# How to 'buy and fly' cheap in 2022?

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#### speedracer

##### Well-Known Member
I never flew my own plane with any insurance. It wouldn't be allowed anymore anywhere now I am sure, I mean what if you run into someone's jet with your propeller on the ramp? Who is going to pay for that? But you'll never see what I saw either, because it is gone.

#### Doran Jaffas

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I want to make sure I'm not missing any good options here...

With plane prices continuing to rise, I'm trying to sort out the best equation for affordable "buy and fly" (and own and operate) options in today's market. I'm thinking LSA and/or EAB. Could go certified, but that's where the prices have soared the most.

Affordable to me means under 30K. 25K would be even better. Need two seats, and I need it to be affordable in every category beyond purchase price: storage, insurance, annual, fuel, and maintenance.

Based on my preliminary research, here's what I think are the best criteria:
- Cheap to insure
- Tricycle gear (cheaper insurance)
- Tie Down-able - so probably all metal or composite(?)
- Low fuel burn (max 5-6gph)
- Can burn auto fuel if needed (saves $1+ per gallon) This is a "nice to have" that could save even more money: - ELSA (or SLSA to convert to ELSA) so I can take the light sport course and do my own annual CI's - BUT, I'd still do the first one or two with experienced A&Ps... All that said, here's what I've found to fit my criteria under 30K for EAB/LSA: - Sonex/Waiex - Zenith 601 - Jabiru J160/J170 Calypso - Thatcher CX-5 In the certified world, all I've seen that fit my criteria are a couple Early C150s or an Ercoupe (with metalized wings)... Are these my only options? Please don't take this wrong but if you can't afford a hangar or at least a shared space in a hangar then you may not be able to afford the airplane. The money for a hangar in most cases anyway is the least expensive part but that being said it may not be cheap in your area that's why I suggested a shared space. You are right to look at Tri gears if you are not endorsed for a conventional gear. There are many options out there in the experimental category that meet your needs. My aircraft is extremely cheap to operate and own. It also has some very good performance for the horsepower. However it is not what I would call short field capable. I do not fly into anything under 2500 feet with any kind of obstacles on each end. There are many experimental aircraft out there in the two seat category with varying performance that you can get for under 30 and many under 20k that is. Set the parameters for the type of performance you would like, and I mean realistic performance because we are all dreamers LOL then go from there. There are many people on here that will share their experiences with different types of airplanes and the true cost of ownership with them. The hard part is deciding which one. #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher Supporting Member The Limbach 1000 hour TBO seems low. But my Limbach only has about 1000 hrs in the 40 years since new (1981). It gets to 3000 feet in minutes and the rest of the hour flight is engine off! Not much engine time. Frequent cylinder head work is required about every five years, actually from a combination of lack of use and overheat. VW heads are cheap. #### Victor Bravo ##### Well-Known Member Supporting Member BB have you thought about a one-time STC or field approval for the 80HP Rotax 912? That would turn the Grob into quite a performer, reduce maintenance and fuel burn, etc. I believe some of the 80HP engines are certified. #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher Supporting Member BB have you thought about a one-time STC or field approval for the 80HP Rotax 912? That would turn the Grob into quite a performer, reduce maintenance and fuel burn, etc. I believe some of the 80HP engines are certified. Rotax is too light. The G109 is already too tail heavy a bit. The previous owner and I looked at Continental O-200. But after flying it I like the Limbach. It just needs overhaul. I don't have time. I did the motor glider thing for decades. Moving to ultralights. #### Victor Bravo ##### Well-Known Member Supporting Member The Rotax and a 35 amp hour battery in the nose and a real multi-stage silencer under the engine.... won't balance the airplane? You might be a candidate for an electric motor and one of those new age politically correct super-light battery packs #### Turd Ferguson ##### Well-Known Member Certified only one choice 65-67 Cessna 150 (not sure which two years) rear window, manual flaps, straight tail. '64 was first yr of rear window '65 was the last yr for manual flaps and straight tail So those two yrs give you rear window, manual flaps and straight tail #### Turd Ferguson ##### Well-Known Member All I really care about at this point is being up in the sky. That's my (very broad) mission We're moving into Affordaplane territory #### Daleandee ##### Well-Known Member I have had offers to sell my plane and it is for sale but the OP said "cheap" so I don't think mine qualifies. OK so it's not for sale but if you really want to buy it just keep on peeling off those FRNs with Franklin's photo on them and I'll let you know when to stop ... #### Pops ##### Well-Known Member Supporting Member '64 was first yr of rear window '65 was the last yr for manual flaps and straight tail So those two yrs give you rear window, manual flaps and straight tail In 1966 Cessna moved the main gear axle back a couple inches making it harder to keep the nose wheel off when landing. Another reason I like the 1965 and older better. #### raytol ##### Well-Known Member Supporting Member The Limbach 1000 hour TBO seems low. But my Limbach only has about 1000 hrs in the 40 years since new (1981). It gets to 3000 feet in minutes and the rest of the hour flight is engine off! Not much engine time. Frequent cylinder head work is required about every five years, actually from a combination of lack of use and overheat. VW heads are cheap. I loved my Grob 109 that I bought cheap and did up better than new. I had some great touring flights from Sydney to the "Morning Glory" wave cloud in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Limbach never missed a beat except once when one carburetor diaphragm failed. Not a rocket in climb but patience and skill will eventually be rewarded with height! Very cheap to run and wings are a breeze to remove with it's special frame, wheels stay with the fuselage. I changed the oil cooler to a different position and solved the cooling issues and I had the heads re-conditioned with Limbach long life valves and softer seats. VW parts are cheap and lots of "greybeards" know how to work on them. #### BBerson ##### Light Plane Philosopher Supporting Member wave cloud in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Yep. I was exploring the Chugach mountains of Alaska at midnight and stumbled into wave. Of course, it was June, so still daylight at midnight. But who would ever arrange a tow and launch a glider at midnight? And climbing under power to 12,500 to fly along the side of Mount McKinley (Denali) that towered at 20,320 feet took a while. I did a 50 mile unpowered cross country in some open valley wave in an area no glider would venture. I didn’t have too much problem with overheating. Last edited: #### JayKoit ##### Well-Known Member Wow, lots of great responses here... If that’s your primary goal, have you considered a part 103 craft? Lots of fun, especially in SoCal (as long as you aren’t in the class 3 veil). Some have folding wings and they are light enough to load up on a trailer. Definitely a fair weather flyer, but you have an abundance of that where you live. I totally would consider part 103 - but my two sons would disown me if I bought a single seater that I can't take them up in How to buy? I sent a wanted to buy postcard to all 30 registered owners of the model. Got three replies. I've actually thought about this, and it's good to know that some folks have had success with this method...I just didn't want it to come off as weird to any registered owners lol If the goal is to fly cheap... There is that almost 103 class of aircraft too. Challenger, titan tornado, rans s-12 etc. Yes, however if I'm tying down outdoors the Titan may be the only reasonable choice. And I'm adding that to the list. It seems like the safety record of those planes is a little rough though, based on a quick glance at the accident statistics... The number of flying Thatcher CX5's are only a small hand full. Good luck trying to find one. Yeah - cool planes, not very many out there yet. I suspect his average$100 hamburger runs will be through or inside the veil (KWHP, KSZP, etc.) and there's more than enough choppy air around this area on a daily basis that his enjoyment/access to flying would be limited greatly in a floater style ultralight or very light LSA. Considering his proximity to the big yellow blob on the chart, I'd really rather see him droning along behind a 4 stroke engine. Certainly not my place to demand or insist, but in my opinion... a VW-based powerplant would be on the minimum end of the reliability spectrum for his use in this area. Something that was dragged along by an A-65 thru O-200 would be the sweet spot considering his fuel flow target.

VB, you know me too well I agree, something too light out of KWHP would not be fun. The 150 I used to own and fly out of there was fine though, so if it's a 1320lb LSA I think that would suffice...