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Socata TB20 for first aircraft.

I would like to buy a first aircraft.

My favorit is TB20 because i like it. But some pilot frinds say me, that is too much for my fresh PPL. This is not a “weekend pilot” aircraft.
Is it difficult to fly the TB20?

What do you think abaut this aircraft:



I like it too! That’s a very beautiful and capable aircraft and appears to be in good condition.

SN is good and the engine is reasonably fresh. I would ask what caused the last “rebuild” .

Price seems a bit high but I am not familiar with the type.

I would not get scared by retractable gear or power, TB20’s are not difficult machines to fly. My first aircraft was also an RG and I fitted a backup airspeed-driven ldg alarm to ensure I always landed on the wheels. Hopefully you are a checklist-pilot.

If you are really interested in and serious about airplane ownership there should be enough airplane in there for quite a few years worth of your climb up the capability ladder, including IFR.

As long as you are systematic in your approach to flying and owning, you’ll have fun awhile being safe. I’d say go for it! Just ensure you do a proper pre-buy with someone knowledgeable and you get lots of training and comfortable before soloing, then take your trips carefully and progressively.

LESB, Spain

No, it’s not difficult to fly TB20 and it was my first aircraft.

Regarding the actual aircraft, I would say the price is bit high but on the other hand it has new engine (factory rebuilt engine is considered new) and full TKS. You won’t find many like that one available on the market. Also, when you start touring more, you’ll want to upgrade this avionics although it’s still capable for real IFR.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Antonio wrote:

I would ask what caused the last “rebuild” .

By serial number it’s factory rebuilt (new) engine delivered by Lycoming. That’s what I did (bought factory rebuilt engine) when crankshaft was to be replaced because of AD note.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

I am at my first aircraft, a TB20, too. Purchased it fresh out of the PPL. Full TKS as well.

Easy to fly, stable in turbulence, fuel and maintenance costs a bit more higher than expected. Despite being a complex aircraft, I don’t find it too challenging for a beginner, it is very stable in all stages of flight. Almost impossible to stall and spin, good instruments layout and surprisingly easy to operate when you follow the checklists and don’t let it slip ahead of you.

It wasn’t in a very good shape when I bought it, but after 2 years and around 50,000 EUR in, it is now one of the best maintained and equipped TB20s out there. New joints, nuts, bolts and rubber everywhere, all LED lights, touch screen WAAS MFD, TCAS, refurbished interior, etc. I expect 50,000 more for a full respray and full glass conversion.

I personally don’t recommend a TB20 unless you are really, really well informed or have a very, very, thorough prebuy inspection.

Despite flying like a breeze, TB20s have quite a history, there are many variants and known issues for every little piece of it, requiring a good maintainance and extensive expertise in Socata models. Regardless of the model you will eventually buy, you will also at one point have to replace parts that are prone for wear and tear. And when you do it, almost every time you will find there was an SB or AD issued by Socata later, that will force you to buy a newer version or model of the respective piece, that in turn will not be compatible with other parts, that will also have to be changed, and so on. It’s like the French learned to make a reliable aircraft only during the 20 years long process of manufacturing them! Just ask @Peter ;)

Apart from the maintenance nightmare (which you may partly avoid if you decide on one of the very latest GT models but at a higher price) it doesn’t compare with any old Cessnas and Pipers often suggested as an alternative, a full TKS TB20 with modern avionics, weather and traffic is a top of its class SEP aircraft, fully comparable with any 5 times more expensive composite Cirruses and Diamonds when used for European IFR touring.

Have fun and stay safe!

LRIA, Romania

I have very limited experience in TB20s but find them great airplanes to fly.

However, there’s one thing to consider – they aren’t made for tall people. I’m 6’2" / 188 cm and touch everywhere, including the ceiling with a headset on.

My experience of TB20s is also that they are great aircraft and not at all difficult to fly.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Yes the TB20 is a great plane.

I don’t know what type you did your PPL on but it is quite an upgrade from e.g. a C172: constant speed prop, retractable gear. But it can be learned.

EKRK, Denmark

Buy a type that a. you enjoy and meets 80% of your mission, b. you will fly sufficiently to maintain good currency, and c. easy and affordable to maintain. It doesn’t take too long to see that a and b are very much a function of c.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Or start with c and get as much as you can out of it then upgrade when you feel constrained on a, b but not c

ESSEX, United Kingdom
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