Piper Flyer Association - Technical Know-how, Serious Fun read more

Topic-icon Buying an Apache

More
4 months 1 week ago #2180

Hi Eric, Super nice looking Apache you have. Many have been pretty beaten up. I'm glad your trip went well. With all your hours in Beech twins, flying the Apache should be a piece of cake.Keep us posted about your heater install as well as the hydraulic pump and panel changes.
Clear Skies,
Gomer
N206RG

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • Eric Parks
  • Eric Parks's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Subscriber
  • Subscriber
More
5 months 6 days ago #2116

Got the Bruce's Custom Covers ordered. The plane is under a shade hangar but it deserves better.

Thanks to Piper Flyer for the discount code of Cold19 to get 10% off!

Last edit: 5 months 6 days ago by Eric Parks.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

More
6 months 22 hours ago #2076

I am glad you got that jewel home. A few tweaks here and there and you'll be set to take off on safe comfortable cross country flights.
Thanks for posting this note about your "new" airplane.
Happy Flying,
Steve

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • Eric Parks
  • Eric Parks's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Subscriber
  • Subscriber
More
6 months 23 hours ago #2074

I was asked to go over my purchase decisions on my Apache.

Let me start by saying I have been building a homebuilt experimental aircraft called the Bearhawk with a buddy of mine. He is much more the builder than me! This plane is ALMOST done but at some point I realized that the Bearhawk would be a fun plane for my buddy and I to fly into little airports around but wifey probably wouln't want to ride in it so much. As well, the Bearhawk isn't going to be an IFR machine. Last year I flew the family to Texas from North Carolina and found out that being able to fly IFR can make a huge difference in whether you can make the trip. So IFR capability (even just a little) became pretty important. Also, I found out my family and friends really wanted to ride in a twin, not a single!

So the mental process began. I flew Barons in my past professional career and still consider them great planes. So I started looking at Baron ads. However, Barons cost more upfront and will cost more in operating costs. So as much as I love Barons I finally scratched it off the list. However, by now the Piper Twin Comanche had caught my eye. Sleek, fast and cheaper to operate, it seemed to be a great option. I was checking over ads for the Twin Comanche when I saw an ad for a nice looking Piper Apache. I suddenly realize that I had not really considered the Apache, mainly because everyone disses on how slow they are.

I began going through my mental list of what is wrong with this plane. It had recent paint (and I like the paint scheme!), new gray leather interior. OK so far so good! Low time engines with 110 and 600 hrs SMOH. Low time props with Hartzell Top Props with only 220 SNEW. What? But it got better! Brand new STec 50 Autopilot, Garmin 430 Nav/Com, and dual Garmin G5 displays! Wow! Now I realized the heavy lifting on getting this plane IFR capable was already done.

Other good points:
-New Plane Power alternators, the vacuum pumps are taken off as the G5 displays don't need vacuum
-New SkyTech starters
-New LED lighting for exterior landing, taxi and NAV lights
-Geronimo wing tips, dorsal fin and flap gap seals.

This plane had lots going for it. I began to try to imagine me and my wife flying in it. I knew it could fly into short grass strips with it's big, fat wing and slightly oversize tires. It had a vintage look that appealed to me but was also modernized in some important ways. Finally, for a vintage airplane it has very reliable and modern engines. The Lycoming O-320 is one of General Aviation's best engines and has a 2000 hour TBO. That really helps keep cost down. They are carbureted and that keeps cost down too.

After showing my wife the pics and discussing it she wanted me to go for it. So we did!

Downsides:
-No heater included. The heater had an AD. The seller was a VFR Florida pilot so he had no use for it. In North Carolina we certainly do!
-Hail Damage. No way around it. It isn't pretty but it flys anyway.
-Instrument panel needs a good upgrade, Even with all the good avionics the plane still needs a redo on the instrument panel.

Even with the downsides the plane is a great deal due to the low time engines and props as well as a brand new altitude hold autopilot and dual glass displays.

Along with the plane came some "extras".
- Spare engine with 1300 SMOH
-New "speed slope" windshield
-Electric golf cart with included tow bar
-Various other Apache spare parts.

The Apache isn't fast. In fact I'm sure I'll try to speed it up sometime! But it is comfortable, stable, sturdy and has a great retro vintage look. We plan on flying fairly short trips to small airports so this should be a fun plane for us to enjoy.

I feel like I bought a nice IFR twin for the price of a Cessna 172 but also got more speed and IFR capability. Not bad in my opinion. And it isn't a plane you see everywhere anymore. I have already gotten some very nice comments on it. Because I was able to get such a good price on the whole deal I was able to buy it cheaper than any other twin and that let me get into a plane sooner. I have enjoyed flying the Apache and look forward to more!

Attachments:
Last edit: 5 months 2 weeks ago by Eric Parks.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • Eric Parks
  • Eric Parks's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Subscriber
  • Subscriber
More
6 months 1 day ago #2073

The Apache has (finally) been purchased and flown home. The seller lived in the Pensacola, FL area and I live in the Charlotte, NC area so we had over 400 miles to get it home. We had to wait for VFR weather for two reasons. First, the plane currently does not have IFR certification although that is planned very soon. Second. we only wanted VFR weather for a trip in a brand new (to us) plane.

We finally got the plane ready. There were two squawks on the plane, an almost dead battery and a bad mag check. Now those issues were fixed with a new battery installed by the seller and a new spark plug. My mechanic did last minute checks and decided that everything was (FINALLY!) a go!. I had spent lots of time sitting in the cockpit and studying the manual as well as watching a couple videos online to get familiar. It was now time to go fly! I had tried to get flight instruction but it never worked out. Please be aware I have over 22,000 hrs and over 2,500 hours in piston twins and I have instructed in twins as well.

I did a quick trip around the pattern and my mechanic checked everything out. It was good to we launched off to Charlotte. We had gorgeous clear fall weather and it was a great trip. We stopped in Macon, GA for a quick pit stop and fuel up. The "new" 1955 Apache is now in my hangar and ready for more.

Link is videos of first takeoff and landing in my "new" Apache. Taken by my mechanic buddy, Eliu.

www.icloud.com/photos/#0HRbi-xpay7FCBE3I-q2Elnnw

Pics show:
my mechanic and I grinning while flying the Apache home
refueling in Macon, GA
sitting in the new shade hangar that is now home

Attachments:
Last edit: 6 months 9 hours ago by Eric Parks.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • Eric Parks
  • Eric Parks's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Subscriber
  • Subscriber
More
7 months 2 weeks ago #2013

Purchase is finally completed. Now I need to get scheduled for training in the plane and to fly it home. The only issue my mechanic has is with the right engine's mixture control cable. It is stiff and balky to use. He feels that it will need to be connected in a way to flex the cable end less. Otherwise we are happy with the plane. Well... except I need an IFR certification for it and a heater. The IFR certification is easy. The heater will be interesting. I have located a heater for $4700 that has a brand new combustion chamber and glow plugs. So it meets the AD but will still require the 2 year inspection.

Last edit: 6 months 9 hours ago by Eric Parks.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.149 seconds