Don Mackenzie
(AVSIG Member)
03/20/13 04:33 PM
Buy share in Comanche???

After years of saying never, I'm considering buying a share of a 1969 single engine Comanche, PA24-260C. Everything firewall forward is new, replaced last year. Can someone talk some sense into me?

I recently moved to Windsor CA (no I'm not retired, just moved closer to the wine), at the base turn to KSTS. There's little to rent but 172's and I'm used to the C-T210 I rented in KPAO. This Comanche seems like a good compromise: Not as complex as the T210, decent performance, will let me travel reasonable distances.

I haven't been very active (an understatement) but thought to ask the experts. I can also be reached donm at mackenzieSystems dot com.


Gil Buettner [KAUW]
(Top Gun)
03/20/13 04:52 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

I don't think anyone can make a good case for owning for financial reasons, but there are some powerful other reasons.

Convenience is certainly one of them, and I suspect most owners fly more often than most renters. I know I did when I first became a partner in an airplane.

After being an owner for 20-some years, I know find it is a huge part of my self-image. That is sort of hard to explain. I associate weekly with others who own airplanes from the very modest to the very expensive, and we all have one thing in common that crosses all normal divisions in our society. That means a lot to me.


Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
(Top Gun)
03/20/13 05:17 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Why would members of the similarly afflicted ever want to talk sense into you?

Egads, it's a nice looking airplane, go for it. Just make sure there's a partnership exit strategy so you're not stuck.


John O'Shaughnessy [FCM]
(Top Gun)
03/20/13 10:02 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Hi Don,

Thanks for dropping by!

That is a nice looking design.

What is the partnership model? Two people? Four? Six?

I'd guess that the partnership components will be the biggest item to work through. If you can get a reasonable number of owners, the costs can make (some) sense.

John


Mase Taylor
(Top Gun)
03/20/13 10:09 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

I was a 1/4 owner in a C-182 partnership that worked Extremely well.

It all depends on the partners and the bylaws. Study the agreement thoroughly and assess the partners for compatibility.


Kcid LlirreM
(Top Gun)
03/21/13 09:52 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Don

I would do a complete AD and Service bulletin search to make sure you were not buying into a potential "hangar queen." Some serious ones on PA-24's as I recall.


Andrew Niemyer -KDLH
(Top Gun)
03/21/13 09:54 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Don,
An unequivocal "yes," but only after you do a couple of things: Join the International Comanche Society (ICS) and start learning about the make and model, thoroughly. Second, get an outside mechanic who actually is familiar with the quirks, oddities and especially the several unique AD's on the PA-24's to give the logbooks and the actual aircraft a very thorough going over. Caveat Emptor.

I loved my Comanche, which I owned for three pretty trouble-free years, but only because I knew what I was buying and had done my homework carefully. They're a joy to fly, and once you master the landings, a very honest aircraft to own.

best regards,
Andy


Anne Umphrey (KBED)
(Top Gun)
03/21/13 11:25 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Don,
Nice to see your name here! You were missed. Don't be a stranger any more.
Anne


Randy Sohn
(Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres)
03/21/13 11:37 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Quote:

joy to fly, and once you master the landings,



Adm. Andy, if I kept it slowed up, mine worked fine for me, that one time that I was fast (spur of the moment landing destination decision) and it "wheelbarrowed". Wide-eyed moment for me, "Uff-dah!"

best, randy


Don Mackenzie
(AVSIG Member)
03/21/13 01:15 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Partnership was set up ten years ago as an LLC with three partners in San Diego. One moved to the Santa Rosa area and found a partner up there so they bought out the 2 San Diego partners. So there were two. Then one died rather suddenly (not flight related) so there is one. He's had it alone for 3 years looking for the right person(s) to join and thinks I'm it. If I buy 50%, there will be two; If I buy 33% we'll keep looking for a third. He values the plane at $100K which seems more than fair with the engine, prop, governor all overhauled to new specs last year (29 hours on them). As soon as I buy in, we'll upgrade the panel (probably a 430W) and airbag seat belts. (He's a trauma surgeon and believes in airbags and seat belts.) The LLC looks good to me with explicit exit strategies (like using Vref for value if someone leaves and a replacement partner isn't found in a time period, or the plane gets sold if remaining partners don't want to buy out the leaving partner).

I've asked Mike Busch about it. His last comment to me: "dealing with airplanes is easy but dealing with people can be challenging". I've spent a fair amount of time talking to the owner about my philosophies so we can disagree before the deal instead of after. It's still a very big step for me.


Don Mackenzie
(AVSIG Member)
03/21/13 01:19 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

I'm having trouble with the International Comanche Society. The link comancheflyer.com is blocked as a dangerous web site. Is that the correct site?

John O'Shaughnessy [FCM]
(Top Gun)
03/21/13 02:42 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Site looks fine on my Mac. It looks very old, and has scrolling items that look like the sort of thing that could host off-site bad stuff, but probably doesn't.

http://www.comancheflyer.com/NS/


Evad Rellimhtug
(Top Gun)
03/21/13 10:37 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Quote:

After years of saying never, I'm considering buying a share of a 1969 single engine Comanche, PA24-260C. Everything firewall forward is new, replaced last year. Can someone talk some sense into me?




Don,
Your ears must have been burning. I'm in the process of trying to close a deal on a Comanche 250 with my current airplane partner. I've discovered that Comanche's are kind of like Harley's...it's a cult thing.<g>


Jeff Hartmann CIC
(Top Gun)
03/22/13 03:13 PM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Don,

Here is another forum for Pipers, it has a Comanche forum.

http://www.piperforum.com

I have spent a few hours in both a 250 and 260B, if I could share one nearby, I would probably jump on it.

This 250 had dual Rajay turbochargers....odd to be at 210 and have the side windows ice up on the inside, but near 200 TAS ( a while back but probably MPH )


Don Mackenzie
(AVSIG Member)
03/25/13 11:55 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. (I note nobody tried to talk me out of it.) I have joined the International Comanche Society and talked to their head maintenance guy from whom I have a list of things to check out. We're trying to find a time for the owner to take Marsha for a flight; No point having a plane if she doesn't like it. Moving one step at a time.

nehoC hctiM
(Top Gun)
03/26/13 12:23 AM
Re: Buy share in Comanche???

Quote:

After years of saying never, I'm considering buying a share of a 1969 single engine Comanche, PA24-260C. Everything firewall forward is new, replaced last year. Can someone talk some sense into me?

I recently moved to Windsor CA (no I'm not retired, just moved closer to the wine), at the base turn to KSTS. There's little to rent but 172's and I'm used to the C-T210 I rented in KPAO. This Comanche seems like a good compromise: Not as complex as the T210, decent performance, will let me travel reasonable distances.

I haven't been very active (an understatement) but thought to ask the experts. I can also be reached donm at mackenzieSystems dot com.




Don,

The PA24-260 is a fantastic bird.
I have a few hundred hours of PA-24 time, the 180, 250 and 260 models.

Sounds like the firewall forward new part should help with the maintenance items.

My memories of the areas that need more attention are:

Instrument panel and autopilot, unless updated.
Cabin door. The latching mechanism, unless recently overhauled can be an ongoing maintenance nightmare. Having one of those new fangled pump up door seal, helps with noise.
Landing gear motor, actuators etc.

If you try and stuff anything but small kids in the rear seats, assuming it has the seats 5 and 6, it will be a tight fit for any adult.


The Comanche is one of the smoothest flying planes due to the tapered wing.
Landing smoothly can also be a challenge.


Overall, I miss flying that bird.



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