With more than 22,000 produced since 1956, there are many solid IFR-certified Skylanes available on the market. A quick review of www.GlobalPlaneSearch.
com shows 689 for sale all over the world, including Austria,
Canada, France, Norway, and all across the U.S. Prices start at
$30,000 for a higher time aircraft from the 1950s and 1960s, and
go up to $424,000 for a new 2010 Turboprop with a glass panel.
There were a few fractional shares being offered, with some as
low as $5,000 for a quarter share of a 1972 Skylane.
There are more than 125 Skylanes priced between $30,000 and
$70,000 most with more than 3,000 or 4,000 hours total time.
There are another 125 available in the $70,000 to $100,000
range, typically models from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s
with anywhere from 1,800 hours total time to 5500 hours,
with the more expensive planes having less time and more
Many of these planes have had overhauls and new paint in
the past five or ten years. With a little searching you could find
a reasonably priced aircraft with plenty of room for four adults
and the range to make cross country flying comfortable.
firewall, and if the nose gear hits hard enough, the loads bend the firewall.
Replacing the firewall is a big, expensive deal requiring lots of metal work
and rivets. When considering the purchase of a used 182 be sure to have the
firewall inspected by a mechanic who knows what to look for, because the
deformation can be subtle, but is still crucial to structural integrity.
All carbureted engines can form carb ice, but the 182 seems to be
more prone than most. Cessna was well aware of the icing issue and
built in an enormous amount of carb heat. There is so much heat available that the engine will barely run with full heat applied, but you know
there is sufficient heat to melt the worst icing conditions possible. A carb
temperature gauge is a nice addition so that you can be alerted to the
possibility of icing, but applying carb heat routinely when icing conditions are possible, or before making significant power reductions, is
always a good idea.
One other quirk of the airplane that will get your attention the first time
or two you fly in heavy rain is seeing the pitot-static instruments start jumping around. Skylanes built before 1997 have their static air port mounted on
the left side of the forward fuselage, and rain flowing back over the port can
momentarily cover the port causing the airspeed, vertical speed, and altimeter to twitch noticeably. After a time or two in the rain you know it will
happen and can just ignore the jittery instruments.
Shopping for a used Skylane will probably take a lot of looking as most
are now more than 30 years old. Overall condition, engine time, and
upgraded avionics are what set the value more than low total time. There
is nothing really unique to look for beyond the normal issues of corrosion
and cracks. Most models have fuel bladders that will eventually need
replacement, but the good news is that unlike a leaky wet wing, a new
bladder solves the problem on the first try.
The fact that Skylanes are in demand is simply evidence that it is an air-
plane to start with, end with, or just fly on with for a long time.
J. Mac McClellan, EAA 747337, has been a pilot for more than 40 years, holds an ATP certificate,
and owns a Beechcraft Baron.