All my life I wanted to fly. I joined the Air Force so I could fly. My eyes were good but not perfect so they would not let me fly or even be any kind of air crew. So after the Air Force I tried to get my poliots license. I tried to get my pilots license the "normal way" several times. The normal way is to rent a plane and an instructor by the hour. After a one or two hour lesson you land and write a check for a whole lot of money. You have to get a absolute minimum of 40 hours to get your license s so it is going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars.
I took "flight lessons" and had to stop because of money twice over a 15 year period. the epiphany! In 1995 I was looking at the "Aerotrader website" At the time I was driving a Ford Ranger that I had paid $17,000 for. So just for grins I did a search for any airplane under $17,000. Wow, I turned up LOTS of neat airplanes.
Today as I write this I just did that search again and there are over 200 airplanes listed. Never before that day in 1995 had I ever thought you could buy a plane for such a relatively small amount of money!
Then I discovered another little airplane secret. Airplanes can be financed
for 10, 15 or even 20 years! You can really get a payment down low!
Using the Payment Calculator at AOPA look at the current numbers:
A $20,000 airplane on a ten year note at 8% will run you 242.66 a month! Man oh man that is what I was paying for like 3 HOURS of rental!!! After I bought my own plane I was flying 16 hours a month. $242 will buy 3 hours or 16 hours? Hmmmm. I wonder which is better? Of course after I got my license I was flying on the order 30 hours per month. The one month when I got my instrument rating I logged 45 hours.
So once I figured out that I could afford an airplane I did some shopping around and like a few hundred thousand other people I figured out the Cessna 172 "Skyhawk" is one of the best all around airplanes there is or ever was.
I paid $24,000 for this one. At the time I financed it interest rates were high, I fnanced $22,000 at 10% over 10 years for a monthly payment of $290.73. Just call it $300 a month. Full coverage insurace was $720 a year (a bargain compared to cars) and I paid $30 a month for a tie down (parking)
I logged 600 hours in three years in this old girl! I got my private pilot rating in 3 months. (15 years or 3 months- Hmmmm, I wonder which is better) Then the the next year later I got my Instrument rating in one month.
Man! EVERYTHING changes when you OWN your own plane. This
is the way to FLY. This is the way to LIVE. If you want to become a pilot
then do not even THINK about renting airplanes. Renting will just suck
your wallet dry and leave you with very few logged hours in return. if
you want to be a pilot BUY A PLANE.
But this page is suppossed to be about my my girl:
N2750U is a 1963 172D.
This was an Air Plains 180 HP Conversion!
Modernized Panel S-Tec 20 Auto pilot (coupled with Nav1 and Nav3)
Glare Shield Trimble 350D Audio panel/ 4 place Intercom / 3 Light Beacon
New Windshield MX11 Comm (Com 1)
Strobe Lights King KN-53 Nav with Glide Slope (Nav 1)
EGT Gauge Narco Self Contained VOR (Nav 2)
Push to talk on Yoke Apollo 618 Loran (Nav 3)
Tinted Sun Visors Narco DME 190
Wheel Pants Narco AT-50 Transponder with new ACK-30 encoder
Droop Tips Avionics Master Switch
Vacuum Air Filter All flight instruments are lighted
It was the perfect first airplane and time builder! A 172's low cost of operation and insurance but with 180 hp you get speed and payload comparable to a more expensive machine! A 172 can take you from first flight through instrument rating plus its a great low cost traveling machine!
Traveling maching eh? Most people do not consider the 172 to be "traveling
machine" however I went all over heck in it! I am in the dallas area so
that is the center of most of the travel. The red lines denote all my longer
trips. I omitted a whole bunch of short trips and hamburger runs because
if I included them all I would turn most of north Texas red! As you can
see I went to several places on the east coast, as far north as Nebraska
and as far west as Phoenix. My little cheap Cessna and I covered a whole
bunch of this great country huh? It was wonderful! All for $291 a month.
Frankly, even in an airplane as "slow" (120 mph) as a 172 I could still
meet or beat airline times. This was before all the so-called "security"
in airports to boot. Just one example. I live in Dallas and lot of my family
lives in Kansas city. It took about 3 hours to fly to KC in the 172. It
takes 45 minutes on an airliner but lets compare total times.
45 minutes drive to big DFW airport
15 minutes in shuttle or tram to get from parking to terminal.
1 hour early, always!
45 minutes in flight (assuming they were on time which was never a given)
30 minutes to get baggage
45 minute drive from KCI to Dad's house
In my plane.
10 minutes to small airport close to house
20 minutes load baggage and preflight
3 hour flight
20 minutes to grab bags and Dad's house is less than a mile from little airport.
Hit your BACK button.