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Author Topic: 500A?  (Read 227 times)

Kzastrow1

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500A?
« on: March 07, 2019, 05:06:22 pm »
Anyone with specific knowledge of 234WM?  Low time 500A for sale with a sad story of an owner with cancer.  Iím aware of the Conti vs Lycoming thing and the speed difference. After selling my 421 Iím looking for a dirt simple airplane thatís fun to fly and wonít kill me...both literally and with respect to maintenance.  It has 2 blade props which I actually find appealing. 

Kirk

Adam Frisch

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 06:49:09 pm »
Heard good things about them - Conti makes them dirt cheap to operate. Most likely the cheaper 500-series Commander you can own.
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

Bruce Byerly

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 11:12:57 pm »
Heard good things about them - Conti makes them dirt cheap to operate. Most likely the cheaper 500-series Commander you can own.

I think you have it backward Adam but what do I know.  In my experience, there is no better piston engine ever hung on a plane than an IO-540.  For $150k, I know of no better answer than a really solid Shrike that is ready to go.

Adam Frisch

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 03:49:44 pm »
I know there's been a long standing feud between Conti and Lycoming when it comes to reliability. I agree with you that it seems Lycoming make better engines and the IO-540 certainly is a good example of that. But if you had to go Conti, then the O-470 is pretty bulletproof. It also has an abundance of parts and in general cheaper to maintain than a Lycoming. But I have heard the 500A is a little underpowered.
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

Roy

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 11:49:34 pm »
Most of my Commander time in the late 80's - early 90's was in 500A's, but I did get some seat time in some -B's and I flew a 680F a couple of times. One of the 500A's I flew the most had >2400 SMOH on both engines at the time, and I flew a bunch of time in a 310-I that had the IO470's too. Both of those examples kept running and "coming back for more". Because of that one high timer I flew a lot and all that 310 time, I'm personally a fan of the IO470's, but am not saying it is better than the Lycoming 540 line, just speaking of personal experience.

With that said, the time I had in 500B's was a pleasure with the increased power quite noticeable, and I especially enjoyed the Ray Jay's on one of them I flew a handful of times.

Like Adam mentioned, I will offer up that I did feel the 500A was a bit underpowered, the biggest noticeable effect was that it translated into slower cruise speed, while it still jumped off of runways just fine IMHO.

If I had a choice and the cost was equal, would I take a B or an S over an A? Hell yes. In that regard I'm with Bruce for sure.

Roy

Bruce Byerly

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2019, 12:46:28 am »
Who on here is flying one again?  Forgive me but I can’t remember the names and locations other than I know of a nice one locally.  It would be nice to hear about their experience.  I believe they built 99 and some were directly converted to B’s?  Where’s Barry?

Kzastrow1

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2019, 08:48:40 am »
I appreciate the feedback gents.  Bruce, the 500A in Naples is 800AC.  FAA database shows it still has IO470s but pics online look like 3 blade props so who knows.  Itís scheduled to depart in an hour for FXE.  Looks like a regular flyer. 

As to Royís point.  Yes, all things being equal a B or U or S would be the better choice at the same price point.  But thatís the rub...price point.  I know I know, pay me now or pay me later right?  My goal is to find a decent airframe at a fair price.  The 500A I mentioned has very low time engines and props done 10 years ago, has flown 300 hours since (not a lot obviously) and has super simple, reliable and efficient (albeit underpowered) IO470s.  I donít want glass.  I donít want boots.  I want simplicity and safety.  Add a 530W and ADSb out and voila!  Iím flying an AC50. I want Cessna 310 costs but with the AC50 cabin. 

What Iím hearing loud and clear from Bruce is that thatís not possible.  Maybe, maybe not. Iím not done with my research yet and Iíll probably arrive at the same conclusion, but the research is enjoyable and Iím a contrarian by nature.  Iíve never lost money on an airplane (have owned 5 of them).  I fly an Airbus BY CHOICE because itís a far superior airframe to the guppy (737), and I love my wife and Jesus.  In the eyes of the ďworldĒ I guess that makes me a nut job. 

Iím off to look at a 680FP and an 840 and apparently a hangar full of other amazing finds.  Who knows, maybe Iíll fall in love with the 680 and really jump off the deep end!

Thanks again for the feedback guys.  It truly is appreciated. 

Kirk

Bruce Byerly

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2019, 11:36:49 am »
300 hours in 10 years?  I bet the next thing is the props havenít been done in 10 years either. 

If so, itís this kind of plane that sucks up $100k so fast it will make your head spin.  Thatís the point Iím making.  It has nothing to do with acquisition cost or Lycoming vs. continental. You are buying into a ďstate of continuous restoration.Ē And some luck. The cost going forward is usually inversely related to the thickness of the recent log entries. And also who was doing the work.

Most of the planes I see for sale have a series of one page pencil whipped annuals with no substantial detail. I picked up mine from a shop that once did good work, but now has no leadership and the maintenance was less than hoped.  Rusty elevator flex shafts on a Scottsdale based plane! Fortunately it had a lot of good investment in its past and has become a realiable flyer.  I flew 1,850 nm in one day a couple weeks ago! Home for a late dinner ...

I hope you find what you are looking for but I think you might have to learn it the hard way just like I keep doing as well  ;) ;D

MChartier

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2019, 12:20:21 pm »
I believe that N800AC hes the Colemill Conversion.

That would trump the Lycos on the HP o!

Adam Frisch

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2019, 02:34:17 pm »
Kirk, don't fall in love with a 680FP, would be my suggestion. If you want cheap and simple to maintain, that is the opposite spectrum.  ;)
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

donv

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2019, 02:37:46 pm »
Adam beat me to it! If you're thinking of a 680FP, there is a lot of reading to do on this website!

Roy

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2019, 04:48:52 pm »
@ Bruce: I only wish I were flying a Commander... not in the financial cards for me still, but love the airplanes, had great experiences (and a couple of adventures) in them. Late 80's I was a young and coming CFII-MEI and was in the right place at the right time to get some really cool Commander time / experience. Now, I'm a hi-tech Engineer just getting back into the workd of aviation again because I am at a point in life I can afford the cost and have some time.

@MChartier: Forgot to mention, did get an opportunity to fly one 500A with a Colemill conversion. Makes the 500A a formidable performer compared to the B, U or S for sure.

@Kirk: Yes, rarely are there examples of "all things equal" when it comes to cost of the A, B, U and S. And Adam and Don speak truth about the 680 piston series; there's plenty of reading from "the founding father" of this site (Glenn Hancock), and they are not for the thin wallet; they are good at taking a thick wallet and making it thinner. And to Bruce's point, sometimes a less expensive buy-in price does not add up to a less expensive overall experience.

Roy

Kzastrow1

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Re: 500A?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2019, 05:13:58 pm »
Allow me to clarify.  It wasnít a 680FP, itís a 680FLP Grand Commander!  And itís BEAUTIFUL!  Itís also not for sale, not that I would buy one anyway.  I was just invited to look at it and the 840 they just acquired and of course to talk all things Commander.  Corey and Bob (Corey is a member here) were very gracious hosts and I learned a lot in the two hours we spent together.   Extremely valuable and enjoyable time.  Thanks again Corey!

Kirk