Posts Tagged ‘airplane ownership; Cherokee; Piper; Cessna; Ercoupe; ownership;’

Time to buy

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Amy Carpenter and her Piper Dakota

My article on finding and buying a Piper Cherokee 140 brought me a nice tide of letters from our members. I expectedto hear from the Piper crowd, and I did, all of whom welcomed me to the fold. I got an invite to join next year’s Cherokees 2 Osh event. Flying my own airplane into AirVenture is definitely on my to-do list, so that’s an intriguing notion!

Shar Roos plans to learn to fly in this 140.

I also heard from a few puzzled Ercoupe lovers–what do I have against Ercoupes and why did I not buy one? Nothing against Ercoupes, Alons, Air Coupes, or any of the breed, I promise. My reasons were primarily based on payload and space considerations. I want to do animal rescues, and while I could probably plop a dog in the right seat, I’d rather he have a backseat of his own.

Mark Walker's excellent Ercoupe

Mark Walker of Phoenix, Ariz., kindly sent a photo of this beautiful robin’s-egg-blue Ercoupe that he bought with a friend after years of wanting an airplane. “We fly every weekend, weather permitting, and love every minute.” That sounds like an ideal situation to me–an airplane and a good buddy to fly places with. A super-cool footnote: Mark’s Ercoupe was the one Jessica Cox used to become the world’s first armless sport pilot.

I also heard from vintage airplane owners like John Sand, whose 1955 Cessna 170B is all the airplane he wants and needs. “It’s ‘stone simple’ so there isn’t much to go wrong,” he says. “I’ve found that if I keep it clean and change the oil once in awhile it’s like the old Timex watch.” He’s owned it 21 years and doesn’t plan to part with it any time soon.

John Sand's Cessna 170B

Probably most exciting were letters from people who said my story has prompted them to take another look at ownership and the possibilities that exist with purchasing an older airplane. For those of you who still want or need something newer and faster–or if you’re not financially able to purchase an entire airplane–please don’t forget AOPA’s Aircraft Partnership Program. It’s free to register if you are looking for a partnership, and costs $10 per aircraft per month to list a share. And owners: I’m hearing through the grapevine that there are lots of people out there who are interested in buying shares but not as many folks who’ve listed their airplanes. So what are you waiting for, and why are you letting that airplane sit idle if somebody could be helping you to split the costs and fly it?