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Chasing a Pipe Dream.

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Tom Veatch

Well-Known Member
Jun 8, 2010
Reaction score
I've been away from flying for a long time. The last entry in my log book is from Feb, 1980. Cardiac problems grounded me. Now, it seems that I may be able to get my medical back. Looking forward to success in that endeavor, I'm shopping the classifieds to get an idea of the market. Any purchase would be a few months down the road and contingent on several things, not the least of which is regaining my medical, some (maybe a lot) of dual to get my proficiency back, passing an IPC, etc. But, if it all works out....

Right now, I'm looking hard at three aircraft models - Mooney 231, Beechcraft V-tail Bonanza, and Comanche 260. Need to keep the total procurement cost (purchase, inspections, fix-ups, etc) as far below 100K as possible. Mission is IFR/VFR travel to the 4-corners of the US and points between. The wife and I are retired, she from Boeing, me from Cessna, and I'm getting tired of twiddling my thumbs in Wichita, KS.

As a kid right out of college in the late 60's, I rented a Comanche 180 fairly frequently and recall that being a fine airplane. In fact, it was my first experience with what it now terms a "complex" airplane. But I like the performance numbers of the 260 a little better, so the Comanche 260 is a very viable choice for a purchase. A little later, I was a partnership owner of a old 1954 E35 Bonanza. Very fond memories of that airplane, so the Bonanza line (probably about N35 or later) is also a viable choice. I know the Mooney is really a 2+2 more than an honest fully fueled 4 place airplane, and I've never been in a Mooney, but it's just my wife and me, and the Mooney 231 numbers look really good. And for dealing with the tall real estate west of here, the turbocharging is attractive. In fact, just looking at the performance numbers, it'd be hard to look beyond the Mooney, but the Continental TSIO-360LB engine doesn't have the most spotless reputation, and I really enjoyed flying that Comanche.

Well, that's where I am at the moment and am looking for any pointers, advice, concerns, cautions, go-for-it's, stay-away-from's I should keep in mind when looking at Comanches. Anything you guys might want to toss my way, I'd be profoundly grateful.

Tom Veatch
Wichita, KS

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