Group flying opportunities & questions
Very keen to find a 4 seat single prop aircraft that has excellent short field performance with cruising capability. But as a first time buyer, I would prefer to share the aircraft with someone who has previous ownership experience or enthusiasm to learn on the job with me!

I have short-listed the Cessna 210 Centurion or a new/er Robin, but also open to other suggestions.

I am in St Albans, so keen to base the aircraft within an hours drive, so within the North Weald, Cranfield, Elstree circumference.

All further questions and advice welcome, thank you.
The mission is 4 pax (2 adults + 2 teenagers & light luggage) in/ out of 500m (asphalt) with 350nm of flying + reserves. Costs of course is important, but safety & reliability of the aircraft is vital, hence why the Robin & Centurion came out on top during my research. But really appreciate any other type suggestions, thanks for any steers.
renzokuken liked this
A Rallye might tick the boxes well, as might a Reims Rocket.

Cranfield, in my eyes, has redeemed itself a lot this year - it is still not somewhere I'd choose to keep an aeroplane as a first choice (there probably isn't room), but throughout the pandemic it has maintained better airport availability than just about anywhere I can think of and the staff have bent over backwards to be helpful.

As shocking as it may sound FD's post is not outrageous. Well maybe a little. :)
If cost is important, with a Robin on one end of the list a C210 doesn't really go on the other end. Maybe a C182.
A 180hp Robin will operate fine from 500m Tarmac at that spec, as will the 182.
A 160hp Robin 4up with luggage and circa 160lts will be ok most of the time but not always.
The more I think about it the more I think you couldn't possibly go wrong with a nice DR400/180 But that's not easy to come by these days.
I ponder if they have all moved around until they have finally ended up with owners who realise what they have and now they rarely come to market.

In a similar way the 182 is probably a good contender for the Robin top-spot, and another of my faves.
If you end up very serious about a 210, I can offer some more input.
FYI I am in a roughly similar area* and will hopefully be looking for a syndicate later in the year (was about to sit my skills test just before Tier4/lockdown :( ). So if the ball gets rolling and you are looking for names, do give me a shout :)

*(I'm based East London, so partial overlap/depends which airfield you decide on - Cranfield is quite far, North Weald very convenient, Elstree OK, etc.)
Twids wrote:Hi Pete, I have now found a 210 that I am going to put an offer on. Would be great to get further advice. Thanks.

I'm quite happy with my present squadron of shareoplanes, but am on your doorstep and have been instrumental in setting up a few syndicates, as well as I think having every role on a syndicate going except treasurer at some point (I hate handling other people's money!). Very happy to chat sometime if I can be of any help.

Thanks for everyone help, especially Pete for your time talking me through everyone about the 210.

Happy (at the moment...) to say that I have now purchased N-249SP and will keep her at North Weald at the Squadron. The current owner is very kindly staying on with a minority stake for a year to help me get up to speed.

My next challenge is finding a hangar, they seem to be in short supply but I would much prefer to have one.

Thanks again for everyone input. Really appreciated it.

Flyin'Dutch', AndyR, Iceman and 2 others liked this