October 2010 Issue
Trainer Bargains: Go For Four-Seaters
While the cheapest deals are the classic two-seat trainers, the best values are in older four-seaters, especially Piper Cherokees and Grumman cats.
Once a upon a time in aviation, trainers were always two-seat aircraft that wedged instructor and student into near-intimate proximity. But things have changed and itís not uncommon for student pilots to pony up over $300,000 for four-seat cruisers they plan to use for private and instrument training. Thatís nice for the well-heeled; those of us who missed the last economic bubble but not the pop that followed need another plan. It can still make sense to purchase an aircraft you plan to train in. We looked at purchase and operation with an eye toward owning the machine for a while, or having a good chance at selling it for less than a catastrophic loss.
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