You’re no longer a newbie pilot and you’ve owned that speedy aircraft for some time now. (Well, actually our research indicates most of you keep an airplane only three or four years before moving to something different.) Should you move up to a multi-engine piston aircraft or even an entry-level turboprop?
The answer to that depends on a number of factors. This is part two of a four-part series aimed at helping you answer that question.
When is a good time to move up to that Beechcraft Baron or Piper Meridian? While such aircraft are more costly, used examples aren’t all that much more expensive than a new loaded Cirrus SR22 you bought four or five years ago.
Your mission profile plays a key role in whether and when you make the move, but now your skills also come into play. The aircraft at this level becomes more complex, requiring more training and knowledge.
New to you, and therefore requiring additional training, may be the more sophisticated autopilot or more complex and capable avionics. There is also the safety factor. Engine failure in a turbine aircraft is far less likely, and the safety record is significantly better, than in multiengine piston aircraft. Also, a single-engine turboprop eliminates the possibility of misidentifying the correct engine in case of an engine failure in a multiengine airplane.
If the mission profile necessarily involves flight over water or at night, then a multiengine or entry-level turbine aircraft is something you should seriously consider. It comes down to what you can afford, the length of the trip legs, and the mission profile.
Financially speaking, do you have knowledge of owning and operating aircraft, and do you have a realistic idea of what it costs to keep them flying and in airworthy condition? For a first-time owner, that is a lot to bite off. A lender will take comfort from owners wanting to jump into a multiengine aircraft or turboprop if they have experience in the military or are airline pilots as well as sufficient cash flow to cover it. If it’s someone who doesn’t have a background in aviation, we work with him or her to understand why there is a need for a twin versus some other aircraft.
Part of the role we take is to help yours make the best decision.
Considering aircraft ownership? AOPA Aviation Finance will make your purchase experience as smooth as possible. For information about aircraft financing, please visit the website (www.aopafinance.com) or call 1-800-62-PLANE (75263).Click here for Part 1: Determine the mission