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Author Topic: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander  (Read 745 times)

aholmes100

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Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« on: December 29, 2019, 02:39:46 am »
I have a Piper Matrix currently and would like upgrade to a Turbine. I have given PC 12 and few others a lot of though but every time when I run the numbers for the purchase cost & operating costs Twin Commander makes more sense on the whole.

My budget is approximately 750K to 1 Million for purchase. I can go higher but if I don't have to I would rather not. Yearly operating costs for owner flown I would like to keep it at a 80K including fuel for about 100 hrs. I am not including Hanger( 9K/ Year), Insurance (15K/ Year) & principal + Interest payment. That would be additional.

Any owners with some real numbers would be a great help for operating hourly costs. The numbers that I have looked on Conklin & Decker type of website are very confusing. I am just trying to get a realistic number to own and operate a well equipped 690B.

Any opinion from current or former owner would be appreciated.

Steve binnette

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2019, 01:09:40 pm »
That is within what I spend to operate my 980.  I have had for 5 years now.

The difficult part to gauge is the condition of the airplane you end up purchasing.  Your budget is large enough that you can afford a nice one. 

Just do your best to assure it is a good airplane.  In my case I bought plane for cheap that needed lots of work.  I left it in the shop at Naples jet center for 6 months.

I ended up with a large bill and a super nice airplane.  Byerly Aviation did the paint and it looks great.

The engines are really very solid with little to no problems.  The airframe has some gotchas, fuel cells, windshields, SB other things I cannot think of right now.

It is smaller inside than a Pilatus, but bigger than the other SE TP.  Plus it has two engines, which I believe is better.

Get a good Commander and you will be very happy with it!

aholmes100

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2019, 05:22:10 pm »
Cool. That makes sense. I spoke with Byerly Aviation and they said they can take an aircraft that has good engines and airframe and redo the avionics, interior & paint. Relative to all things that would be very expensive. Of course that is relative.  :D

Steve binnette

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2019, 05:34:54 pm »
Byerly is a good shop.

My paint job was 55k but it had everything done, 4 colors and lots of polished parts that added to the cost.

I would expect

50k paint
50k interior
100k to 250k for panel.  The panel depends a lot on what you want and what the airplane comes with. 

Say you put 300k into a plane that leaves, 450k to 700k to find a good airframe.  That is totally doable.

Jonathan Gray

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2019, 06:47:31 pm »
I think that your numbers would work nicely.  We just got our 840 completed in May so I donít know what our annual maintenance will be, but it should be within your budget.  I totally agree with Steve and you should buy the best plane you can.  Ours needed some work and it took 9 months but we havenít had any issues since we started flying it.  I would also suggest talking with someone really knowledgeable on commanders, like Bruce Byerly.  We dealt with him and would not have been able to make the deal on our plane without his help.

kent4142

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 07:44:54 pm »
Hi There,

2 years ago I bought a very nice 1981 Commander 840, with about 6,000 hours on the airframe and 25% of the engines consumed.  Paint was good, panel was almost good.  I upgraded the GTN 530 / 430 for a GTN 750 / 650, and then this last year I put a Garmin digital radar in.

At my first annual I had to do the landing gear overhaul, this recent annual I did the props.  I could get spread sheets out and really hone things to the dimes and pennies - but I will use averages here.  I have been flying 150 hours per year, for the last two years.  With my fixed costs spread over the 150 hours I am coming in around $800.00 per hour.  Eagle Creek's web site used to have some nice spread sheets for costs on each model.  They advertised about $1,000 an hour.

I think you are in a very comfortable range with your $80,000 per year for 100 hours a year.  I was trying to stay at $110,000 per year.

In my search to buy, I felt like I could make a $200,000 mistake without blinking, so I asked Bruce Byerly (309) 397-2525‬, to help me find and buy an airplane.  His family has several life-times of experience at their FBO in Peoria, IL.  I think I was in the exact place you are in now.  My only difference was I was flying a Cessna 414A prior to the Commander.

I can't brag enough about the aircraft and my ownership experience.  I come from an aviation family and I am third generation.  I joke with my friends that the Commander is the best airplane God ever made!  I will talk airplanes all day long to anyone who will listen.  My number is 386-804-2066.  I am based in Florida (KDED), if you are any where near here, I am happy to talk your ear off - or better yet, go for a ride.

Bruce knows piles more than I do if you are close to buying.  The thing I like about Bruce is, he is very humble and down to earth yet he knows as much about Commanders as anyone else I know.

I don't think you can get the speed, safety, fuel burn, comfort or fun from any other airplane for the money - and you are spot on or even a little under spending for your desires with a Commander.

Kent

aholmes100

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 08:01:46 pm »
Jonathan Gray / Steve Binnette/ Jonathan Gray / Kent4142 - Thanks you so much guys for the responses back. It's one thing to hear things from people who sell an aircraft but it's another when you hear from owners. A lot of what you guys have said totally makes sense.

I really got burnt when I bought my first aircraft the Piper Matrix. I sent it a facility here in Chicago for a pre buy. They pointed out 15K in squawks. I was ok with that. Then they started going through it and they gave me a bill for 60K. My issue was not the $ 60K bill but that I had paid them for a pre buy. At the time I did not even have a PPL. At the time of purchase I did not know the difference between a rudder or an aileron. They said they did all this work and did not even ask me. I had complete faith in these people because I had charted the PC 12 from them before. They seemed like nice people. Little did I know. The maintenance side of things was in shambles. For a Malibu Matrix a bill of $ 60K. Most owners would not have been able to swing that. I was fortunate that I could afford that stupidity on my part. I had to end up sending it to Des Moines Flight service to get it all working. Spent another $20K there and another $20K for the first annual this year. Needless to say I felt a burnt. Des Moines Flight Service was great to work with because they knew this platform and seem to be a very professional outfit. I don't want to repeat that whole mistake when buying a bigger aircraft. A lot of lessons learned. Just came to find out that I was not the only one these people took for a ride in Chicago. Their entire maintenance dept got entirely shut down because of a court case. Cirrus pulled out from there as well. I guess you live and learn.

I flew down to Byerly - Scott Welch was great and showed me what they had in inventory. Seem like he seems to know about a lot of other aircrafts that are not listed but the owners may sell. The idea of buying something solid makes much more sense and getting the work done like paint, interior and avionics. The number he threw out seemed much more reasonable compared to what some of the other shops charge.

After reading a lot of posts here seem like I should pass on a 690 and get into 840 & up.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 08:15:04 pm by aholmes100 »

schrambow

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2019, 10:08:40 pm »
aholmes100,

we have had our 840 for about a year now.  We purchased it through Byerly also, we absolutely love that shop and the people that work there.  I know there are many other good Commander shops out there also(many online here can share with you their experience also), but they are pretty close to where we operate and I have a great relationship with Bruce/Scott/Tim/Ryan/Wayne, etc...  If fact if you just visited them recently, you probably seen our 840 (5955K) in their shop for the 150 hour inspection.  Picking it up in the next few days if the weather moves out.
We absolutely love our 840.  As far as the numbers, i would agree with all of them posted above here.  Every 5 years you have a gear inspection and if they replace many "worn out of tolerance parts", this specific inspection can run about 15K or a bit more or so i am estimating.  Really depends on what parts are out of tolerance for specific pricing on this though.  Also, the props have 4000 hours and/or 5 year time line inspection also, and that can run a bit more also. But all planes in this class have these type of items and many alot more. But i agree on everyone here in the post of the numbers they have presented.
Going into our specific purchase a year ago, i was saying to Scott, "Buying a 1000 or I am going home, with our 680FLP", lol!
But what sold me on our 840 was Scott saying "You are paying for 50% cost of a 1000 for 85% the performance"!  Very logical and i couldn't really argue with him. They had a 840 that needed some paint and avionics but was overall a very nice machine, so we pulled the trigger.  This machine will fly forever, at 28K it will easily do 1800 nautical, maybe more even!  For us, out of central Wisconsin, we make Sarasota, FL direct and land with about half tanks, lol.  You got to love 474 gallons! 
We just love all the Commanders and have owned a few different models over the years.
I told Bruce that if he finds a RVSM 1000, with only 300 hours total time airframe, and low time engines, to give me a call!
Good luck with your search and welcome to the Forum!
Corey
 

donv

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Re: Purchase & Yearly Operating Costs Twin Commander
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2019, 12:05:59 am »
I think you've gotten sound advice here, and your thinking is good. I try to keep my annual budget below $100k/year, but I include hangar (which I own, but have various expenses associated with). So you should be in good shape. And with the budget you are thinking about, I would definitely go for a Jetprop (840/980). The maintenance and cost of ownership will be less, and the Jetprops have many small improvements which make the ownership experience nicer.

I've had my 980 since 2011, so almost 9 years (amazing to think about!) and I have been around Commanders since 1986...

Be careful about what you buy, and take care of it, and you should be very happy. Look for an airplane which has been maintained by a service center or someone else who knows what they are doing, and has been flying actively in recent years. If you buy a "project" that's not a bad way to go, but expect to spend the first six months dealing with various minor issues which might reduce your dispatch reliability until it's fully sorted out.