AOPA Introduces ‘Reimagined’ Cessna 152

My dad and I have been talking about buying an airplane together for what seems like forever. What we really need, he says, is something with four seats and two engines — so naturally we should buy two used Cessna 152s.

That light-hearted logic was on my mind as I checked out the "152Reimagined" at the AOPA tent at Oshkosh. You might have heard about this project already. The idea is to take an old 152, strip it to bare metal, zero time the engine, add new paint, spruce up the interior, and offer it to flying clubs and partnerships searching for an inexpensive way to fly.

AOPA and the association's partner on the 152Reimagined project, Husky builder Aviat, tout operating costs of around $65 an hour including fuel. The out-the-door price for the airplane is about $100,000.

That's for a bare-bones 152, mind you, with nothing more exotic in the panel than a basic VFR six pack. Now, that's sure to draw howls from readers who lament sky-high prices, but AOPA provides the math on its website to back up its premise that the refurbed 152 represents a good value.

A flying club with eight pilots flying 700 hours a year could put 30 percent down on a 12-year loan at 6 percent interest, AOPA says. The loan payment would be $682 a month and the fuel around $30 an hour. Tack on expenses for oil changes, overhaul reserves, 100-hour inspections, insurance and tiedown rental, and the breakeven point for the 152Reimagined would be $63.88 an hour.

Not bad.

For $100,000 I don't think my dad and I have found the answer to our airplane-buying dilemma, but for the right type of flying club or partnership the idea is intriguing and certainly has merit.

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