New Airplane Owner (Yipee!)

Discussions about buying and owning your own plane.
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New Airplane Owner (Yipee!)

Postby JimP » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:48 pm

It finally hapenned! I am now the proud owner of my very first airplane... It is a beautiful red and white 1975 Grumman-American AA5 Traveler, with a tan leather interior. For those who aren't familiar with the Grumman-American line, the Traveler is a 4-place, 150 HP marvel of efficiency. Max cruise is around 129 kts (149 mph), but normal cruise is 120 kts (138 mph) at around 8-8.5 gph. The airplane is IFR equipped (including a Garmin 155XL TSO enroute/approach certified and two King Nav-Coms) and I'll soon be starting work towards the instrument ticket in airplanes. Here's link to a picture of the plane:

I bought the airplane from a guy just outside of Washington, DC. The broker met me at Stafford, VA (just outside the "freeze"), and I flew it back to the Dallas, TX area with Ron Levy, an experienced Grumman CFII who would get me checked out in the airplane. It cost me some $$ to do this, but it was well worth it, especially when we were able to file IFR from West Memphis, Arkansas to Mt. Pleasant, TX. On that leg, we logged 1.5 hours of actual IMC (no turbulence at all) and a bit of "between the cloud decks" action that was really cool! If I had been along, I would have been stuck in West Memphis for 2-3 days (at least) while all that horrible weather (same system that developed the tornados that hit KY and IN so hard)... As it was, we flew south of the "mess" in some nice, benign stratus clouds and had a great flight!

The morning after we got home to McKinney (just NE of Dallas), Ron took me through the Pilot Proficiency Program outlined by the American Yankee Association (Grumman-American type club). Steep turns, slow flight, departure and approach stalls, short-field and soft-field takeoffs and landings, aborted landings, forced landings, and all the "book stuff" related to planning a flight (weight and balance, takeoff and landing charts, cruise performance, etc.). It was an intense day, but by the end of the day, I was feeling much more confident in my new airplane. We started out at a field with a runway nearly 7,500' long (!), then went to a 4,000' field, and finally wound up back at "home" (a smidgen over 3,000'). By the time we got home, I was having no problem hitting the numbers (airspeed-wise), which is the secret to making good landings in the Grumman.

Since then, I've flown a couple more times, and would be out there right now, except for the yucky weather... Hope it clears up tomorrow so I can fly some more! I'm having so much fun that I can hardly believe it. Dave, I sure hope you're right -- that time spent flying is not subtracted from your life span... :D
Jim Parker
N5842N - 78 Commander 114 Hot Shot (Turbo Normalized)

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Re: New Airplane Owner (Yipee!)

Postby champguy » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Good News. Yes it is indeed a good time to own an airplane.
Great pick with the Grumman, My Champ shares our hanger with one, and it is giving great service to it's keeper.
We have begun to see drop-ins at the airport recently asking about available hangers and prices.
If we can just get through the election season and all the TFRs without doing anything too damaging, things should be cranking along pretty good a year from now.
Now is the time to buy! Make it happen folks.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: New Airplane Owner (Yipee!)

Postby Scofreyjet » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:05 pm


Can't tell you how pleased for you (and envious of you) I am. Sounds like a nice airplane, and it also sounds like you're doing it right. May it give you many happy hours of lifespan-extending flight! ;)

Jeff Ward
I love things with wings!
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Re: New Airplane Owner (Yipee!)

Postby Dave Higdon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:20 pm

Jim!! Congrats!! Great airplane and loved your story...


And yeah....if you've ever seen Jeb or me we're proof positive that flying is not subtracted from your lifespan... ;)


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