I’m a student pilot on the west coast. I’m trying to find the path to enjoying this passion, completing missions I’m interested in, maintaining high safety, and doing all of this in a financially reasonable manner (before my husband starts saying “no”, ha).
Recognizing everything is a trade off, I’m strongly considering doing a leaseback for the first few years (I train at Advantage Aviation in Palo Alto, California which has a strong rep and great mechanics). Plan to go to Lake Tahoe often (+6500ft). Thinking about the Turbo 182 vs the Turbo SR-22.
My CFI is excellent, with loads of experience, and cirrus certified trainer, but doesn’t has as much experience on helping folks to purchase aircraft.
I’d love to here any thoughts and advice as I consider my options. I’ve been reading online and understand some of the basic pros and cons (including the many strong feelings in multiple directions on leasebacks). Hoping for some personal perspectives and advice on how to find the right plane at the right price.
Become a member ($95/yr.) and gain access to over one million posts containing every conceivable tidbit of Cirrus knowledge and expertise, as well as to the vast knowledge and experience of many dedicated members.
I did this exact path, on the west coast too (but in LA). What Tom said is right: pay the $95, consider it a cheap fee for a ton of pre-buy knowledge and analysis. Its well worth it. There are a ton of threads on this in the members forums.
I shared my full experience from being a student pilot onwards (flew 40 hours in a DA40 before acquiring my 22T and finishing my PPL + IR in it). I included my experience getting insurance. And talked about the very different challenges of ownership that a PPL track just won’t teach you (hangars, maintenance, etc.).
I didn’t leaseback, but everything else I think you’d find relevant. One of dozens, and dozens, of topics on this.
I bought an SR22T last year and can tell you that If you’re at all serious about buying a Cirrus then paying the $95 will be the best money you’ll spend.
I contemplated all of the issues you mention; there are trade offs in useful load, mission, budget. I came to the conclusion that having a Turbo is pretty essential if you’re going to be doing most of your flights on the west coast. I think it’s also conventional wisdom that leasing back a Turbo for rental is a bad idea. Turbo’s can be damaged pretty easily by an inattentive or uninformed pilot, and these days replacing a Turbo engine is over 100K.
Weston, Get the SR22T. Also join COPA. This is the most active aviation forum you will find. Tons of experience within and discussions that of course include all things Cirrus but also lots of general aviation discussion and tricky IFR / real world questions. I learn something every day on here. Many commenters are not even current Cirrus owners. It is that good of a resource. Regardless of what you end up buying, it makes no sense to join an airframe specific forum AFTER you have invested significant capital into it.
Ugh. Any tips then on how to manage the costs? A leaseback would allow me to purchase it as a business and deduct 80% appreciation and have the FBO (hopefully) cover much of the fixed costs. Open to other ideas though.
lol, ok ok, you’ve all convinced me. I just joined full membership.
Now help me figure out how to convince my husband that it’s worth purchasing a $400k+ airplane. :-/
I’ll dive into the forum rabbit hole this week as well. But if anybody has any tips on buying and on how to curtail costs, I’d appreciate it! At this point I’m thinking leaseback may be my only realistic option, though I certainly am nervous about potential maintenance issues.
Good job. As for tips on buying, get a buyer’s broker. They will cost you, but save you at the same time. If you’re not willing to pay their fee, I suggest you reconsider aircraft purchase. (old joke: how do you know when you’re ready for horse racing? Flush a $100 bill and if you can resist the urge to grab it before it goes down…well…)
Leaseback is good, but it’s not going to take the decision from “financially painful” to a money making scheme. You’re still going to pay. After fees and payments, it’s probably “worth” around $30k per year.
Forget the C182 … buy an NA SR22. You won’t need anymore than that to get into and out of Lake Tahoe, easily. I fly the Rockies all the time and have to go much higher than the 10K that you need for LT. Knowlege is power and a membership will clue you in to more useful data on buying your first plane than you can imagine right now. I’m not selling a membership, I just know from personal experience how much I’ve learned about aviation in general, flying, and what I needed to know about owning an airplane. Good luck!
if anybody has any tips on buying and on how to curtail costs,
If not a lease back, another option is to find a partner(s) and split the costs. The reality is you’ll probably fly the plane 100 - 200 hours a year, so most of the time the plane will not be in use. Of course, finding the “right” partners is the trick.
Also, just be aware that while purchasing the plane will be your single biggest expense, there are a number of other costs to consider. As a low time new pilot, you’ll probably be looking at $10-15K for first year insurance (ask me how I know ) on an SR22. That will go down once you get more hours and additional training, notably IFR, but it’s not like getting car insurance. You’ll also need to store it, ideally in a hangar, and in any populated area in the west, that can easily be another 500 - 1,000 per month.
I’m sure you’ll get a lot of other useful advise, but the last thing I’ll say is whatever you do, get a pre-buy inspection, by an impartial professional, to review any potential purchase. Many people use Savvy Aviation’s pre-buy service, including me, and they are helpful in identifying reliable A & P shops (airplane mechanics) and help you interpret the results.
Feel free to message me if you have any additional questions.
So, I’m in the same situation (student pilot) and I’ve set my sights on a sr22 g3 or g5…not sure about the turbo. I’m interested in that split rear seat and plan to fly up and down the east coast (I live in central PA).
I’d love to hear some of the insights that people may have about the subtle pros and cons about this machine and further sharpen my decision…