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Das fliegenwagen

Flying Those of you who are of of the loop (reading this blog rather than following me on Twitter) are probably unaware of the fact that I went out and bought a plane. I've been rotating my training using my plane (N8031W) and the flight school's aircraft, and recently switched over to mine full-time. I've been slowly working down my list of squawks and stuff I want to do to the plane. Since it might be of interest to the one or two people who read this who are also into aviation, I figure I'll throw a few figures and numbers out there. Purchase price of the aircraft (1965 PA28-180 "Cherokee 180C"): $35,000 (including getting it from TX to NY).
Misc. parts, maintenance, etc. since I bought the plane: About $3,500
Cost difference in training since switching to my plane: $0 (because of maintenance, buying parts, and because I've been flying more often).

  • First avionics upgrade
    • Replace audio panel & Intercom
    • Deal with Com1 transmitter squeal
    • Possibly relocate the transponder to the main stack
  • Checkride (Attempt #2)
  • Start IFR training
  • Do some night flights while it's still dark early
  • Build some cross-country time
  • First annual in NY
    • Fix or replace the strobe
    • Possibly replace the tail beacon with a low-amp flasher
    • Front crank shaft seal
  • April
    • Paint Job
      • Re-skin the rudder (stop-drilled crack)
      • Re-skin or patch co-pilot wing skin (stop-drilled crack)
      • Possibly re-skin ailerons & flaps (if cost-effective)
      • Replace tailcone
      • Fiberglass work on cowling
      • Fall 2013
        • Interior work (new headliner)
        • Weighing
        So what's it all going to cost?
        • The paint I consider a capital investment - it's going to bring up the "purchase price" to about 48K (which is around market value for these planes).
        • The first avionics upgrade will be a bit pricey and I hadn't planned on doing it so soon
          The #1 radio acting up is frankly pissing me off: I've effectively relegated it to be a com receiver which is useful, but I'd rather have it fully functional.
          Since I almost certainly need to have the avionics shop pull the radios to troubleshoot that issue I may as well have them do some "usefu"l work at the same time. I expect to come out paying $2.5k for that all told.
        • The annual will probably fall between $2k - $3k, depending on parts and such. I've banked a bit more than that in anticipation of new discoveries & minor stuff I'll want to deal with.
        • I haven't priced the headliner labor, but I expect $250-300 in parts (fabric and plastic), and probably a day of labor (seats out, new insulation, etc.)
        • Re-weighing will probably be around $200 in labor and paperwork.
          The last time this plane was weighed was in January 1965 when it rolled off the assembly line. Weight has been "computed" since then so there's a margin of error I want to eliminate.


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