Thursday, August 21, 2014

I've got to stop going places where these things are.

Because now I want one again--a Cessna O-2A.
A cooler-than-cool Forward Air Control (FAC) aircraft from the Vietnam War, these old veteran can be found here and there today at reasonable prices and they've been tempting me hard for years.
Usually though, there's someone with common sense (*Koff!* Old NFO, Brigid *Koff!*) to thrw some ice water on my ambitions and talk me off the ledge before I jump. But this time, I met the Guru of the O-2, The A&P Yoda himself who resurrected most of the flying O-2s today from the Boneyard, and he not only talked me back up, but offered to inspect any aircraft that I find and do it's annuals at his hangar in Michigan. Worse yet, he knows the specific ones that I've been mulling and says that one in particular is a phenomenal deal if it's still for sale.

I didn't need that.
A wonderful twin-engine Cessna, this one would make my usual Michigan flights in under two hours, half the time it takes my current 172. It has two 230hp. engines, retractable anding gear, and constant-speed propellers.
It can haul practically anything, is rated for instrument flight, and most of them have Vietnam time in thei logbooks and residual patched battle damage, making them historic as well as practical.
Yeah, I can fly that. Just need my multi-engine rating..


Aaron's got more on it here.


Want, want, want...HELP!!!

24 comments:

  1. Guess it might not be considered helping if I told you that they are a hoot to fly?

    Even for someone with no experience? I was in the Air Force in the 80s and got a joy ride in one. Pilot even gave me stick time -- was a blast flying over Florida.

    Bob S.

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    1. Oh, it helps...just probably in the wrong direction. Thanks. ;-)

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  2. She's purty ... gonna buy this one?

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    1. Not that one...but there's one in Washington State that might do for me, and the ferry flight back here would be an adventure in it's own right.

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    2. That will make an interesting series of posts, with lots of cool pix.

      We're waiting ... :)

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  3. Soooo, since you are in the market for a plane with, as you say, longer legs, what are the cons on doing it?

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    1. Aircraft age (almost as old as my current Cessna), possible corrosion and over-stress from their military abuse. Of course my would-be aircraft inspector says that he knows were to look for these things and that most O-2's that he's inspected, to include the one that I want, are free of such issues.

      What to do, what to do?

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    2. Flip a coin. You'll know what you really want to do before the coin lands.

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  4. The insurance is gonna be a bitch, plus having to get multi-engine and instrument rated is not going to be cheap. Not trying to talk you out of it or anything... :-) But I wouldn't buy without this guy doing an onsite, in depth inspection.

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    1. I know. Been checking prices for years. My insurance rate actually went down as my flying hours went up, so that helps. Instrument training is gonna happen anyway because I've got my eye on another job that requires it, but I'll use my current cheaper-to-operate Cessna to get that.

      And yeah, a proper inspection by a guy who knows the plane would be a requirement of any deal. And the guy I met actually took the one I'm thinking of out of Davis-Monthan so he knew it well up until about ten years ago. He says that he'd fly out and inspect again and give me a yay or nay on it.

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  5. Well you would have room for Murphy and Belle...and you could pretend to call in arty on crazy cat neighbor or a local hippiefest.

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  6. Hey Murphy;

    To be tacky...You only live once.....and I will give you a caveat....engine failure are not common..but not unheard of.....if one motor craps out...you do have another. And Axe has the right idea.......:)

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  7. Even if you KNOW where to look, checking for corrosion in the wings of an old Skymaster is difficult. An upset because you flew into a TRW while IMC because it doesn't have radar and you "have to get home" is usually when the wing snaps off.

    Going to join Jim here as "Debbie Downer" but you better talk to your insurance folks first. Newly minted instrument AND multiengine, in a larger twin, your premiums are going to be high.

    Also, if you train in it, you can't fly a regular multi as you're limited to centerline thrust. If you train in a conventional twin, you can fly this, but your insurance may also require additional training in it.

    If you do get, it get trained and insured, you might want to look at the mod for the gear. One of the big detractors of the 337 during single engine operation is its inability to maintain altitude while cycling the main landing gear. This is a result of the high drag caused by the main landing gear aft (clamshell) doors. In addition, a landing gear hydraulic failure may result in the doors opening, also placing the aircraft in a possibly dangerous "High Drag" configuration. You do NOT want to be there, IMC and full of fuel.

    Now that "Mom" has finished with her lecture I have to say, it's a beautiful bird.

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    1. LOL and thanks. I do appreciate as much input and as many differing opinions as I can get.

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  8. Go for it. After all, how many Commercial Planes are there that have Hard Points on the Wing? Hint! Hint! Nudge! Nudge! Wink! Wink!

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  9. Know that most A&Ps HATE working on the aft engine. Costs go up accordingly.

    The A&P that retired on my Father's Mooney 201 wouldn't work on the Mixmaster.

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  10. I've got my MEI. Get the plane and I'll instruct for free. I know that's not actually helpful but that is SUCH a cool plane.

    That said, the warnings above are all well taken, about insurance costs and MX costs. A 337 is job security for your mechanic. But a REALLY cool plane.

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  11. Get it, then do this conversion on it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conroy_Stolifter

    Removes the rear engine, doubles the cabin size and cargo capacity. What's not to like?

    (Besides, that way you'll have room for a big guy like me!)

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  12. [Force hand-wave] You do not want a Cessna 0-2[/Force hand-wave]

    Welp, I've done all I can do...

    -Raptor

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  13. Trying Jedi mind trick
    Obi-Wan:These aren't the planes you're looking for.
    Obi-Wan: Move along.

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  14. Ahhhh...A good old Cessna
    Pushme-Pullyou"!

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  15. You need a wife; she'd decide for you.

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  16. If he had a wife , he couldn't afford one.

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