View Full Version : Cessna 172 Running Costs


modern monkey
2nd Aug 2007, 20:43
Hi, I am thinking of buying a C172, but know very little about how much it will cost me. I am trying to build up as detailed a picture as I can of how much it will cost me to run, I would be grateful if anybody could answer my questions.

1. How much can I pick up a decent 172 for, eg a 1970s skyhawk that isnt falling apart. How many airframe hours is considered to be a lot on a 172? Also, how much do the CAA charge for transfering ownership of an AC?

2. After how many engine hours do the engines need to be changed, and how much is it for a new engine to be fitted? Whats the score with other things, eg prop, tyres etc? On what kind of frequency do those need to be changed and what is the cost?

3. What kind of servicing is required? I think u need to do 50hr, 100hr and annual services. Are there any extra things that need to be done on it on a regular basis?

4. How often does the Certificate of Airworthness check need to be done, and how much does that cost, both for the work and for the certificate to be issued by the CAA?

5. How much should be budgeted anually/ 100 hrs for random things going wrong, eg broken radios, new landing light bulbs, etc.

Cheers for any help, I appreciate that these questions are a bit like asking how long is a piece of string, am only looking for ball park figures I suppose.



spernkey
2nd Aug 2007, 21:21
It is a bit like how long is a piece of string! from my experience with my cessnas (i have owned models H to N) i have to say that just now you would want to pay £30,000 with plenty of hours on the engine left to run. Avoid N model like the plague as the engine has chocolate cams and runs 2 mags off one drive(redundancy?) You will rarely notice the engine sliding into self destruction as the power tails off slowly with the reducing valve lift as the hours build toward 1000. The French built(corrosion proofed from birth) M model is my favourite as the 0-320E2D engine is always good for TBO if used often but get a K&N airfilter and a screw on Oil filter and as a private owner get the engine Microlon treated for lots of reasons. This model has better handling with a subtly different wing not optimised for speed so it lands nicer. Fly at 90 knots for 25 L/per hour - you can get 105 kts for 34 lph which is not worth it. Avgas is costly. Think a couple of K per year to get it fettled plus £10 an hour for routine maint. insure for similar. Well maintained aircraft cheaper to run in the long term so buy and give a good fettling then add a new toy each year to eventually get the avionics you want. Be very careful where you get it maintained and pm me if you do buy as i may be able to help. These aircraft are good all round aircraft without being stunning at anything. If you really want to learn to fly one well go to EGBD and hand yourself in to Paul for an hour or two. You will be surprised at the short field ability when flown properly. Safe flying - Spernkey Bowlock.

Say again s l o w l y
2nd Aug 2007, 23:08
Wot he said!

Don't buy an old snotter and if you are new at this, get a full engineering inspection done. Nobody is unhappier than an a/c owner who's pride and joy is in the shop costing them lots and lots of money.

If you can find an XP, get one of them. Much better than a 160hp slow coach. (But then again, I don't pay for fuel!)

SkyHawk-N
3rd Aug 2007, 05:27
Avoid N model like the plague as the engine has chocolate cams and runs 2 mags off one drive(redundancy?) You will rarely notice the engine sliding into self destruction as the power tails off slowly with the reducing valve lift as the hours build toward 1000

spernkey, you are like a stuck record! :ugh: I'd like to hear the stats on 0320-H2AD failures from you. If you pick any aircraft model, especially Cessnas, you can exaggerate history to make them look dangerous. Look at recent crankshaft ADs as an example. Are you now going to be-little every engine which this AD affects?

As I have said to you before not all H2ADs are like the ones you have owned. Mine has 1700 hours and has NEVER had a thing done to it, no new valves, no new cylinders and certainly no new cam. I have corresponded with many other H2AD owners and they are as pleased with theirs as I am with mine. One person I have heard from has over 2800 hours on his without any major work done to get it there. The 'T' mod, anti-scuff oil additive and regular running (which is recommended with ALL aircraft engines) is what is required. Just use Aeroshell 15W/50 oil that has the additive in it, inspect the oil filter at oil change time as per AD and the cam and followers can be inspected easily if you are worried (did you do this with yours?). No worries.

As for the mag (which, admitted, isn't the best design in the world), please provide the stats on Bendix D2000/D3000 failures.

FullyFlapped
3rd Aug 2007, 08:49
Yep, have to agree with SkyHawk-N.

I had a 1979 N model for a few years, took it to 1900+ hours (2000 hour TBO) before it was overhauled - and that's only because I sold it at that point. Make sure it has the T-mod, oil additives etc as SkyHawk says, and provided they're flown regularly, they're great aircraft - I had a lot of fun with mine.

Amongst the many things you can add to a 172, I'd recommend a Powerflow exhaust system. It'll cost a few thousand (about 3-4 I think), but it provides a lot of benefits (reduced fuel costs, higher cruise speed, more "grunt" available in general). Not massive cost benefits, but over a few years they all add up ...

1. How much can I pick up a decent 172 for, eg a 1970s skyhawk that isnt falling apart. How many airframe hours is considered to be a lot on a 172? Also, how much do the CAA charge for transfering ownership of an AC?
I reckon you can get a good late 70's model, well kitted out with lowish hours for the mid-£30k's.

2. After how many engine hours do the engines need to be changed, and how much is it for a new engine to be fitted? Whats the score with other things, eg prop, tyres etc? On what kind of frequency do those need to be changed and what is the cost?
The engine needs to be overhauled (i.e. made pretty much as good as new) or replaced either when you get to a specified number of hours usage (known as TBO), or (usually) when something very major goes wrong. What point either of these things occur depends entirely on luck, usage, care etc. The TBO figure varies by model. For props, tyres etc - well, depends on usage, really !

3. What kind of servicing is required? I think u need to do 50hr, 100hr and annual services. Are there any extra things that need to be done on it on a regular basis?
This whole area is changing very quickly because much of the regulation of maintenance is moving from the CAA to EASA. I think it's still pretty much as you say (50, 100, 150 hour checks (or every 6 months if you don't make the hours), an annual, and there used to be a "star annual" every three years. However, you'd be best talking to an engineer (and you should find a good one of these before you buy anything, as you must get whatever you buy checked out before you part with the money!)

4. How often does the Certificate of Airworthness check need to be done, and how much does that cost, both for the work and for the certificate to be issued by the CAA?
Well, it used to be every three years, and would cost about £600 for the paperwork. The actual work costs depend on (a) your engineers and (b) what's wrong with the aircraft. However, I renewed one just a couple of months ago, and currently, the CAA are issuing one-year CofAs, because they're "in transition to EASA" mode, so God only knows what will happen next ....:ugh::ugh::ugh:

5. How much should be budgeted anually/ 100 hrs for random things going wrong, eg broken radios, new landing light bulbs, etc.
You'll get as many different answers to that as there are 172s ! Depends so much on the condition of what you buy, your usage pattern and operational style, your ... err ... abilities as a pilot etc etc. ! ;)

FF :ok:

the dean
3rd Aug 2007, 09:53
hi,

we have a K model now for several years in a group..

we have fitted a couple of engines over time , but two years ago fitted a diesel engine. it is FADEC, and though i was doubtful of the wisdom of such an expensive conversion to an oldish aircraft, no one in our group would go back to an avgas engine ( its so hard to get avgas at times and JET A1 is easy), but the main benefit is it has cut our operating cost ( fixed charges excepted ) by 2/3..

50% power will give 80 knots and 3.5 gallons per hour...70% about 90 knots and guzzles...!!!!...5.1 gallons per ( if memory serves correctly ).

i have some fun filing my flight plans...telling atc ( even with standard tanks )'' endurance six hours..!!!''....and when they query and ask would i recheck that saying..'' oops, sorry you're right...it should be seven hours''..!!!!!

it is an expensive job especially at a time when you have the cost of buying but you should consider it in the long run...or better still...buy one now with a time expired engine ( so you're not paying for an engine ) and do the conversion now...

good luck and have fun...:ok:

the dean.

englishal
3rd Aug 2007, 10:10
Some general figures for a simple aeroplane like the 172:

Fixed costs:

Insurance: £2000 per year
Hangar: £2000 per year
Annual: £1000 per year
Star Annual (extra allowance per year): £700
Repairs and spares: £1000 per year
Total: £6700 pa

Based upon 200 hours per year gives: £33.50 per hour

Now the running costs:

Fuel: £40 per hour
Engine fund (£20,000/2000): £10 per hour
Extras (oil etc...): £5 per hour

So your total real running costs if you do 200 hours per year is: £88.50 per hour inclusive of pretty much all costs EXCEPT unforseen costs exceeding £1000 per year.

Pretty rough figures but seem about right in my experience. Most simple SEPs will be about the same (unless permit or µlight)

bose-x
3rd Aug 2007, 11:46
Al is pretty much bang on with those figures as a guide. I have a Skyhawk XP with a 200hp engine and wobbly prop. So the prop costs have to be factored in. My hanger and insurance is a lot less so balances his figures.

I fly 350-400hrs a year so my fixed costs have a greater number of hours to be spread across and I don't run an engine fund.

A rough guide would be about £60 per hour for mine.

A regularly flown aircraft by a carefull pilot actually has lower maintenance costs in relation to a hanger queen. My aircraft costs nearly 10k a year for aboyt 15hrs flown before I got it. Stood around outside not being used things just failed. Now it is wear and tear stuff that goes wrong, like tyres and the stupid starter spring on the continental starter.

spernkey
4th Aug 2007, 08:25
Why would i want to collate stats on H2AD engine when i clearly would not touch another with a barge pole. In fact if i never saw one again or even heard one i would be happier. The original poster wanted advice and my advice remains to avoid this engine esp when D2j and E2D dont have the issues. Out of interest the history of this sad engine is interesting as it was introduced when Cessna were heading for trouble in the late 70's. I reckon they asked Lycoming for the cheapest 160 hp engine they could make - and they got what they deserved! No other engines require serious T bar mods and anti-scuffing additives so there is the admission.Cessna were bright enough not to stay with it long once they realised what deep joy "Blue Steel" brought. Please remember that if our pilot pilgrim here buys a dud it could put him off for a long time. In the USA and New Zealand(where i fly a bit) most folks have slung the H2AD and put a D2J in! Actually i can not remember seeing an H2AD ever down under - wonder why? To try to pretend there are no increased risks because you have been lucky with one or two units is to stand against the known facts.
Like a previous poster i no longer burn petrol in my 172's anyway as i am reluctantly having to get to grips with FADEC diesels - joy of joys.
Actually i think i should modify my advice to say just hire unless you are gonna fly a whole lot as owning and operating aircraft is altogether onerous at the Group A end!
Good luck whatever you do!:ok:

SkyHawk-N
4th Aug 2007, 09:16
Why would i want to collate stats on H2AD engine when i clearly would not touch another with a barge pole.
You, at every opportunity, tell people not to touch H2ADs with a barge pole. You stated above that the cam gives up at around 1000 hours (QUOTE: "You will rarely notice the engine sliding into self destruction as the power tails off slowly with the reducing valve lift as the hours build toward 1000"), I wondered where you got this from, it must be based on fact, mustn't it? You say the cam is made of 'chocolate', in that case I'm suprised they reach 1 minute, let alone over 1700 hours! :ugh:

It certainly doesn't bear any similarity to my H2AD, Fully Flapped's H2AD and many other H2ADs I know about. In fact the engine is a popular choice for fitting in RVs in the USA. The owners choose them as they know they are a good engine which can be purchased quite cheaply owing to a few people like you exaggerating their problems.

Spernkey, your experiences with H2ADs are bad, mine are very good.
Think about it, if the engine still had a problem, wouldn't there be more reported about them nowadays and people certainly wouldn't be using they for new build aircraft? Search the NTSB database for reports on incidents involving D2000/D3000 mags or H2ADs, if they are so bad and dangerous there must be some, right?

IO540
4th Aug 2007, 15:00
There is no significant # of failures of single shaft dual mag engines. I fly with one myself.