Those bargain basement airplanes

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PTAirco

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As I mentioned in another thread, my choice was made for me when I rescued an Aeronca L3B in April. A typical barn-treasure we all dream of finding, needs total restoration, but it was complete (more than complete, in fact; spare parts too) and undamaged and not even a single cracked rib. A real warbird, no less, built in 1942.

I think this is a perfect LSA trainer, for many reasons: Solos from the front seat, big roomy and elevated rear seat for the instructor, wide fuselage (wider than the civilian Tandem models), brakes front and rear, lots of headroom. Cruise speed is not much of a factor for a trainer and most airplanes of this weight with the A-65 climb more or less the same. An A-75 upgrade is probably worthwhile. Despite the fact that this was a simply a serendipitous find, if I was to look for a tailwheel LSA trainer, this would be it, had I only known more about it. There are still a few out there. My aim is to teach old school flying and how many people will be able to say they learned on a genuine WW2 trainer?

I agree, there are many bargains to be had if you're not looking for LSA: Stinson 108s have to eb the most airplane for the dollar you can get these days, for example. Quite a few Pacers out there too, mostly with one wing bent from a ground loop! Find two with opposite broken wings and you have a real bargain! I actually saw this on barnstormers.com a while ago.
 

Topaz

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As I mentioned in another thread, my choice was made for me when I rescued an Aeronca L3B in April. A typical barn-treasure we all dream of finding, needs total restoration, but it was complete (more than complete, in fact; spare parts too) and undamaged and not even a single cracked rib. A real warbird, no less, built in 1942....
Having seen it, I can say that it's a genuine diamond-in-the-rough, PT. Gonna be a beauty when it's done.

Back on-topic, I wish I had my dad's old Aeronca 65LB Super Chief about now. Another good choice, from the same time period. Side-by-side, aux tank, nice big wheels for air-camping, simple... *sigh*
 

PTAirco

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Pity that Super Chiefs are 30 lbs over the LSA limit. The whole FAA notion that once an airplane is certified at a higher weight than 1320 lbs, it can never be reduced to 1320 and flown as an LSA is just plain stupid; it would take a stroke of a pen or at best a simple form. Increasing an airplane's gross weight certainly has structural implications that need to be adressed but reducing it a few pounds? Whta logic is there in this? The Taylorcraft L2 for example is all of 5 lbs over the limit, but somehow limiting it to 1320 would put the public at some kind of unacceptable risk?
 

Topaz

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Pity that Super Chiefs are 30 lbs over the LSA limit. The whole FAA notion that once an airplane is certified at a higher weight than 1320 lbs, it can never be reduced to 1320 and flown as an LSA is just plain stupid; it would take a stroke of a pen or at best a simple form. Increasing an airplane's gross weight certainly has structural implications that need to be adressed but reducing it a few pounds? Whta logic is there in this? The Taylorcraft L2 for example is all of 5 lbs over the limit, but somehow limiting it to 1320 would put the public at some kind of unacceptable risk?
You act as if the LSA rules were made for our benefit. ;)
 

PTAirco

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No, the FAA would benefit too: they could form committees and subcommittess and think tanks and commission studies and discuss NPRMs, and what color the form should be and how it would be issued and how it should be worded and how much should be charged for it and write guidelines for FSDOs how to issue them - it would be hog-heaven for any bureaucrat!
 

Topaz

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And it gave them a way to kill off "fat" ultralights and do it with the full support of the alphabet organizations. Personally, I think that was the price that got LSA/Sport Pilot through the FAA rule-making process.
 

Derswede

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Read this thread with great interest. I have been looking around at lots of birds....and have finally got things down to a basic set of parameters. Not really any chance to "Roll my own" though I have enough experience to do so, most likely. Just don't want a divorce. Same with a rebuild. $$ still get in the way. Was at a local airport this PM looking at another T-craft (Will need full recover...) an old family friend had told me to get a bird and he would help me out with dual instruction (working within his time-frame, of course). So, heck with LSA and hello private. Found a 150, been sitting for a couple of years, the guy beside him has been pulling the engine thru every few weeks, last time the owner was out, he ran it for an hour and taxied it around (Needs an annual). Worst thing is bad tires, basic bird still looks good, paint poor but serviceable. Never in a salt area, and according to the next door neighbor, only the seat AD to be done. Some one here made the comment, "Get something and start flying... A 150 is not fancy flying, but it is a decent bird and one that will teach you a lot without killing the budget and is usable as a 2 person family transport. It is also cheap. A & P's cut their teeth on them, so no problem in finding someone for such work, a solid engine that is easy to work on, and it flies....and when you get bored with it, sell it. If I had lots of friends with big, empty hangers in which I could stash a bird and work on it when I had time, I would do that. Or. lots of $$.. As interesting as that Funk is on Ebay. I would have major problems in time/$$ and help in getting it back in the air. Compromises are part of life and if I want to get back going, think the 150 may be the best thing for me. Such is life!

Derswede
 

Wayne

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"think the 150 may be the best thing for me"

Derswede - the Cessna 150 is a WONDERFUL airplane. I just love flying them and if I could guarantee you would love it too, I would. We feel that ours has "autoland" and it's such a friend - the airplane equivalent of an awesome Dog.

I say find one that you can rent or that is airworthy and get flying. Seriously - the weather is great and every minute on the ground is a minute you are not in the air!

Wayne
 

BJC

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.....Found a 150, been sitting for a couple of years, the guy beside him has been pulling the engine thru every few weeks, last time the owner was out, he ran it for an hour and taxied it around (Needs an annual). Worst thing is bad tires, basic bird still looks good, paint poor but serviceable. Never in a salt area, and according to the next door neighbor, only the seat AD to be done. Some one here made the comment, "Get something and start flying... A 150 is not fancy flying, but it is a decent bird and one that will teach you a lot without killing the budget and is usable as a 2 person family transport. It is also cheap. A & P's cut their teeth on them, so no problem in finding someone for such work, a solid engine that is easy to work on, and it flies....and when you get bored with it, sell it. If I had lots of friends with big, empty hangers in which I could stash a bird and work on it when I had time, I would do that. Or. lots of $$.. As interesting as that Funk is on Ebay. I would have major problems in time/$$ and help in getting it back in the air. Compromises are part of life and if I want to get back going, think the 150 may be the best thing for me. Such is life!

Derswede
Getting an airworthy C150 or C152 is about as economical a way to go flying as there is. The ABS that is falling apart in the cockpit and non-functional instruments can be taken care of later, if desired, as can many other cosmetic issues.

Retreads are both cheaper and longer lasting than new aircraft tires.

Check with the C150/152 owners club for specific things to check before you buy. I will mention a few.

The horizontal stabilizer often is damaged by improper ground handling, and the fix is expensive.

Corrosion in the landing gear boxes can also be expensive.

Corrosion of the bolts that anchor the aluminum filler in the wing spar fuselage attach fitting corrode, and are hard to see with the wing on, but should be checked.

Sight down each wing and the fuselage to see if the airframe has been bent. Not uncommon for trainers with high time.

According to several engine manufacturer's tech reps, pulling the propeller through is not recommended, and is actually worse for the engine than not touching it. I would have an A&P with lots of O-200 experience check the engine.


BJC
 

Turd Ferguson

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Derswede -- Any normal wear item is to be expected. The seat AD is IRAN. Definitely not a show stopper. If the airframe is older and/or high time, I recommend the Cessna aging aircraft checklist in conjunction with the annual checklist. Approach a sitter with caution because the annual to revive a sitter can bite the wallet. Pulling the prop through or running the engine on the ground doesn't mean much. I have a C-150 so if you have any specific concerns be sure to ask.

If you can obtain a medical, a PP certificate is no more difficult than a SP cert.
 

Derswede

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This one is a bit sad...and as I have been searching for something, this seems like a good call. Add the neighbor's comment that a bad divorce was part of the reason that it has not moved in awhile, and it may be a bargain. Bird is straight and (apart from faded paint and older avionics) is in decent shape. It has a LORAN installed......! Even the interior is decent...been under a T-hanger for several years, fading is not bad on the seats. Was told by neighbor that it is a local bird. So, hopefully minimal corrosion. Already have an A&P ready for an inspection. Another A&P, an old friend is wanting to keep his hand in on aircraft, may have a chance to let him supervise an O-200 rebuild, depending on total time on the engine...he has 25+ years in engine rebuild and got his A&P 2 years ago. He is wanting some practice, and having rebuilt the O-360 that was in our Pitts, I may do a rebuild and have him help/sign off on the rebuild. Depends on what I find when I get the plane inspected. The only thing I know for sure on the engine is that the mags were changed out 4 years ago. Had a mag failure at run-up before a flight, owner aborted, had the mags changed out but only has flown it a few times since. Nosy neighbors are a help on occasion. Will be flying it off a 2000' turf strip if i do get it. Appreciate all the comments, I am not too old to learn more!

Derswede
 

Pops

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"think the 150 may be the best thing for me"

Derswede - the Cessna 150 is a WONDERFUL airplane. I just love flying them and if I could guarantee you would love it too, I would. We feel that ours has "autoland" and it's such a friend - the airplane equivalent of an awesome Dog.

I say find one that you can rent or that is airworthy and get flying. Seriously - the weather is great and every minute on the ground is a minute you are not in the air!

Wayne
The Cessna 150 is a better airplane than most pilots are pilots. If you can fly an ILS in a C-150 down to minimums in a strong gusty cross wind in a stormy night with the needles glued, you are good.
 

Derswede

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The Cessna 150 is a better airplane than most pilots are pilots. If you can fly an ILS in a C-150 down to minimums in a strong gusty cross wind in a stormy night with the needles glued, you are good.
Hey, Pops! I agree totally. Applying what you learn is something that many never achieve. I will be happy with getting some good X-C flights in and improving my nav skills. A friend tells me that the 150 doesn't fly fast enough to allow you to get lost. Officially learned to fly in an old Musketeer...ex-trainer with 3,000+ hours on it and a bit ragged, so nose wheels tho not a preference are a known element for me. It taught me a lot, flew the dickens out of it...sold it after my father died, to get my mother a car that she could trust. Hated to see it go, though I was lucky....a couple of years later I found out that it had been scrapped...wings literally were falling apart. That old abused bird taught me how to fly and I got to the point I could grease a landing on the short runway we used. I see them on occasion but at this point in my life, that 150 will be a better choice...until I get bit by the tail-dragger bug again...!unfortunately the T-craft I had been looking at needed a full recover and will need some additional work. The guy that bought it has a large garage and will probably restore it to factory new. A thousand thanks for the comments and hopefully I will have something to contribute from and old/young pilot....(60 next year....darn, I'm getting old.....!!)

Derswede
 

BJC

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97FL, Florida, USA
Will be flying it off a 2000' turf strip if i do get it. Appreciate all the comments, I am not too old to learn more!

Derswede
I kept my A152 at 78NC aka Fuquay Angier aka Kennebec Flying Club (south of Raleigh) for eight years. Visited lots of turf runways up there. Spent a long weekend each Fall flying around the mountauns in GA, TN, NC and VA with a couple of other airplanes. Good times.

Hope the C150 checks out OK.


BJC
 

Derswede

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Wow....it has been a bear getting in touch with the owner. Finally resorted to snail mail. The Internet is a good thing...turns out the bird was damaged back in 1969. Student on his first solo came in high, pulled full flaps to try to get it down, bounced hard, lost control and nosed it over. Bird looks good now, but have asked for logs, etc. it will be interesting, bird is deregistered now, so more demerits for having to reregister the airplane. I have a good A&P lined up for inspection, he has rebuilt two 150's, so he knows what to look for. Did find an earlier fastback 150, high hours though.

Turns out out that there are several "abandoned" airplanes at local airports. Think I will send a few letters out. Might find a deal...!

Derswede
 

mgderuelle

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May 28, 2016
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Reno, Nevada
Do you know where the Interstate is? Do you know the asking price? Can you tell me how to get in touch with the owner?

Thanx, Gene deRuelle
 
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