Shopping for a Used Piper PA-28 Series Plane? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Monday, 21 March 2016 23:10

Shopping for a Used Piper PA-28 Series Plane?

While the new resurgent Piper Aircraft Corporation is doing quite well, if you’re in the market for an affordable aircraft for the family you may want to take a look at a used planes in the Piper PA-28 series instead. After all, the Arrow that Piper still produces today is based on the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, which speaks well of the timelessness of the design.

Specs and Performance

Unlike its previous J3 bestseller, the Piper PA-28 Cherokee features a low wing design, and it provides 3 seats in addition to the pilot’s. The earliest 1960-61 Cherokees were a bit underpowered for four people, but in 1962 Piper released a version with a 180-HP engine. In 1963 the company introduced the flat-six Lycoming O-540 in the Cherokee, and then in 1964 they launched a 2-seater trainer with a modest 140-HP engine.

While there are of course dozens of variants in the Piper PA-28 series, these three comprised the basic types in the Piper Cherokee lineup. So if you’re in the market for a used Piper PA-28, these are your basic options.

One good example for a family plane that can double as a trainer is the Lycoming O-360-A4M powered Cherokee. The 135 kW means you get 181 HP. That’s enough to give you a speed of about 153 mph. It can also carry a useful load of up to 900 pounds. The range can reach up to 737 miles, and the service ceiling is set at about 11,000 feet.

Pros and Cons

There are several crucial selling points for the Piper PA-28 series. It offers fairly easy handling. It’s roomy, it’s fast enough, and it looks appealing. It’s also quite affordable.

It doesn’t quite rank among the best in any particular category such as speed or space, but it offers good enough qualities in so many categories that it may be worth your while.

Buying Tips

If you’re buying a used plane in the Piper PA-28 series, you better make sure you get the type that really fits your needs and flying ability. You may want to steer clear of the trainers so you don’t risk buying an overused engine, although you still want to get a plane that’s been used regularly. A seldom-used plane can be just as problematic to maintain as an overused one.

You will have a lot of options when buying a used Piper PA-28, as about 30,200 fixed undercarriage PA-28 Cherokees were manufactured by the end of 2004. About 10,000 of them are PA-28-140s with two seats and 150 HP. There’s a 4-seater version as well. With so many possible options, you should be able to negotiate a low price that fits your budget.

You may also want to take a look at the Arrows in the Piper PA-28 series. They have 200-HP engines, and proved so popular that the production of the previous 180-HP versions was discontinued. Most of them feature a retractable landing gear and can carry quite a load as well.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:14
What It Takes to Buy a Used Piper J-3 Cub PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Monday, 15 February 2016 23:08

What It Takes to Buy a Used Piper J-3 Cub

A Harley. A pair of Levi’s jeans. A black mini-dress. Whenever we say that a design is a classic, that’s because its simplicity seems to capture the essence of what it ought to be. And this perfectly describes that ultimate classic in private aviation—the Piper J-3 Cub.


This famous high-wing 2-seater is a true trailblazer in American aviation. It was first produced in 1937, and the idea behind it was to produce a plane that was cheap and easy to fly as to encourage people to rent and buy planes. The price of the Piper J-3 Cub was set at $1,300 which at the time was almost the same as the price of a new car. The low price made it a bestseller.

But it was not the love of flying that would propel people to fly Piper J-3 Cubs. It was the love of country. When war broke out in Europe, people with foresight understood that sooner or later the US would be drawn in, and they needed to be prepared. That led to the establishment of the Civilian Pilot Training program, and the CPT used the Piper J-3 Cub as its main training airplane. By the end of the war 4 out of 5 US military pilots were introduced to flying with the Cubs. These planes were not just used for training, but for recon, transporting supplies, and medical evacuations.

The end of the war also brought an end to Piper J-3 Cub production in 1947, but the legend of the Cub would not be forgotten.


Pros and Cons

Aside from its history, the handling of the Piper J-3 Cub is superb. It is simple and forgiving of pilot mistakes. Its simplicity extends to its construction, so maintenance and repair is easier. You also don’t need a lot of runway to take off and land.

But at the same time, you need to accept the limitations of such an old piece of machinery. Its maximum speed is just 87 mph, and its cruising speed is 75 mph. Its rate of climb is less than 500 feet per minute, and you only have a range of 220 miles. It can carry about 455 pounds.

And don’t even think about advanced features. There isn’t even a radio in this plane. You navigate by sight along with a map. This is the true essence of flying.

Buying Tips

If you’re aiming to buy a used Piper J-3 Cub, you better be prepared for some challenges ahead. Buying a Piper J-3 Cub is much like buying a classic car. It’s not so much for the specs but for the sake of history and nostalgia. About 5,000 of them are still flying in the sky, and many of their owners have had them lovingly restored.

So if you want to buy a used Piper J-3 Cub you may have to set aside a budget of $40,000. You may also need to brush up on your knowledge of the history and specs of the Piper J-3 Cub, because the owner may not sell their plane to someone who doesn’t deserve to own one.


Buy a Used Cessna 182 for Sale and Have a One-of-a-Kind Family Fun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Thursday, 11 February 2016 23:07

Buy a Used Cessna 182 for Sale and Have a One-of-a-Kind Family Fun

1956 was a banner year for Cessna. This was the year they launched the 172, and in the same year they also introduced the 4-seater Cessna 182 Skylane. The 182 was the burly big brother of the 172, and like its sibling it offered the same sort of simplicity that seemed apt for beginners. It was just as comfortable, and it provided the same ease of handling that made the 172 a best seller.

However, the Cessna 182 offered greater speed and a much better performance at high altitude. Flying hot and high became a breeze, mountain flying presented no difficulties, and on cross-country trips it offered a decent cruising speed of about 150 mph. The design of the Cessna 182 was so optimal that during its 30-year production run from 1956 to 1987 Cessna basically kept the same powerplant and incorporated only cosmetic changes every year.

Cessna then reintroduced the new generation 182 in 1997, called the 182S. This new design is basically the very same airplane as its predecessor, with just a few changes.

Specs and Stats

The styling of the new Cessna 182 is a bit different from the old one. Aside from that, it also features a Lycoming IO-540 with 230 HP instead of a Continental engine. You now have leather seats, and you can put in a couple of children’s seats in the baggage area. You also get a more sophisticated King digital avionics stack as standard.

In 2001, a turbocharged model was launched, and in 2004 the Garmin G1000 became standard equipment.

The Cessna 182 has a useful load of about 1,140 pounds, so that should be enough to ferry four people and even some luggage. Its cruising speed is about 145 knots (approximately 167 mph) while using up 15 gallons per hour. Its maximum speed is at 150 knots (173 mph). Its range is about 1,070 miles.

Pros and Cons

All in all, it’s the perfect plane for the family or group of friends who like to travel to some far-flung places in comfort and style. In fact, it’s a joy to fly and ride, and maintaining it is no problem as well.

Perhaps the only impediment to owning a new generation used Cessna 182 is the price, but then again even the older versions are worthwhile.


Buying Tips

The price of a used Cessna 182 for sale will of course depend on its flying hours. But on the average, you may want to save approximately $160,000 for a ’97 or ’98 new-generation 182S. The 182T made from 2001-3 will cost anywhere from $200,000 to $220,000, while the early G1000 182 made in 2004-5 will range from $235,000 to $250,000.

For the 2008 model with the glass panel, figure about $370,000. Try to buy a Cessna 182 with the optional equipment already installed, such as the weather downlinks, traffic avoidance, and XM stereo.

If you plan to buy a Cessna 182, your best course of action is to get the Cessna 182 Buyer's Guide by John Frank. You may also want to consider joining the Cessna Pilots Association as well. The association can help you track down a good used Cessna 182 for sale, and the book will help you get the right price.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:13
Fly High Without Spending a Fortune When You Buy a Used Cessna 172 PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 29 January 2016 23:06

Fly High Without Spending a Fortune When You Buy a Used Cessna 172

There’s no such thing as a proper list of the best used airplanes to buy if it doesn’t feature the Cessna 172. This is hands down the most popular mass-produced light aircraft in the history of aviation. It started its rule back in 1956, and over the years there have been more than 21 variations. This particular model is a popular choice for aircraft training schools and families alike.

Aircraft Specs

The earliest 172s came with a 145 horsepower Continental 0-300 engine, but the 172H was the last of them as the engine was discontinued in 1967. It was replaced with the Lycoming 0-320-E2D engine.

The new generation of 172s was introduced in 1997 as the 172R, and it came with the 160hp Lycoming IO-360 engine. It came standard with the King/Honeywell IFR avionics and a KLN-89B GPS with moving map. Options included a King KAP-140 autopilot.

In 2004, Cessna introduced the 172S. This 4-seater glass-cockpit plane had better equipment than even some commercial planes. Both the 172R and the 172S have a cruising speeds of 110 knots at 9 gallons per hour, although the 172S does have a significantly better climb performance. The newer 172S models also have the Garmin G1000 integrated flight instrument system.

Pros and Cons

There are many reasons why a lot of people who love to fly love choose to buy Cessna 172 models only. For one, it is very easy and safe to fly, which is why it’s used a lot during training. It can be used to ferry around your whole family, and with its performance you can use it for other purposes as well. It’s also very affordable, easy to insure, and cheap to maintain because you won’t have to watch out for any significant maintenance issues.

You have to look really hard to find a reason not to get a used Cessna 172 for sale at the right price. Perhaps it’s because you don’t want to get a plane that’s really popular or you want a plane with a more unique look. But in the end, you can’t let such a hipster attitude deter you from getting a classic airplane that’s proven safe and dependable over the years.

Buying Tips

Since a used Cessna is usually a former training plane, it has probably been used extensively in the past. Make sure you bring along an experienced inspector to check the engine to confirm that it hasn’t been overused.

And while there are many fine used Cessna 172 models, you may want to steer clear from the 172 Cutlass. Unlike its peers, the Cutlass brings with it lots of maintenance problems. Other than that, everything’s great.

For a 2008 model, you may have to spring as much as $250,000. A used Cessna made in 2004 to 2007 with a glass cockpit will have a price tag of about $180,000. A 2000 used Cessna 172 may go for $120,000 if it hasn’t been used much and it wasn’t used as a trainer, and if you want to buy used Cessna 172 R models from 1997-98 it will cost about $85,000.

12 Crucial Pointers for Buying Used Airplanes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:01

12 Crucial Pointers for Buying Used Airplanes

Buying a used airplane for sale is a much more difficult process than buying used cars. We’re not that familiar with planes as we are with cars after all. We know the difference between a Ford Fiesta and a Porsche 991, even if we’re not sure about the specs. The differences among the various airplane brands will require a lot more research.

So if you’re planning to buy used aircraft for sale, here are some pointers to help you out:

  1. Consider using a broker. A broker can really expedite the entire process and help you every step of the way. You can quickly narrow down your list of suitable used airplanes for sale and you’ll be much more certain of getting the right plane for your needs and for your budget. The paperwork can be taken care of for you, and the financing can be easier.

    Of course, it all depends on which broker you hire. The wrong one can give you more problems instead, as shown in this video.

  1. Set a budget. Whether you’ll be using a plane for personal or business reasons, you need one that you can afford. And that means you need to set a budget, and you have to stick to it.

    Just like buying a car or a house, you’ll probably need some financing to get the plane you want. Your best bet is to get your financing approved even before you start looking for the plane you want. With preapproval, you have a definite limit to your budget.

    When you have the financing ready, you can concentrate your focus on checking out all the various used airplanes for sale. The financing preapproval also lets you act quickly once you find the plane you want.

  1. Make sure you are paying the right price. Ask around for the price of the particular model you want to buy. Check out forums and blogs.

    You can also go online for aircraft valuation, but usually there’s a fee involved. But with the valuation tools, at least you have a more accurate idea of what a particular used airplane for sale should cost. One website you can go for this service is Aircraft Bluebook.

  1. Check the engine hours. This is perhaps the most influential factor regarding the value of the airplane. When the engine is very close to its TBO (time between overhaul), the lower its value should be. The engine should also have a record of consistent use along with a satisfactory maintenance program. When the engine is used regularly, the engine parts remain lubricated and so they stay in great shape.

  2. Take note of the installed equipment. The most important equipment to check out is the avionics, and when you have advanced avionics it can double the price of some older used airplanes for sale.

    You should also inspect the interior equipment, the deicing gear, and the air conditioning. They should provide for your particular needs. Keep in mind, though, that while older equipment may be cheaper but they may be more expensive to maintain.

  1. Research the Airworthiness Directives. These directives are issued by the FAA, and the owners are required to comply within a given time frame. The logbooks for the plane should show compliance with all the relevant directives. You can find the Airworthiness Directives for a particular airplane model online.

  2. Determine the damage history. If the plane has undergone any major damage, it can set the price down considerably. It all depends on several factors, such as the kind of accident, the nature and extent of the damage, and which airplane parts were involved.

    You can get any FAA Form 337s on the used plane for sale you’re considering, and these will show you any major repairs and changes. Just go online and get the forms, but you’ll need the N-number and aircraft serial number.

    Remember, you also need to make sure that the previous owner made the proper repairs in compliance with the FAA regulations and recommended practices.

  1. Inspect the interior. This is especially important when the interior has a new paint job. Check to see that if that new coat of paint is hiding corrosion. The interior items should also be inspected for fit, comfort, and condition.

  2. Flying before buying. You don’t buy a car without a test drive, right? The same goes when you buy an airplane, especially when buying used aircraft for sale. It’s only when you’re flying when you can really find out if all the systems and equipment are functioning the way they should be.

    Flying also gives you a definite idea of what your time in the plane will be like. Can you handle it? Are your comfortable? Do you like the idea of flying this plane? These questions can be answered by a test flight.

  1. Bring a mechanic with you for the inspection. The mechanic should be experienced in these matters and knows how to check what needs to be checked. Then get a written report of the mechanic’s findings.

    You should also include an analysis of the spare parts market condition as part of the inspection. If the analysis shows that you’re going to run into difficulties in getting the spare parts you need, then that will cost you a lot in terms of money and time. It may even result in the grounding of your plane.

  1. Check the title. You really need to get a title search done, just for your peace of mind. What you don’t need is to discover after the purchase is done that there is a lien on the airplane.

    For added protection, you may want to consider title insurance. This will only cost a very small fee, but it protects you from the possibility that someone will file a claim against your plane’s title.

  1. Make sure you get the paperwork right. This means putting all the terms and conditions of the sale in writing and executing a bill of sale. The seller should also sign their name as it appeared in the previous bill of sale.

That’s a dozen pointers to start with, so hopefully you can get the best used aircraft for sale that meets your budget and needs. Good luck!

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:03
The Dependable and Affordable Used Cessna 150 / 152 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

The Dependable and Affordable Used Cessna 150 / 152

The Cessna 150 / 152 is an enigma for those who don’t know much about airplanes. It’s one of the most popular private light airplanes in the world, despite the fact that it started its production run in 1958 and the last of the US-produced 152s (which were based on the design of the Cessna 150) were built in 1985. In 1986, 25 Cessna 152s were produced, and that was the last batch.

All in all, almost 24,000 150s were built over the years, and a little more than 7,500 of the Cessna 152s were produced. Today, more than 20,000 of these 2-seater planes are still flying all over the world. They’re mainly used for aviation schools, but many families who want to buy Cessna 150 / 152 planes can find many used Cessna 150 / 152 for sale in the market today.

So what accounts for the popularity of the Cessna 150 / 152? That’s simple. It’s very sturdy and designed very simply for safety reasons. It’s specifically made for beginners, so its simplicity is intentional.


There is no single set of specs for the Cessna 150 / 152, simply because over the 27 years of its production run Cessna has made a lot of changes annually. Nonetheless, here are some of the stats you can expect from a used Cessna 150 / 152 for sale:

  • According to Cessna, it has a cruising airspeed of 105 KTS (nautical miles per hour), which is about the same as 120 mph. But most pilots of the Cessna 150 / 152 agree that the more accurate figure is 95 KTS or about 110 mph.

  • It can carry about 400 to 500 pounds. According to the FAA, a Cessna 150 has a legal maximum weight limit of 1,600 when it includes passengers and baggage. The 150s made before 1964 have a 1,500-pound limit and the 152s have a 1,670-pound limit. On average, a Cessna 150 / 152 when empty weighs about 1,100 pounds, so do the math.

  • The gas mileage ranges from 15 to 22 miles per gallon. It consumes 5 to 9 gallons per hour, and with a full tank of fuel you can probably travel about 300 miles and still have 30 minutes of fuel left.

  • Realistically, you need only about 750 feet to land a Cessna 150 / 152 and 1,500 feet to take off. But it all depends on the headwinds and tailwinds.


Pros and Cons

The Cessna 150 / 152 is very affordable, it’s very easy to fly, very safe, and quite easy to maintain as well. These are all good reasons to buy a plane, and when you find all these features in a single plane you know you have a winner in your hands.

On the other hand, while it has a service ceiling of at least 12,650 feet the Cessna 150 / 152 performs a bit sluggishly past 9,500 feet. You won’t really go past this altitude anyway, although you may have a problem if you have to land in an airport at a very high altitude.

Buying Tips

You may find a used Cessna 150 with an $18,000 price tag if it’s in good condition, while a 152 is more expensive at about $22,500. Upgraded versions with better engines and equipment may go for $30,000 but with that kind of money you can get a good 4-seater instead of a 2-seater.


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:06
10 Things You Need to Know About Homebuilt Aircraft PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 11 January 2016 22:56

10 Things You Need to Know About Homebuilt Aircraft

If you have done enough research on buying new planes, then chances are you may have come across some information about homebuilt aircraft. Not every plane comes fully assembled from a manufacturing and assembly plant that has been certified by the FAA. Some planes can be built at home—even your own home. But before you plunk down your money, here are some things you need to know beforehand:

  1. Homebuilt planes are generally not as expensive as their brand new commercial counterparts, but they will still cost you a lot of money. Spending a hundred grand is not unheard of.

  2. If you want to build your own plane, it may take you literally years to completely finish the assembly. This is especially true if you build it in your spare time.

  3. If you want to build an aircraft on your own, you can choose among a lot of options, and that includes new technology. Just take care of yourself please. Aside from the usual dangers, there’s also the risk from chemical resins and paint systems. So wear protective clothing, and make sure you have an exhaust fan in your shop.

  4. If you buy a homebuilt aircraft fully assembled, then you don’t get a repairman certificate, since you didn’t build the plane yourself. You may want to negotiate with the person or company who built the plane and see if you can convince them to continue taking care of your plane.

  5. Homebuilt aircraft has the same maintenance and testing requirements as other planes. They need licensed pilots to fly, and they can’t be used for commercial purposes.

  6. The number of homebuilt aircraft has increased considerably through the years. It has doubled since 1994. Total hours flown have increased by more than 120%. Nowadays homebuilt aircraft comprise about 10% of all general aviation, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

  7. Accident rates for homebuilt aircraft are steadily dropping. In 2009 there were 67 fatal aviation accidents involving homebuilt aircraft. In 2012, the figure was down to 50. According to statistics, it’s about as dangerous as riding a motorcycle.

  8. General aviation aircraft are involved in five times more fatal aviation accidents than homebuilt planes.

  9. The accidents involving homebuilt planes were not usually caused by structural failures. According to the NTSB, mechanical failure and pilot error were the most common key factors.

  10. You can insure a homebuilt aircraft, although each insurance company may have different requirements. These requirements tend to be above and beyond the requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

So if you are trying to get a new plane, you should consider whether a homebuilt plane can satisfy your needs. Better yet, see if you can build one yourself. If you think buying a new aircraft is fun, then you haven’t yet experienced the joy and the exhilarating feeling of accomplishment that comes with flying in the air on something that you built with your own two hands.

5 Signs You Need to Buy a New Aircraft PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Saturday, 21 November 2015 22:54

5 Signs You Need to Buy a New Aircraft

It’s a well-known phenomenon that people (especially men) tend to bond on an emotional level with their machines. You see that everywhere among car owners, sailors, and yes, pilots. Every person who flies their own planes can get very attached to their “machine” to the point that they simply refuse to replace it with a new one. But sometimes you have to accept the reality that a replacement is in order. Here are some signs that may indicate you need to buy a new aircraft:

  1. Your situation and your needs are different now. Situations change all the time. Maybe you moved to a new location and that means the distance to your mother-in-law’s house is greater. Perhaps you now have more kids that you need to take with you in the air. Situations like these determine what kind of plane you need to buy and they also determine whether or not you should keep your current plane.

  2. You have the money and you want something better. If you’ve been saving up lately or you have some extra money, then it’s natural to think about something better to fly. People upgrade their cars when they can afford it, and the same principle applies to private aircraft. Perhaps you want something that can get you faster from one place to another, or you just want something “sexier”. If you’ve got the money, you can (or even should) get a better plane.

  3. You need the money. Conversely, you can get a cheaper aircraft that costs less to buy and fly, and then sell your more expensive aircraft. You still get to fly, but you will also get some extra money in your pocket as well.

  4. Your plane has become too expensive to maintain. Old planes, like old cars, tend to require a lot of expensive maintenance. This applies to the most-well maintained planes, and for real lemons the cost of repairs can be debilitating. Who needs that kind of headache? If your plane seems like a mainstay in repair shops and won’t fly when you want to every time, then you need to bid sayonara to that sucker.

  5. A new plane is much more cost-effective than getting exorbitant upgrades. Aircraft upgrades can be very expensive, and often you may discover that you won’t be able to recoup your investment. Some of the newer gadgets may even prove impossible to install on your craft. If you really want these newer features and avionics then you need to get a new aircraft.

There’s another sign that may also mean that it’s time to buy a new aircraft and that’s when you feel bored when you fly. It may not be enough of a reason to spend a fortune on a new plane, but if you can’t get excited anymore when you fly then something does need to be changed.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:13
Used vs. New Aircraft: The Pros and Cons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Friday, 21 August 2015 22:52

Used vs. New Aircraft: The Pros and Cons

If you’re a private individual who really wants to buy a plane, you’re immediately faced with a choice as to whether to buy one used or brand new. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you need to consider them so that you get the best value for your money. Asking a dozen different pilots won’t get you a unanimous decision as to which option is better, but for the most part your decision should be based on your answers to the three most crucial questions:

  1. What’s your skill level?
  2. What do you need a plane for, exactly?
  3. How much are you willing to spend?

Buying a New Aircraft

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of buying a brand new car, then in some ways the feeling of owning a brand new airplane is the same, although in a much more exciting way. The feeling—the knowledge—of being the first owner is hard to describe, but it can truly bond a person to his plane.

But it’s not just psychological. The newness of the aircraft means that it should perform at optimum levels, and new planes tend to have more advanced gadgetry as well. Many of these pertain to safety, so that means you’re safer all around.

You may also find that insurance, operating costs, and maintenance expenses are lower in general when everything is brand new. And when everything works fine every time, it’s a lot more fun as well.

On the other hand, the cost of new aircraft can be truly substantial. It’s not uncommon to shell out at least five times the price of a used aircraft when you are buying a brand new one. And if you have experience buying brand new cars, then you know about the reality of depreciation. When you decide to sell the aircraft a few years down the line, you’ll get far less than what you paid for it originally.

Getting a Used Aircraft

The best thing about getting a used plane is that it’s generally much more affordable even when insurance, maintenance, and operating expenses are factored in. It also tends to retain its value well, since an old aircraft is often fully depreciated.

As for reliability, just make sure to get a professional to assess the quality of the plane before you buy it. There are a lot of undervalued planes out there in excellent working condition. You may have to endure some glitches due to its age, but for the most part knowing that you paid so little in comparison for the same privilege of flying has its upsides as well.

Which One Is Best for You?

No one can answer that question except you, and that answer will depend on the answers you provided for the first three questions mentioned above. Make the wrong choice and you’ll end up wasting your money and flying will be a lot less enjoyable for you. Make the right choice and you are ready for an adventure that those stuck on the ground will probably never ever understand.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:12
Common Issues About Corporate Aircraft Ownership PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 22:58

Common Issues About Corporate Aircraft Ownership

If you’re buying a plane simply for your own enjoyment and convenience, it’s a bit like buying a car. While the specs and the budget considerations are always important, you can’t help but feel an emotional tug when you’re buying a used airplane for sale.

But such an attitude won’t work if you’re buying a used aircraft for sale for your business. You need open eyes and a clear mind. And you also need to anticipate whatever issues that may come up as a result of owning an airplane.

So what kind of issues are we talking about here? Take a look:

Does Owning an Airplane Really Help a Business?

Owning an airplane is an investment, but the ROI is not all that easy to figure out. As a business owner, you have to buy the plane, and then you need to pay for its maintenance. It will be a constant drain on your finances, whether you use the plane or not.

But what do you get in return? Here are some of the benefits:

  • You save a lot of time. This is the most obvious advantage, and you can even measure it. Take note of how much time it takes you to reserve tickets, go to the airport, wait for boarding and takeoff, getting your luggage, and then driving from the airport to your hotel.

    With your own airplane, the entire process is simply shorter. Take note, you’ll like waste less time because delays and flight cancellations are rare when you’re in charge of your own airplane maintenance. You don’t get bumped off your seat because the airline is overbooked.

    You can even maximize productivity because you can use the flight time for work as well. And if you want to change course or change your schedule, you can do so without worrying about how you’ll need to inform the airlines about your changes.

  • It also saves you from aggravation. When you have your own plane, you can be fresh and well-rested afterwards. When you get off the plane, you’re in a better frame of mind to do business. That’s not the case when you fly commercial.

    Aside from the delays and flight cancellations which can be aggravating too, a commercial flight is full of inconveniences that can turn a journey into a nightmare. Your co-passengers may be unruly or annoying, and the seats may contort you into awful positions. Even your luggage may disappear.

    With your own plane, you have a certain means of getting where you want to go on time, and you can do so with privacy and comfort.

  • You can also boost your business efficiency. The plane expands the reach of your sales force, and your negotiators can go anywhere at a moment’s notice. You can even use the plane to bring in people such as customers whom you want to impress.

It’s up to you to determine whether all these advantages are worth the expense. You may also want to consult with an accountant who may be able to get some tax breaks when you buy used aircraft for sale.

If ownership is not generating enough benefits but you still want to avoid using commercial airlines, you still have options. For example, you can charter a plane instead. That helps you avoid the irritating parts of flying commercial and you also avoid the hassles of maintaining your own plane.

Should You Hire a Pilot or Fly the Plane Yourself?

This is a question you need to address even before you buy an aircraft. After all, if you buy an airplane you don’t know how to fly then you have no choice but to hire a pilot.

It may even be a good idea to hire a pilot even if you can fly the plane yourself. At the very least, you’ll need an aviation manager. Their duties will include setting operational standards for:

  • crew flight and duty time limits
  • minimum weather operating standards
  • training and experience criteria for all personnel
  • drug and alcohol use guidelines
  • drug and alcohol use guidelines

You may even want to consider using the services of a professional aircraft management company. These experts can handle all the details of operation of the aircraft, and can include overseeing the maintenance.

In other words, you can fly the plane yourself and here’s a video that will show you the basics. But for all the other aspects of aircraft management, you’ll need someone else to do it if you want to have time to actually run your own business.

Should You Lease the Plane When It’s Not in Use?

You can let third parties charter your plane, as it is a very good way to recover some of the costs of its upkeep. After all, if you’re using it for business then you have to maximize the returns on your investment. Keep in mind that maintenance expenses will still pile up even when you don’t use the plane, and a long time of inactivity can be very detrimental for the engine’s condition.

You also don’t have to worry about the condition of your airplane when you have other people riding it. For the most part, the people who tend to charter planes are quite responsible folks, and it’s very rare to hear about any incidents of abuse.

To make things simple for you, you’re better off partnering with an established charter operation than to go at it on your own. The charter operator takes care of the advertising, billing, and bill collection process.

The downside, of course, is that there will be times when you need your airplane and it’s not available. So you should consider whether such a drawback is serious enough for you to forego the revenues from chartering your plane.

Discuss these matters with your managers, accountants, and lawyers before you buy a used airplane for sale. With the answers to these questions, you can determine for sure whether or not buying a used aircraft makes sense in the first place.


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:00
7 Things You Need to Know About Piston Aircraft Engines PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aviator   
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 22:50

7 Things You Need to Know About Piston Aircraft Engines

Did you know that the piston engine attached to a propeller (which you can see in something like the wildly popular Cessna 172) is basically the same setup used by the Wright brothers? In fact, the basic system of a piston engine in a plane is about the same as those used in cars. It’s just that in a car you don’t absolutely need a light engine that can provide maximum power for long periods of time.

While all these little factoids may (or may not) interest you, they’re not exactly crucial. Here, then, are some of the things you need to know about piston aircraft engines:

  1. The cost (at least at first) of a piston aircraft engine is much lower than other types of engine (like a turboprop, for example). That’s because the design is much simpler in the piston engine. However, maintenance costs over time can sap your budget. Piston engines vibrate, and they have a lot of moving parts. These factors cut down on reliability, and that means there’s a shorter time in between major overhauls.

  2. As for the performance of the piston aircraft engine, it is well suited only for short distances (300 miles at the most). Moreover, the speed of a piston aircraft tends to be slower than other types of aircraft that use different types of propulsion.

  3. You don’t have to comply with the manufacturer’s TBO. A manufacturer generally publishes the number of hours that a piston engine should operate before it needs an overhaul. That figure is called the TBO, and it stands for “to be overhauled.” For piston aircraft engines, a TBO of 2000 hours is not unusual.

    However, that doesn’t mean you have to get the engine overhauled at the appointed time when it doesn’t need an overhaul (and conversely, you don’t have to wait for the required hours before you get an overhaul if you think your engine needs it). For private citizens, most insurance policies won’t require you to comply with the letter of the law, so to speak. As for commercial operators, they may apply to the local FSDO for a TBO extension, and the FAA tends to grant that extension.

  1. Operate at minimum rpm and at maximum manifold pressure allowed by your engine manual. This allows for lower turbine inlet temperature and exhaust gas temperature, your valves to run cooler, more efficient propellers, lower losses due to friction, and improved cylinder compression.

  2. Don’t let your engine run too hot or too cold either. We all know that engines can overheat, but oil temperatures lower than 170°F can lead to a buildup of water that can be bad for your engine as well. Maintain an oil temp of 180°F to 200°F on the gauge.

  3. Don’t overstress the low oil consumption. Low oil consumption is an indication of a tight and properly broken-in engine, but there’s such a thing as too low (such as using only a quart every 30 hours).

  4. Use single-weight oil. The newer multi-viscosity oil isn’t all that great, and most overhaul shops recommend the single-weight variant.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 23:12
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