If You Had Your Choice....?
Which of the following aircraft would you buy for your Private and Instrument flight training - if - you knew that you were ultimately going to be preparing for an L-39 Albatross, or quite possibly, an Alpha Jet A, at some point down the road:
a) Cessna 172 (modern)
b) Archer or Arrow (modern)
c) Bonanza (modern)
e) Mooney (modern)
f) Legacy (well built and maintained)
g) Glasair III (well built and maintained)
h) Turbine Legend (well built and maintained)
I have my favorite(s), but I'd like see what other experienced pilots out there think about these choices given the type of aircraft performance coming up in the near future (L-39 or Alpha Jet).
My thinking is that once the Private and Instrument is completed, I'll need something to do a lot of genuine cross-country IFR and Night flying with to build time AND experience as PIC in all weather conditions. The goal, is to not kill myself in the jet, just because I can own one.
So, I'm guessing that roughly 1,000 to 1,500 hrs beyond the Instrument Rating, in something "high-performance," could help prepare me for slow transition period into the turbine flight regime. Once I start, I plan on doing a lot of flying, about 3-4 days a week, if not more, to get to the 1,000 to 1,500 IFR PIC level. I'm not interested in a commercial career, just obtaining the skill and experience necessary to routinely handle the L-39 or the Alpha Jet.
What say you?
I'm no expert, but it would come down to:
For most, #2 drives the equation heavily, but it sounds like you don't have that issue.
- What's my mission?
- How fast do I want to throw money into the air?
So it turns to mission. If you goal is just to accumulate enough hours (and experience), then any would do the job, and being the poor man that I am, I would lean towards the one with the lowest operating cost (which would likely mean Cessna/Piper).
However, if you're wanting to advance your skills in preparation for a HP craft, buying a HP plane early on (assuming you CAN get insurance, not a given with 0 hours) might be a better choice.
In either case, if you're going to log 1500 hours in the airframe as quickly as possible, you're going to want a comfortable interior for you. Depending on size, I would think a Bonanza or similar might make all that sitting a little less uncomfortable.
I would go with the Arrow or Bonanza. The arrow because you get the complex time without the high performance, which would decrease your learning curve a little bit. But then again, while the Bonanza may increase your learning curve (more so than the arrow), it could be more benneficial in the long run because of the higher performance. Just know that the higher you go on the totem pole the bigger your learning curve will be, even for basic operations.
It may be wise to get the first few lessons in a basic trainer just to get your feet under you and then move to the complex/high performance.