This is probably the perfect first plane for me. I trained in a 182 (fixed gear) owned by the local flying club, so I'm familiar with the breed. I want to add the retractable function primarily to start logging the hours so that I can be insured in ever higher-performance aircraft. These days you have to satisfy the insurance folks along with everyone else before you can fly a particular plane. Judging from my list, you can see that I have high aspirations! I want the turbo version, because we've a lot of mountains around Northern California. Lastly, these planes are pretty easy to come by, and they are considerably cheaper than the Cirrus SR22 that I would prefer to own.
Note the Spindly Gear...
I have flown a friend's Cessna 172, and it's interesting to compare this plane to the 182's. Basically, it's like the difference between driving a nice small sedan and a big truck! The 182 isn't so bad, but control effort can be high unless you constantly trim the aircraft. Basically, any time you change power or pitch, the plane needs to be trimmed again. The issue is high control effort required in pitch (e.g. elevator). Actually, it's very instructive to do an elevator trim stall in one. Most people need two hands to get the wheel forward enough to recover smartly from the stall. I haven't flown in big planes enough to know if this kind of control effort is just a function of larger planes. The Cessna 206 felt like it would be the same, but this is a common characteristic of Cessnas. Apparently it makes them safer for low time pilots.
Prices for these birds range from about $100K for a beater on up to maybe $190K if a guy is optimistic about the value of his aircraft. At these prices you will tend to see some planes that are well cared for and have good avionics. Planes below $100K seem to wind up in hands that can barely afford to keep them flying--not always true, but more often than not, at least for the planes that are actually for sale.
Nice Panel w/ Stormscope, King Radios, HSI, Argus Map, etc.
This is more like the plane I train in; looks old, no?
The problem with these airplanes is maintenance on the retractable gear. As far as I can tell, every high-wing Cessna with retracts is a maintenance headache with the retracts compared to other competitors. They never really seem to have ironed it out. The systems are overly complex and prone to failures. All I can say is they sure look awkward when they retract, and I'm not sure how much abuse the little things would take: better work on my flares!
A Collage of Interiors...
I have been looking at airplane classifieds for some time now and have been amazed and amused at what people do for interiors on their planes. There is quite a continuum from the sublime better-than-new leather interiors to the oh-so-passe cloth interiors in garish colors and patterns. I can't see owning a plane with too goofy an interior, but they are definitely out there. OTOH, it isn't that expensive in the scheme of things to add a nice leather interior if the rest of the plane is in good shape.
Pretty nice, in fact nicer looking than factory, leather interior.
The factory can make a decent interior...
If I had to go fabric, this one is tolerable.
Now we're headed for trouble. Hurts my eyes!
At least its all one color, but what a color! Target Market: Buick & Caddy Owners. BMW & Mercedes need not apply!
Okay, now it's getting out of hand. BTW, this plane was a gorgeous blue on the outside. Shoulda been dove gray leather inside.
Variation on the theme--looks like bad 70's sci fi
Did Little Richard sing Tutti Mooney or Tutti Fruity?
I couldn't give you this until you'd worked up to it--too shocking!
All material © 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.