Re Paul G’s inquiry (under “GNC300XL”):
I didn’t have to say much of anything. Luckily for me my wife loves to fly; she is a “visual romantic” like me and flying in Northern California offers enough to sate than even the most die-hard visual romantic.
The “convincing” was in fact accpomplished by the following experiences in flying club aircraft over the last year and a half: an engine failure–fortunately just after liftoff on a 6000 foot runway–which stranded us and our baby overnight in East Drainage, CA; a complete avionics failure just before launching IFR; several other avionics failures or suboptimal performances; INOP autopilots for IFR flights, dirty magnetos due to improper operation by indifferent or ignorant club members; broken seat adjustments; a sudden, arbitrary 25% rental rate increase on the one plane she really liked in the club; shoddy paint jobs and torn upholstery. Tina virtually never complains about anything, but these experiences made her wonder, “…SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES ‘AIRWORTHINESS’ MEAN, ANYWAY?”
These were so convincing we decided to get our own plane, interim or replacement, because of the long wait for the SR20. It’s completely refurbished and has a new engine to start with, and we have complete control over the maintenance. It cruises at 150 and stalls at 35, so performance is competitive. We get our hands on it in just a week or two.
I think safety, both actual and perceived, was the main issue for her (me too); secondary but also significant factors being comfort and enjoyment of the vehicle itself.
I also wearied of taking friends or colleagues flying in rattletraps (at least compared to the SR20). After an enjoyable and beautiful local flight some would ask, perhaps reflecting an embryonic interest, “…so how much does one of these cost?” The reply of ~$90,000 for a dowdy 182 or ~$60,000 for a dowdier Arrow or Cutlass would be greeted with an incredulous stare, shake of the head, and likely extinguished embryonic interest. Even though the SR20 is 2X-3X more its perceived value to such folks is not so disparate from the price.