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This is a bad idea for a first plane, right?

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by GrigioGuy, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    #1 GrigioGuy, Aug 20, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  3. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Get an instructor who is familiar with the plane and it will be fine. You'll learn good stick and rudder skills.

    Note: They do sink like a brick without power. Nothing wrong with that btw. Can fly some interesting approaches.

    Note: Take extra due diligence with fabric airplanes. PPI just like cars, and with a mechanic who is familiar with brand and type.
     
  4. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    Just like an exotic car, the most expensive airplane you can buy is a cheap one. It may not cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance but it certainly could cost you more than just an arm and a leg if you find it going quiet at 1,000 feet.

    I suggest going a more traditional route. Get your primary instruction in a standard trainer like a Cessna 172 or Diamond DA40. You'll be a better pilot and make your mistakes in a very forgiving aircraft. Once you get your ticket, then decide what airplane you want to buy. Consider your mission and find a plane that fits 80-90% of those missions.

    After nearly dying in an junky C-172 with 7,000 training hours, I decided to never fly in an old plane unless it was mine. An old inexpensive bucket of spit and bolts like the one you refer to may or may not kill you but it certainly will have some exciting and unexpected maintenance moments.
     
  5. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    Inquire as to airframe and powerplant log books, airframe hours, engine hours since overhaul, when was the last annual and what was done, etc. If the engine is due for an overhaul, then that's a good reason for the low price. Looks like a Lycoming O235 would cost $25-30,000 for an overhaul/rebuilt engine. With a 2400 hour TBOH, that says you should be reserving $10-13 per hour of engine time for the rebuild (or allowing that much for depreciation of the engine).

    http://www.airpowerinc.com/productcart/pc/TLEngineDetail.asp?catID=33&prodID=10230

    However, TBOH (Time before overhaul) is only an estimate. I had an engine with about 6-700 hours left on TBOH and I lost a cylinder on takeoff and ended up replacing the engine. That was a surprise $30,000 repair bill (1998 prices, probably about $40-45,000 now).

    The avionics is all old stuff and it appears there's no redundancy, 1 Nav/Comm and 1 transponder. Unless you just want to do only fair weather flying for many years, you will have to move on to a different plane to get trained in instrument flying.

    You'll have to get the annual done on it in San Diego to get it airworthy. You'll also have to find a pilot to ferry the plane from San Diego to TX for you and the flight will be a long one, probably 3 or 4 legs of several hours each. So by the time you get it into a local hangar or tiedown, you might spend almost as much as the cost, depending on how many things need to be done to it, even assuming the engine is good for at least several hundred more hours.
     
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  6. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    A fabric test on the upper wing surface and stabilizer. Check for rodent damage if it has been in a hangar for a while, like rib stitching that has been chewed through and droppings in the wing. Have a mechanic look at all structural items and certainly engine, rusty valve seats (compression) from being left with open ports, old oil and old fuel should be checked , flushed, and replaced, old tires and landing gear for hard landings. This would be a perfect airplane to learn on because you will get a good beginning on proper stick and rudder operation in the air and certainly better landing and ground operation skills. These are great little fun airplanes. Then you can upgrade to the spam can with the little wheel in the front...or maybe a C-170. Of course check all the logs and history first.
     
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  8. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Yeah, I know that I'm not giving REAL info here. Having rebuilt 4 ragbags picked up from the isolated grass parking areas , I learned what to look for. Most purchases were from $300 to $650. All were fun projects and one of them was soloed by my 16 year old son who eventually flew for an airline.
     
  9. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    Looked at the ad again and noticed that they did list "TT2879 SMO1574". So 2879 hours total time on the airframe and 1574 hours since major overhaul. Note that means that the engine was last overhauled at about 1300 hours! 2879 hours isn't a lot of time for a 60 year old airplane, but a PA-22 isn't really a long distance aircraft, so that could be a lot of 1 hour flights around the pattern. Also a major overhaul at 1300 hours is relatively early for that engine, but a lot of takeoff/landing cycles or an incident such as a bad prop strike might explain that. The compression check numbers do look OK, being in the high 70's. You might inquire as to how it's been used since the last overhaul (personal use, flight school, etc). Training use might mean that you won't make the book TBOH, even at 1574 engine hours. If it hasn't had an annual for a while, that may mean it hasn't had an oil change for a while (check the log books); if so you might sample the oil and send it in for oil analysis or even pay for an oil change and look inside the oil filter for any metal.
     
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  10. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I wrote a post, and then realized that everything you really want to know is in Bob and Yin's posts.
     
  11. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    #9 dmark1, Aug 21, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
    Excellent airplane for a first timer. I learned to fly in a 18 year old Piper Tri Pacer as a 16 year old kid in 1976..... airplane will give you some "big airplane" skills because of its inherent sink rate and need to maintain airspeed correctly all the way to the ground. Its fantastic. I bought mine (yes the exact same one) back 40 years later, rebuilt her, and won Grand Champion at Oshkosh with her in 2017. Here she is.


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  13. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    Depends, the O-235 Lycoming at one time had a 1200 hour TBO. It couldve made the lower time TBO early in its life then hasn't flown much since. An engine oil sample would def be worth the money.
    Also be sure that the struts are looked at, they can corrode and cost quite a bit to replace. There is an repetitive AD on them. Also look for the fabric at the top of the windshield for splitting, that's also an AD. I have found rag wing airplane, once they recovered properly last longer than spam cans because you can literally rebuild them to new if you wish. Cant do that with aluminum !

    There are quite a few Tri Pacers in Texas for 15K with lower times - and the extra back seat is nice. Might want to look around a bit. Also join the Short Wing Piper Club. Excellent type club with lots of good advice. www.shortwingpiperclub.org
     
  14. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    Found the write-up on your plane in Aviation Maintenance. Nice read! Great looking plane!
     
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  15. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    OOPS ! I was talking about two old airplanes that were not the nose dragger Milk Stool. The Clipper and the Pacer were fun airplanes and I flew both of them in 1947-48
     
  16. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    Hey Hey HEY, watch it with that "milk stool" talk will ya!? ;)
     
  17. dmark1

    dmark1 F1 World Champ
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    Thank you!
     

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