In Kansas City we’ve had a few days close to 70 degrees and nothing motivates the hibernating pilot like some warm weather. I have not flown since last fall and my instrument currency expired late last summer. I logged in to check some of rental availability and what I find is that some of my favorite rental aircraft have moved on to bigger (and better?) things.
Details about what changes happened to the KC rental market this winter after the jump.
First, the 2002 Piper Arrow I love to fly is no longer available. That plane was great for trips to Iowa with my wife and infant son because of the speed vs. the 172SP. It had a nice Garmin panel (GPS kept updated) and Air Conditioning — which was great for those hot summer days in Kansas City! The Arrow is what I had done some of my initial commercial flight training in. Besides the price ($160 wet) it was a great rental!
Second, the DA40 with a G1000 that was for rent at the Downtown Airport (KMKC) has been sold. This rented for less than a 172 at Executive (KOJC) and if it was closer I would have loved to get checked out in that. Good thing I didn’t because it is no longer available.
Wow what a difference a few cold winter months makes in the rental fleet. In my opinion, this is one of the worse parts about renting! I have been watching the aviation classifies this winter but I can’t swing my own plane at this point — albeit my wife is completely on board (no pun intended) with the idea! I need something around $100,000 that has room for kids, the dogs, has a somewhat modern cockpit (for IFR operation), and won’t cost me a fortune to operate because of its age.
I love the specifications of the Diamond DA40 and the Cirrus SR20 for their performance/range/operating cost, but due to my price limitation I’m going to probably be stuck with an older plane that will nickel and dime me in ongoing maintenance. Unless I find a good reliable pilot to partner with on one of the newer composite planes, I’m going to have to keep dreaming.