Used Aircraft Guide

June 2012 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: Citabria and Decathlon

Affordable fun flyers with good aerobatic and a little bush capability as part of the bargain.

Owners who fancy a little light aerobatics—or even semi-serious competition—might lust after a Pitts S1 or an Extra 300. But then reality sets in. Those airplanes require no small degree of skill to simply fly safely and that’s before we consider the insurance premiums. And that’s why so many owners inevitably gravitate toward the Citabria or the Decathlon, starter aerobatic airplanes that turn out to have much more capability than many realize until they take a close look. These models have a lot going for them. They aren’t expensive to buy or maintain, they don’t have any serious gotchas and any pilot of average skill can learn to fly and land them safely. Moreover, they can double as respectable back-country flyers, which is something you’re not likely to do in a Pitts or an Extra.

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