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Buying Things...

Flying Just on a whim, I went and punched up an insurance quote from AOPA. I'm gonna go out on a very thin limb and assume that the numbers they're giving me are annual numbers (i hope so anyway)... If I purchase a PA28-140 (the same class of Cherokee I'm training in), insure it for $30,000, and get my private with 70hrs, insurance will run me $950/yr (about what I pay for car insurance... I'm shocked by that!). Assuming I get my IFR ticket in a rather generous (low) 45 hours after that (115h total time), it drops to $875-$900ish. If I buy an IFR-Rated Cherokee (which can be had for about 30,000 right here in NY (Dunkirk)), I can use it for my IFR training. I need to amortize a few more costs into this (tiedown @ KFRG, annual inspections, etc.), but I was viewing insurance as the "OMGZ0R" expense, and it's starting to look reasonable ($150/mo will amply cover it, and thats about what I spend in ONE LESSON renting 1933H (the cherokee I seem to have the best luck in out of my 3 flights so far) at NFI, not counting instructor fees)). What sucks is I don't believe I can secure a decent aircraft loan (looking at that now, thinking a 10% downpayment will get me about where I want to be so $3,000 toward the plane from the outset).
Lest you all think I've fucking lost my mind: No, I'm not buying it yet. I'm going to finish my PP-ASEL in rental planes and build a few hours knockaround time first, then when I'm ready to start the IFR ticket I'll start seriously considering buying an aircraft of my own. If anyone wants to keep tabs on the market for me, here's what I'm looking for:
  • Model
    I like the PA28-140s at NFI; They suck more gas than the Cessna 150s I first flew in (about 1.2gph more), but they cruise faster and the useful load is about double (400lbs in the 150 (about 300 wet); 800ish in the PA28 650ish wet))
  • Cost
    Obviously the cheaper the better as long as it's airworthy and the engine isn't run out (1700 or fewer hours since overhaul).
    I'm thinking $32,500 or less will be my "sweet spot"
  • Equipment
    IFR Equipped is a must. If there's a "known ice equipped" PA28 out there in the universe (AFAIK such a bird doesn't exist) I'd love it, since here in NY the dew point occasionally crunches right up against the ambient temperature, but honestly ice scares me shitless so that's not even a consideration :)
    IFR Equipped and current cert is a must though; I've scrubbed 2 lessons on "OK" days because the ceiling was mad low and overcast or broken (in VFR aircraft you can't climb through broken/overcast clouds (FSBO - NO GO)).
    While I probably wont be flying through crap weather too much, I do eventually want my IFR ticket and the option available to me.

    Niceties (GPS/Moving-Map) are... well, nice. a 406MHz ELT (instead of the 121.5MHz crap-box) is also nice, but not having these items won't make me cry (I kinda like sectionals and airway charts, and a 406MHz ELT would be relatively inexpensive to add in).
    Wheel pants and other speed mods don't matter to me (If I want them later I can always buy 'em), so if they're pushing the price of a prospective aircraft up above my "sweet spot" I'm just gonna say skip it.
  • Good paint
    Painting aircraft is expensive. I dont mind a few nicks, but if the whole thing needs to be blasted and redone I aint buyin the plane
  • Good glass
    I had the unique experience in 38193 of having a bad windshield (not cracked/crazed/hazy, just bug-splattered) and it made flying difficult to say the least. Any aircraft I buy needs to have good glass.
  • Working Door
    All the aircraft at NFI have working doors. A friends aircraft has a door that tends to open in steep banks.
    As the door on a Cherokee is WAY ON THE COPILOT SIDE OF THE PLANE, having it pop open in a 30-degree bank would wreck my day. The latches must work and work well.
  • Good Interior
    Much less of a concern; I dont care if I have to redo the interior 'cuz it's all cosmetic and a lot of it I can do as an owner without needing to shop the plane. Basically if the seats aren't destroyed and the fuel selector isn't covered I'm fine with anything.
... So, any of my rich readers wanna buy me a plane? :-P


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