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How much time do you spend working on your plane.

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  • How much time do you spend working on your plane.

    The plane is over in pre-buy. The madness continuesssssss.
    Which gives me time to think of all the things I should have asked BEFORE I spent any money.
    Here is one:
    How much time do you spend working on your plane, compared to actually flying it?
    It occurred to me, much too late, that owning a plane built in 1946 may mean it's more hanger queen than beauty queen (but it is really pretty).
    The 1940 Cub I've been flying has turned into a killer queen. It has developed a couple of very nasty habits, and it's taken months of time, buckets of money , and a bunch of aborted takeoffs, and dead stick landings to get things sorted out.
    So, how much time are you spending stroking your T-carts?

  • #2
    It depends on the quality of the airplane when you start. If you have a good airplane with a good engine I expect somewhere between 15 and 20% of the time it flies will be spent working on the airplane. This includes oil changes and annual inspection. So if you fly 100 hours a year expect between 15 and 20 hours spent working on the airplane. If the airplane is not so good in the beginning you may wind up working on it more than it flies.

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    • #3
      I agree. The amount of work is about the same year to year barring anything major. Mine flys alot during the good weather months although it's usually other people flying it. I believe the more it is flown the better.

      Sully

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      • #4
        REQUIRED work, or work we just seem to find ourselves doing (which is often not really needed)? Many of us find "working" on our planes isn't really work and often isn't really needed. When there are actual problems (as opposed to "I think I heard something, got to pull the cowl off and polish the intake tubes") the fix is rarely something really costly or time consuming to fix. Most of the time a long term problem is long term because the part needed is in someones hangar on the opposite coast. I RARELY seem to need a part that can be bought at the local FBO parts counter. That said I RARELY need any part on a plane that is flown often. When you hear someone here with a long standing hand wringer problem with lots of people chiming in with suggestions as to what may be wrong, that is the exception, not the rule. The Cessna 172 I rent is broken MUCH more often than the Taylorcraft. There just isn't that much to break on a "T"! When something IS broken, fixing it is as much fun as flying (OK, I tell myself that and most times "I GUESS" it is true, just wish the things would break on a windy cold day, not one perfect for flying.)

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        • #5
          Encouraging words.
          Just what I need to hear.

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          • #6
            If it takes 1000 hours to do a re-cover and it lasts 25 years, that's 40 hours per year and we haven't overhauled the engine or repaired any radios yet. This just to show that there are many "subject to's" in answering this question especially with respect to fabric aircraft.

            In practice you'll likely try to own the aircraft in between the major Dollar bumps like covering and engine overhaul. This doesn't always work out!

            there is no way for me to ever fly my taylorcraft more hours than I've worked on it! To me though working on it is (generally) fun too.
            Scott
            CF-CLR Blog: http://c-fclr.blogspot.ca/

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            • #7
              My wife says I work too much, my day job is A&P mostly twin Cessna's, then I leave work and go work on the T restoration. I have tried to explain to her, the hours spent on the T is therapy.
              Before the T went down for recover and engine change, there were just engine oil changes and annual inspections, it flew much more than needing work, and as Hank stated like an old car, there are often things to tinker on that has nothing to do with airworthiness. Gary

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              • #8
                Mileage will certainly vary. !! My 10Cents is first off try to purchase one that someone has spent way more than wise (tell me what wise is...one will never see that !! or at least not want to fly it !!!) Point being a quality restoration is money well spent for future years of trouble free flying. Sometimes lady luck may NOT work here also and one ends up with say something like a high dollar engine rebuild only to find something breaks in that fresh engine and it is catastrophic with an off field landing and subsequent tear up of the plane. Fortunately example is extreme and rare if usual rebuild protocols are followed !. Personally I have found it is a money spent up front or time spent later and it has proven to me (twice)...the better the plane to begin with the less time one will need to spend working on it and it to me anyway a pride in ownership Take your pick.

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                • #9
                  Just remember, it does not have to be new to be airworthy!
                  N29787
                  '41 BC12-65

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