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Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 1st 11, 06:36 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

Background:

I am about a 60 hour, non current pilot who hasn't flown in about 13 years. I have a pipeline coming through my place that has produced funds and this Summer will take out a clump of trees that will free up a place for about an 1,100 feet grass strip in the direction of the prevailing wind.

I solo'd in an Aeronca Champ and then did most of my flying in a 150. I flew once in a Hershey Bar Cherokee 140 and liked it, although it felt quite different than the other planes I had flown.

Question:

I would like to get something for under $20K that I can use for recreational flying and on a nice day, take my wife to visit her twin sister about 200 miles away. I don't need a fancy panel, just the basics. I don't need a real fresh engine because I won't by piling on hours at a rapid pace.

I will need a plane for the relatively short grass strip I described for daylight take off and landing. My idea is a 150 or a Cheorkee 140. I would love an old tail dragger like a Champ or a Cub, but they seem quite pricey and probably not well suited for a 200 mile flight with my wife.

I plan on using the plane for the instruction flying that I will need to get current again and will have an instructor work with me to get comfortable with my grass strip.

Any comments, advice and/or plane recommendations are appreciated.

Doc
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  #2  
Old March 4th 11, 12:25 AM posted to rec.aviation.owning
Bug Dout
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Posts: 109
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

At the moment I can't think of any particular plane to recommend. But
you might get on barnstormers.com and do a search by price; this will
bring up a number of aircraft for you to consider. Is LSA important?
--
Pity the warrior that kills all his foe.
~ Star Trek
  #3  
Old March 4th 11, 05:31 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug Dout View Post
At the moment I can't think of any particular plane to recommend. But
you might get on barnstormers.com and do a search by price; this will
bring up a number of aircraft for you to consider. Is LSA important?
--
Pity the warrior that kills all his foe.
~ Star Trek
Thanks for the reply Bug Dout!

I've been doing some looking and I seem to be coming up with the Aeronca Chief and Aeronca Champs as choices. I really don't like the idea of my wife sitting behind. I'm not worried about the CFI sitting behind, because he's the same guy that solo'd me in the Champ and seems to enjoy the back seat.

Since I started looking I've found a few souped up Cessna 140's that might fill the bill although they're a little over my budget. With the pipeline money, I can probably stretch the budget although that would eat into my planned hanger material money.

LSA is not important. I plan on getting my PPL. I have most all the flying specifics behind me except the long cross country. I will just have to get my flying edge back, fly my long cross country and then be ready for the check ride. Then I will work with my instructor to get comfortable in and out of my grass strip.

Since I wrote the original post, I have done some measuring and it looks like the strip length will be more like 1,300 feet. In fact I can also prepare a crossing runway that will be more like 1,500, but will be crosswind most of the time.

Thanks again.
  #4  
Old March 5th 11, 01:55 AM posted to rec.aviation.owning
Brian Whatcott
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 915
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

On 3/1/2011 11:36 AM, MBDiagMan wrote:
Background:

I am about a 60 hour, non current pilot who hasn't flown in about 13
years. I have a pipeline coming through my place that has produced
funds and this Summer will take out a clump of trees that will free up a
place for about an 1,100 feet grass strip in the direction of the
prevailing wind.

I solo'd in an Aeronca Champ and then did most of my flying in a 150. I
flew once in a Hershey Bar Cherokee 140 and liked it, although it felt
quite different than the other planes I had flown.

Question:

I would like to get something for under $20K that I can use for
recreational flying and on a nice day, take my wife to visit her twin
sister about 200 miles away. I don't need a fancy panel, just the
basics. I don't need a real fresh engine because I won't by piling on
hours at a rapid pace.

I will need a plane for the relatively short grass strip I described for
daylight take off and landing. My idea is a 150 or a Cheorkee 140. I
would love an old tail dragger like a Champ or a Cub, but they seem
quite pricey and probably not well suited for a 200 mile flight with my
wife.

I plan on using the plane for the instruction flying that I will need to
get current again and will have an instructor work with me to get
comfortable with my grass strip.

Any comments, advice and/or plane recommendations are appreciated.

Doc




The C-150 would work for you, except that annuals are getting pricey,
and parts are going up. My last annual came in at 2 grand, and the plane
was in quite respectable shape before hand.
It would be better to buy a new plane, but that's not gonna happen
on your budget. Perhaps if you could find a sympathetic A&P thereabouts,
you could make it work out...

Brian W
  #5  
Old March 5th 11, 06:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
Bug Dout
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 109
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

brian whatcott writes:

The C-150 would work for you, except that annuals are getting pricey,
and parts are going up. My last annual came in at 2 grand, and the
plane was in quite respectable shape before hand.
It would be better to buy a new plane, but that's not gonna happen
on your budget. Perhaps if you could find a sympathetic A&P
thereabouts, you could make it work out...


Annual inspection prices are a factor but they are highly variable and
rather controllable. First, one can buy a decent used aircraft that
doesn't need a lot of repairs. Second, one can do a lot of work under
the supervision of the IA and that saves a lot of money. It's OK if
you're not a wrench-head, but you must be willing to learn and find an
IA who is willing to work with you.

Given it's a short grass strip, my first choice would not be a tricycle
gear. What's on either end of the strip: empty fields? Crops? 150' oak
trees? Any obstacles to overcome will be an important factor in the
choice of aircraft. You may need something with a good climb rate and
the C-150 doesn't leap to mind with that consideration. Maybe a Texas
Taildragger (a C-150 converted to taildragger, often with a more
powerful engine). Don't know what the prices are.

Another idea is to continue renting and buy a simple kit-build
(e.g. Kitfox) and start on that. In 1 to 3 years you could have a new,
much better performing plane for about the price of a used, 50-year-old
certificated plane. And you can then legally do all your own
maintenance, adding non-certificated gadgets like autopilots, glass
panels, etc. are up to 1/4 the price of the certificated equivalents.
--
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those
whom we cannot resemble.
~ Samuel Johnson
  #6  
Old March 9th 11, 03:03 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default

First of all, thanks for the replies.

As further information on my proposed field. It would have two strips, one about 15/33, 1,200 feet or a little more with short fences at either end. The other would be about a 3/21, same length with 100' tall trees on the South end. The prevailing winds would make the 21 the most common, meaning taking off over the trees.

I am currently looking at a C140A with 100HP and a climb prop. It is for sale near by and I should get a demo flight as soon as the weather cooperates.

Thanks for any further comments and advice.
  #7  
Old March 10th 11, 04:17 AM posted to rec.aviation.owning
Bug Dout
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 109
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

MBDiagMan writes:

I am currently looking at a C140A with 100HP and a climb prop.

Excellent. That should do the job on takeoff and climb out. I forget,
does that have flaps? Is some small amount of flaps recommended for
soft-field takeoff?

Check its ability to slip (for landing), as well as any restrictions on
slipping with flaps.

--
What is either a picture or a novel that is not character?
- Henry James
  #8  
Old March 10th 11, 01:19 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default


Thanks Bug, that is some great information to have and good questions about the plane.

I do know that the C120's had no flaps while the C140 and C140A did. I have read that the 140 flaps are only marginally effective and the 140A flaps are only slightly more effective than that.

Investigating it's slipping capabilities is something I had not thought about, so thanks for pointing this out. I will also investigate flap usage for soft field take off.

I will be able to go fly it next week if we get the weather for it.

Thanks again,
  #9  
Old March 10th 11, 06:27 PM posted to rec.aviation.owning
Dave[_1_]
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Posts: 76
Default Plane for Short Field, Grass Strip, Beginner?

OKaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.....

Check out the Cherokees...

Parts cheaper than Cessnas, and slipping with full flaps (no
restrictions) will bring it down like a cinder block safely.

Find one with Art Mattisons gap seals and VG's and the short runway
would be no issue.. (or add them later... easy.....)

We have these mods on our Warrior, and the low speed, takeoff/landing
performance is stunning....

Plus, two more seats and FAR more comfortable (and suitable) for cross
country flights..

Late 60's and early 70's 140's with a mid time engine/ light panels
should be on $$$ reach..

Good Luck!

Dave








On Thu, 10 Mar 2011 12:19:42 +0000, MBDiagMan
wrote:


Bug Dout;765065 Wrote:
MBDiagMan writes:
-
I am currently looking at a C140A with 100HP and a climb prop.-
Excellent. That should do the job on takeoff and climb out. I forget,
does that have flaps? Is some small amount of flaps recommended for
soft-field takeoff?

Check its ability to slip (for landing), as well as any restrictions on
slipping with flaps.

--
What is either a picture or a novel that is not character?
- Henry James



Thanks Bug, that is some great information to have and good questions
about the plane.

I do know that the C120's had no flaps while the C140 and C140A did. I
have read that the 140 flaps are only marginally effective and the 140A
flaps are only slightly more effective than that.

Investigating it's slipping capabilities is something I had not thought
about, so thanks for pointing this out. I will also investigate flap
usage for soft field take off.

I will be able to go fly it next week if we get the weather for it.

Thanks again,


  #10  
Old March 10th 11, 09:18 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave[_1_] View Post
OKaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.....

Check out the Cherokees...

Parts cheaper than Cessnas, and slipping with full flaps (no
restrictions) will bring it down like a cinder block safely.

Find one with Art Mattisons gap seals and VG's and the short runway
would be no issue.. (or add them later... easy.....)

We have these mods on our Warrior, and the low speed, takeoff/landing
performance is stunning....

Plus, two more seats and FAR more comfortable (and suitable) for cross
country flights..

Late 60's and early 70's 140's with a mid time engine/ light panels
should be on $$$ reach..

Good Luck!

Dave








On Thu, 10 Mar 2011 12:19:42 +0000, MBDiagMan
wrote:


Bug Dout;765065 Wrote:
MBDiagMan
writes:
-
I am currently looking at a C140A with 100HP and a climb prop.-
Excellent. That should do the job on takeoff and climb out. I forget,
does that have flaps? Is some small amount of flaps recommended for
soft-field takeoff?

Check its ability to slip (for landing), as well as any restrictions on
slipping with flaps.

--
What is either a picture or a novel that is not character?
- Henry James



Thanks Bug, that is some great information to have and good questions
about the plane.

I do know that the C120's had no flaps while the C140 and C140A did. I
have read that the 140 flaps are only marginally effective and the 140A
flaps are only slightly more effective than that.

Investigating it's slipping capabilities is something I had not thought
about, so thanks for pointing this out. I will also investigate flap
usage for soft field take off.

I will be able to go fly it next week if we get the weather for it.

Thanks again,
Thanks very much for the reply Dave!

I have always been a fan of the Cherokee, but several folks elsewhere have said that it wouldn't be a good choice for my proposed field. They might have said that before I realized the field will be closer to 1,300 feet than my originally estimated 1,100 feet.

That said, the forward slip is fine for getting in, but I don't think that getting in will be a problem. Getting out over those trees will be the problem. If there's an economy nose wheel, four place plane that can do it, I'm all ears.

Thanks again for all the comments.
 




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