First Love


If you had an aircraft you love to fly, which one is it?

DCF 1.0

Several years ago, I started to think about an aircraft I would love to buy. There was a time, I aggressively researched aircraft. For the kind of flying I do, VFR in VMC with occasional IFR in IMC, a 4-seat single engine is amply sufficient. The Cessna 172 or Piper Warrior or Archer are excellent trainers. In addition, the Arrow is perfect for a complex rating. I have flown in them often. But did I want to buy one of them?

Those days, the Cirruses and the Diamonds were fairly new. The C172 G1000 was just released. So used aircraft of this kind were rarely available, if not expensive.

Understanding the differences between performance, range, endurance and fun factor, my choice of aircraft was  the American Grumman Tiger. I searched, researched,  and even came close to buying one. If only, my mechanic had not found so many defects with it!

I still hope to own an aircraft one day soon… considering how much my flying has increased the last 2-3 years, I think ownership or fractional ownership is warranted. Flight schools are great for renting. One does not need to worry about maintenance or repair. But considering the too strict rules for currency and paper trail, minimum rental hours requirement, the prolonged planning requirement to procure an aircraft for a day, I have often thought  in recent times of ownership–fractional or otherwise. Who would want to pay for a minimum 3.5 hours irrespective of the actual time flown on a weekend, just to keep an aircraft for more than 5 hours!

Where is the fun of the $100 hamburger, if you need to rush back so as not to pay extra time, even if you did not fly it?  Where is the fun, if you need to plan a month ahead to keep the aircraft for a day? And for all you know, you might be weathered in? I love to do some just fun flying, that might or might not happen based on the availability of rental aircraft.

So I ask, if you could, what aircraft would you like to own?

Surprisingly enough, I was thinking of the American Grumman Tiger again. It’s different. It’s fun. It’s less common. Having test flown it, I realized I still would love to own one. It is interesting to see, there is a G1000 version of the Grumman Tiger.

Or maybe a Stearman…

So I ask again, if you could own, what aircraft would you like to own?

9 thoughts on “First Love

  1. Caitlin April 2, 2014 / 2:41 am

    Oh wow, seems like it’s so difficult to rent an airplane at your school! Mine is so relaxed, but then again these guys aren’t really in it to make money, they’re all retired or are ATC. Lots of availability, and they’re pretty relaxed about taking the airplanes. I know one rule is no one but the owners can go on grass strips.
    It’s a difficult choice, if I could have just a fun one it would be the Pitts S2B. I’d love an Cessna 400 (or well, Cessna TTx now), but in the end probably end up with a Cessna 172.

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    • flynthings April 6, 2014 / 2:48 am

      It’s a busy school. And the C172 are always busy. I see their point.. Not fair to keep the aircraft the whole day and pay for an hour or two …. Pitts sounds good too.. 🙂

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  2. swpilot April 2, 2014 / 4:16 am

    I have gone through similar experience of getting very close to owning an aircraft on multiple occasions and having to pull back due to mechanical issues. It is a hard choice for me since I fly a variety of aircrafts ranging from the venerable C172SP, CT182T to DA40s, SR22, Corvalis 400 (TTx), Bonanza A36, Velocity Canard and a PA18 Cub. I have few hours in Extra 300L and a Citabria for aerobatics and love them. But the two aircrafts I came very close to purchasing were DA40 which I have been flying regularly for over 7yrs now and even got my Instrument rating in it. Its a great G1000 equipped aircraft (135kts at 8.5gph) and the bubble canopy view is unparalleled. The second aircraft was Columbia/Corvalis 400 which is just a speed demon. I used to fly them at a flying club back in AZ and love taking the twin turbo to high CA desert and rocky mountains in CO and WY. As you can see, I love stick planes (DA40 and Corvalis) compared to yoke (including SR22). If money wasn’t a problem, I would get a PT-6 equipped (Jet-A) Lancair Evolution (which is basically the mothership of Columbia 400 (now Corvalis TTx) but it can do 300kts at FL280 and flies just like a Columbia (similar cockpit setup and side stick). Everybody’s mission is different and thats predominantly decides the aircraft you’ll be looking. Mine is high speed long distance cross country cruiser but I love prop aircrafts over jet aircrafts just cuz its the classic way of flight. If I can also afford it, I would get a Piper PA18 Cub for barnstorming around the patch for $100 hamburger flights.

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    • flynthings April 6, 2014 / 2:48 am

      Wow… Great array of aircraft types.. Hard to pick one isn’t it? Good luck!

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  3. Karlene April 2, 2014 / 9:10 pm

    I’m hoping to buy a plane one day too. I finally decided on an A36. Single engine and 6 seats. But it’s a process and does take that $100 hamburger to a new level. I need a hangar!

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      • Karlene April 6, 2014 / 1:43 pm

        YES!!!

        Like

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