To George Horn

To George Horn

<HTML>Hi Gearge,
I am in the process of buying a 1975 C-210 L. I am looking at a normally aspirated 25 hours on engine smoh, 25 on prop soh, 3150 ttsn, new paint, new leather interior, new plastics, garming 430, new King nav/com, new garmin audio panel. Almost everything has been done within the last year. This aircraft is based in Germany and I am located in Europe too.
On the other hand I could also go for a Turbo 210 1975, about same amount of hours tt, 600 hours on the engine, 5 years on the prop, no new paint, no new interior, and not a comparable avionics suite. The price difference between the two is about 20 % more for the normally aspirated.
This is the first time I am buying an aircraft, so from the very limited experience and the subjective point of view, it seems that the more expensive one is the better deal.
Could you help me in making a more objective decision based on your enormous experience? What are the pros and cons of either aircrafts? I know this is a bit of a tricky question, as you have not seen any of the aircrafts, but then it might be that your instinct will make you lean more on one side rather than the other.

Thanks for helping me in the decision making process.

Cheers,
Placido</HTML>

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Re: To George Horn

<HTML>Well, here in Texas, we always say that a saddle with silver trim costs more than one without,...but which one will cause your rear to get sore?  (Answer: More than likely the one with silver trim, because the maker spent his time making pretty trim rather than forming the seat properly.)  This has almost NO application to your question except to remind us that the reason we buy ANYTHING is to get a job done.   The wrong tool for a particular job is unsatisfactory no matter how pretty it is.
  In your case, the avionics are secondary, the airplane is primary.  Fantastic radios will not help you get over the top of the Alps.  A turbocharged engine will not help you negotiate an approach to Stansted in the fog.  I suggest you focus on your basic aircraft need, and then consider the avionics, paint, interior, etc. as secondary factors.
  If you intend to depart from high elevation airports, fly over 12,000 feet consistently, or spend considerable time IFR/IMC in mountanous regions, then a turbocharged engine is a big plus.  However you should remember that a turbocharger uses more fuel, is less reliable, and will cost more in hourly maintenance than a normally aspirated aircraft engine. 
  I used to own a Cessna 206 that was normally aspirated.  I loved it.  It may have been the best all-around airplane I've ever owned.  But I live at 800 feet above sea-level and rarely flew it above 7,000 feet.  Only a couple of times did I take it to 10,000 feet, and only once to 14,500 feet.  (The latter was with my entire family over the U.S. Rocky Mountains of Colorado on a ski trip vacation.  We only spent about 30 minutes above 12,000 feet to get over a mountain then decended back to 12,000 for the rest of the 2 hour trip.  Three days later we departed a 7,000 elevation airport at gross weight, climbed to 12,000 feet and came back home a different route.  The airplane (without a turbocharger) was all I ever desired, and it operated reliably and inexpensively.)  The Cessna 206 is essentially the same airplane as a 210, except the landing gear is fixed, so cruise speeds are only about 144 knots.  I never wanted a turbocharged airplane or it's maintenance bills, or it's shorter overhaul schedules.  (1400 hours vs 1700 hours).
  If you do not expect to consistently spend your flying at high altitudes, and be willing to also have the additional expense and trouble of an oxygen system, then I'd strongly suggest that you avoid the turbocharged airplane.</HTML>

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Re: To George Horn

<HTML>George,
thanks for your quick response. I will mostly use the aircraft to fly over the alps, but then again, all I need to go (weather permitting) is no more than 9000ft to get past them. There is an alternative route (longer) via France where weather is LESS important but still is. I am only VFR rated, which doesn't mean it needs to remain that way, but for the foreseeable future that's what it is.
I hear conflicting opinions about the resale value of the aircraft. Some say they would never buy a C210 without a turbocharger because it is not an optimal IFR platform and C210s are not considered to be pleasure VFR machines. Most potential 210 buyers will be IFR pilots and will not settle without a turbocharger. In fact, the actual owner is selling it because he is getting his IFR ticket and feels more comfortable in a twin.
I am a bit confused, on the one hand I can chose an aircraft which 5 years down the line offers more possibilities on the other hand there is this other aircraft which perfectly suits my needs for years, will have less maintenance issues, offers much more comfort, but is more expensive. I am undecided.
Flying for me is a hobby, so my first thought is not: will I make money when I resell it, but still I don't want to be so stupid to pay too much and lose a substantial amount when I want to get rid of it.
There is one more thing that makes me wonder. If I look at older 210s like 1968, the price difference for the 7 years is substantial. Does that mean that in 7 years time a 1975 210 will be priced like a 1968 210 today? Most people I have talked to will tell that aircrafts maintain their value, if not increase. What is your best guess on this issue?
Thanks again for your time. Your infos are very valuable and much appreciated.
Cheers,
Placido</HTML>

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Re: To George Horn

<HTML>One reason older airplanes sometimes suffer large price differences, is that some insurance underwriters make a distinction in which models they will insure. Check with your insurance underwriter/agent to make certain that any aircraft you are interested in will be insureable.   This is one factor that greatly affects price.
Notwithstanding that caveat, I stand on my earlier recommendations.  I do not personally place a high premium on turbocharged aircraft.  In fact, for my own use, I consider them less desireable.</HTML>

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Re: To George Horn

<HTML>Thank you, George.</HTML>

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