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  #251  
Old 08-23-2013, 02:52 PM
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Word.

Five of us kids split a 172 in 1980 for about 3 grand apiece so's we could learn us some flyin'.
30 years later, the cheapest Cessna costs 100 times that much. (I remember a Christmas Eve episode of The Price Is Right from 1981 or 1982 where they gave away a full-size plane (not a microlight) plus 100 hours worth of lessons, and it cost around $32,000.)

What caused the cost of planes to skyrocket?
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:55 PM
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Liability insurance. A number of lawsuits against Cessna and Piper in the 70's and 80's made both companies unwilling or unable to make small, affordable planes. Then you got your V-35s killing doctors left and right and it's a wonder we have any planes left at all!


Seriously, it's the lawsuits. Whiny family members blame the plane instead of the pilot whenever one goes down.

Do what you're supposed to, where you're supposed to, and don't run out of gas, and you'll hardly ever lose a plane!
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:16 AM
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If the plane was so equipped, and the pilot wanted to be an absolute and total SOB, he could have trimmed the plane for level flight and then pulled the ejection ring for his seat. Imagine the expression on his buddy's face if he did that!
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:40 AM
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I asked the sales rep for Stoddard-Hamilton why they didn't have insurance for them:

"Fifty-thousand dollars per seat" This was mid-nineties (just before they crashed and burned).
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:51 AM
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Liability insurance. A number of lawsuits against Cessna and Piper in the 70's and 80's made both companies unwilling or unable to make small, affordable planes. Then you got your V-35s killing doctors left and right and it's a wonder we have any planes left at all!


Seriously, it's the lawsuits. Whiny family members blame the plane instead of the pilot whenever one goes down.
That's why they stopped making airplanes. It used to be that aircraft manufacturers were responsible for every aircraft they'd ever built. Consider this hypothetical scenario: An airplane built in the 1930s or 1940s uses common building techniques of the time, but these techniques have been superseded by better techniques. The older way of building airplanes, that was perfectly acceptable and normal at the time, might be found to be a 'design flaw' in the 1980s by a jury that knows nothing about airplanes. (The plaintiffs' lawyers make sure pilots are excluded, and anyone who knows anything about airplanes wouldn't be allowed to use their 'special knowledge' in the jury room.) Or perhaps modern corrosion prevention methods that didn't exist 60 or 70 years ago were not applied to the aircraft when it was originally built. A jury could very well find that the manufacturer failed to use the modern methods when they built the aircraft, and so they are responsible for a structural failure. The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 limited manufacturers' liability to, I think, 18 years. (There are exceptions, which you can look up yourself.) This was enough to get the Big Three back into making piston-single airplanes again.

I think the back-breaking straw was a case that involved Cessna, and it didn't involve long-term liability. A husband and wife, both Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs), flew their Cessna into a thunderstorm with predictable results. Even though no GA aircraft are not designed or certified to fly into T-cells, and even though every pilot is instructed to give T-storms a wide berth and it is carefully explained why they shouldn't fly into them and what will happen if they do, and even though Certified Flight Instructors knew, or should have known, not to fly into a cell, and even though the NTSB investigation found that the airplane's engine was operating normally at the time of the crash, the family members of the pilots won a $40,000,000 award from Cessna and Lycoming. I think it's at that point where airplane makers said, 'You know? If we're going to be hit with these kinds of settlements -- even when the investigation proved that we're entirely not at fault -- we're not going to make piston-engine singles anymore. We'll just build corporate aircraft for people who know how to fly, and know better than to fly into adverse weather.' And so they stopped for 11 years. With GARA, at least they won't be found liable for a 'design flaw' next time some numbskull does something stupid. (Well, if the airplane is old enough.)

So why are airplanes so expensive now? As I said earlier, a brand new Cessna Skyhawk takes 1.5 times more hours of work for a middle-class worker to buy, than it did for a minimum wage earner to buy in 1982. Based on my calculations, a new Skyhawk is between two and two-and-a-half times more expensive than it should be. And even at half the price, it's a pretty big number for what you're getting. There's no reason a Cessna 172 should cost a third of a million dollars!

When airplane manufacturers stopped making piston singles, people still wanted to buy airplanes. The price of used airplanes skyrocketed. As I mentioned, my dad sold his Skyhawk for almost twice what he'd paid for it, and his Skylane for exactly double his purchase price. (Also, airplanes got a lot more hours on them. Most of the newish Cessnas were N-models, and it's common to see N-models and some P-models with over 10,000 hours on them. So the relative prices are higher, since high-time airplanes would have sold for a lot less in relation to the rest of the fleet than they do now.) When people can't afford even a used airplane, they are less likely to learn to fly.

When Cessna started making airplanes again after GARA, they introduced the new Skyhawk (172R) at $175,0001. This came as a shock to the flying community. The previous model Skyhawk, the 172P, sold for $49,600 in 1987. Pilots and aviation journalists could not understand why an airplane that had been around for half a century should be so expensive. We all understood that they'd be more expensive than a decade previously, but I think we all expected that $100,000 or thereabouts was the 'what the market would bear' price. Remember that the 172 was considered an entry-level four-seater that a middle-class family could afford.

Cessna was sold to General Dynamics in 1985. Since building 'little airplanes' was not GD's primary business, one can see why they would stop building piston-singles and concentrate on their turbine-powered airplanes. In 1992, the Cessna division of GD was sold to Textron. OK, this is where I (personally) see several things coming together, and this is where my own philosophy comes in. I've worked for corporations, and my impression of them is that they are always looking for maximum profits, and are not that concerned with 'need'. For example, they will concentrate on their high-dollar products and make their more affordable products as an afterthought; or they'll lay off the people who make them their money so that they see a boost in their earnings for a year or two. I think this is short-sighted, and hurts the business in the long run. In the case of airplanes, corporate aircraft are more profitable than private ones. Hold onto that for a minute.

After used airplanes became more expensive and the cost of renting went up, fewer people were learning to fly and the number of active pilots fell sharply. There was still enough demand to keep prices high. It was expected that when Cessna started building piston-singles again, the demand would be met and prices would drop. But production of all aircraft was only about 2,000 or so a year. There just weren't enough Skyhawks being made to meet the demand. Remember that corporations want to maximise profits. They saw that they could charge a lot more for a product whose R&D and tooling had been paid for many times over. Unfortunately, they forgot why Cessna (yes, I'm picking on Cessna -- I'm not as familiar with Piper or Beechcraft) got into the business in the first place -- to make airplanes for people to fly. Their target market could no longer afford the product intended for them. The solution is obvious, as I pointed out before with the Henry Ford example: Make more airplanes. That would bring the unit cost down, and more people would buy them. Instead, Cessna looks at the situation and says, 'Well, no one is buying our airplanes. Obviously we don't need to increase production.' They don't seem to understand that after such a long hiatus, personal flying has fallen off of most people's radar. It's not enough to make a product. You need to nurture a market for the product. Cessna fails here. I remember in the 1970s Cessna had their 'Take Off' promotion to get people interested in flying. They sold 150s with a bold paint scheme and 'Take Off' on the tail. No more. Now it's like 'If anyone is interested in airplanes, we make some. They'll find us on their own.'

Cessna justifies their high prices for an entry-level airplane by claiming there is no demand to make more. They claim that it costs more to make airplanes. Never mind that that the non-Corporate Conglomerate Cessna paid people a living wage, produced thousands of private airplanes each year, and kept prices to where the target market could buy them. Textron can't, for some reason. It has already been cited that their Model 162 has $20,000 added to the price 'just because'. They say 'Well, new Skyhawks are better. The Garmin glass panels alone cost $100,000!' But most pilots don't use glass panels. Most pilots are perfectly happy with 'steam gauges', perhaps with a portable GPS thrown in for convenience. But they discontinued 'steam gauge' panels, and only offer glass panels. 'But the cost of insurance is so high! We have to pass the costs on to our consumers!' The cost of insurance was addressed with GARA 1994. They are exposed to much less risk now, than when they stopped making piston-singles in 1987.

Insurance. I think this is the key. Although GARA 1994 addressed liability issues, companies still have to protect themselves against lawsuits. Aviation safety keeps getting better and better, but it's a fact that low-time pilots in single-engine piston-powered aircraft crash more often than professional pilots. The more low-time, SEL pilots there are, the greater the probability that some will crash. The more crashes there are, the more likely there will be lawsuits. As the husband-and-wife CFI case shows, plaintiffs can win huge awards even when the plaintiffs or their representatives (in the case of survivors suing) are entirely at fault and there's nothing wrong with the airplane. The old, independent Cessna Aircraft Company was in the business of building airplanes for low-time pilots, and for people who wanted a personal airplane -- who often were low-time pilots. Textron is an industrial conglomerate that owns Cessna and Bell Helicopters, and makes golf carts engines, and industrial systems. Old Cessna's core business was building personal airplanes; Textron's isn't. Putting more piston-singles into the hands of 'Weekend fliers' increases the risk of expensive lawsuits and drives up insurance premiums. It is in the conglomerate's best interest to keep people who are A) more likely to crash; and B) potential plaintiffs in lawsuits, away from their products. It's better to offer products intended for people who are less likely to crash and sue. By building few SELs, the people more likely to afford them are likely to have enough experience not to screw the pooch -- and sue. I really think that Textron (and Hawker, which owned Beechcraft 2) don't want to sell 'little airplanes'.

So why are airplanes so expensive? In summary:
  • Lawsuits basically doubled the price of airplanes;
  • Airplane manufacturers decided to stop making personal planes because of huge settlements in lawsuits;
  • Scarcity forced prices up;
  • High prices reduced sales, once production restarted;
  • Reduced sales discouraged manufacturers from building enough airplanes;
  • Building fewer airplanes results in a higher production cost per unit;
  • Lower-priced options (e.g., 'steam gauges' instead of glass panels) were eliminated;
  • Manufacturers failed (and are failing) to promote their products to the general public, to expand their markets;
  • Expensive aircraft ensure that most buyers will be more experienced flyers and will be less likely to crash and sue.

I really think that General Aviation, as it pertains to personal flying, is dying. In 2011 there were 618,660 'active' pilots in the U.S. (That is, they held current medical certificates; not necessarily that they are actually flying. I'm an 'active pilot', though it's been a couple of years since I've flown.) This is down from a high of 827,071 active pilots in 1980. The fewer pilots there are, the fewer non-pilots are exposed to General Aviation. We have many more distractions now than we did 30 years ago. Computers, smart phones, and an economy where people are just trying to keep a roof over their heads, let alone take up an expensive hobby, all compete for our time. The market is shrinking.

But there are some bright spots. Cirrus are making their SR series, which is intended for personal flying and flight schools. They're too expensive for 'family planes', but they do provide some competition for Cessna. Based on what I've seen at fly-ins, Light Sport Aircraft and homebuilts (notably Van's RV-series) are very popular. But flying is still beyond most of the middle class that bought so many airplanes through the '70s and even into the '80s. Most people do not have the time to invest in building their own airplane (which is much more expensive than one might think, for one with similar or better performance than one from The Big Three), and many people would rather buy a 40- or 50-year-old four-seater than an LSA.

I think that personal flying, as in 'Hey, let's get into the airplane and fly off to see Uncle Joe', is doomed unless and until factory-made airplanes can be sold for prices families can afford.


[1]The numbers I have in a paper I wrote say that the price of the 1998 172S was $124,500. I would have to do some research to find out why there is a discrepancy; but I do remember, and I know there exists online, an article in one of the publications decrying the $175,000 price.

[2]In 2012, Hawker Beechcraft entered bankruptcy. A new, smaller company called Beechcraft Corporation will concentrate on the twin-turboprop King Air, the turboprop T-6/AT-6 Texan II, and the piston-powered Bonanza. Bonanzas are the 'Cadillac' of private planes, and too expensive for the entry-level pilot and most aspiring owners. Definitely an upper-middle class machine. They stopped building the Skipper trainer in 1981, and the Musketeer/Sundowner -- their answer to the Cessna 172 Skyhawk -- in 1983.
  #256  
Old 08-24-2013, 01:20 PM
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I think that personal flying, as in 'Hey, let's get into the airplane and fly off to see Uncle Joe', is doomed unless and until factory-made airplanes can be sold for prices families can afford.
you spoke of Cirrus. They were purchased by a Chinese company. That is probably the future of small aviation in the US.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:42 PM
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China is also building the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. Cessna claims they cannot offer the 162 at a reasonable price, even with the Chinese labour costs.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:18 PM
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China is also building the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. Cessna claims they cannot offer the 162 at a reasonable price, even with the Chinese labour costs.
There may be advantages to building it overseas. You can sue their distribution system out of existence but not the company.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:01 PM
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What gets me is that Textron says they can't build it economically. Cessna did it, before they were bought out, with any number of their models. The people who made the airplanes had living wages, and the airplanes were cheap enough for an average worker to buy. It's like I said earlier: Build enough of your product to bring the price down, and pay your workers enough to buy them. But who listens to a bloody Socialist like Henry Ford?

The solution is simple: Build more airplanes, making each one less expensive. Less expensive planes equals more sales, equals more profit. Unfortunately, the idea of plane ownership as it existed in the 1950s through the 1970s has fallen by the wayside. In the past 30 years, people have forgotten about personal flying. Cessna (primarily) has to build a market for their airplanes before they can get back into mass production -- assuming they even want to build airplanes.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:25 PM
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actually you touched on a problem earlier but didn't realize it. One of the problems with building a new airplane is that any design changes over the older model means that you've now "corrected a flaw". didn't you ever wonder why FADEC systems weren't standard in the 80's when cars all had computer controlled engines?
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:52 PM
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I can see how some juries would consider the older systems 'flawed', but I don't think design changes really count. AIUI, the problem is that the new systems have to be certified, and that is a very expensive undertaking; so they just keep using the older designs to save the expense.

Porsche made the PFM 3200 engine in the 1980s (after having offered the 678 series from 1957 to 1963), but the introduction of the 'single-lever' PFM coincided with the crash of the aviation industry and they surrendered the type certificate in the '90s and will no longer provide parts or support for them.
  #262  
Old 08-24-2013, 07:13 PM
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hell it doesn't look like he pulled any G's at all. I had more fun landing in bad weather coming back from OSH.
Well, sort of. I see the maneuvers as: aileron roll, loop, sort of a chandelle, barrel roll, 3 rotation spin, hammerhead, snap roll, and tail slide. Now the chandelle was probably only 2g, but I think that loop entry was 3g. The other thing is that the tail slide recovery was from the neggie side. Great way to throw up, neggies.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:21 PM
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I was just happiest to see his left hand on the throttle.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:41 PM
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The other thing is that the tail slide recovery was from the neggie side. Great way to throw up, neggies.
OK, I'll give you the tail slide.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:35 PM
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Hubby is on flight test this week. He said it was ok for me to show you the link to today's test flight. You can change the perspective with the pull-down upper right.

Last edited by picunurse; 08-25-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:38 PM
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Hubby is on flight test this week. He said it was ok for me to show you the link to today's test flight. You can change the perspective with the pull-down upper right.
And why is hubby testing a production airplane? Anything interesting?
  #267  
Old 08-25-2013, 10:01 PM
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That's not a test flight. That's called "lost".
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:15 PM
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And why is hubby testing a production airplane? Anything interesting?
Yes, but, he can't talk about it.

Actually, he stays on the ground with his arms out, in case the magic runs out.

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:22 PM
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Yes, but, he can't talk about it.

Actually, he stays on the ground with his arms out, in case the magic runs out.
I'm guessing it's to see how low you can fly a -8 before people can actually hear the Gen-X engine.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:26 PM
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That's not a test flight. That's called "lost".
No, it's scribbling.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:26 PM
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BTW, I just love ADS-B.

Just saw a Cirrus 22 inbound at 203kts. Stepped out on the front porch, heard a plane, looked North, and there he goes about a half mile away!

Of course, if you're an uber-geek like me, you watch ships, too, when you're near the water...

For some reason, my MIL has to know what that ship is right there when we sit on the porch of our house in Ponte Vedra, so I hooked her up. Now, she sits with her Ipad and binoculars, and watches the port traffic up at Jacksonville.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:30 PM
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No, it's scribbling.
Tell him we will pay him handsomely to write "Dopers" or "Mariners" on his next "test"!

I'm in for 10 bucks.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:06 PM
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Tell him we will pay him handsomely to write "Dopers" or "Mariners" on his next "test"!

I'm in for 10 bucks.
Naw, he's a fireman. They don't let him fly the plane, no matter how much experience he has on the FA-18 game I gave him 15 years ago! Can you say, "ground support?"
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:45 PM
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After some repairs or an instrumentation change, they might want to take it up for a test flight. Yeager got his start in flight test as a maintenance test pilot at Wright Patterson. The P-80s they were flying then needed an engine rebuild after 10 hours. He'd have to try them out before they'd be released to the flight line. He rapidly build up more hours in a P-80 than any of the pilots in the squadrons.
  #275  
Old 08-26-2013, 12:59 AM
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And why is hubby testing a production airplane? Anything interesting?
In our company we flight test all aircraft after completing a C check. It involves a test of all systems including the stick shaker. We don't scribble as much as that though.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:34 AM
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Sporty's Pilot Shop posted this on Facebook, and I thought it was worth reminding people why General Aviation is so great. Maybe it will inspire the non-pilots reading this thread.

A mile of road will take you a mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:15 AM
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This is a 1977 Cessna 150M.

I remember that paint scheme, and the 'Take Off' promotion. I liked the scheme. It was more striking than the more typical ones of the time. I couldn't find a page on the Take Off promotion. That was in a decade when personal flying was... erm, 'taking off'. (There were over 7,300 Cessna 172Ms produced in its four-year run, and over 6,400 172Ns made during between the 1977 and 1980 year-models.) It was a time when a middle-class worker could buy a Cessna 150, and a middle middle-class worker could buy a Skyhawk.

I miss the times when personal flying was marketed to the masses.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:51 PM
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Remember the Piper Tomahawk came out in 1978 to compete with the 150. That's when I started flying, and thought the T-tail was sophisticated and cool as hell!

I just found one for for 20k OBO!
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:26 PM
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That kind of price normally means the engine is timed out and the owner has decided to sell rather than spend $25K on a rebuild. So, you're looking at a $45K airplane. Possibly, there's an expensive AD or some history of structural damage.

Re the Cessna 162 pricing and manufacturing strategy: Remember that the single-engine business is virtually an afterthought for them, and one which they'd probably rather not get into if they were starting today. Their main source of revenue is the bizjet line - they make tens of millions on a Citation V sale, but only tens of thousands on a 172 sale. Looking only at the bizjet market, the huge untapped market for the next few decades is China. Selling big-time there means making connections and partnerships. Contracting 162 assembly out to Shenyang was a part of that, and it's paid off in bizjet sales. So the price is high and sales aren't what they could be for the 162? What would it take to make them care enough to distract them from their main line of business?
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:57 PM
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The Tomahawk, IIRC, was a cheap (NOT just inexpensive) knock-off of the Beech Skipper.
It was designed and prtotyped/certified in one shop, and then moved to Vero Beach for production.
I'm too lazy, but a quick review of AB's and SD's for them would explain a $20K price.

There used to be one derelict at San Carlos - I ased the manager's office about it - the guy actually bought a Tomahawk to use as an IFR Platform. I can see how that would kill interest real fast.

Speaking of disasters - which of those 3xx cabin twins was it that an engine out would cause a crash. Not Often Results, Causes - Cessna actually set up a camera and had film running when their test pilot simulated engine-out.
Professional pilot, has shut off engines in flight 1000;s of times (it's one of the things a test pilot does), and it still crashed.
  #281  
Old 09-01-2013, 07:26 PM
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Speaking of disasters - which of those 3xx cabin twins was it that an engine out would cause a crash. Not Often Results, Causes - Cessna actually set up a camera and had film running when their test pilot simulated engine-out.
Professional pilot, has shut off engines in flight 1000;s of times (it's one of the things a test pilot does), and it still crashed.
That doesn't sound quite right. There are lots of piston engined twins that won't maintain height very well with an engine out but there's no reason why any should cause a crash provided airspeed is adequate.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:55 PM
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Generally, it's about aviation...

China opens world's highest civilian airport

Let's hope it stays cold up there!
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:09 PM
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Whee! Had my first proper flight lesson tonight, and it was a blast. I'd been up in the left seat before, on an "introductory flight", but I was nervous as hell that time, and it was a bit bumpy--lots of little thermals off roads and the like. This time it was about an hour before sunset, the air was smooth, and I just had a good time getting to feel how the plane responded, learning to actually listen to my body and look out of the cockpit rather than staring at the instrument panel*, and just generally toodling around about a mile above the ground. Hazy night, but otherwise beautiful; there was a lovely moment when we turned east and flew right into the moon, low and big on the horizon. I think I'm going to enjoy this. Had a nice crosswind landing courtesy of the CFI and taxiied her back home (in which I realized that she didn't have power steering, heh). I do think I'm hooked--trying to figure out when I'll be able to get up again.

* Once upon a time, I was trying to learn some horseback riding, something I'd still like to do. For whatever reason, I had a powerful urge to focus on my horse's ears--my instructor kept telling me to stop looking at his pretty ears and watch where I was going! Seems to be a theme for me. Here, it helped once I realized that the instruments lag--I'd feel the plane bank a good few seconds before it showed on the panel. Better to watch the horizon and listen to my body to know when she's drifting. She, by the way, was a CTLS--I'm going for the sport pilot certificate for now, as a third class medical certificate would be a bit of a hassle.
  #284  
Old 09-19-2013, 01:22 AM
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Speaking of disasters - which of those 3xx cabin twins was it that an engine out would cause a crash. Not Often Results, Causes - Cessna actually set up a camera and had film running when their test pilot simulated engine-out.
Professional pilot, has shut off engines in flight 1000;s of times (it's one of the things a test pilot does), and it still crashed.

The Cessna 411 had a bad reputation on one engine.

A full load, right after takeoff with no where to go could get really fast. If that was what the test pilot was doing, crashing every time, they would run out of test pilots in a hurry.

The C-=411's problem had more to do with lack of low speed rudder control than just low power.

The old 150HP Piper Apache just gave a slightly longer glide to an emergency landing with just one engine. On a hot damp day at much of anything above sea level was a bit of a challenge for them is loaded heavy.

I have flown, IIRC, all the 300 series Cessna's & most of the 400 series. High & hot, almost all piston twins do not do all that well but on a standard day, all of them will be able to do the published numbers.

The old damaged & bent slightly aircraft, loaded to legal capacity, with marginal engines or unskilled low time pilots is completely different.

Any idea of which 300 series of Cessna could not fly at all with one engine even with a good test pilot?

I would like that opinion to be a little more specific. Do you remember what the plane looked like? Type of tail, year made, look of the engine covers, where the door or doors were?

The Cessna AT-50, Bamboo Bomber, the original Sky King aircraft was a bit marginal on one engine. But it had one of the strongest main spars of that era. It could have a half inch of dry root on the bottom & was still considered airworthy.
  #285  
Old 09-24-2013, 02:35 PM
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In another thread, pullin posted this:
Quote:
pullin's First Law of flight instruction (I tell this to all my new students):

The airplane knows more about flying than you do. Our goal is to teach you to listen to it.
This is a great attitude & so true.

From my short time as an flight instructor. Turned out to not be my cup of tea for many reasons. :

I had been flying some very poorly maintained C-150s ( straight backs ) doing pipeline patrol for a while and not doing much instruction, ( still legal to instruct ) when a friend who had learned to fly recently from somewhere, I forget, not important anyway, came to me with a concern about his ability to fly at night.

Yepper, he was really bad.

After some discussion we felt that it was his reliance on the instruments while attempting to land. So on an average night, we go to a small airport with big old military runways which is away from a small city with few lights & just has simple runway lights.

So to show him that the C-150 did indeed talk to him, on the downwind leg, I turned off the master switch. ( ya ya, not safe, legal etc X 100, but that was the only way to show him / teach him IMO & there was no other traffic around. I told you I was not cut out to be an instructor, get over it. )

Anyway, that got his attention. I had him really listen to the plane & wind noise that was going on & he pretty much had to keep his eyes outside. Ya ya, had flashlights but for this bit I declared they were all broke, could not use.

Talked him around the pattern and to a full stop landing with just using his eyes outside & listening to what the plane was telling him with noise, feel, & his previous flight knowledge that he did not even realize he had.

We did that one more time with me being quite & he doing it all on his own, and then quit that foolishness before something bad happened.

This seemed to cure his problems with night landing & according to him, he made better day landings also.

Yes, especially small aircraft, do talk to you & let you know what they need. You just need to learn to listen.

Last edited by GusNSpot; 09-24-2013 at 02:37 PM.
  #286  
Old 09-24-2013, 02:43 PM
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My dad was a CFI, though he only used it for friends and the Civil Air Patrol. One time he was giving another instructor a check ride. She flew the pattern and made a nice approach. About ten feet off the runway she threw her hands up in the air and declared that she had made a smooth landing. Dad grabbed the controls instantly and completed the landing. She told him, 'I just wanted to show you that students will always try to kill you.'
  #287  
Old 09-24-2013, 02:44 PM
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Any idea of which 300 series of Cessna could not fly at all with one engine even with a good test pilot?
I thought it was the T-50 that couldn't maintain altitude on one engine.
  #288  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:14 AM
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I thought it was the T-50 that couldn't maintain altitude on one engine.
That could well be.
My Dad had a friend in Texas in the 1960's that had one but I did not hear anything about it. Only knew one other guy who had flown one but I never thought to ask him that question.

I think that well below gross weight and in low country it could do alright but at max gross weight on a hot day in Denver, I don't think one engine would even lengthen your glide much...
  #289  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:37 AM
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I was in a twin Comanche with 200 hp engines that lost one immediately upon rotation. It took a mile to climb 75 feet. Some of that was the pilot fussing with the propeller and generally getting control of the situation. It's suppose to climb clean at 200 fpm on one engine which is about right.

Last edited by Magiver; 09-25-2013 at 12:39 AM.
  #290  
Old 09-25-2013, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
...

I would like that opinion to be a little more specific. Do you remember what the plane looked like? Type of tail, year made, look of the engine covers, where the door or doors were?
...
A quick look points to the 411, not a 300. I can't find the book I had with the story of the filmed test resulting in a 1-pointer.
For some reason, I was remembering it had the round windows of the 30x series.

Anyone remember the name of the up-and-coming Cross Over Star trying to find a cheap ride for herself, the camera crew, make-up and general entourage from the Caribbean to Miami? With all the gear for the sound and video? Every small plane they approached said "2 trips". Finally, 1 said sure, pack it in. I saw an aerial shot of the wreck - should be in every ground school as "what happens when you fly out of Ground Effect".

At quick glace, it looked fine - all the parts were where they were supposed to be - it was just that it had broken into a dozen pieces - inboard section of wing, center section of wing, outboard section; tail cone, tail cone to close-out bulkhead, etc.

For some reason, I thought it was one of these doomed Cessnas.

What is about flying that makes people look at a 10,000 hour Apache with 500 STOP (and that's the GOOD one), and think "yeah, I'll make a mint selling twin instruction"?

There was one at the airport I called home for a couple of years - I saw it driving around with everything aft of the close-out off.
Wasn't surprised when, upon reducing power for short final, one engine just died completely. Unfortunately, there was nothing but a busy 6-laner to try for.
One woman got a prop slice through the (rear) roof of her station wagon.

Student and instructor killed.
  #291  
Old 09-25-2013, 08:20 AM
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A quick look points to the 411, not a 300. I can't find the book I had with the story of the filmed test resulting in a 1-pointer.
For some reason, I was remembering it had the round windows of the 30x series.

Anyone remember the name of the up-and-coming Cross Over Star trying to find a cheap ride for herself, the camera crew, make-up and general entourage from the Caribbean to Miami? With all the gear for the sound and video? Every small plane they approached said "2 trips". Finally, 1 said sure, pack it in. I saw an aerial shot of the wreck - should be in every ground school as "what happens when you fly out of Ground Effect".

At quick glace, it looked fine - all the parts were where they were supposed to be - it was just that it had broken into a dozen pieces - inboard section of wing, center section of wing, outboard section; tail cone, tail cone to close-out bulkhead, etc...
[Emphasis added]

Aaliyah. I remember reading about the crash, thinking back to my time working at a high-end hotel, and shaking my head. I could imagine almost exactly how the conversation went, leading up to the decision to take off. Didn't help that, according to the wiki, the PIC was making his first flight for the company that day, and that he had booze and coke in his system. And may have been a crackhead. And wasn't even authorized by the company to fly the 402 in the first place. But jeez, when the cabbies driving you to the airport tell you that you've got too much shit to make it on the plane...you might want to listen to them.
  #292  
Old 09-25-2013, 04:06 PM
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When I had 54 hours total time as PIC, I bought my first airplane. A 85 HP Swift.

The only aircraft I have flown that is behind the power curve in a vertical dive. I can tell many stores of my adventures with that airplane, spins, secondary stalls, having to fly around houses way past the end of the runway due to inability to climb, and on and on.

The one I think fits here though happened on my mult-engine check ride in an old Piper Aztec.

The check pilot pulled the critical engine on takeoff just as we passed the point of being able to still make the runway. I did all the stuff I was supposed to do in their proper order and proceeded to fly runway heading. So did not say anything, nor give me the engine back so I started a return to the airport as we slowly, very slowly, crept upwards at rates that would calibrated in hours in stead of minutes 1 or 2 MPH above stall speed. A couple of hours later I had us on a short final when he gave me the engine back & told me to climb to xxxx heading yyy. Off we went.

While doing that climb he said, "I have never seen anyone do such a great job under those conditions, they always get behind the power curve and can't recover so I have to give them the engine back."
I said, "This was not hard, I fly an 85 Swift."

That little plane taught me so much.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-A...800/80743a.jpg

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-T.../80743snow.jpg

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-H...0/MVC-078F.JPG
  #293  
Old 09-25-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
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"they always get behind the power curve and can't recover so I have to give them the engine back."
A fair few crashes and fatalities have resulted from this approach to check rides.
  #294  
Old 09-26-2013, 12:55 AM
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A fair few crashes and fatalities have resulted from this approach to check rides.
Yeah, not many pilots ever learn what a power off full auto rotation to the ground is really like either.

Most of the instruction I received was back in the dark ages from ex WWII pilot types, or night mail pilots, or from the best female instructor there ever was IMO..

Most accidents are mostly pilot error in general aviation.

About 10 of the plane types I have flown, (54) so far, I know what dead stick to the ground is like & have practiced it more than once. Also 8 of them were with a stopped propeller. Makes a huge difference. Have flown over 100 different aircraft of 54 different types.

This is all single engine. Multi-engine equipment you are supposed to practice loss of power.

Ever notice that in most dead stick gear up emergency landings the foam is never useful because they seem to glide way past it?

As a pilot who is working for hire, the ability to avoid all potential dangers is not a good way to remain employed. The type in & of itself is dangerous. Pipeline patrol, Ag flying, most forms of emergency flying. Pays to practice as realistically as you can & often. the big boys have sims for their really expensive toys. Not many really good C-150 sims around.

No, Micro Soft computer games, though not useless, do not make me a better working pilot.

Yeah, I'm from a bygone era. ::: grump ::::
  #295  
Old 05-22-2014, 01:53 PM
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I found this bit of news interesting:

Piper Seminole named 'Most Popular' in emerging Chinese market

I found it interesting for a couple of reasons. First, that China's General Aviation market continues to do well (given various factors of its being, you know, China), while the GA in the U.S. has never really recovered from its collapse. The other thing is that Piper is still making the Seminole. Piper's been through so many bankruptcies, I'm never really sure what they're making and when.
  #296  
Old 05-22-2014, 02:01 PM
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And in other news, Wings of Hope expects to sell out of tickets for their raffle by the end of the month. 3,000 tickets will be sold; and the drawing will happen when they sell them, or June 30th if they don't all sell. I bought three tickets at the end of March/beginning of April, and I bought three more yesterday. So my chances are 1 in 500. I thought I'd buy three more on my birthday next month, making my odds 1 in about 333. As I said in another thread, I always lose if the odds are 50/50; so the odds of my winning this airplane are a million to one.

In any case, it looks like I won't be able to buy three more tickets if the recent email I received from Wings of Hope is correct that they'll sell out before the 31st of this month.
  #297  
Old 06-04-2014, 03:55 PM
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A woman was killed by walking into a propeller. I just find this so depressing because it seems like such an easily avoidable accident. Wasn't there another awful story a year or so ago about a woman (who had been a plane passenger) who was disfigured by a prop accident?
  #298  
Old 06-04-2014, 07:48 PM
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A woman was killed by walking into a propeller. I just find this so depressing because it seems like such an easily avoidable accident. Wasn't there another awful story a year or so ago about a woman (who had been a plane passenger) who was disfigured by a prop accident?
That was Lauren Scruggs, December 2011.

ETA: She was disfigured, and lost an eye. How lucky can one get? I always thought that people walking into live propellers got their brains shredded.

Last edited by Senegoid; 06-04-2014 at 07:49 PM.
  #299  
Old 06-04-2014, 08:59 PM
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1970's FAA safety poster: A prop on the loose can cook your goose.
  #300  
Old 06-04-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
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That was Lauren Scruggs, December 2011.

ETA: She was disfigured, and lost an eye. How lucky can one get? I always thought that people walking into live propellers got their brains shredded.
I wonder if she just encountered debris.
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