having to pull the power back to avoid MMO.

    Operationally, you need to be *VERY* careful about fuel-- you can get into real trouble quickly. They don't burn all that much (on a relative basis) at altitude, but once you start down, you'll start burning it much more quickly. A missed approach, or some additional vectoring, and you can eat into your reserves. And they don't hold much, so you rarely have extra.

    However, keep in mind that 1) they are OLD, 2) they are really OLD, and 3) see #1. The cost of maintenance will eat you alive-- there are so many moving parts, motors, wires, etc, and all of them are getting old. Plus, $300k won't go too far when you get to do a 12 year inspection on it (where they take the wing off). And can you even overhaul the CJ610 any more? 10 years ago, that was a problem, and I can't imagine it's getting any better. You can find used CJ610s (or just buy a parts airframe) but some day those will be gone.

    I've actually thought of buying a 24 myself, but the age really makes me nervous. And most of them have had rough lives the last 10-15 years, so assume there is lots of deferred maintenance.

    Learjets are no different than Ferraris-- the cheap ones end up being the most expensive.

    For under $1 million, you can get a 35, and you'll burn less fuel, have a bigger cabin, more range, no parts worries, and an all-around better airplane.
     
  15. RacerX_GTO

    RacerX_GTO F1 World Champ
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    You don't fly a Lear, you wear one. ;)
     
  16. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    My friend just did a trip from Dallas (Addison) to Florida in a 24. They were immediately cleared to altitude and the VSI was pegged up at 6,000 FPM, who knows what they were really doing, but they hit FL40 before out of DFW Class B border (although they were 24k above the B :)). With tailwind they were doing 600 kts. to Florida in 2 hours, but were pretty light on fuel by the time they arrived.

    The owner uses it maybe once a month.

    Considering the price of jets is not the entry, then 35 or how about the Cessna lines like 500/501? I bet not as fast, but better on efficiency and maintenance.

    Oh heck with it, I just need a L39. :D
     
  17. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Citation 501 is the worst of both worlds. Slow, and still burns quite a bit of fuel-- and also still old. There's a reason those are cheap. They are very nice to fly and have a great cockpit, but that's about it. When I used to fly a 501, I said it was the world's best turboprop (something I might have to qualify now), but not much of a jet.

    The Citation which is the best of all worlds is the Citation V and it's successors, or the CJ series. Of course, they're not cheap to buy-- for a reason.

    If cheap to buy is the main thing, look at a Falcon 10. More maintainable than the Lear 24 (although not quite as much fun to fly), significantly faster, burns about the same amount of fuel but has a larger cabin. The 24 is way better at climb, and will cruise higher, but the Falcon 10 will go faster. The Falcon 10 will cost more to maintain because parts are more expensive.

    The 35 beats them both, in my book.

     
  18. Chupacabra

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    Now you're talking!!
     
  19. SOFTWAREGUY

    SOFTWAREGUY Karting

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    Friend just bout a Cessna Conquest (twin engine turbo prop).
    While I don't know how much he paid, it was significantly higher than the amount that a Lear 25 would cost.
    I asked him the same question.

    A big deal was that the TurboProp can be flown by one pilot. Most jets require 2.
    The second is fuel consumption.
    The third was general expectaion of other operating costs.
     
  20. 2NA

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    #17 2NA, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  21. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
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    An old friend of mine insists a run-out Lear 24 can be flown "cheap".
    Borescope the CJ 610s to check for blade stretching into the case. When it starts; pull the motor and chuck it like the old Rolls Royce Vipers. Buy another time run out engine, but still operable, and do the same.
    His opinion is that if not commercially flown its legal.

    Maintaining ANY Lear is financial suicide.
    I ran the maintenance program on the Business Jet Solutions fleet of 35's.
    BJS had ownership ties to the Lear factory so we had the inside parts availability and pricing. Even at that they were $ demonic. Some were "broke" coming out of the factory doors.
    If I ever had enough money for a new Lear I'd retire instead and chuck the rat-race need for one. ;)
     
  22. SOFTWAREGUY

    SOFTWAREGUY Karting

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    The sample report seems spot on:
    Cost per mile >$9.00
    Fixed costs per year $300k+ including co-pilot (which you would not need to hire all the time)
    >$3k per hour variable costs
    Cruise speed 439kts
    All in costs @175k miles per year (400 hours) $1,500,000+
    Payload with full fuel 342lbs

    https://www.conklindd.com//Page.aspx?nid=2&action=view&id=33

    In our 182RG, the way we do things is we put an engine reserve in cash in an account based on the hours we fly it. So if we put $20 per hour and get 2000 hours, we have $40k towards our overhaul or new engine when the time comes.
    Buying one with a run-out engine and other parts, you have the maintenance cost up front.
     
  23. NV Stig

    NV Stig Rookie

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    The avionics and stage 2 noise are issues in today's world. Van Nuys Airport is pushing to ban stage 2 all together by 2015. Teterboro, NJ is following suit. Noise curfews are an issue as well. We have to deal with them with our Stage 2 Gulfstream.
    RVSM is about a $100K certification process. You'll need the second ADC, Rosemont probes, digital altimeters, enhanced mode S transponders, and a possible upgrade to the FC530 autopilot. Good news is you have less then 10 pax so you don't need TCAS or ammemdmant 7 upgrades. We had to do all that work on a Lear 36 we had online in 2005 for Hawaii runs. I'm not sure if someone has engineered a 20 series Lear yet, but that might add to the cost. We were looking for engineering specs when we had a 28 on the line back in 2005. Good news is you can climb to FL430 like a raped ape if ATC plays nice and lets go through FL290 to FL410. Good luck with that if you are on the east coast.
    You are right though, it is the closest you will feel to a fighter in the civilian world. Wing came off a swiss fighter/ trainer in the 60's. A pilot buddy of mine made the rear spoiler on his SCCA Dodge Viper based on the Lear's aspect ratio inverted. Planted him on the track like a champ, great downforce :)
     
  24. JAM1

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  25. NV Stig

    NV Stig Rookie

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    If the inspections are overhauling the hot sections, you'll spend as much on the engines as you will the aircraft on that G3. The G3 market lost 50% of it's value in 2008. fuel burn first hour is 750 gallons, 600 gallons the second hour and 50 fallons less each hour to #7 as a rule of thumb. But you will get a good aircraft. I'd recommend Western Jet at Van Nuys if you want a solid pre buy on it.
     
  26. mixxalot@yahoo.com

    mixxalot@yahoo.com Formula Junior

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    Hell yeah me too if I win the lottery I'd get an L39 too and enjoy life.
     
  27. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    Rob,

    Buy a Mustang instead. You can fly it yourself, it is a breeze to maintain and burns less than most turboprops at FL410. Best part is it is NEW.
     
  28. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    #25 rob lay, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I love the Mustang, Cessna is relentless trying to get us Columbia owners to upgrade. Several have to Mustang, others to Eclipse, Evolution, TBM, and also several MU2.

    I'm pretty happy with the Columbia for what I need, to go jets I start thinking I would rather be riding in back, I could then have a "fun" plane for local.
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