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1967 Piper Arrow 180

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1967 Piper Arrow 180

Old 11th Nov 2019, 05:41
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1967 Piper Arrow 180

Hi Everyone i'm new to this forum.
I have been reading around and finally some general aviation chat i have been struggling with other forums.
Does anyone have any usefull insight on the pros & cons of purchasing and older Piper arrow or even cherokee, i am aware there is a few different motors available and are they always fixed prop? do they require SIDs cert? how do they line up next to cessna 172 models running cost wise? Also if anyone has owned one some input appreciated.

Best regards
Adrian
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 07:26
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Welcome to the forums Adrian,

I have lots of experience with all three of the types you mention. They are all great planes, though with burdens which are coming with aging aircraft. All Arrows will have variable pitch props. A few Cherokees and 172's have them, with all others being configured with fixed pitch props. The engine and propeller operating costs for these aircraft will be easily predicted, with no surprises unique to the type of airplane.

However, all f these types have increased structural inspection requirements on their horizons (which is a good thing). Arrows and Cherokees have had wing spar structural concerns, and to a lesser degree Cessna 172 and 182 have wing strut carry through structure inspection requirements. I have accomplished these inspections on both the Pipers and Cessnas. The Cessna's inspections, and possible corrective action will be less costly, than those for the Pipers. Really do your homework on the structural inspection requirements which will apply to the airplane you would like to buy. Though those inspections are manufacturer's recommended practices right now, it is possible they may be imposed by airworthiness directives, which will be mandatory. Beyond the inspection cost, it becomes a matter of what is to be done if a defect is found - repair parts required. The low cost older version of an airframe may not hold the proportionate value of the later version of the same model, in terms of the relative value of accomplishing an expensive repair.

At present, I'm unaware of similar inspection requirements being imposed upon Cessna 150/152's, making then still an economical choice. And, of course there are lots of other small airplane types from which to choose, though some of those (like J-3/PA-18) have their own unique inspection expectations. Doing your homework in detail will become more and more important in the near future of airplane purchase decision making...
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 17:09
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I'm a 172 owner, but regularly fly in my buddy's Arrow. The 172 has to be the cheapest option because everything is fixed and welded - any aircraft with wobbly prop and retractable must cost more to maintain. Another good point of the 172 is that there have been more built than any other aeroplane, so spares (and second-hand spares, if necessary) are very available and pricing is (usually) reasonable. As long as you flare properly, the 172 is very forgiving, and you are unlikely to break it easily. The wing is such that you can get into and out of most places. The Arrow needs a bit more space, and prefers smoother strips - but it gets to them a lot quicker!

If you are a young pilot and can clamber in and out easily, then either is OK, but if you have old bones it's easier to step into the 172 (and you and passengers have two doors to work with). Downward visibility is superior in the Cessna, but you need to lift the wing before turning. As you might guess, I'm a bit biased, but it's very personal taste - many think a low wing is sexier, and if you want more complexity and enjoy it, then you'll go Piper. A basic Cherokee wouldn't do it for me - but the Arrow is rather special by comparison. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 19:30
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Unless you're going to do over 50 hours a year with each flight being over 2-3 hours, then don't buy an aircraft with retracts e.g. an Arrow, a PA28 variant.
Unless you want to lift 4 adults, don't buy an aircraft with a VP prop e.g. a Reims Rocket - a 172 variant.
Both the Arrow and the Rocket have significantly higher maintenance costs, which can only be justified if your 'mission' demands the performance.
So, less than 50 hours a year, get a 'simple' 172 or a PA28.
The most cost-effective 172 is the 'M' model, difficult to find now, sought after. The older 'H' is lovely with the Continental O300 but will be over 50 years old but my favourite 'simple' 172. Steer well clear of the 'N', the least pleasant of all the 172's.
The most cost-effective PA28 is the old 140, there are some renovated ones around in really nice condition. The later tapered wing Warrior and Archer II are going for ever-increasing prices, they'll all have high hours and there is a potentially expensive spar inspection coming up, depending on cycles/hours/age formula. Most ex-school aircraft might fall foul of this inspection when it materialises.
Spares seem readily available for both makes, they've both been made in large (for aircraft!) numbers over the years.
Our friendly moderator mentions the C150/152. They are 2-seater with limited payload capability. Personally I'd rather fly the 150 with the Continental O200 but you'll be pretty cosy with a passenger unless you're of more modest proportions. You might be more limited by the weather and by the length of trips you might do. I do like the 150 we've got in the hangar for local good-weather trips (the owner likes me to fly it occasionally to keep it fettled - not a chore!).
We're presently in the process of renovating a 1974 Archer with paint-off respray and a factory engine. Should be worth somewhere North of 90k when finished, just to give you an idea of how prices have gone up recently.
Hope this helps a bit.
Cheers,
TOO
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Old 13th Nov 2019, 04:51
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Thank you TheOddOne for the insight and reply, sounds like good advice, Someone advised to steer clear of the 140Hp model piper, said that gutless was an understatement, i need to research that further.
Thanks again.
Cheers.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 17:20
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I'm just a mechanic, not owned any aircrafts but played years with both makers. Also PPL years ago and clocked hours on both, 172 and PA-28(140 and Arrow)

There is very good point on earlier posts.

I wouldn't take any six cylinder old 172:s, if needed to haul something. Newer models with either 150 or 160hp Lycomings performs much better. If you want vintage take 172 with six pot Continental, sound is nice and it is quite smooth engine. If flying during winter, or within cold/moist conditions... Continental needs more attention to avoid carb icing.
150/152 is small. I wouldn't take O-200, think it is fine engine but i fixed too many bent pushrods due to sticking valve. This might be small problem in big picture but still never faced similar problems with O-235 on 152. And that ~10hp makes big difference+ 152 is just littlebit roomer from inside. (LOL)

PA-28-140 is bit unpowered with 150hp Lycoming but if you find one with 160 or even 180 hp engine you will enjoy. More critical with CG than C172.
My friend flies with old -140 and hi is big-ish boy, there is always tight calculations how much fuel can be carried. Think 172 is more forgiving with this. Please correct me if i am wrong.

172 can go easily to rough fields, but its NLG is not for offroading... Piper is generaly likes smoother fields.

If you are long, you may be restricted with headroom in Piper.

Both types are fine aircrafts and will give economical flight hours if you find good one. I was happy to fly with both on those days. Mentioned friend who flies with old -140, he is very happy with that old bird. Low costs and reasonable performance, even bit more power wouldn't hurt anyone.

Both types are having some structural inspections now a days but if you find well cared individual these shouldn't create big surprices.

Last edited by Corrosion; 21st Nov 2019 at 00:06.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 19:15
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The 152 has the same sized cabin as the 150L&M. Earlier 150's are more narrow.

O-200's do stick valves, though I've had the same problem on my Lycoming 360. I think it's the luck of the draw with valve sticking. As long as the exhaust valve sticks open, it's more a nuisance than a damaging problem. Never good, but if the valve sticks open, a bend pushrod, or broken rocker boss is low risk. The pilot can greatly reduce the risk of stuck valves with careful engine temperature management.

The Lycoming 320/360 seem to have earned a better reputation than the O-300, though the O-300 has the same carb on oil pan arrangement, so the carb runs a little warmer. Carb ice is easily managed, and a carb air temperature gauge is a good idea.

Both types are having some structural inspections now a days but if you find well cared individual these shouldn't create big surprices.
The structural inspection is a burden, but the bigger issue is what is to be done if a defect is found during the inspection. Will the parts be available? Getting the wing bolts out of a Piper Cherokee series for the spar inspection, let alone getting the wings off, is a big task. But you have to have a plan, in case the inspection finds a crack. In the case of the Cherokee, a crack will scrap a wing spar part. The 172/182 has a repair kit which allows a crack in a specified area of the underfloor bulkhead to remain as found.

Your pre purchase homework is to hire a mechanic to do a pre purchase inspection, and as a part of that effort, have the mechanic research the availability of replacement parts you could need, if a defect were found in the future.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 22:07
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What about an AA-5 ?
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 23:33
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What about an AA-5 ?
What a lovely aircraft to fly! Like a little sports car compared with the PA28 and 172. The 180HP Tiger performance with a fixed pitch prop takes a VP prop on the 172/PA28 to match it. Slow speed handling can be an issue for ab initio instruction. Any bounce on landing demands an immediate go-around. The castoring nosewheel is a delight for precise, confined-space parking but takes some practice and is tricky taxi-ing in a strong crosswind. We used to have an old example at the large flying school where I worked near London before they went bust and I always bagged it for Trial Lessons because I enjoyed flying it so much. The interior was pretty awful though, not loved by the owners.

I did a 2nd year revalidation flight with one of our club members in his AA5 Cheetah the other day and it reminded me what a pleasant aircraft it is to fly. It's a good instrument platform, too.

The downside is the quirky construction, especially of the wing around the tubular spar. Great until you get a snag. Repairs to AA-5 and AG-5 models are typically more difficult and more expensive than to C172/PA28 types.

Apparently the later AG-5 models aren't so nice as the earlier AA-5 examples. Grumman sold the tooling to American General who produced the AG-5 Tiger and apparently there are plans for yet another company to produce more.

TOO
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Old 15th Nov 2019, 05:58
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Repairs to AA-5 and AG-5 models are typically more difficult and more expensive than to C172/PA28 types.
A structural repair shop I work with found this to be the case with a firewall repair on an AA-5. It was a big job, where it would have been a moderate job on a 172 (and less likely to have occurred with the PA-28). That said, I have found the AA-5 very pleasant to fly, and quite efficient to operate - repairs notwithstanding.

As a purchaser, you must decide which factors are most important to you, and understand well how they affect your preference in ownership. And, as you progress through your life, those preferences may change. The longevity of your airplane will be one of those preferences.

If you buy a modest plane, with the intent to fly it lots to build experience, and see the value in that "more rapid" use, you're less worried about the "investment value" of the plane. If you're buying a gem, or spending a lot to gem up a plane you buy, you're more interested in retaining it's value - and insuring it! So, if you're aiming to retain the value of the plane, you need to understand what is involved with doing that (what inspections are required, common weaknesses, and parts/maintenance availability). And, you should get some advice on what could be necessary (impending inspection requirements, or what is common damage, which may seem minor, but is more involved than you imagined).

There's nothing wrong with buying a modest plane, poor paint, worn out interior, '70's avionics which work, if the plane is mechanically sound, and piling on lots of time, willing to take a risk that something could go wrong, and you simply sell a non flying plane for parts. My first plane (C-150M) was bought with that in mind, in 1987. It was modest, I flew it lots, and did not other insuring it for hull, 'just took the risk. I maintained it, and upgraded it as I could, knowing it was really worth more in parts than as a whole flying plane, so an accident or damage would not make its value zero. I still own it, with an overhauled engine, new paint (a while back), redone interior, and all redone avionics - and I have 3000 hours enjoying it. I never planned it as an investment, and never needed it as one, it just became one, because nothing ever went wrong.

Or, you buy the gem, the plane that someone else has done everything to. They know what they paid to do that. Unless it's their fire sale, they're looking to get their money back out of it (their investment). Or, a very new plane. Now, you got the gem, but paid the price. You'll worry a bit more about minor damage, and endure the cost to insure it well. But, if something breaks, or an involved inspection is required - that's not insured, you're on the hook. And, you have too much invested in the plane to walk away from it, and buy another. Aging aircraft is an issue. It's not new, but visibility is increasing, and poor experience with certain design features is being gained by the industry. While owning and flying my modest C-150, which I do not insure for hull, I was also flying and training the new owner on a C 182 amphibian, which I know that the owner had $900,000 invested in - everything was perfect, and he have the insurance premium to show for it - and I had to do all of the testing and training in it, without scratching anything! Kind of the opposite beater floatplanes I'd load all kinds of cargo in and out of! The first scartch would be mine! (happily, 5 years and 400+ hours later, three of us flying - zero scratches!). But, worry about a new inspection recommended by Cessna, which was not known when the plane was purchased. He can afford the inspection.

But the key is to get your head in the right place about ownership. Most people want to be seen stepping out of the gem plane - Cool, look at that pilot! But, maybe you can't hangar it, can't afford the new paint job, so maybe choose to not own the gem paint job, which you cannot maintain the way you'd like to. Every owner you talk to would like to tell you how great their plane is - and every flying plane has greatness - it flies! But ask a lot, and then consider if the background operating burdens are something you're comfortable supporting for that type. Is a mechanic about to have to drill out some of those newly painted rivets to inspect something which we did not know about a year ago? Maybe accept the plane with the more tired paint job, so drilling into those rivets doesn't hurt so much!
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Old 15th Nov 2019, 11:18
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Hi Corrosion and thanks for your response.
It's great to hear from a Mechanic as this is valuable insight for me.
Also, apologies for a late response.

Thanks Pilot Dar.
Your response and information is appreciated.
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Old 20th Nov 2019, 01:15
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Pilot DAR in your land of freedom to fly Cessna single engine aircraft there may not be mandatory aging aircraft inspections, but here in Australia (where twistedmr lives), our Civil Aviation Safety Authority has mandated that perfectly serviceable Cessna aircraft should be subject to .......... Supplemental Inspection Document - or SIDs - requirements for Cessna 100 series aircraft used in private operations.

Cessna 100 series aircraft SIDs must begin at the next annual/100 hourly inspection after 30 June 2016 and a compliance plan must be submitted to CASA as revised log book statement.

Aircraft principle structural elements must be inspected by a licensed engineer to ensure a satisfactory level of structural integrity is apparent in the airframe. This inspection either needs to have been done at the most recent periodic/100 hourly inspection or before 30 June 2016. If not completed by 30 June 2016 an inspection will be required before further flight after that date.


As a result of the public service bureaucracy knowing far better than the aircraft manufacturer and FAA, the cost of a Australian SID inspection on older perfectly serviceable Cessna aircraft may be cost prohibitive, resulting in many serviceable Cessna aircraft being parted out.

Cessnas are lovely little aircraft but be very cautious buying one in Australia lest you end up with an expensive garden ornament.

CASA: Cessna 100, 200, 300 and 400 Aircraft Supplemental Inspection Documents
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Old 20th Nov 2019, 03:35
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our Civil Aviation Safety Authority has mandated that perfectly serviceable Cessna aircraft should be subject to .......... Supplemental Inspection Document - or SIDs - requirements for Cessna 100 series aircraft used in private operations.
I did not know that, thanks for the update! Generally, I have found the Cessna SID's to be wise information, though I agree that they could be overly burdensome (very costly). I'm presently involved in aging aircraft programs for the 182 and cantilever 210 Cessnas. The 210s are taking a hit. 'Problem is that though the SID's are correctly identifying what should be inspected, I'm finding that the how, and how to rectify seem to have been written by people (at Cessna, I'm presuming) who don't seem to know the planes very well. The 210 SID's and Service Bulletins, though correct in what to look for, are poorly thought out as to how to do it, and how to quantify the defects found. The kit for the C 182 wing strut carry through, and accompanying drawings have errors, which could lead to troubled, or misinstallation. I'm undertaking an approval project to correct this.

Ultimately, yes, buyer beware, or you could have a lawn ornament. More and more now, people buying legacy airplanes must consider how they will fly out the value, because it may not be there at resale time. Historically, you could buy a decent plane, fly it, and maybe even make a profit selling it - not any more! Getting to fly it is the profit!

As for the Arrow, in my recent repair approval projects on Cherokee series Pipers, there have been factory induced challenges. Parts simply not available, and never to be, numerous models for which there is no criteria for negligible damage (Cessna is really good about this), so even minor skin damage (like hail) on a Cherokee series could require skin replacement if interpreted harshly by the maintainer. Buyers really have to know the plane they're considering buying, and know how it can be supported in the near term. The long term will be anyone's guess!
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