Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Now that I have done my PPL, should I buy a plane? Which one?

Hi everybody,
this is my first post here on EUROGA and I hope that someone can give me some answer or advice or suggestion.

Since yet, I have been flying PA28R and C172 from the local aeroclub, but now I would like to fly something newer, with updated avionics and autopilot, so I made my EFIS rating but now there is no suitable plane i can rent in my area. (my base airport are LIPH and LIDB)
So I am evaluating if buyng make sense. But what can I buy with a 100-150K€ budget? And what will be the cost of operating it?

Better taking a well maintained and equipped PA28R or and early SR20?
Will they cost the same to operate?


I think people will ask how many hours per year you plan to fly. If it is 20hr, then likely rent, if 300hr, then buy makes sense…


I think the general rule of thumb is: less than 100hrs/year = rent, above that = own. Of course renting and owning are two very different proposition, each with its pro and cons.

I don’t know the insurance situation in Europe, but in the current environment as a newly minted pilot you would struggle to get insurance for a SR20 in the US. As you’re based in Italy, have you considered looking at the various Tecnam models? They should be quite popular there. I fly a Tecnam twin, and they’re well designed and built.

Those hours/year guidelines are fair enough if you want to fly clapped out junk

My ownership story is here and hours/year didn’t come into it at all.

Welcome to EuroGA, Domenico

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Also, he said that there are no adequate aircraft for rent at all. Therefore, any rules of thumb about the minimum hours below which it makes sense to rent are a bit off the mark.

One additional point, Domenico: AFAIK, the luxury tax is not totally extinct. Therefore, if you buy and operate a modernish SEP as an individual (no aeroclub), you might be subject to that tax…

That apart, generally, unless you need 4 seats or IFR capability, I would also look into modern, Rotax-powered 2-seaters. So much easier and chaeper in Italy due to being able to take “benzina verde”. Whether ULM or certified is of course another important consideration.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 26 Feb 15:45
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

What @Boscomantico said.

If IFR / seat number aren’t important, Blackshape Prime all the way.


Peter wrote:

Those hours/year guidelines are fair enough if you want to fly clapped out junk

Depends where you fly, certainly not true anymore in the US. Not everywhere is it as horrid as in the UK….

Domenico wrote:

but now I would like to fly something newer, with updated avionics and autopilot

X-Plane ?

Just joking. Whenever I hear autopilot and updated avionics in the same sentence I always think of X-Plane. I have promised myself to stop giving advice about planes. People get the strangest things anyway, to their heart’s desires. When injecting common sense into it, you only end up with the usual dull (but best overall for the kind of flying most would do): A Cessna or a Piper 4 seater of some kind, and there isn’t that many different kinds to chose from.

I would say a Yak-52 is cool


Domenico wrote:

But what can I buy with a 100-150K€ budget?

with that kind of budget you have a huge choice of airplanes, some very capable.

The primary goal has to be to define your mission and then decide what to get to fulfill it.
- How many people are you going to regularly be? One, Two, or a family of four?
- What do you primarily want to do? Travel? Local flying? Short and grass strips?
- How many hours will you roughly fly per year? The number there is between 60 and 100 minimum to warrant your own plane.

As for EFIS: A bit of care should be taken there.

Yes, G1000 and similar planes are nice. But. They are also very much more expensive and heaven help you if you ever have to upgrade them.

You may well find that with 100-150k you can find VERY capable travelling planes with AP, dual GNS/GPS e.t.c, very well equipped indeed but not G1000 or full Avidyne.

However, for that budget, you can only get the lowest priced full G1000 planes if at all or some SR20 with the original old Avidyne set.

For me, the question there would be, do you prefer a rather top of the line airplane with good equipment and if you absolutely want glass install an Aspen or G500 or do you want to orient yourself towards the lowest end of the G1000 airplanes.

My own thing always has been to take my budget and use half of that to buy the airplane and the other half to upgrade and survive the first few annuals. That way you are very comfortable indeed.

As for Cirrus as being an obvious choice: They definitly have their pros for pilots like you: They are quite popular, they have the almighty shute which means you can comfortably do things which other SEP’s only can do with considerable higher risk, they are “new” feel, even if some are now over 20 years old and they will make your wife happy for that reason.

You will find some SR20 or even 22 with the 2 screen Avidyne set in this range. Some who operate them actually prefer them to the G1000 versions, others don’t. If you want to go Cirrus for the obvious reason, I’d go for a Avidyne equipped SR22 G2 or G3 which has at least 2 GNS430W and if at all possible the DCF90 AP or failing that, the Stec 55X which in that airplane I’d upgrade immediately to the DCF90.

Clearly you can also get an SR20 with the same setup, but there are less on the market and all in all the 22 is a more capable airplane. Equipment wise the same goes for the SR20.

Also there are quite a few SR20/22 which have the analogue cockpit with the big MFD, quite a few are upgraded to Aspen EFD’s now. I would not shun these either, but if you go that way, take one with a good avionics stack as discussed above, the same things apply: Minimum GNS430W and STEC55 upgradable. I’d personally not be too hapy with an Stec 30 as an AP as upgrading that is very costly.

Those planes which are in your budget however present the very lowest set of the Cirrus range, which means there will be compromises: High hours, possibly upcoming shute manitenance e.t.c. Also Cirri are not the first airplanes to think of if you are regularly considering grass runways or very short fields.

Therefore, you should be quite careful to consider other planes which fit your budget but where you may find airplanes with almost new engines and very good avionics for less price but a lot more bang for the buck.

Do go on and let us know what kind of missions you are looking at. If you are flying Arrows now, there are quiet a few of those around, some well equipped, there are a lot of very capable Mooneys around as well as Cessnas you might have considered to be beyond your reach, yet a lovely 182 or 210 may also work for you.

Or you might even go one step further in terms of safety and opt for a twin. Quite a few Senecas or other very economical twins such as Cougar or Seminoles are a round which might be a step in the right direction for you, who seem to be willing to learn and expand your piloting skills.

Some examples to make my point:

SR20 Avidyne, 2x GNS430 non WAAS, Stec 55X, very low engine hours after overhaul. Asking €120k.

Currently there are no SR22 with full glass in your price range. There are some as described above but most have the Stec 30 AP.

At the top end of your budget, you could get this Mooney 252 with very low engine hours and a great avionics setup including a G500 glass panel and GTN650 as well as full KFC150 AP. asking price is 148k.

If it’s load carrying with some speed and in comfort, here is a rare Cessna TR182, very low engine hours and decent equipment, asking 120k.

just 3 out of a load of airplanes currently available.

But as I said, first define your mission needs and then we can look a bit more specific.

Local copies of adverts:

LSZH, Switzerland

boscomantico wrote:

Also, he said that there are no adequate aircraft for rent at all.

Infact actually I rent PA28 or C172 and it is cheaper than buy, but I get only old avionics.
This is not a rent or buy comparison because I don’t know where to rent a glass cockpit plane in the nearby.

I know that in Italy is much more convenient to have an Ultralight, but I prefer to have 4 seat to take my family with me and doing IFR is an option that I am evaluating.
I have a partner which can share the cost and the hours, so we think we can do totally 100-120hrs per year.

Last Edited by Domenico at 26 Feb 16:09
55 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top