Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

H. Paul Shuch is a Light Sport Repairman with Maintenance ratings for airplanes, gliders, weight shift control, and powered parachutes, as well as an independent Rotax Maintenance Technician at the Heavy Maintenance level. He holds a PhD in Air Transportation Engineering from the University of California, and serves as Director of Maintenance for AvSport of Lock Haven.

Moderator: drseti

Papping
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:39 pm

Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby Papping » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:33 pm

Waiting a few more months to actually start SPL flight school. Completely new to aviation. In the meantime I am browsing around for planes around 20k that are safe and reliable. Found a few Zenith 601s in the price range. One in particular has a Subaru EA81 with 700 hours. What does a maintenance schedule look like for this plane and engine? What are some of the things I should be looking for? Just don't want to buy one that needs a $20k engine within 50 hours. Can I train in any plane I can talk the CFI into giving me lessons in as long as it complies with LSA requirements? Thanks for the guidance.

TimTaylor
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:39 pm

I recommend you take a few lessons in a rental plane first. You may love it, you may hate it, or anything in between.

I have owned 3 airplanes over the years. I figure that you need a flying budget of close to $1,000 per month to make ownership worthwhile. Less than that, and you might want to rent. I doubt you will find anything worth owning for that low a price. I would probably double that.

With LSA, useful load is the limiting factor most of the time. You need to be able to carry yourself, CFI, and fuel without exceed 1320 pounds.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
joey4420
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Cincinnati Ohio

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby joey4420 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:11 am

Welcome to the forum.

As a new sport pilot and a new plane owner. Price of the airplane is just the start, hangar and insurance will cost you more. An experimental aircraft with full coverage (i.e. Hull coverage) may cost you 3-4k a year. Same coverage on a certified aircraft will be less than 1k a year. That and my mission helped choose my aircraft. Useful load isn't much of a concern with 99% of my flights are me flying the sky looking for places to enjoy lunch 2-4 hours away from my home airport.

I agree with TimTaylor as well, go on a few lessons first. Also getting a CFI to train you in an experimental may be easier than getting the DPE to go up for a checkride in one.
Joey
Cincinnati OH
Sport Pilot
Ercoupe N99773

User avatar
drseti
Posts: 5680
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm
Location: Lock Haven PA
Contact:

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby drseti » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:30 am

Yes, one challenge with an experimental aircraft is that many CFIs choose not to get in one (and that is their choice; there is no FAR that requires anyone to fly any aircraft). But the DPE shortage is a major issue even in SLSAs (see my thread at http://sportpilottalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5001). With an experimental, you may find it impossible to get a checkride.

This, in fact, is one of the reasons I'm struggling to get certified as a DPE (see above-referenced thread). Two of my current students own Zeniths, as it happens. There are NO DPE's within my entire FSDO district who will give checkrides in experimental. Because I'm a longtime EAA member, and have flown lots of E-ABs, I'm willing to, if I know the build history of the plane, and give it a thorough examination first.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Warmi
Posts: 504
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby Warmi » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:52 am

Does this reluctance to get DPEs for experimental planes also apply to ELSAs or just home builds ?
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

Papping
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:39 pm

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby Papping » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:27 pm

Thanks for the input everyone. Will definitely wait until I have completed some training before buying. I was worried about the home-built rather than a "manufactured" plane; was wondering if I could even be trained in one. Thanks for clearing this up for me.

User avatar
drseti
Posts: 5680
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm
Location: Lock Haven PA
Contact:

Re: Used Plane Considerations for New Pilot

Postby drseti » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:23 pm

Warmi wrote:Does this reluctance to get DPEs for experimental planes also apply to ELSAs or just home builds ?


Many DPEs (and CFIs, for that matter) won't get into any experimental aircraft. They just don't trust that they were built or maintained properly. Worse than that, some CFIs and DPEs will only fly in certified aircraft. (No wonder the LSA movement has never lived up to its promise).
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US


Return to “Ask The Mechanic”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests