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Author Topic: Holy Jeebus, I flew one  (Read 192 times)

SoCalDan

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Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« on: December 03, 2017, 09:30:25 pm »
Well folks,

Fifty years on the planet, two of those aloft in 77 different types of airplanes, and I finally flew a Commander today.

I took a one hour demo hop out of Torrance in N698R, a '60 500B that's been for sale for well over a year.

https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/21081129/1960-aero-commander-500b

They asking 170K, but I think I can get it down to 150 or less. Maybe. Maybe not.

Really great airplane and so very nice to fly. Sublime. What should probably be described as an honest airplane. Perfectly stable with full roll authority at 50 KIAS. Linear gradient through the buffet, clean break where just partially unloading it while gaining about five to seven knots puts it right back into controllable flight with maybe 100 feet lost. Better stall manners than my J-3.

I liked the Turbine commander yokes, the Aspen and 530/430 combo. I loved the turbo Lycomings, very easy to manage. The taxiing was interesting. By the end of the flight I had it nailed. Anybody who saw me taxi out would have demanded a breathalyzer test. I can give give thanks for (mostly) decreasing amplitude on the swerves.

Energy management was a breeze and the landing was a cinch. She does nice lazy 8's.

Today is a sad day because I don't think I can afford it. Even if I bought Buddha Belly's Shrike, (Which is a lovely airplane) I fear the associated costs would just eat me alive. (Avionics upgrade and eventual overhaul.) And it isn't just the financial reality because truth be told, I'd sell the Cub, and turn into the world's biggest open time whore to pick up as much flying at the airline as it takes to increase my monthly take home pay the $5000 or more I'd spend on the ten hours of 500B or Shrike flying a month I'd like to do. The decision making calculus between this one and Jeff's would be larger monthly note with little money spent on upgrades vs. smaller monthly note with bigger budget for airplane goodies.

I say I can't afford it mostly because my fiance doesn't like airplanes, isn't interested in this one and thinks it's a poor use of my funds. So I find myself at the realization that I would be foolish to spend all my time and money on something she doesn't see doing with me.

Which is sad because I'd love to take an Aero Commander all over the U.S. With her and the Weimeraners in back.

C'est la vie. I'm open to any hive wisdom y'all might want to offer up. Congratulations on your airplanes, they are wonderful flying machines. Thanks for letting me vent. I'm going to sit down with my finances tomorrow and do a gut check.
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

SoCalDan

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 11:50:39 pm »
Some pics:
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

SoCalDan

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 11:52:46 pm »
More:
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

Badger

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 02:43:55 pm »
Great post, Dan.  I know the feeling!  I am very "lonely" right now while my Commander is undergoing its Annual (and overhauls).  It is one great bird.  I honestly tell folks that I enjoy flying the 500B as much as I did any aircraft I've flown in the past (F-4, F-16, 747, 757, 767).  She is a blast to fly and an honor to own.  Wherever you land, someone WILL walk up to you and ask about the aircraft.  Yep.  A little ego going on during those conversations...  ;-)

Sorry you cannot make the purchase happen.  I personally cannot afford mine, either, but just refuse to give her up.  I have a new excuse for my wife each time she wonders what the heck I am doing with all that money being spent on the twin.  And, I have a never-ending list of desired upgrades:  more than I could list here.  But, realistically, I know that most of them will never get done by me. 

I do love to look her over every day in the hangar and tidy her up after flights.  The hangar or inside her is just where I want to be...

Well...as you can see, I love to talk about commanders...  I do hope you can find just the right aircraft for you...

Ed

Ed

SoCalDan

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 04:21:19 pm »
Thanks for the kind words, Ed.

I think the question isn?t whether or not I can afford it financially, but do I want to spend almost all my income on airplane number two?

(I want to, I guess the question is should I?)
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

donv

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 11:46:13 pm »
Dan-- I would hate to suggest that you do something you can't afford. What I would suggest is that you figure out an operating budget for the 500, and then see if that fits within your overall budget.

I understand that the big concern is unplanned maintenance events, yet I think once you get past the initial teething of putting the airplane back into regular service, those might be less than you anticipate. So, sure, budget some extra for the first year (because you'll need it!), and then see what it looks like.

I had this concern about every airplane I've owned, well, except for my Citabria. So far, it's worked out okay-- even considering my windshield replacement last year.

I also sympathize with the fiancee issue. My wife isn't a big fan of airplanes, but she puts up with me, and is willing to on trips of 2 hours or less (she's actually done much longer trips in the past, but now she says 2 hours is her limit). In my experience, that's actually the more difficult issue...

Good luck! And please bring questions you have to this forum-- there are some great people here!

Steve binnette

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 10:28:07 am »
We need to fix this!

Don?t give up on it.

What does your fianc? like to do.  Whatever it is there is a way the Commander can make it easier.

No way she like flying on the airlines?  She needs to experience the utility of owning a plane like the Commander.

Wine tasting
Skiing
Vegas
Baja
Camping
Charity work
Visit family

Initially mywife loved the fact That i can bring kids home from college for a weekend.  Now she really appreciates avoiding the airlines and the fact we can do day trips for skiing and other things.

The Commander opens up a lot more than your cub, we just need to expose her to the options.




SoCalDan

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 11:39:52 am »
I know what you're talking about, Steve. In the time we've been together, she's used her flight benefits sparingly - she really does't like being on an airplane. There is often half a Xanax involved, the only thing she uses them for. When I go out to fly acro in my friend's Super Decathlon, she's nervous until she knows I'm on the ground. She's sweet about it, but my attempts to educate her have only convinced her that I'm somehow a sort of super pilot whose skills have enabled him to survive insanly dangerous aviation. When you and I both know it's the opposite.

Perhaps if I were able to take her up to Rock Creek Park and the John Muir wilderness, she'd come around.

But I'm really not sure I'd be able to get her on the airplane. She's been with me on two Hawaii trips. And once to Bogota where the loads looked great leaving, but cratered and she had to spend an extra night. Like you said, selling her that having our own airplane would avoid the typical non-rev drama would be a good idea.

Like you, I'm an LAX based 737 guy, but at my seniority, I'm only holding a reserve line and work most weekends. On the plus side, she's a school teacher and has summers off.

I'm not giving up.
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

SoCalDan

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 11:42:10 am »
Dan-- I would hate to suggest that you do something you can't afford. What I would suggest is that you figure out an operating budget for the 500, and then see if that fits within your overall budget.

I'll post what I came up with in terms of operating costs later this morning and maybe you guys can double check my numbers.

Steve, Don, Ed? Thanks for engaging with me on this guys.
"The way I see it you can either work for a living or fly. Me? I'd rather fly." -Len Morgan

Steve binnette

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 06:23:42 pm »
Only one thing to do apply, the guilt trip response!!

Either she trust you or she doesnt.  Make it personal!  ( just kidding?-kind of).    Honestly I still think you can turn her.  She obviously loves you and wants to spend time with you.  This is one way for her share your passion.  She won?t fly acro with you, the cub is just too small.

The Commander is perfect. 

The charity angle is a good one,  You can really do a lot of good by volunteering your time and your airplane. 

There are angel flights, veterans airlift, flying samaritans and many more.  I think its an awesome thing to do and most women love the idea.
My kids used to ride along with me on my angel flights in order to fill their community service requirements.  They still talk about some of the people they met.

Then there is this to consider on the financial end. 

Partnerships, can work and cut the cost substantially.  Where are you based maybe there is a guy lurking on this site just waiting for the right opportunity.

Commanders belong in the hands of guys who really appreciate them.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:11:07 am by Steve binnette »

donv

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 07:15:19 pm »
The LA area is a fantastic place to have a Shrike, too. There are so many neat places you can go that are a reasonable distance, and you don't have to have pressurization.

Buddabeli

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Re: Holy Jeebus, I flew one
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 09:34:57 pm »
Dan,

My plane sold but there are more out there. 

The plane Bruce has for sale looks great!

I really think your over thinking this a bit too much.  My wife was 100% dead set against me owning a plane.  But slowly and surely she came around and now... we go flying. 

Go get one, enjoy it, and don?t look back...
You only live once
So enjoy 😊

Well that?s my 2 cents