Thanks for you very valuable response to the inquiry. I hope our
prospective baby Beech owner recognizes that this is an example of the
kind of help he can look forward to having if he decides to buy a Skipper.

One minor detail: You suggested checking AD's for the 152 and PA-28. I
suspect you meant PA-38 (Tomahawk).

When I got my Sundowner 4 years ago, it was substantially less expensive
than a comparable Piper Archer. I had the impression that the same is
true of the Skipper as compared to the 152 and Tomahawk (if same age,
hours, condition, equipment, etc.) Is that impression correct?

Also, when I was thinking about what to get when I sell out of my
Sundowner partnership next year (moving from southern CA to Washington
state), I started thinking of the Skipper. However, as I did some
preliminary checking of prices, it looked like a comparable Sport would
sell for less than a Skipper (and it is alot more airplane). Am I
correct in perceiving the lower price for a Sport?

I wonder what the mpg would be for a Sport as compared to a Skipper, if
the Skipper is run at 75% power, leaned conservatively, and the Sport is
run at a low enough power setting to match the speed of the Skipper
(loaded the same), with the Sport leaned agressively. Has anyone made
this comparison? it would be fun to do the comparison with a Sport and
Skipper flying the same trip together.

Steve King
79 Sundowner

Michael Rellihan wrote:

>Before I forget, let me mention a couple of things that may prove helpful. The Beech Aero Club is a Type Club for all the Beech Aero Center planes. These include the Models 19/23/24 (Musketeer, Sport, Sundowner, Super, and Sierra); the Model 76 Duchess twin, and the Model 77 Skipper. While we don't have a large number of Duchess (5) and Skipper (7) drivers in BAC, simply due to the smaller population of those planes, we do have some; and we do our best to support all of our members (no matter where they live).
>You might want to visit the website (www.beechaeroclub.org). Your access will be limited unless you become a paid member, but you can get some idea of what is there. Many people who were interested in one of our aircraft models have joined prior to purchase, to get the benefit of the research material that is available there.
>BAC has seven members in Australia. One with whom I have had a lot of contact is Mark Weiss; Mark's email address is markweis@bigpond.net.au, in case you wish to correspond with him.
>As is usually the case, you have received some valid commentary based on the nature of the planes involved. Much of the negative comment simply reflects the opinion of some people who value different characteristics. Here are some bullet items, for your consideration.
>- As mentioned, your mission is what matters the most. If you usually fly solo, or with one other person, you don't need more than two seats. Rent a plane with them when you need it. Cruise speed is not the strong point of ANY of the three 2-place planes mentioned. However, if you want to make a three-hour cruise in a Skipper, you can because of its comfort. A three-hour cruise in a 152 is agony for all but the skinniest and lightest person in the world... and I'll bet their butt hurts anyway.
>- Maneuvering in a Skipper is fun. It has the classic light Beech controls. Unlike the 152 and Tomahawk, you have to force the Skipper to spin. This is true of all our BAC planes. All our planes will simply roll into a tight spiral dive instead, if pushed that far. Wings level and a prompt pull-out is all that is required.
>- The Skippers found in the Continental USA have most typically been privately owned, for some of the reasons listed below. For that reason, most have had better care, have fewer hours, and contain better avionics than almost any 150/152 or Tomahawk. I do not know what the history is behind the Skipper you are considering in AU.
>- The USA Skippers typically have a higher (not lower) resale value, due to their more common private ownership. The higher resale also typically reflects a later-manufacture airframe having fewer hours, and better avionics. Many have had significant owner upgrades. Most Skippers were made between 1979-1981, and 312 were built.
>- The Skipper is 'much more airplane' than the 152 and Tomahawk, as nearly anyone who has flown all three would have to admit. It feels stronger (less 'tinny'), looks sleeker with the raked canopy bows and smooth wings (tubular spar like the Grummans), along with the T-tail, and has a significantly wider interior (42.75",wider than a Bonanza or Baron, and a full FIVE INCHES wider than a 152). The Skippers are much more comfortable than the competition; this is true of all of our Club aircraft.
>- Payload can be slightly less than for the competition, due to the higher quality built into the plane by Beech; empty weights are typically a bit higher.
>- There were only eight airframe ADs, with the last one coming in 1991. All should have been complied with by now. If you'd like a little more "eye-opening", visit the FAA site and search for ADs by manufacturer and model. Check out the size of the list, and the AD topics, for the PA 28 and C 152; compare the lists to that for the Skipper.
>- Book numbers for speed are 105 KTS for 75% cruise, and 97 KTS for economy cruise, at 4500 feet density altitude. I can't imagine who would be cruising a Skipper at 80 KTS, unless they were just out for the absolute minimum fuel burn.
>- Before buying anything, make certain you get a very thorough pre-buy/Annual Inspection, by a technician of your choosing (not the seller's). You want to be certain that there are no serious faults (leaking fuel tanks, cracks, corrosion) in anything you buy.
>Here is a clip by Thomas Horne, from an AOPA review some years ago. This and much more is available to members on the BAC website.
>With only 312 ever sold, the Skipper is a rare find in the training fleet. If you find one, don't turn away. This airplane has a high-quality feel to its cabin and controls -- a conscious effort by Beech to build brand loyalty. Get hooked on a Skipper, Beech reasoned, and you'll graduate to their four-place Sierra or four- or six-place Bonanza later on. (The same strategies, of course, were used by Cessna and Piper with their trainers.)
>The Skipper has the widest cabin of any general aviation two-seater, and it makes a great teaching platform. The instrument panel is huge, laid out very professionally (no plastic here), and has a nice, high-quality cluster of engine gauges. Throttle, carburetor heat, and mixture controls are on a quadrant.
>Though the Skipper has the same engine as the Cessna 152 and Piper Tomahawk, it's a comparative slug. Cruise speeds run around 97 to 100 knots, and the climb rate, while published as 720 fpm, has a bad habit of being at least 200 fpm less than that. In high and hot conditions, beware the Skipper. Make sure there's plenty of runway and no obstacles off the end.
>All the control forces -- elevator, aileron, and rudder -- are very light. This means that with just a little movement of the yoke or rudder pedals, there'll be a fairly big response. This is good for learning turn coordination, but with such light pitch forces, it can be easy to get into pilot-induced oscillations if control movements are made too quickly and too close to the runway. Maybe the Skipper's controls are a bit too light.
>The stall is well-behaved, and the Skipper's easy to land. As for crosswinds, the same control power that lets you make such satisfying steep turns and slow flight lets you fight a stiff breeze. Need to lose altitude in a hurry? Cross the Skipper's controls, and you'll slip like a champ.
>It has been my experience that NONE of the 2-place trainers meet their book speeds; nor do they climb well when fully loaded. They were intended to be economical planes that remained close to their fields, and have barely adequate power for their mission. If you will typically fly solo, or lightly loaded, these are not issues. And you will appreciate the lower fuel burn. I also seem to recall that the current Lycoming TBO number for the Skipper engine is 2,400 hours. You can verify that by visiting the Lycoming website.
>Here are some additional resources:
>Additional Information
>. Air Progress, August 1979, Connes, Keith, p. 42, "Beech Brings Out The Skipper"
>. Air Progress, November 1980, Brink, Randall, p. 16, "Skipper--Beech's Ultralight"
>. Beech Aircraft Corporation, Wichita, 67201; (316) 681-7111
>. Flying, September 1979, Collins, Richard L., p. 44, "Skipper, Beech's long-in-coming trainer is searching for a command position"
>. General Aviation News, May 21, 1979, Kennedy, Norval, p. 24a, "Beech Model 77 Skipper Built To Teach"
>. Plane & Pilot, April 1981, Downie, Don, p. 64, "1981 Beechcraft Skipper"
>. Private Pilot, July 1979, Cook, LeRoy, p. 34, "Skipper's off to School"
>. The Aviation Consumer, August 15, 1986, p. 31, "Used Aircraft Guide, Beech Skipper"
>. The Aviation Consumer, January 1, 1980, p. 5, "Beech's New Trainer"
>From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ajpcps
>Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:48 AM
>To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [musketeermail] Re: Beech Skipper
>This has been said many times before. The best airplane is the one
>that satisfies YOUR mission. If a leisurely flight to and from a
>favorite restaurant or resort is your mission, then anything much
>faster than a basic trainer can be more airplane than you need.
>The Skipper's biggest drawback is that it can carry only two. This
>is shared with the Cherokee 140 and the Cessna 150/152. The Skipper
>is better than the Tomahawk or the 152 in that you get the Beech
>level of quality. However, first determine your mission, then get he
>airplane that MEETS that mission.
>--- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "billfry2002" <punga-iwi@...>
>Ladies and gentlemen, I am on the horns of a Beech dilemma. "One
>for all and all for one" may be appropriate for the Musketeers, but I'm looking at possibly buying a Skipper. Until I received adverse comment. Adverse comment below:
>Hold everything! I called at Barry ......... Flying School and
>spoke to an instructor there about the skipper. They have 4 of them and said you (that's me) would soon get bored flying one as they are basic trainers and cruise at 80kts and if the engine is first class you may get 90kts.
>Stall speed is 54kts clean and 52 full flap. Then went to .....
>AVIATION PTY LTD Hanger .... Archerfield Airport who used to look after our Cessna Cardinal and are very good and down to earth blokes. (name) said to talk you out of having anything to do with a skipper. He said there are 3 basic trainers, Cessna 150/152, Piper Tomahawk, and Beechcraft Skipper; and that the Skipper is on the bottom of the list in his book.
>He reckons Barry ....... would get rid of his if he could and that
>they have no resale value. The one you are looking at has only 250 hours on the engine to run and then you are looking at condition or an
>(See http://www.barnstormers.com/cat.php?
>(This is Jeremy Williams advert on Barnstormers).
>He gave me the name of a guy from ASIA PACIFIC AERO SALES whom you should talk to as he flies all around the world to some very funny places but can dig up interesting aircraft at the right price. He is off on another trip this Friday. He has an order for a Cessna 182 to replace the one that crashed up here at Darra the other day as well as other orders. You tell him what you are interested in and he will come up with the
>goods and make you an offer. There is no obligation to buy but he will
>look out for what you want. Probably best to look out for a 4 seat
>Cessna 172 or piper Cherokee or something with performance and resale
>potential. He is Geoff EDWARDS. He is honest and wants to please his
>customers and does extra little things often at his expense just to have a happy client. Call him as soon as you can before Friday.
>I would so appreciate receiving comment from members of this list.
>Kind regards
>Bill Fry
>BAC-Mail mailing list

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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