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