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Best aircraft for European trips

Moving back to the UK (London) area in about 6 months and I’m looking at what aircraft to purchase for my European flying. Most flights will be to South of France, Italy and the UK but looking to other European countries as well. Owned a turbo Mooney in the US and loved the ability to travel far and fast but some of the shortest runways were out of my comfort zone (or grass). I do not want an old twin and my budget won’t be enough for a recent one e.g. DA62 so I’m sticking with a single engine. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

KHPN, LFBE, EGKB, United States

What are your needs for useful load? Family or just you and one friend/partner?

LESB, Spain

Be very careful! Flying in Europe is nothing like flying in the US. After 2 years I am still getting to grips with it. Compared to say Bay Area – LA Area, the equivalent flight in Europe takes a lot of planning and local knowledge.

Apart from the choice of aircraft, you also need to decide whether you want to be N or G. I suppose (don’t know) that the UK has the same rule as EASA-land now, i.e. if you’re resident in the UK, you need equivalent UK licenses as well as FAA (for N reg). If the UK has implemented BASA in a reasonable way, this is possible, but it isn’t trivial.

I’d be happy to chat in person, via Zoom or whatever.

LFMD, France

Depends on your further requirements, but overall, the Turbo 182RG sure is hard to beat.

If you prefer low wing, then a Bonanza of some sort is also good at short fields, as well as at cruising.

That said, my limited experience with the TB20 is that it is not too bad at short fields. TB21 (turbo version) also available.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 22 Aug 18:23
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

RV-3 solo, RV-14 for two, and RV-10 for four… easy, no?

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

TR182 is WAY better at short fields (except LFMR, but we won’t talk about that) than a TB20, simply because it lands 10 knots slower.

I loved my TR182 and agree wholeheartedly with boscomantico. If you can find one with recent avionics (GTN rather than GNS, G5/GI275/G300/G500) that’s even better.

LFMD, France

Much depends on budget too, obviously.

Then, where will it be based? Grass or tarmac? London area options are limited.

The need for UK papers is mandatory since Dec 2021 but is ambiguous if your UK residence is kind of not permanent if you get my drift More e.g. here.

Everybody loves their plane So this thread will become a list of every aircraft type. I would suggest first deciding where to base it. I’ve known various owners based around London and they were paying huge amounts.

I wonder if we should run one of the Zoom meetups for this sort of thing. We used to run them during covid and quite often they were very well attended.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Dan wrote:

RV-3 solo, RV-14 for two, and RV-10 for four… easy, no?



FWIW a Bonanza is around 3h 45m from London to Cannes, with IFR reserves. From a despatch point of view I tend to regard a reasonable fast SEP as similar to an older FIKI MEP. Both are OK for light IFR, with the MEP giving you slightly more flexibility, but only slightly, dealing with icing.

Icing can get ugly in Northern Europe real fast. Crossing the Alps to northern Italy, while relatively straightforward IFR (with oxygen), requires nice benign conditions in a piston aircraft. You then have to find a friendly airport with an approach, the days of using Linate in a piston are a distant memory.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Yes, also important to know if IFR or not. IN summary, other than budget, your decision is driven by:

-2/4+ POB
-grass/paved runways
-short/med/long fields
-short/med/long flights
and I would add availability of support: some good types are not easy to support

Without knowing the answer, I should think a TR182 with reasonable avionics, a working autopilot and even better with TKS antiice would be a good all-round option

LESB, Spain
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