Selecting an aircraft model

N194SP was selected for a specific reason: it’s perfect for its mission. I’d wondered for a long time who buys Cessna 172SP’s. It’s slow. It’s expensive. It’s not very fuel efficient. And the avionics on the round-dial versions, while not terrible, aren’t anything to write home about either. And yet, I purchased one.

I don’t know why it was such a mystery to me. The Skyhawk is a training aircraft. It doesn’t have to be fast. It doesn’t have to have great avionics. Fuel efficiency doesn’t matter if you’re not directly paying for the fuel. And cost is relative: the comfort of having a newer, modern aircraft under you when you’re not yet squared away with the concept of a mile of sky under you is worth a fair amount to many pilots. Those pilots included myself: I trained predominantly in 172S for my PPL.

Of the things it does have going for it, the most important is that it is the training standard. It’s a base from which the majority of us learned to fly. This standardization draws students to this aircraft, as pilots who have not flown a 172 in one form or another are pretty rare. It’s a stable, predictable, forgiving platform from which to learn how to fly both visually and by instruments.

I had two criteria for the aircraft I purchased. First, I was putting this aircraft on leaseback. I needed it to be flown to make that worthwhile. 172SP get flown. The current 172S aircraft on the line at Trade Winds are doing about 60-70 hours every month. That should be enough hours to make doing a leaseback arrangement a benefit to myself as an owner. Second, I’m going to getting instrument rating in this aircraft, so it needed to fill that role as well.

Cessna 172 SP Skyhawk it was.


Selecting an aircraft model

An airplane is purchased

IMG_20151122_161524One week ago, I bought an airplane. I own an airplane. An airplane! I’m still letting that reality settle in. I’ve been a certificated pilot now for four years, but this is the first time I have an aircraft with my name on the title.

She’s a 2003 Cessna 172S with 3000 hours on the clock. As small aircraft go, that’s pretty new. N192SP is printed on the side. White and with red striping, it’s a pretty standard looking 172.

I’ll post more details later, but for right now, I just want to get this story started with some thanks going out:

Terry McGee at McGee Aviation for brokering this deal for me.

Walt Gyger at Trade Winds Aviation for hosting the aircraft on their line.

John Heldt, also of Trade Winds, for helping me ferry the plane home.

And, of course, my wife, Sarah, for allowing me the opportunity to pursue this passion.

An airplane is purchased