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New License, buy a retractable?

172driver wrote:

as horribly hot inside like a Piper

The original 1970 curtains in a genuine Piper are a cure for this problem and stylish too

But anyways, we recently had a thread here where the typical options for “a bit more power than…” had been discussed…the 182 is also a good option!

Last Edited by UdoR at 21 Jun 17:10
Germany

Well, in the end I think both the Arrow as well as the 182 would make good options.
The tricky part is to find something good around. The Arrow looks quite good and has been upgraded quite a bit on the avionics side.

Those 182’s around seem all modified for skydiving though. Might take some time to find a decent bird. An italian dealer to whom I spoke today told me that they are selling “a ton” of airplanes towards the East of Europe – Romania, Ukraine and the likes. Just sold two Arrows, which they had to upgrade with fancy glass panels before ferrying them over…

LOWI,LIPB, Italy

My first plane (and I still own it) was a retractable. My insurance wanted 20 hrs of retract time, 200 total, and 10 in type. I used a 172RG to do the transition training and then flew with an instructor until I had the necessary hours. Might be harder now.

You know what they say about retractable pilots. For me a key thing is to know how the numbers go. On final I’m at 15" and 65-70 knots, with full flaps. If something is wrong there… something is wrong.

I have almost no Piper experience but I do have a good friend with an Arrow and he never seems happy with it. Could be just him though.

LFMD, France

The Arrow IV needs more runway before the elevator responses, as it is outside propwash. But it wasn’t such a big difference. You’ll find a POH of each aircraft in google, so comparison is possible. I don’t have it at hand right now. Adding in the Turbo the Arrow IV will surely eat up less runway in hot&high conditions.

Although the ‘T’ tail Arrow IV is fractionally less responsive, I often think in Aviation Folklore this is overstated.
I use 500 meters as a ‘rule of thumb’ for both T/O and Landing of my Arrow IV Turbo ; but, as I have recounted elsewhere, – with experience and careful handling – one can operate in far shorter fields as I have done with 3 POB at Heligoland EDXH: 371 meters.

Rochester, UK, United Kingdom

Peter_G wrote:

Although the ‘T’ tail Arrow IV is fractionally less responsive, I often think in Aviation Folklore this is overstated.
I use 500 meters as a ‘rule of thumb’ for both T/O and Landing of my Arrow IV Turbo ; but, as I have recounted elsewhere, – with experience and careful handling – one can operate in far shorter fields as I have done with 3 POB at Heligoland EDXH: 371 meters.

Indeed one has to try, there is a lot that is exagerated on T-tails mostly from pilots who never flew it

For runway length, it depends a lot on pilot experience, I know someone who operates a Mooney M20R O3 out of 550m grass in Italy (he has 1500h on it, half of them were on hard 2.5km runway before he moved out of the radar near his place), I struggled to fly one in/out of 700m tarmac after 10h that I decided aircraft & runway combination is not for me…

Last Edited by Ibra at 21 Jun 18:07
Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

C182 with O-470 can use Mogas, might be useful for Italy?!

Arrows are a bit less to purchase and a little less thirsty for the speed (rg helps).

MX and OPS wise I’d estimate they are on par cost wise?

always learning
LO__, Austria

lukepower wrote:

Our instructors recommended to avoid the “jump” to high power stuff like a Bonanza, so we settled our hearts and went looking for a decent C172 or similar aircraft. What they really tried to hammer in into our heads is to not start with a retractable aircraft. Well, so far so good.

Oh dear.

I have to take a deep breath not to get into a rant here. But I’ve unfortunately seen way too many flight instructors who will try to keep their students small rather than encourage them to grow. Maybe because they themselfs don’t fly complex airplanes or are secretly afraid of them? Maybe because they would like to keep you in the club and rent? I honestly don’t know.

Thankfully, in Europe we are not in the situation that the insurers keep 2nd guessing the competent licensing authorities who are really the ones who should be granting you the necessary privileges to fly.

Personally, I have a massive problem with this attitude. Buying and selling airplanes is not like changing shirts. It is quite a project to buy, particularly for a first time buyer and you will put lots of money and emotion into your first airplane. Now, opposite to the US, first airplanes for man are also the forever planes. In trader and owner circles, the mantra is very different therefore: Buy your last plane first. In other words, buy something which satisfies your mission and what you really want. Don’t let yourselfs be bullied into believing that you are not good enough to fly a complex, in the old days, airlines trained ab initio on complex planes and it worked just fine.

Or look at some people here: Peter for starters was told like you that he should stick to non complex circuit bicycles as well: He bought the TB20 he still owns today.

I bought a Cessna 150 and while it was fun, it was in retrospect a wrong decision as it never fulfilled my mission to travel with any sort of capacity. The 2nd type i trained on after the 150 was the Piper Seneca II. Yes. A twin. It took time to learn it but it was just fine in the end. I took a10 year break and got a Mooney.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you guys heading for a complex after your license. If the flight school has their knickers in a twist, change schools to someone who doesn’t. If you can fly a Cherokee 180 you can fly an Arrow, they are the same airframe with just a few buttons more. It is NOT rocket science. Even turbos are not, you can learn to deal with them too. On the other hand, turbos are the most expensive thing you can do to a piston engine, so I personally have always shied away from them, but I’ve flown Senecas with fixed wastegates and similar. It’s neither rocket science nor witchcraft.

We’ve been through types you might want to consider for Bolzano and I guess you should stick to them. In the mountains you can certainly use power. Yes, a Dakota might also do the job, so would a TB20, M20J or K, C182 in all incarnations or C210 and a bunch more. I’d definitly stay away from anything below 180 hp or better 200 hp in that area.

One bit I keep telling people whom I talk to about buying airplanes is always the same one: Keep your mind open but by all means follow your dream. Only go explore different types and the dream may change. And for that don’t put your dreams into people’s hands who wish to keep you small. That never pais off.

LSZH, Switzerland

@Mooney_Driver: Thank you so much for “letting off steam”, so to speak.

I really began believing that, once you have your license, you “need” to do burger flights for the next 200 hours or so before considering anything useful. Personally, I began flying not because I like to fly circles and go for touch ‘n go’s all day, but because I wanted to go to places where I – otherwise – would either be unwilling or unable to drive in a sensible time.

In our case, the situation with the flight clubs is pretty simple, as there are only two which could work out. One in LOWI with good airplanes, but little availability (they are well kept, and have modern avionics, but demand is so high that you need to book weeks in advance for anything more than a few hours). The one in Bolzano has only a few airplanes, albeit with decent availability even for longer trips. Still, I feel that your own plane enables missions that otherwise would be stressful: Going for a week with friends or family on vacation? No issue here. Impossible with the clubs.

So, at the end of the day, and considering the budget, I think we might sort out the C172 (not enough power).
The PA28R-200 seems to be an intriguing solution, as well as a Turbo Arrow III with 220HP. The C182’s I saw seem a bit pricier for what we need; and even faster planes (C210, B36) would currently end up over budget for us. I might be wrong, but a TB20 like Peter’s, while I really like the plane, would struggle to fit in four pax, right?

Runnind on Mogas would be a nice plus, indeed, but the ones I found so far have all an engine which is not covered by the STC

Now, in case any of you with more experience buying planes has some spare time and nerves to have a look at what I collected I would be really grateful :)

Thank you again for your inputs, I really appreciate it

Luke

LOWI,LIPB, Italy

lukepower wrote:

The PA28R-200 seems to be an intriguing solution, as well as a Turbo Arrow III with 220HP.

If you go for an Arrow, try to make it an Arrow III. The II is quite range limited and the III has 77 USG iso 50, that is very useful for travel.

Turbo, well, if you are planning to cross the alps regularly, a turbo makes sense. Otherwise, non turbo is very much ok.

lukepower wrote:

I might be wrong, but a TB20 like Peter’s, while I really like the plane, would struggle to fit in four pax, right?

It has a much larger and nicer cabin than any Arrow, for starters. It is also a much nicer airplane and very capable. I would say that the TB20 is one of the most versatile and comfortable planes I’ve ever sat in. It can certainly handle what an Arrow can in terms of load, rather more. Lemme check my database:
The Arrow II in my database has an average useful load of 470 kg. The Arrow III has 520 kg and the TB20 540 kg. So the III and the TB20 are pretty much level field, slight advantage to the TB20. The Arrow III can carry 77 USG fuel, the TB20 88.8 USG. The Arrow III is a 140 kt airplane, the TB20 150 kt. The Arrow III uses between 10 and 12 GPH, the TB20 between 10 and 14 GPH but is constantly 10-14 kts faster than the Arrow III. The Arrow III has a practical range of around 800 NM, the TB20 around 900 NM. With 4 × 85 kg on board, both the Arrow and the TB20 can fly around 5 hours (plus 45’ reserve).

For a similar price, at least for me, the TB20 is the much nicer airplane.

The Cessna 182Q (not RG) to throw in a comparable plane has a useful load of around 500 kg as well. Speeds are around 135 to 140 kts, it also has 88 USG max fuel and comparable consumption of the TB20. Range is around 800 NM. With 4 on board, it can fly about 4 hours. They tend to be on the expensive side though.

As you mention 4 seats regularly used, Mooneys will maybe not be the ideal plane but for completeness sake, the comparable plane is the M20J-201, which has a useful load of 400 kg, carries 64 USG and reaches 160 kts with a range of 850 NM. With 4 on board it can fly about 2 hours.

You see that some airplanes are more similar to each other than meets the eye.

If that was me and I’d have your mission and live where you are, I’d go with a TB20 or an Arrow III with a clear preferrence for the TB20. The Arrow III will be slightly cheaper to run and do most the TB does but with a narrower cabin, quite a bit slower and only one door.

Right now, airplanes are quite a commodity again with much fewer and more expensive on the market as previously. So you really need to keep your eyes and minds open.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 21 Jun 20:30
LSZH, Switzerland

I really began believing that, once you have your license, you “need” to do burger flights for the next 200 hours or so before considering anything useful. Personally, I began flying not because I like to fly circles and go for touch ‘n go’s all day, but because I wanted to go to places where I – otherwise – would either be unwilling or unable to drive in a sensible time.

I do echo @Mooney_Driver. Forget your instructors recommendation and go for the plane which fits to your missions. The week after I got my license we made a 20 hrs trip to unknown fields in Germany, France and Switzerland within one week. Three weeks later we bought a share of a C182. The plane was nice for our needs, especially the short field performance was great. But it wasn’t IR equipped and the engine had to be overhauled about two years later. So we sold our share and went for a PA28R Arrow 2. And this one was nice. Although equipped with the retractable gear it was good on grass and good for short fields. We have been everywhere in Europe with her and still love her. And then the Bonnie followed, because of going often to France to our second home her performance shortened the time to destination so much and the short field and grass strip performance is as good as with the others before. So decision was defined by mission, not be fear about forgetting to throw out the gear like the instructors often warn.

EDDS , Germany
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