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Looking for a TB20

Hi all,

I have been looking for a comfortable, going places (2 to 3 hours hops) family plane.
A decent cruise performance, and reasonable price tag. But having searched multiple types, it seems, the comfort aspect is what does it for me, mostly because I want my passengers to feel at ease in the plane.
My search keeps on getting me back to the TB20 (or TB10).

Anyone having one of these for sale, please reach out.



So i have 100 hours, currently doing an IMC course, and building hours on PA28s. After much research (and reading Peter’s blog) I have arrived at the TB20 door. Id like something to work on an IR with and use it eventually for touring around the UK and then Europe. Ideally id like a GT, in good condition, ready to go. Will pay over the odds for something in top condition. If anyone has one to go or knows someone who is looking to sell please let me know! I have inspected 2 so far and was disappointed with the condition.. theres also a few around in Europe but sadly most are European reg so a pain for me to fly. N reg would be ok (and i would consider a european reg if it was really good).

Thank you!

EGKA, United Kingdom

Post this to the socata board. I am sure someone will bite.
Make sure to buy a TKS equipped one.

Last Edited by Snoopy at 02 Jan 17:15
always learning
LO__, Austria

Yeah if I manage to get into the socata board!!

So my priorities are probably

1) good engine ideally not on conditioning
2) solid inspection condition. I plan to run a zero defect policy so need something good to begin with.
3) gt
4) tks
5) registration (G>N>F/D etc)

Anything else you would recommend?

EGKA, United Kingdom

1) yes either that (400hrs or so) or an older engine and discount selling price by an actual offer for an overhaul

2) this will be tricky, that is to find a very thorough prebuy inspection

3) gt has improvements acc. to peter

4) reading peter’s reports, it is useful for some conditions, yes (for more dispatch % go turbo)

5) depends on your situation.

always learning
LO__, Austria

In most cases (there are exceptions) you cannot do a registry transfer if the engine is > 12 years.

A prebuy in the UK is normally OK, depending on where you are.

A GT has many detailed improvements, apart from the ~10cm more headroom due to the composite roof. This is well known but I have never seen a simple list (I suspect Socata do not want to publish such a list but I would expect Mod 151 (the GT change) to be detailed somewhere).

TKS is very good and well worth having – see various threads here.

Turbo is good for FL250 i.e. getting above much warm front wx whose tops tend to be thereabouts. It also reduces time spent in climb which is good in icing conditions. It is not otherwise useful in Europe and the TIO540 is virtually guaranteed to never make even 1000hrs before cracking cylinders. The overhaul is also much more. See various turbo threads here.

The reg should be G for a UK pilot but the others can be moved to G. You cannot fly a non-G EASA reg on UK papers so you need to get the seller to fly it to the UK for you (in general). An exception was recently posted here for an F-reg.

Just take your time and stuff will come up. TB20 GTs are not that common because they are sought after.

The Socata owners group needs approval by the guy who runs it and reportedly he can be slow in doing it. It is however almost entirely US based.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Don’t know which ones you inspected but there currently is a G-reg TB20 with TKS on the market on planecheck.


LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

Thanks for the advice Peter & Snoopy. Re the registration – if i understand correctly, i can still fly a european reg in the uk with uk papers (but not outside without an EASA license) – is that correct?

Re EGAG – i did inspect it. Not a GT. Autopilot isnt working sadly and thats a deal breaker (they are very hard to fix im told esp in the UK). Also the engine is 29yo so way past its ‘shelf life’ (not a deal breaker as i got quotes for overhaul). Otherwise its in decent shape.

EGKA, United Kingdom

i can still fly a european reg in the uk with uk papers


The privileges (if any) which a given set of pilot papers has on a given aircraft are determined primarily by the State of Registry of that aircraft. And Brussels had directed EU countries to prohibit UK issued papers from being valid on an EU-reg aircraft, as of 1st Jan 2021.

Autopilot isnt working sadly and thats a deal breaker (they are very hard to fix im told esp in the UK).

APs are hard to fix anywhere. If an AP is dud (you did well to check that – most do not!!!) then the fix is likely to be hard. Might not be, but do you feel lucky? If it was trivial the owner would have probably fixed it, because a TB20 without an AP is a really silly idea. Might as well fly a Thruster

Also the engine is 29yo so way past its ‘shelf life’ (not a deal breaker as i got quotes for overhaul). Otherwise its in decent shape.

OK if it was a G and staying on G, subject to checks like a borescope, oil, check threads on prebuy inspections…

A good general tip is to buy a good condition plane with a shagged engine, discount it by say 40k, and fix the engine (preferably using a shop in the US).

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I bought my plane with Lycoming engine in 2010, the engine had never apart since factory assembly in 1971. This was a useful negotiating point but after another 13 years the engine is still running fine at 53 years old. I do think of overhauling it sometimes, just to have a look. Maybe this year

The secret in getting a good deal is to buy the plane and its actual condition, not the numbers. Numbers can usually be changed with a reasonable outlay of cash, but a turd will remain a turd unless a huge amount of cash is spent. Also, one needs to understand that there is always risk, no matter what you do.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Jan 16:51
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