Buying a plane

There’s all sorts of guides from people on how to do this. Here’s my process.

Deciding on a kind of plane to buy

  • Figure out your “mission” (what will encompass the 90% of flights you plan to do?)
    • For me, most of my planned flights are cross country flights. In particular, I have a desire to make a 410 nm trip as much as I can (as opposed to flying commercially, which will still be a portion of the trips). I’d prefer this trip to take less than 3 hours each time I do it. Putting that in numbers, I want something with at least 500 nm range (not including reserves) that can fly at least 140 kts true.
    • For multiple reasons, I want something equipped for IFR.
  • Nice to haves:
    • Control stick. I just prefer it to a yoke.
    • Glass panel.
    • Low wing. They’re just cooler.
    • Faster is better, of course.
  • Unnecessary:
    • I don’t need to carry passengers. There’s no need for me to own something that has 4 seats. I’ll be perfectly fine with a 2 seater. I could also be fine with a single seater, but that makes getting a checkout much more annoying.
    • Off airport operations, while dope, are not for me.

So, with that in mind, I essentially am skipping all the trainers, because they simply don’t have all the range (nor are they fast enough to make this flight in less than 3 and a half hours).

With all this, I’m probably going to either get something experimental, a Grumman Tiger, or a Mooney.

Deciding on which particular plane to buy

My questions, on how to go from staring at listings on barnstormers to owning a plane.

  • How do I decide whether to reach out to the seller?
  • How heavily should I favor more local planes to less local?
    • Very.
  • How do I find an A&P to do the prebuy?
    • Like, how do I even find one?
    • How do I make sure they’re trustworthy/do a good job?
  • How much will a prebuy run me? I expect around 3-5k, probably.
    • From what I’ve read, a prebuy essentially turns in to an annual.
  • How do I find a CFI to give me a checkout in the plane?
  • If I don’t have the cash up front, how do I get a loan for it?
    • Yeah, in this economy, I’d much prefer to have as a few outstanding loans as possible.
  • Anything else I should know on the buying front?
  • Once I actually buy it, how do I find a place to store it?
    • Is getting a hangar worth it in SMO? (Probably not, tie down is fine, though)
  • How do I get insurance/who should I get insurance from?
    • AOPA’s recommendation.

So much I don’t know.

Last updated: 2020-04-21 10:59:32 -0700