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Thread: Musketeer maintenance costs

  1. #1
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    Musketeer maintenance costs

    I'm considering a Musketeer for primary and instrument training (love
    the real estate available on the panel) but I have concerns regarding
    parts availability/cost and cost of annual & general maintenance. A
    recent post indicated if Beech is out of stock, you get stuck with
    short production run costs or get a dwg & get it fab'd by a FAA repair
    station. Either way the plane is down & I'm out of work. Or should I
    just get the ubiquitous PA28, my second choice.

    Your feedback is appreciated




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  2. #2

    Musketeer maintenance costs

    >I'm considering a Musketeer for primary and instrument training

    Good. It is a smooth, stable platform to hone your skills before moving on
    to higher performance (and more demanding) planes with more speed.

    >(love the real estate available on the panel)

    Not to mention the spacious cabin...

    >I have concerns regarding parts availability/cost and cost of annual &
    >general maintenance.

    In answer to the question of "How much money does it take to fly?" I have
    been advised that it takes ALL OF IT! All aircraft are expensive and poor
    investments. They "eat" money every month for hangar/tiedown, and annually
    they get a nice big bite at insurance and inspection intervals.

    Did you think that the flight school was making the next Donald Trump or
    Bill Gates from those $100/hr rental rates? Heck no, they are getting
    killed by the interest costs, the insurance, the fuel, and the maintenance
    usually takes a back seat beyond the required quickie 100 Hr
    inspections. They aren't making money hand over fist. Most aren't really
    making any money at all. (Sobering when you start to think about OWNING a
    plane...)

    >A recent post indicated if Beech is out of stock, you get stuck with
    >short production run costs or get a dwg & get it fab'd by a FAA repair
    >station. Either way the plane is down & I'm out of work.

    Not so. The FARs allow the owner/pilot to "produce" a part for his own
    plane, as can the mechanic working on it. Produce means the same to the
    FAA that is does to Hollywood. You "produce" something when you provide
    the money and the script (approved data), and you hire the director
    (machinist or fabricator).

    However the Producer does not play an acting part, hire actors, critique
    the catering service or do much of anything except bring money and the
    plan, and then inspect the final work to be sure it is what he paid for.

    One does NOT need a CRS to make parts. One can get the assistance of the
    RV builder down the T-hangar row that hasn't flown in years, but can cut
    metal and buck rivets like no one else at the airport. You still need A&P
    supervision, but not A&P LABOR to produce your part, or even to do the
    actual repairs.

    And Beech is not any different than a dozen other GA companies with respect
    to parts. They all have backorders, parts that have been discontinued, and
    in some cases truly outrageous prices for certain items.

    >Or should I just get the ubiquitous PA28, my second choice.

    And then you can deal with some unique to Piper ADs, fight with the New
    Piper company (or did they bankrupt AGAIN and become the NEW-NEW Piper?)
    over parts with 26 week lead times and things that are No Longer Available,
    etc.

    Guess what? It doesn't matter if it is Cessna, Piper, Beech, Grumman,
    Mooney, etc. If it is a "big" GA firm from the distant past, then they all
    have availability issues on antique models.

    The fixed gear, fixed prop Musketeer series is as cheap as anything you are
    likely to find for private ownership.

    In truth, you can buy a Musketeer or Sundowner CHEAPER than the equivalent
    Cessna or Piper, and then if you have an expensive maintenance item come
    up, you are still $$$ ahead of buying the more expensive plane. (And they
    could always have an expensive failure, too.)

    The KEY is a comprehensive Pre-Purchase Inspection on WHATEVER you
    buy. Fooling around with 40 year old aluminum airplanes is a tricky
    business. Corrosion, improper repairs and sub-standard maintenance has
    almost assuredly occurred on ANYTHING from that era. The question is what
    does it take to keep it up and overcome those warts in its history?

    Without a proper pre-buy inspection you are playing Russian Roullette with
    your wallet. You might as well be picking Sub-Prime backed SIVs from the
    investment market by throwing darts at the list. (If you don't know what I
    am talking about, hopefully your IRA fund manager does.)

    Ronnie Reagan said it best: "Trust but verify". Listen to the seller, but
    be prepared to confirm the true condition of the intended purchase. And
    don't be afraid to walk away when problems are discovered. I see way too
    many pre-purchases that the buyer still buys the plane because of his
    emotional and financial investment in the search. "But I already have
    $2000 in commercial flights, motels, time off work, and the mechanic's
    labor to inspect it. I'll lose it if I don't buy it." HAH! They have
    already lost that money. Sunk costs. They'd lose that money on ANY plane
    they buy. The question is, should you throw good money after bad? Buy a
    sub-standard plane because you are already in the hole a couple grand to
    start? Oh boy are YOU going to be singing the blues when the items
    detected in the pre-buy start to eat ALL your flying budget and you can't
    afford the fuel.

    Remember that old saying about the 2 happiest days of aircraft (or boat)
    ownership? The day you buy and the day you SELL!

    Pretty paint can hide a multitude of sins.

    I wrote an article for Grumman owners about buying a plane and getting a
    pre-buy. It applies to Beech, too.

    http://www.bondline.org/index.php/Pr...se_Inspections

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL



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  3. #3

    Musketeer maintenance costs

    I second what Bob said, plus it helps to belong to the BAC type club.
    I'm an A&P myself, and think I got my money's worth in the first year.
    I try to give back when I can.

    Joe


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