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Unusually low time aircraft for sale

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Wow. That is a very well preserved beautiful airplane.

That equipment is actually pretty much ok. It’s got WAAS GPS and Mode S, so nothing is really required to take it and fly it. With that equipment, IFR including RNP should be possible without any further investment. I don’t think I’d do much on this plane if I were to pick it up.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

The engine may need an overhaul because something with so little hours is likely to have large gaps. And a TIO-540 is very expensive to OH – well over $100k. It is a rare variant used elsewhere only on some drone. The usage “could” have been evenly spaced out over the 20+ years but in reality I have never seen that.

Also, given the probably factory installed TKS, this may be an issue, losing 5+ kt.

Otherwise, this is a very rare plane and going at a low price and probably for a reason.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The total time amounts to about 20 hours per year. That is not much.

However my steed hasn’t got so much more as an average amount per year! And after more than 50 years it is very healthy. No surprises so far. The first owner had it for more than 30 years. Single owner/pilot all the life.

I don’t think that low time has to be an issue, e.g. if it was hangared all the time.

So yes, very attractive plane.


As a point of reference, my plane had 900 hrs total time when it was 39 years old, about 23 years a year while kept in varied climates (Florida, California, Michigan and New York) with a period of outside storage at the end. Now several hundred hours and 13 years of inside dry climate storage later it has good compression, the O-320 burns 1 qt every 10 hrs and it makes zero metal. There is some light corrosion on the bottom of the cylinder bores at mid-stroke, but it is not terribly important if compression and oil consumption are OK. So on this one I’d do basic inspection and if looks OK fly it and watch it over time like at other engine.

I’d also do an IRAN on the prop, grease dries out over time.

The rest of the airframe is likely to need going over – anything rubber in particular will need to be looked at with a jaundiced eye.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 13 Jun 13:54

It is certainly possible to do 350hrs over 22 years and do it evenly. It is just extremely unlikely, and not just because a lot of planes for sale have been abandoned for the last few years, which is why they are for sale.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

What we don’t know is how this 350 hrs were flown. All we know is that it appears to be current in maintenance and ARC.

IMHO it is much more important to know what it has done in the last 2 years as opposed to the 20 before. Quite a few hangar queens have had wake ups which went without too much hitches, while others needed serious work. I have seen several being resurrected even after substantial time without any activity without any severe hickup. I think the most impressive one was a Piper Challenger which had sat for 15 years and got back to flying after a performing a slightly more than normal annual. That was a few years ago and the airplane has been very active since. The engine had no issues whatsoever.

This exemplar has always been hangared so at least it was reasonably dry.

Pre-buy is a necessity in any case, if done seriously by someone who knows those planes, it’s then one can get the idea what, if anything, is required or desirable to do.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

Of course, it’s hard to tell from four pictures, but that price seems a bit steep. Four years ago, there was a TB-21 GT on the market that had substantially better avionics, less than 700h, not to mention sat phone and leather; and they were asking slightly less. But it didn’t have de-ice. Inflation > drop in value?

The 530 is a concern. Garmin has just announced that not all parts are available anymore for 430s and 530s, incl. the WAAS versions, and that repairs are no longer guaranteed.

Roger Wilco

TXR wrote:

The 530 is a concern. Garmin has just announced that not all parts are available anymore for 430s and 530s, incl. the WAAS versions, and that repairs are no longer guaranteed.

my 430W has just been sent to Garmin for repair. Hope they can still do it. But definitly, the end is very near for that particular box. However, many airplanes still come with those and at least there are slide in replacements available…

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

The topic is unusually low time aircraft, not so much whether a particular sample is good value or not

But, on the value Q, there are two kinds of things in life: those you can change, and those you can’t. You can’t install TKS anymore; well not practically (I did it and posted the details here, but CAV aren’t going to support another TB customer). A TB21 with full TKS is the pinnacle of below-PA46 SEPs, FL250, etc, equivalent (almost same TAS) to an SR22T which costs at least 2x more even when quite old. Avionics you can change. Anyway, whether LPV is desirable depends on your mission profile. I have never had a need for it.

This TB, if hangared, has the potential to be in mint condition when it comes to the airframe. I mean, it may not have had a single 50hr service in its whole life – just ~20 annuals And airframe parts cost real money to fix if needed. I would worry about the engine being full of rust.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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