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I am in the process of obtaining my private pilots license and I am interested in purchasing a 2 or 4 seater to build time after I get my license. I can spend between 30-35k for the plane, does anybody have some suggestions. Also what can I expect insurance and maintenance cost to be. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know about insurance costs, but check out eBay and look for the "buy it now" options. They can give you a pretty good idea of what some planes are going for. If you search, there are also consignment services that have online "lots" to show you what planes are for sale and how much.
In that price range, you can expect a low(er) time Cessna 150/152, or a higher timed Cherokee 140. Neither are speed demons, nor can they carry much, but they are nice trainer airplanes for building time in.
You can go back farther and look for taildraggers from the ''Golden Age'of flying, the 1940's and 50's. You may be able to get into one of these less expensively, but it's going to be a purely VFR airplane.
Maintenance and Insurance are going to be tailored to you and the airplane. You can look for the clubs that deal with the airplanes you decide to look at, and when you join the members will be more than happy to tell you about pitfalls, general insurance rates, and what you can expect to pay for maintenance.
I agree with the above poster.
I would probably vote for the cherokee 140 since it's roomier and has much better payload.
Of course, if you prefer a high wing, the 150's are certainly fine. However, I would seriously consider spending a little more, and getting an older Cessna 172. I don't think you would regret it.
I would recommend to join AOPA if you don't already have a membership...this will give you access to all the resources
you need to make a good first airplane choice. Either through their website AOPA.org or via their member service phones.
I agree that in the price range you have mentioned you are looking probably at C150/152 or the Cherokee 140 models.
One option you might consider is partnering up with another pilot.
I was lucky that my flying partner who already owned a nice airplane came looking for a pilot in my FBO and that the lady running the show gave him my number.
He had had some medical troubles which relgated him to hangar flying for some time. Once all cleared he did not feel 100% comfortable flying alone, even after he was signed off by my CFI.
After a few month of occasionally flying together and sharing the costs per flight we talked and decided to come up with a
more permanent arrangement.
The important thing on this setup is to make sure you have insurance coverage should anything happen to the aiplane. Again AOPA can be of great help there.
Plus unless you have other friends fascinated with flight....you'll enjoy the hour building much more if you share the flights
and $100 burgers with another pilot.
We meet up every weekend at the hangar and come up with a flying destination that works for the current conditions and schedules
and once the flight is properly planned we flip a coin to determine who gets the outbound leg and who will fly the return.
After each leg we can go over the flight and critique each other as friends.
Two other guys at my FBO who went through their private training right after me just pooled their moneys and were able to get a
better airplane together than each alone.
One other possible source of good info or resources is if you can hook up with a local flying club. The people there will surely have been through the process for the club at least, and can likely help out with some estimates. They'd also be in-tune with the tie-down and hangar fees at the local airports too.
Just a thought.
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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