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Purchase Tips

Young buyer advice
Author Last Post
Well said!  Nuff said!

Jim Hill
N2393C
54'180
 
Austin,
 
If you can afford it I would go with a 185. I am  late to this thread but you remind me of myself when I started flying. You are ahead of me as far as flying experience and then looking for a plane. I bought a Piper TriPacer and hired an instructor to teach me to fly the thing. I was married first and the wife complained about how ugly the Tri Pacer was. That was one of the few things we agreed on!
Next was a very nice 172. I would prefer to fly  the TriPacer but the idea was to keep peace. After a year or two she decided she didn't like to fly and it was too expensive. Partial agreement there  . .  .My son and I were having a ball!  After a while I came to a point where I had to make a decision and in retrospect I made the wrong choice. I sold the 172 and gave up flying for  a long time. Time passed and when I reached a point in my career where I could have bought a KingAir wifey poo took off with some dirtbag and I had two boys to raise as well as writing her a big check. I realized that I had to reexamine my priorities. Family responsibilities would come first.
Airplanes would come second. Wives or girlfriends would come in third and after a vetting process to make sure their dreams and goals were fairly close to parallel with each other.  Women come and women go but good 185's are getting harder and harder to find!
 
Fly Safe,
 
DonMc
 

I agree with James on the prebuy – it is very important to know what you are getting into! And have the prebuy annual done by someone who knows skywagons like James said. Also, buy the most plane you can as opposed to buying low and then upgrading components which is always more expensive in the long run.  

 

I went from a Cessna 150/172 at 80 hours of flying time right into a Cessna 180 on wheels. I learned to fly it on wheels first which I highly recommend you do.

 

I bought mine in 1998. And the thing Iove about it is that as my missions changed my 1957 Cessna 180 has always been up to the job at hand including flying 12 hours to the northern tip of Quebec and Labrador caribou hunting and char fishing. Or taking my wife and two girls to Kapuskasing Ontario in 3.5 hours instead of the normal 11 hour drive.

 

If you can join a hanger with two or three other skywagon owners you can keep your ongoing maintenance costs down, especially if you can find a mechanic that lets you do most of the work and then inspects your work in order to sign off on the paperwork.

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-21-15 2:09 PM
To: Purchase Tips
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139852365554$>>

 

 I wouldn't go that far. 

 

 I've trained a few folks in taildraggers and the skywagon isn't a fire breathing dragon, no worries there as long as you have a good CFI. 

 

 For the mx, it hasn't been that bad as long as you get a good prebuy, have a engine analyzer and aren't ham fisted with it.  No way on earth should a weld job on a exhaust cost that much, maybe a full replacement. 

 

 Insurance can be a little high due to the higher hull value, which isn't skywagon specific, if you're keeping it on wheels and have a good chunk of Tailwheel time you should not be paying too much, floats or amphibian will jack your prices up, as a 4k hr ATP I was paying about 4k a year for my A185F amphib. 

 

 Lastly, buying your last airplane first is a good idea if you can swing it, my 185 is probably my last plane (I'm 30), first plane was a Stinson 108, if I could have swung a 6 figure plane back than I probably would have got my 185 first, not that the voyager wasn't a excellent aircraft. 

 

 Best advice on picking one, make sure the panel is at least 85% where you want it, major avionics upgrades are super expensive and you'll never see anywhere near that money again.   Get a factory seaplane, even if you don't want to fly floats, they are more desirable and have other strength and anti corrosion benefits, for bush and float ops get a 24v plane, I've found they crank much better, BIGGEST FACYOR --> go crazy on the prebuy and have it done by a guy who knows Skywagons, IMHO a good prebuy should be more intensive than a annual, remember you're no paying for airworthy, that's expected, you're paying for advertised condition, a good prebuy should also involve a test flight, verify performance against the book numbers, check the rigging, check all avionics and systems, shoot a approach etc. 

 

  I you buy right and take care of the plane they'll even hedge inflation for ya! 

 

 

    Blue skies 

 


On Dec 21, 2015, at 13:26, Richard Putnam (reputnam@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

Austin,

I appreciate your enthusiasm for Skywagons... nice choice.  Sounds like you have flown a number of hours and that plane might make sense for you, but is your girlfriend, (who just soloed), possibly going to be more than a friend?  If a long time partner, and she wants to fly too, a Skywagon might be a handful for a new pilot.  

A couple of other thoughts:  the purchase of an airplane should be thought of as just the down payment on your ownership experience.  Insurance can be a huge annual expense, especially for 185's as in 5 to 10 thousand depending on experience, and if on floats, etc. Check this out before you purchase something.

Also, simple maintenance can be huge... spark plugs at $25 each and you need 12.  Overhaul the carb and get the muffler cracks welded up and all of a sudden your annual inspection just cost $4000.  And don't forget hangar/tie-down costs.

With these expenses, you could be easily looking at $5K to $10K per year, and that doesn't count actual flying costs.  

Your notion of keeping the plane forever is interesting... when younger, I had that idea about a car and van I owned.  However missions and needs change and vehicles can be replaced by something more suitable. Sadly I sold the '68 Camaro, and still have the '73 Dodge van (which gets used all the time).

With these thoughts, maybe a Cessna 172 would be a good starter plane (great for two people), and one you could actually afford for a few years, (and your girl friend can catch up with you on her flying experience), and then later, you can find a nice Skywagon, when your $ earning power is higher.  Hey, having an older, smaller airplane is better than no airplane!

 
 I wouldn't go that far. 

 I've trained a few folks in taildraggers and the skywagon isn't a fire breathing dragon, no worries there as long as you have a good CFI. 

 For the mx, it hasn't been that bad as long as you get a good prebuy, have a engine analyzer and aren't ham fisted with it.  No way on earth should a weld job on a exhaust cost that much, maybe a full replacement. 

 Insurance can be a little high due to the higher hull value, which isn't skywagon specific, if you're keeping it on wheels and have a good chunk of Tailwheel time you should not be paying too much, floats or amphibian will jack your prices up, as a 4k hr ATP I was paying about 4k a year for my A185F amphib. 

 Lastly, buying your last airplane first is a good idea if you can swing it, my 185 is probably my last plane (I'm 30), first plane was a Stinson 108, if I could have swung a 6 figure plane back than I probably would have got my 185 first, not that the voyager wasn't a excellent aircraft. 

 Best advice on picking one, make sure the panel is at least 85% where you want it, major avionics upgrades are super expensive and you'll never see anywhere near that money again.   Get a factory seaplane, even if you don't want to fly floats, they are more desirable and have other strength and anti corrosion benefits, for bush and float ops get a 24v plane, I've found they crank much better, BIGGEST FACYOR --> go crazy on the prebuy and have it done by a guy who knows Skywagons, IMHO a good prebuy should be more intensive than a annual, remember you're no paying for airworthy, that's expected, you're paying for advertised condition, a good prebuy should also involve a test flight, verify performance against the book numbers, check the rigging, check all avionics and systems, shoot a approach etc. 

  I you buy right and take care of the plane they'll even hedge inflation for ya! 


    Blue skies 


On Dec 21, 2015, at 13:26, Richard Putnam (reputnam@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

Austin,
I appreciate your enthusiasm for Skywagons... nice choice.  Sounds like you have flown a number of hours and that plane might make sense for you, but is your girlfriend, (who just soloed), possibly going to be more than a friend?  If a long time partner, and she wants to fly too, a Skywagon might be a handful for a new pilot.  
A couple of other thoughts:  the purchase of an airplane should be thought of as just the down payment on your ownership experience.  Insurance can be a huge annual expense, especially for 185's as in 5 to 10 thousand depending on experience, and if on floats, etc. Check this out before you purchase something.
Also, simple maintenance can be huge... spark plugs at $25 each and you need 12.  Overhaul the carb and get the muffler cracks welded up and all of a sudden your annual inspection just cost $4000.  And don't forget hangar/tie-down costs.
With these expenses, you could be easily looking at $5K to $10K per year, and that doesn't count actual flying costs.  
Your notion of keeping the plane forever is interesting... when younger, I had that idea about a car and van I owned.  However missions and needs change and vehicles can be replaced by something more suitable. Sadly I sold the '68 Camaro, and still have the '73 Dodge van (which gets used all the time).
With these thoughts, maybe a Cessna 172 would be a good starter plane (great for two people), and one you could actually afford for a few years, (and your girl friend can catch up with you on her flying experience), and then later, you can find a nice Skywagon, when your $ earning power is higher.  Hey, having an older, smaller airplane is better than no airplane!
 
Austin,
I appreciate your enthusiasm for Skywagons... nice choice.  Sounds like you have flown a number of hours and that plane might make sense for you, but is your girlfriend, (who just soloed), possibly going to be more than a friend?  If a long time partner, and she wants to fly too, a Skywagon might be a handful for a new pilot.  
A couple of other thoughts:  the purchase of an airplane should be thought of as just the down payment on your ownership experience.  Insurance can be a huge annual expense, especially for 185's as in 5 to 10 thousand depending on experience, and if on floats, etc. Check this out before you purchase something.
Also, simple maintenance can be huge... spark plugs at $25 each and you need 12.  Overhaul the carb and get the muffler cracks welded up and all of a sudden your annual inspection just cost $4000.  And don't forget hangar/tie-down costs.
With these expenses, you could be easily looking at $5K to $10K per year, and that doesn't count actual flying costs.  
Your notion of keeping the plane forever is interesting... when younger, I had that idea about a car and van I owned.  However missions and needs change and vehicles can be replaced by something more suitable. Sadly I sold the '68 Camaro, and still have the '73 Dodge van (which gets used all the time).
With these thoughts, maybe a Cessna 172 would be a good starter plane (great for two people), and one you could actually afford for a few years, (and your girl friend can catch up with you on her flying experience), and then later, you can find a nice Skywagon, when your $ earning power is higher.  Hey, having an older, smaller airplane is better than no airplane!
 
Austin
I was a little older than you currently are in the 70's.  I was looking for a 180 or 185, too.  New 180's were $35,000,back then. I asked an older 180-185 pilot what he would suggest. (He was my age now)  He told me that if I was hauling large loads, then buy 185. If not;  buy a 180. I've always used that concept for the past 40 years of 180 ownership. Many of my friends own 185's. Nice, but I can use auto fuel and they can't. Cheaper to overhaul the engine. My insurance  costs for my 180's are less.  Operational costs are important to me because I'm not rich. I have another O-470K engine that I could make into a P-PONK engine, for a 180 that has a high time engine. But sometimes mod's over the years weaken the value of an a/c. It can cause problems with mechanics that don't understand the changes to the type certificate. So I'm undecided.
My last advice is that you should buy the plane now before marriage.  Spouses can immediately after the wedding;  give you hell about spending money and time with "your plane."  They will hound you for a new home to keep up with their friends, newer cars and the children  will always make it difficult  for you to purchase a plane after marriage. Just my experience from me and many of my 180-185 friends.
 
Merry Christmas  Richard
 

With regards to the girlfriend I have no advice to give as obviously I have not been very successful on my end! But I do wish you the best of luck with it.

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-14-15 8:19 PM
To: Purchase Tips
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139521984657$>>

 

Austin,

Arnold is absolutely correct about the pre-buy. When I bought my 180, I foolishly asked a mechanic who had probably never seen a 180 or 185 to do a pre-buy inspection. He spent a couple of hours looking over the airplane and said it looked good. At the time I didn't want to spend more than a couple hundred dollars on an inspection. How hard could it be? That turned out to be a huge mistake that I paid for in unanticipated repairs over the next coupje of years.
When I bought my 185, first I found a mechanic with a lot of experience with 180s and 185s, and then told him to basically do an annual, but not to make repairs. I think I paid him for 8 or 10 hours plus travel time and airfare to get to/from the airplane. The seller (a corporate owner with a maintenance department) fixed every squawk. The inspection was the best money I ever spent.
When picking a mechanic, you need to do the picking. Do not use the seller's mechanic or someone he suggests. People on this forum can help you find someone.

If you want a 185, I agree that you should buy one and not try to upgrade a 180. Putting in a larger engine is very expensive. Also, there are now lots of 185s out there that have a Garmin 530 and that are IFR certified. Buying someone else's used panel is way less expensive than installing new.

BTW, What did you say your girl friend's name and email are? We may need to give her some advice.

Ha!

Good luck.

John

Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 14, 2015, at 1:41 PM, Austin Levin (Austinaviatorlevin@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone!
>
> Some more background on how I'll be able to afford a plane...
>
> I've been lucky and thankful that my parents pay for in-state tuition, and I've received some academic scholarships. Ever since being quite young, I've always dreamed of owning an aircraft. Other than spending to get my ratings I try to be very frugal and any excess money goes towards a "plane fund" I've set up. As an engineering student, internships and co-ops pay quite well which allows me to contribute to the plane fund. Even with this saving I'll likely have to get the minimum loan allowed to fund the remaining bit (and pre-buy, etc).
>
> Regarding marriage, I'm lucky that my longtime girlfriend just solo'd this past week so the aviation bug has bitten her and she supports my crazy need for a plane.
>
> As my current mission for a plane stands, I doubt I truly need a 185, but I was thinking it may be a good idea, just for versatility and capability as I never intend to sell the plane in my lifetime.
>
> I have one question regarding price, since I'd like an IFR (Garmin 430/530, 6 pack) capable aircraft, would it be cheaper to buy a basic VFR 185 and upgrade the panel, or buy an IFR 180, and upgrade the engine later on?
>
>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<<
> You have received this message as a member of: International 180/185 Club, Inc
> Change preferences (including opt-out): https://SkywagonsClub.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=13&club_id=669928
>
>

 
Austin,

Arnold is absolutely correct about the pre-buy. When I bought my 180, I foolishly asked a mechanic who had probably never seen a 180 or 185 to do a pre-buy inspection. He spent a couple of hours looking over the airplane and said it looked good. At the time I didn't want to spend more than a couple hundred dollars on an inspection. How hard could it be? That turned out to be a huge mistake that I paid for in unanticipated repairs over the next coupje of years.
When I bought my 185, first I found a mechanic with a lot of experience with 180s and 185s, and then told him to basically do an annual, but not to make repairs. I think I paid him for 8 or 10 hours plus travel time and airfare to get to/from the airplane. The seller (a corporate owner with a maintenance department) fixed every squawk. The inspection was the best money I ever spent.
When picking a mechanic, you need to do the picking. Do not use the seller's mechanic or someone he suggests. People on this forum can help you find someone.

If you want a 185, I agree that you should buy one and not try to upgrade a 180. Putting in a larger engine is very expensive. Also, there are now lots of 185s out there that have a Garmin 530 and that are IFR certified. Buying someone else's used panel is way less expensive than installing new.

BTW, What did you say your girl friend's name and email are? We may need to give her some advice.

Ha!

Good luck.

John

Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 14, 2015, at 1:41 PM, Austin Levin (Austinaviatorlevin@gmail.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone!
>
> Some more background on how I'll be able to afford a plane...
>
> I've been lucky and thankful that my parents pay for in-state tuition, and I've received some academic scholarships. Ever since being quite young, I've always dreamed of owning an aircraft. Other than spending to get my ratings I try to be very frugal and any excess money goes towards a "plane fund" I've set up. As an engineering student, internships and co-ops pay quite well which allows me to contribute to the plane fund. Even with this saving I'll likely have to get the minimum loan allowed to fund the remaining bit (and pre-buy, etc).
>
> Regarding marriage, I'm lucky that my longtime girlfriend just solo'd this past week so the aviation bug has bitten her and she supports my crazy need for a plane.
>
> As my current mission for a plane stands, I doubt I truly need a 185, but I was thinking it may be a good idea, just for versatility and capability as I never intend to sell the plane in my lifetime.
>
> I have one question regarding price, since I'd like an IFR (Garmin 430/530, 6 pack) capable aircraft, would it be cheaper to buy a basic VFR 185 and upgrade the panel, or buy an IFR 180, and upgrade the engine later on?
>
>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------<<
> You have received this message as a member of: International 180/185 Club, Inc
> Change preferences (including opt-out): https://SkywagonsClub.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=13&club_id=669928
>
>
 

And definitely hire an AME or whatever you call them in the USA to review your potential airplane with you and then when you really think you found the one you want pay him to do a 100 hour inspection. While I hired an AME I failed to have him to the 100 hour inspection and spent $30,000 more in the first two years, all for good reasons, but had I known that before buying it I would have been more forceful on the price.

 

As Mike said an from what I have seen it is always better to pay more up front for a well-equipped and solid airplane than it is to modify / fix / update the airplane after you purchased it.

 

To me the Wing X and STOL kit was a requirement for any plane I considered because of the gross weight increase and because I fly floats and want the extra lift. Long range fuel tanks was a “nice to have” because it is always a trade-off of carrying capacity vs distance.

 

I changed my gear legs to 185 ones with 800x600 tires. It made all the difference in handling and grass strip maneuvering.

 

I added a baggage compartment, tail fuselage handles, and an Alaskan wheel ski which was much better than the piece of junk that I had.

 

The engine was redone at 1,000 hours. It probably was not absolutely necessary but I thought it would be a good idea and I had the flying reserve funds in the bank. I generally put $100 in the fund for every hour flown so the money is there when I need it.

 

Finally the reason I finally excluded the 185 is because the operating costs are higher and the new ones have fuel injectors, which can be difficult in warm temperatures. I preferred the simpler gravity fed carberators and instrument panel (I don’t fly IFR). I also excluded a new 180 because in my view they are underpowered for float operations, especially if they have Edo 2960s.

 

During the process of deciding which was the right airplane I called many Chief Pilots at bush operations and attended a seminar at the Cessna Pilots Association on 180/185 aircraft which was taught by very knowledgeable very high time backcountry pilots. All of them were very willing to answers all of my questions.

 

Arnold

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-14-15 2:55 PM
To: Purchase Tips
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139502237649$>>

 

Most likely cheaper to buy it already equipped.  Trust me as I just installed the equivalent of a 180 in the panel of my 185.

 

Whichever you choice is, don't ever try and make a 180 into a 185.  it never makes $$ sense.  I had a 180 and flew it for 1000 hours before I woke up.  I was going down the path.  My main mission with both planes is camping and recreating and the combination of that, a wife and 2 dogs put me in the category of needing the gross weight of the 185.  My machine is purpose built and does exactly what I need it to do.  That said if I was a younger chap I'd likely get an early 180 with a 520 Ponk in it.  Nice combination.  Just don't get any dogs.

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: "Austin Levin (Austinaviatorlevin@gmail.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com>
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2015 12:41
To: "Purchase Tips" <PurchaseTips@skywagons.club>
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139501662227$>>

Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone!

 

Some more background on how I'll be able to afford a plane...

I've been lucky and thankful that my parents pay for in-state tuition, and I've received some academic scholarships. Ever since being quite young, I've always dreamed of owning an aircraft. Other than spending to get my ratings I try to be very frugal and any excess money goes towards a "plane fund" I've set up. As an engineering student, internships and co-ops pay quite well which allows me to contribute to the plane fund. Even with this saving I'll likely have to get the minimum loan allowed to fund the remaining bit (and pre-buy, etc).

 

Regarding marriage, I'm lucky that my longtime girlfriend just solo'd this past week so the aviation bug has bitten her  and she supports my crazy need for a plane.

As my current mission for a plane stands, I doubt I truly need a 185, but I was thinking it may be a good idea, just for versatility and capability as I never intend to sell the plane in my lifetime.

 

I have one question regarding price, since I'd like an IFR (Garmin 430/530, 6 pack) capable aircraft, would it be cheaper to buy a basic VFR 185 and upgrade the panel, or buy an IFR 180, and upgrade the engine later on?


Attachment(s):
185ML Bad Ass.JPG (361.5 KB)

 

Most likely cheaper to buy it already equipped.  Trust me as I just installed the equivalent of a 180 in the panel of my 185.

 

Whichever you choice is, don't ever try and make a 180 into a 185.  it never makes $$ sense.  I had a 180 and flew it for 1000 hours before I woke up.  I was going down the path.  My main mission with both planes is camping and recreating and the combination of that, a wife and 2 dogs put me in the category of needing the gross weight of the 185.  My machine is purpose built and does exactly what I need it to do.  That said if I was a younger chap I'd likely get an early 180 with a 520 Ponk in it.  Nice combination.  Just don't get any dogs.

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: "Austin Levin (Austinaviatorlevin@gmail.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com>
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2015 12:41
To: "Purchase Tips" <PurchaseTips@skywagons.club>
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139501662227$>>

Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone!
 
Some more background on how I'll be able to afford a plane...
I've been lucky and thankful that my parents pay for in-state tuition, and I've received some academic scholarships. Ever since being quite young, I've always dreamed of owning an aircraft. Other than spending to get my ratings I try to be very frugal and any excess money goes towards a "plane fund" I've set up. As an engineering student, internships and co-ops pay quite well which allows me to contribute to the plane fund. Even with this saving I'll likely have to get the minimum loan allowed to fund the remaining bit (and pre-buy, etc).
 
Regarding marriage, I'm lucky that my longtime girlfriend just solo'd this past week so the aviation bug has bitten her  and she supports my crazy need for a plane.
As my current mission for a plane stands, I doubt I truly need a 185, but I was thinking it may be a good idea, just for versatility and capability as I never intend to sell the plane in my lifetime.
 
I have one question regarding price, since I'd like an IFR (Garmin 430/530, 6 pack) capable aircraft, would it be cheaper to buy a basic VFR 185 and upgrade the panel, or buy an IFR 180, and upgrade the engine later on?
 

Attachment(s):
Wow! Thanks for all the input everyone!
 
Some more background on how I'll be able to afford a plane...
I've been lucky and thankful that my parents pay for in-state tuition, and I've received some academic scholarships. Ever since being quite young, I've always dreamed of owning an aircraft. Other than spending to get my ratings I try to be very frugal and any excess money goes towards a "plane fund" I've set up. As an engineering student, internships and co-ops pay quite well which allows me to contribute to the plane fund. Even with this saving I'll likely have to get the minimum loan allowed to fund the remaining bit (and pre-buy, etc).
 
Regarding marriage, I'm lucky that my longtime girlfriend just solo'd this past week so the aviation bug has bitten her  and she supports my crazy need for a plane. 
 
As my current mission for a plane stands, I doubt I truly need a 185, but I was thinking it may be a good idea, just for versatility and capability as I never intend to sell the plane in my lifetime. (buy your last plane first)
 
I have one question regarding price, since I'd like an IFR (Garmin 430/530, 6 pack) capable aircraft, would it be cheaper to buy a basic VFR 185 and upgrade the panel, or buy an IFR 180, and upgrade the engine later on?
 

I tend to agree with John and his comments. In 1996 I was working like an idiot and traveling to do so and writing books and courses. My spouse got fed up with me working so much and said:

 

“Why don’t you go get your pilot license? You have always wanted to do that and it will slow down your working so much!”

 

So I did. It took me 1997 and 1998 to finally get my license. And the week after I did get my license in a C150 I went out and bought a 1957 Cessna 180! Man was she pissed.

 

“I told you to get your pilot license. I did not tell you to buy an airplane you idiot!”

 

But we all know if you have a pilot license and do no own some kind of airplane that you can fly regularly you probably won’t have a pilot license in a few years.

 

It’s like having two spouses – both have big demands and needs if you are to keep them both happy. Sending money to one often makes the other unhappy and vice versa. I have friends that have cars that are more expensive than C-FKAI but it is not just the upfront purchase price and ongoing maintenance costs but also the time you spend with one spouse instead of the other. A plane sitting in the hanger and not flying is not a good thing and not paying attention to your real spouse is not a good thing. I once went on a 7 day northern Canada fishing and hunting trip and came back after 12 days due to weather. One spouse was not happy at all!

 

The 1957 Cessna 180 was my first airplane. I have never had the itch to purchase a bigger one. I bought it because I have a spouse and two daughters and thought foolishly they would fly with me! That lasted a few years. Now I fly almost always by myself unless I drag a buddy along.

 

So I think you really want to consider seriously where you spend your time and money unless you have unlimited amounts of both.

 

Arnold  

 

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-14-15 12:08 PM
To: Purchase Tips
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139489159359$>>

 

Austin,

All of the advice you have received so far has been spot on. I have owned a 180 (600+ hours) and now have a 185 (2500+). I love both airplanes but ended up with the 185 mostly because I tell myself that when I want to go camping I need to be able to haul along a complete kitchen and bedroom. The truth is that even carrying too much gear and a dog and sometimes passenger, it is hard to over-gross either plane (not that you can't do it). I usually run out of room long before I run out of weight. The extra power in the 185 is nice (I have an IO-550), but fuel burn is definitely a negative. Either airplane is a great choice. There is a recent AOPA article on 180/185s that I believe refers to them as the best planes ever built.

Specific airplane choice aside, what everyone has missed so far is a little personal advice! If you really want to buy a 180/185 right out of college, do NOT get married! Don't do it!! Wait until you are at least 30 and have already bought your plane. I learned to fly while I was still in high school. My college years were pretty lean, so I did not fly for the duration. But I always really wanted to get back in the air. Then, right out of college, love and lust got the better of me and I got married. Now, marriage is great and I am not about to copy my wife on this email. But it was another 15 years before I had the income to get current, pick up a tailwheel endorsement (both in a J-3 Cub) and buy a 180.

Just saying............

Have a Merry Christmas!

John Cox

-----Original Message-----
From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2015 9:47 PM
To: Purchase Tips <PurchaseTips@skywagons.club>
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139461811955$>>




Austin-

I have had both, a 180 and a 185 at the same time. I sold the 185 after 11 years and kept the 180 which I have been flying since 1983. There is nothing wrong with a 185, I just like flying the 180 better. I also like a carburetor better than I like fuel injection. I like the horsepower of the 185 so I put a P-Ponk 520 in the 180 in 1995. The 185 cost quite a bit more initially and annual costs were higher each year with the 185. Insurance on the 185 was higher as well because of the higher hull value.

The decision depends not only on finances but on what you are going to do with the plane. If you will be flying max'd out gross weight loads, get the 185. If you are doing mostly fun flying and trips with one or two others, the 180 will work just fine, I have flown all over North America in my 180. Fuel consumption with stock airplanes will be around 12gph for the 180 and 14gph for the 185. A fresh rebuild 520 conversion will run around $50,000 all-in if you pay someone else to do it. Paint jobs are $15,000 and interiors go anywhere from Airtex to $20,000. The instrument panel and avionics are something else to consider.

You are fortunate if you can get into either one right out of college. I went through a Taylorcraft and C-170 before I got the 180 but if I could only have one airplane, it would be the 180. Equipped properly it will do everything I want.

 
Austin,

All of the advice you have received so far has been spot on. I have owned a 180 (600+ hours) and now have a 185 (2500+). I love both airplanes but ended up with the 185 mostly because I tell myself that when I want to go camping I need to be able to haul along a complete kitchen and bedroom. The truth is that even carrying too much gear and a dog and sometimes passenger, it is hard to over-gross either plane (not that you can't do it). I usually run out of room long before I run out of weight. The extra power in the 185 is nice (I have an IO-550), but fuel burn is definitely a negative. Either airplane is a great choice. There is a recent AOPA article on 180/185s that I believe refers to them as the best planes ever built.

Specific airplane choice aside, what everyone has missed so far is a little personal advice! If you really want to buy a 180/185 right out of college, do NOT get married! Don't do it!! Wait until you are at least 30 and have already bought your plane. I learned to fly while I was still in high school. My college years were pretty lean, so I did not fly for the duration. But I always really wanted to get back in the air. Then, right out of college, love and lust got the better of me and I got married. Now, marriage is great and I am not about to copy my wife on this email. But it was another 15 years before I had the income to get current, pick up a tailwheel endorsement (both in a J-3 Cub) and buy a 180.

Just saying............

Have a Merry Christmas!

John Cox

-----Original Message-----
From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2015 9:47 PM
To: Purchase Tips <PurchaseTips@skywagons.club>
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139461811955$>>




Austin-

I have had both, a 180 and a 185 at the same time. I sold the 185 after 11 years and kept the 180 which I have been flying since 1983. There is nothing wrong with a 185, I just like flying the 180 better. I also like a carburetor better than I like fuel injection. I like the horsepower of the 185 so I put a P-Ponk 520 in the 180 in 1995. The 185 cost quite a bit more initially and annual costs were higher each year with the 185. Insurance on the 185 was higher as well because of the higher hull value.

The decision depends not only on finances but on what you are going to do with the plane. If you will be flying max'd out gross weight loads, get the 185. If you are doing mostly fun flying and trips with one or two others, the 180 will work just fine, I have flown all over North America in my 180. Fuel consumption with stock airplanes will be around 12gph for the 180 and 14gph for the 185. A fresh rebuild 520 conversion will run around $50,000 all-in if you pay someone else to do it. Paint jobs are $15,000 and interiors go anywhere from Airtex to $20,000. The instrument panel and avionics are something else to consider.

You are fortunate if you can get into either one right out of college. I went through a Taylorcraft and C-170 before I got the 180 but if I could only have one airplane, it would be the 180. Equipped properly it will do everything I want.


 

The early model 180’s are a great airplane. I love my 1957 Cessna 180. I have had it it since 1998. It is the only airplane I have and I have never had any desire to buy a 185.

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-13-15 10:47 PM
To: Purchase Tips
Subject: re: Young buyer advice <<$139461811955$>>

 

Austin-

I have had both, a 180 and a 185 at the same time. I sold the 185 after 11 years and kept the 180 which I have been flying since 1983. There is nothing wrong with a 185, I just like flying the 180 better. I also like a carburetor better than I like fuel injection. I like the horsepower of the 185 so I put a P-Ponk 520 in the 180 in 1995. The 185 cost quite a bit more initially and annual costs were higher each year with the 185. Insurance on the 185 was higher as well because of the higher hull value.

 

The decision depends not only on finances but on what you are going to do with the plane. If you will be flying max'd out gross weight loads, get the 185. If you are doing mostly fun flying and trips with one or two others, the 180 will work just fine, I have flown all over North America in my 180. Fuel consumption with stock airplanes will be around 12gph for the 180 and 14gph for the 185. A fresh rebuild 520 conversion will run around $50,000 all-in if you pay someone else to do it. Paint jobs are $15,000 and interiors go anywhere from Airtex to $20,000. The instrument panel and avionics are something else to consider.

 

You are fortunate if you can get into either one right out of college. I went through a Taylorcraft and C-170 before I got the 180 but if I could only have one airplane, it would be the 180. Equipped properly it will do everything I want.

 
Austin-
I have had both, a 180 and a 185 at the same time. I sold the 185 after 11 years and kept the 180 which I have been flying since 1983. There is nothing wrong with a 185, I just like flying the 180 better. I also like a carburetor better than I like fuel injection. I like the horsepower of the 185 so I put a P-Ponk 520 in the 180 in 1995. The 185 cost quite a bit more initially and annual costs were higher each year with the 185. Insurance on the 185 was higher as well because of the higher hull value.
 
The decision depends not only on finances but on what you are going to do with the plane. If you will be flying max'd out gross weight loads, get the 185. If you are doing mostly fun flying and trips with one or two others, the 180 will work just fine, I have flown all over North America in my 180. Fuel consumption with stock airplanes will be around 12gph for the 180 and 14gph for the 185. A fresh rebuild 520 conversion will run around $50,000 all-in if you pay someone else to do it. Paint jobs are $15,000 and interiors go anywhere from Airtex to $20,000. The instrument panel and avionics are something else to consider.
 
You are fortunate if you can get into either one right out of college. I went through a Taylorcraft and C-170 before I got the 180 but if I could only have one airplane, it would be the 180. Equipped properly it will do everything I want.
 
I agree with the "buy the best you can afford" part of that. Pay now, or pay later is how a friend of mine puts it.
As far as 180 vs 185, that's a personal choice. My 180 fits my needs perfectly, I don't really want or need a 185. Maybe the OP does, maybe not.  The 185 is more capable, but for most of us the 180 is plenty good enough- plus there's lots of advantages including mogas use. Then there's price-- I have seen a number of pretty nice early 180's offered for sale in the $60-75K range (sometimes even lower), but I rarely see a 185 priced at less than $100K. That leaves them out of the picture as far as I'm concerned.
 

Having been there and done that, my advice would be to get the 185 out of the gates.  I would also buy all you can afford as its always cheaper to buy a plane with upgrades and modifications already installed vs. trying to do it yourself.  The best way to prepare for purchasing is to save your nickels and start educating yourself :)  Looks like you are well on your way.

 

Mike Perkins

Berthoud, CO

 

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: "Austin Levin (Austinaviatorlevin@gmail.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com>
Sent: Monday, December 7, 2015 13:40
To: "Purchase Tips" <PurchaseTips@skywagons.club>
Subject: Young buyer advice <<$139102888727$>>

Hello,
 
I'm new to the forum so I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm a 21 year old mechanical engineering student at Colorado State University. I hold a VFR Commercial certificate with a large amount of my flight time spead among various 182's and Citabria's. I once received a ride in a 180 from a gentleman from Skyview WY and have been enamored by skywagon's ever since. 
 
Ideally I'd like a IFR capable 180/185 for long cross countries with moderate bush flying abilities (No STOL kit needed, but unimproved and off-airport operations will happen)
 
I have about 2.5 years until graduation at which time I'll likely be able to finally purchase a 180/185. I have a few questions regarding this:
 
  • Assuming I never plan on selling the aircraft, is it more beneficial to get a higher end 180, and hot-rod it to a 185 at a later date? Or better to get a lower-end 185 right off the bat?
  • Aside from increasing my financial stability, are there any things I can do to prepare for purchasing/ownership while I'm ~2 years out?
 
Thanks for your help!
Austin
 
Hello,
 
I'm new to the forum so I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm a 21 year old mechanical engineering student at Colorado State University. I hold a VFR Commercial certificate with a large amount of my flight time spead among various 182's and Citabria's. I once received a ride in a 180 from a gentleman from Skyview WY and have been enamored by skywagon's ever since. 
 
Ideally I'd like a IFR capable 180/185 for long cross countries with moderate bush flying abilities (No STOL kit needed, but unimproved and off-airport operations will happen)
 
I have about 2.5 years until graduation at which time I'll likely be able to finally purchase a 180/185. I have a few questions regarding this:
 
  • Assuming I never plan on selling the aircraft, is it more beneficial to get a higher end 180, and hot-rod it to a 185 at a later date? Or better to get a lower-end 185 right off the bat?
  • Aside from increasing my financial stability, are there any things I can do to prepare for purchasing/ownership while I'm ~2 years out?
 
Thanks for your help!
Austin
 
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