Greg-see a post below that I just saw on the Twin Cessna site and copied and pasting here. Food for thought.
I read once on a forum “The cheapest airplane you can buy is the most expensive one!”
Our recent search for a Twin Cessna has brought back to mind some thoughts of things learned from my previous aircraft search and purchase. And things learned since that purchase through the first five years of ownership.
I THINK I HAVE COMPLETELY REVERSED MY THINKING!
When purchasing an aircraft most of us “define our mission” then select the aircraft that will perform that mission. Then we examine our finances to see if they will comfortably support that aircraft. Next, we name our criteria for our prospective aircraft: good avionics, ADS-B Out, auto-pilot, paint, interior, damage history … and most certainly PRICE.
We can’t “have it all” … so then we prioritize our criteria or place more emphasis on what we deem important ones … and less emphasis on criteria we deem less important.
Our first aircraft purchase my two greatest criteria were PRICE and ENGINE TIME.
So we bought a vintage Mooney for $40k with a low time engine in the middle of the price range. It was well-cared for and had newer paint and interior, avionics had been updated decades ago – so not original, but still needed upgrading, no autopilot, no GPS … and an old “shotgun style” panel.
Then we started “getting it how we wanted it.” $90k later we have one of the nicest old Mooneys anyone will ever see … but now we have $130k in an airplane we’ll be fortunate to sell for $75k. So if we were keeping that airplane “forever” that’s ok … but now we’re upgrading to a twin and selling it … I’m going to “lose my shirt!”
(We did most everything, 201 Windshield and Cowl, all new thicker windows, new lightweight carpet and soundproofing, all new interior panels, 201 control wheels and shafts, 406/121.5 ELT, GPS, 1090ES XPNDR, G5, autopilot, EDM-930 new left and right instrument panels, resealed tanks, new shock discs, STC upper truss … tires & inner-tubes, new exterior trim paint, new LED lights everywhere … interior, beacon, landing light, PowerFlow Exhaust, Challenger intake, Concord sealed battery, lightweight starter, overhauled prop and modify prop hub to remove AD and about ten speed mods to the fuselage… flap gap seals etc.)
So now I’m thinking … had we bought a $75k Mooney that ALREADY had all that stuff done and paid $35k to overhaul the engine … I’d have saved $20k … missed all the drama and downtime … and I’d have an engine with less time that had been run only by me … so I wouldn’t have inherited an engine that someone else ran – who knows how? for a couple hundred hours.
Hmmm … ?
Shouldn’t we be looking for a nice well-cared airplane that has most stuff done, but high time engines … and priced accordingly … rather than a plane that needs “a lot of stuff” (ADS-B, avionics, panels, interior) but has mid-time engines?