A decision has to be made as to which engine option shall be chosen for HXT to allow for a smooth transition once it will no longer run on condition.
The Aircraft Maintenance Committee met to discuss the various options. After a discussion, the following two options were the most popular with Option 1 with the 180hp conversion being selected as first choice by the majority of committee members.
- Option 1: Air Plains 180hp conversion. All new parts, Zero time, 2yr warranty. 2550lb gross, 1050lb useful load. Factory new propeller.
- Option 2: Factory rebuilt 150hp engine. Rebuilt to new spec, Zero time, 2yr warranty. 2300lb gross, 834 useful load.
The following provides more information on each option, providing advantages of each.
Option 1: Air Plains 180hp Conversion which includes a factory-new 180hp O-360 Lycoming, conversion kit and STC.
- The 180hp engine is a brand new factory engine and factory-new propeller. It’s the same engine conversion as was installed in ZHQ over 20 years ago when the club acquired it. However, this new engine features roller-tappets which enhance reliability.
- Useful load increases from 834 lbs to approximately 1050 lbs, similar to ZHQ’s usefulThis comes via the gross weight increase from 2300lbs to 2550lbs. As members gain weight, the extra load will be more tolerant and allow more flexibility.
Reference: The current useful load of HXT is 832 pounds. The average weight of an AFC member is over 200 pounds. With full complement of passengers, this leaves room for approximately 34lbs of fuel (slightly over 1/2hr) with no baggage or survival gear. With full fuel of 288 pounds (over 4hrs), the remaining useful load of HXT with the existing 2300lb gross weight and 150hp engine is around 544 pounds for passengers and baggage. With a 150hp engine, HXT is essentially a 2 or 3-person aircraft, depending on mission flown and passenger weights.
- For any given payload up to HXT’s existing limit, the 180hp option can offer a higher cruise speed, better climb rate and shorter take-off due to the extra 30hp.
- The additional 30hp and gross weight increase to 2550lbs gives a direct increase the aircraft’s capabilities:
- Better performance makes the aircraft safer to fly in the mountains and short strips with obstacles such as Rowena’s.
- HXT comes with long-range fuel tanks which would work well with the 180hp option and increased gross weight.
- Increased aircraft capability could translate into increased use such as longer cross-country trips.
- Aircraft could realize an increase in value as a result of its increased capability.
Option 2: Factory Zero-time Rebuilt 150hp Engine
- The 150hp engine is a factory Zero Time Rebuilt engine (rebuilt to new specifications) that includes a 2-year warranty.
- Going with the 150hp rebuilt engine would save the club $20,000 versus going with the 180hp option.
- With the 150hp engine, the hull value is lower by approximately $20,000 which will make insurance slightly cheaper.
- At max power setting, the fuel burn of the 150hp engine is lower than the 180hp engine. Estimates based on historical experience show the savings to be approximately 1 gph, depending on how the engine is managed in flight. However, if each engine is operated at same power output, fuel burn should be virtually identical.
Considerations for Purchasing in the Short Term (as of Feb. 2013)
Potential Tax Savings by March 31
- Given updates to the way tax is charged and billed in BC, the club may save approximately $2800 on tax if the purchase is made by March 31st. This is based on the approximate figure of $50,000 for the purchase.
NOTE: The above figures are not exact and are approximations for purpose of illustration only.
Current Club Finances
- The club has a relatively low cash reserve right now as a result of being impacted by the unexpected replacement of ZHQ’s engine. The low reserve only has an impact if the engine purchase is to be made before the club can build the reserves back up to cover potential liabilities such as prepaid hangar rent. If that is the case, the 150hp option would impact the finances less than the 180hp option. However, waiting for the reserves to reach a higher level may be worth consideration if the 180hp option is the popular choice.
I read the article.I agree with Mark. The 180hp for HXT is the only way to go. That engine is bullet proof. Good for 4000 hrs.
More reasons for the 180hp upgrade to HXT in the link to the Avweb article below:
to quote our most august Safety Chair .. “The Club is not looking at replacing the engine right now. What we are doing is due dilligence. We are planning for an eventuality that will happen maybe in a few months or maybe a year from now. Once the word is given that HXT is not airworthy, we will have a game plan in place and we can have the work done expeditiously.”
Let’s keep on running the engine on condition.
With the US budget cuts to the military and their envolvement with air shows. It might be wise to wait and see what happens with our Airshow and drag out HXT’s engine on condition for as long as we can. Campground could be affected and that would affect our bottom line.
The Club is not looking at replacing the engine right now. What we are doing is due dilligence. We are planning for an eventuality that [b][u]will[/u][/b] happen maybe in a few months or maybe a year from now. Once the word is given that HXT is not airworthy, we will have a game plan in place and we can have the work done expeditiously.
We know that we are replacing the engine. What we are asking the membership for is guidance. 150HP or 180HP with the related increase in useful load?
After reading all the comments and concerns some of our members have expressed I would like to add the following comments for consideration.
I think we are a little ahead of ourself in planning. The engine in HXT given the number of hours our club aircraft could last for 5 years on condition. I do not believe we should spend the money now as resources are not as plentiful as they were before we worked on the other two aircraft. The Club could easily survive a couple of months operating two aircraft given they all only do a total of 300 hours a year. Also, the finacial picture will change in the next 5 years and then when we are looking at accurate numbers and an engine replacement the club could make an entirely different decision at the time.
There appears to be some revisionist history or just plain faulty memory sticks coming to the fore during this debate.
When the decision was finally made by the club members, after many a meeting, the consensus was to keep HXT within the fleet fully realizing its capacities, capabilities and limitations. After all, we have owned HXT for as 30+ years and we should be fully aware of the performance envelope we have to operate within.
HXT was chosen instead of the other 2 place aircraft which were being considered at the time. At no time during that debate was there any talk or suggestion of upgrading HXT to a 180 HP engine. There was talk of having the engine majored and some radio/cosmetic upgrades done. HXT was selected because the majority of the individuals voting for keeping it in the fleet knew the airplane, understood the limitations and performance capabilities and that it was a good 2 seater, adequate 3 seater and when properly loaded and managed, a marginal 4 seater.
Now HXT is being repackaged and re-presented as a demonized, underpowered, lackluster 4 seater with a gutless roller-tappet-less engine where all manner of iniquity and peril is lurking. Pity the hapless pilot attempting such daring feats of aviation in HXT like pointing the nose eastward and heading towards the rock pile where aluminum is surely destined to meet granite — and the odd beetle ravaged pine.
At the risk of being labelled a heretic and being burned at the stake by the 180Hp. club, I’m almost ashamed to admit I fly a 150 Hp aircraft and I’m starting to get a inferiority complex or is it a case of horsepower envy?
Upgrading to 180 Hp won’t come cheap either. Spending $50 – $60,000+ is quite the price to pay for the aviation rhinoplasty surgery on HXT (which may be cheap from a Michael Jackson point of view) but this 10,0000+ hr old girl needs the full Joan Rivers treatment which comes at runaway train costs — much like we experienced with IUK.
Contrary to a rumour circulating around that money is no object and that the club has struck it rich (Jed Clampett style) with oil bubbling up through the hangar floor….
Actually, it was leaking from the breather tube in IUK…..
Back then we decided to not consider a tube and fabric airplane …however now it turned out to be one the most excited airplane out there , therefore we should be more flexible in making decisions and maybe at this point we should consider once again to trade HXT or sell it and get a two seater low cost airplane like a Aerotrek A240 , a used Pipistrel or even a C-150…We already have two “heavy airplanes” which is great , however I’m sure there are a number of members that will support the idea of paying only $80 /hr to fly a new airplane ! Personal, I think we should leave the politics and the personal interest to the site , make it fair for everyone and have a diversity of airplanes . On a further note I think a two seater airplane will be used more than the other ones but that won’t be good as ‘we’ won’t be able to justify the high expenses on IUK !!! Anyways at the end it doesn’t matter how much we spend on the existing airplanes cause if we like it or not they are still 40 yrs old not to consider the airplane metal fatigue which over the years it builds up …
Message from the Board
At last evening’s exec meeting, the board requested that I provide some clarification to the on-line discussion.
The membership took the decision to keep HXT as part of the club fleet.
HXT ‘s engine is now running on condition and may be expected to do so for some time yet.
The board would like to develop a plan for the eventual replacement of HXT’s engine. This forum has been created to discuss the two options presented by the Aircraft Maintenance Committee.
The board will find it very helpful if the discussion would focus on: the question is the 150hp or 180hp preferred?
Seems that my one comment didn’t make it.
If the cost per hr remains at 135/hr for all aircraft then put a 180 in to make it all equal.
With regards to the past and current pres. I am very well aware of the dission to keep HXT. Unfortunately I think it wasn’t the right move, but it is what it is. With the cost/hr of flying I don’t see myself flying the club planes anytime soon unless Uncle Max comes knocking at my door some Friday night. My licence will stay in limbo and will keep my licence going by flying cyx C-150 in the five year span. End of story.
Continuing: If the cost per hour is going to remain the same then put in a 180 horse. Having a two seat plus lugage is a pain when you can have a 4 seater plus lugage. Air Share in ZBB had a 172 that had close 4000 hours on it before re and re.
Indeed the Aerotrek A240 is an impressive little airplane that could be purchased for the same money that will likely be tied up in HXT.
However, not enough people thought so when we originally voted for aircraft #3. I wonder how many of us are having second thoughts and would prefer the option to fly a brand new airplane around for $75/hr?
Count me in as I liked that Aerotrek from the beginning. If anyone else thinks the same way, the time to speak up is NOW.
Else, put a 180hp engine in HXT if that’s our bird. It’s the best choice for reasons of capability and safety.
As has been stated, the decision has been previously made to keep HXT.
When the engine gets replaced will be a function of how long the existing engine continues to run on condition.
The discusion now is regarding which of two options we would like to move forward with in terms of engine replacement, 150hp or 180hp.
Although there was previous interest in the idea of a cheap and interesting two-seater, the membership completely rejected the ones that were identified as potential purchases. Instead, they chose overwhelmingly to keep HXT. That decision was made last year. The present decision is how to ensure that HXT can continue to deliver the type of usefulness that we expect of it.
Aerotrek A240 $85,000 Cabin with 44.1″ 4.6″ wider than C-172. 120+mph Dual stick, Glass cockpit.
$80/hr. vs C-172 $135/hr.
Which one will be more fun and cost less?
New vs 40yr old
I think we should put a 180 HP engine in HXT (when it’s necessary). The 150hp version never was good enough. It’s got four seats and I would like to use all 4 seats and be able to carry gas too. We decided to keep it so let’s make it worthwhile to have it. It’s much safer flying in the mountains with a 180hp upgrade.
This discussion as far as I understand is one of which engine type should we go for when we do change the engine, not when should we change the engine. The decision made now, may not be enacted on for another 12 months, maybe more, maybe less. At lease making the decision now makes the job easier when the time comes that we have to do the work.
ZHQ is an example of the unexpected happening when you least expect it! As we did not have to go through this debate, the job was done relatively quickly and the aircraft back on line.
I was one of those on the committee who opted for the 150hp over the 180, that is my opinion, however I am happy to go along with the majority decision, whichever way it goes.
We should stay focused on the discussion at hand.
There is certainly no panic to change the engine in HXT. As Duncan says, it “is running just fine”, and it will probably continue that way for some time. This is precisely why we should have this discussion now, while we are not under the pressure of having an aircraft that is off-line. As will be clear to anyone reading this forum, we do not all immediately agree on what will be the best option for the engine when it does get replaced. The discussion and decision could easily take a number of weeks. Having this discussion now is actually to avoid any hint of panic when we do finally get the news that its on-condition operation has to end. If we waited until then, there would be pressure to make a quick decison, but our present course of action means that we will already know what engine we want and the Board will be able to make a purchasing decision without having first to go through this process.
Duncan also asked why some people believe that we should go for a 180HP engine. The simple answer is that it gives 200 pounds more useful load.
Duncan suggests that it is only a small group that believe this. However, he has no evidence for the size of the group. I might just as easily say that there is a small group that think we would be better off with just 150HP – and I might be more justified because only a minority of the aircraft renewal committee supported that option. However, neither of us know how big or small each group really is, so it is best to keep the discussion objectively centred on the engine rather than on speculating how much support there is for each option.
So – back to the engine – the present useful load of HXT is no longer appropriate for an aircraft that has four seats. We have the opportunity to implement a solution that will be effective for a significant time into the future. We don’t have to change the engine until its condition dictates, but when we do, we should do it with an eye to the future. That means choosing the 180HP engine with its 200 pound increase in useful load.
HXT ENGINE REPLACEMENT?
Seems to be some panic to change HXT’s engine, why I don’t know the engine is running just fine.
A small group seem to think we would be better off with 180 hp, AGAIN WHY? It’s going to cost 20K + to do that over the cost of 150 HP AGAIN WHY? There is no reason to change the engine at this time. It is running on condition at this time, Coastal and others run engines beyond TBO regularly and are looking to get 2700 hours on their engines. This could get us into a different time frame from the other two aircrafts with new engines and would give us a chance to be in a different financial position.
I don’t know if you were a member of the AFC at the time Stephen, however, during the ” lets sell IUK” debate some individuals who were in favour of keeping IUK were using the argument that because IUK had a 180 HP engine it would be similar in performance to ZHQ. Both of those airplanes (IUK & ZHQ) were being referred to as “heavy haulers” to bolster their position to sell HXT instead because of HXT’s reduced carrying capacity. There were also claims HXT wasn’t being used for long trips or carried more than one or two people per flight. Whereas, according to the claim makers, IUK and ZHQ were carrying more people per flight and taking longer flights with more people on board VS. HXT.
The Journey Log Books used at that time included the number of people on board for each flight and I believe the weights of the passengers (at least my present Journey Log Book does) along with the total weight of the airplane prior to take off. The new Journey Log Books do not have all of those columns to fill out so it would be difficult to replicate that information today.
Nevertheless, I charted each and every single flight over a long period of time (hence the need for current and older calendars) using the information derived from the log books. Once all the data was extracted from the log books it showed HXT actually was the aircraft which carried more people per flight and also flew longer flights with more people on board than the other airplanes IUK and ZHQ — which was contrary to what was being touted.
At one time there used to be a rental price differential between HXT and the other two airplanes (IUK and ZHQ) and I do believe that factored into the aircraft usage as it does now with the homogenised rates in place.
I no longer have access to the original report. It could be on the computer I took to my house in the Ottawa area or it may have been deleted entirely after I posted it on the club’s web site.
I do not believe that the Club’s present cash-flow situation should determine which engine is chosen as the right one for HXT. The cash-flow situation is a short-term thing whereas the engine will be with us for many years. So we should decide what the right engine is, even if we don’t want to spend the money quite yet. The question is simply “which is the right engine?” Of course we do have to consider that one engine costs more than the other – if they cost the same I don’t think anyone would be advocating the 150HP option. So, does the extra cost of the brand new 180HP engine, with its new propeller and STC that increases the useful load by 200 pounds, represent good value for money? I believe that it does.
When the Cessna 172 was first created people were smaller and its useful load was reasonable for four seats. Things have changed – it is not just that our members are overweight. On average, people keep getting heavier because they are also getting taller, and any amount of physical fitness will never reverse that. In ten or so years from now we do not want to be in a position of wishing that we had opted for the increased gross STC when we had the chance.
Our log books no longer record how many people are on board or the amount of fuel at take-off, so despite some member’s claims to have researched this, we do not know how many people have been flying on HXT. This might be a good thing, because otherwise we might have a permanent record of how heavy it has actually been on some flights.
I will probably add more comments later in this discussion.
The long term goal is to fully upgrade HXT, although not to the same extent as IUK and in stages as funds permit. The airframe had a visual and camera inspection by Bakerview last year and it was reported as being sound, with negligible corrosion.
The instrument panel needs some work and the vision of the board and committee last year was to bring the panels of ZHQ and HXT to a similar configuration as IUK, but with an Aera 795/796 GPS instead of the GTN750. The primary nav/comm in HXT needs immediate attention, this is being investigated for the most cost effective option.
The interior and paint can wait and should be done together to avoid duplication of work. Again when funds permit. Paint is essential to protect the hull from further corrosion and protect our investment.
The original workplan (as of 2012) was to do the engine and panel in HXT during the first part of 2013 and the paint and interior at the end of 2013. Then ZHQ happened and put the kibosh on that plan.
The decision now, as mentioned is to decide if the 180hp or 150hp is the best option. Residual value is less of a concern as we plan on keeping the aircraft for the foreseeable future. The cost, albeit a concern should not be the primary decider. If we choose the 180hp as the best option, we can continue on condition until funds permit if necessary (assuming the engine co-operates with that plan).
The committee held a straw poll (not drawing straws as Bob suggested), the majority favoured the 180hp option, this vote was not unanimous though.
In response to Bob Robertson’s post, not sure how you ascertained how many people on board each flight and the weight from the log books and reams of calenders, but interesting to know the results of your investigations. I cannot see however where this demonstrates that HXT is the heavy hauler, it’s documented payload is below that of ZHQ and IUK. Maybe ZHQ and IUK went out grossly under weight?
Thanks for the time you spent on that, perhaps however you would elaborate for us and post your investigations in more detail, it may help the discussion a great deal.
One thing I can assure everyone of, is that conflicting bookings has had and is having no influence on any committee recommendations. Dueling pistols on the apron have not become an option. This process started long before these conflicting bookings were made. Amazing how stories get around!
Thank you, I was attempting to point out how the topic was quickly going off on irrelevant tangents and required you to rein it back in focus as you did.
As for the options, does the committee already have a recommendation?
Also, is the long term goal to step-by-step replace the upholstery, repaint, and possibly upgrade the panel (basically providing the club with virtually a brand new plane at less than half the cost, such as IUK which was done in one shot) as funds permit? If so, then which of the two options provides the best added value for our money spent with the long term end goal in mind? Obviously neither would add %100, but does the 180hp hold more of its investment in retained value?
Retained value may seem irrelevant as the aircraft fleet will likely remain unchanged and the value will never be realized. However, as shown by the fantastic result of the IUK project I have admit that the committee title “Fleet Renewal” does not necessarily mean ‘fleet replacement’.
Generally I believe that when it is time to replace something major, whether it is part of my house, was on my old Mustang, or even on my old schooner, that it is the optimum time to make an upgrade.
I think ten years from now, not doing the upgrade to the 180hp will be seen as a poor choice.
I’ve just got to ask….
Is it true, as I have heard around the club, the reason we are going through this HXT 180 HP VS. 150 HP exercise is the result of a scheduling conflict? From what I’ve been hearing, two members want access to ZHQ during the same time period. Rather than taking the first come, first serve booking as we’ve usually done, the suggested solution to satisfy this “crisis” and not hurt anyone’s feelings is to upgrade HXT to 180 HP and “Voila!” calamity solved.
Suddenly HXT has become the leper (again) within our club fleet because it is only 150 HP. It did not seem that long ago when there was a movement afoot to sell IUK and all kinds of opinions we being bandied about. One of the proposals was to sell HXT because it wasn’t a “heavy hauler” bolstered with other somewhat disparaging remarks about the airplane and its capabilities.
I went out to the hangar with reams of paper, pencils, calendars, calculator and spent hours reviewing all the aircraft logbook entries for a equal period of time (it was a long period too) and when the dust cleared, the log books spoke for themselves.
Surprise! Surprise! The heavy hauler in the fleet was actually HXT.
HXT (with that crappy 150 HP engine) had flown more hours, went on longer flights and went on longer flights with more people on board than the supposedly heavy haulers like IUK and ZHQ. How have we managed to come as far as we have with the excellent safety record with an airplane so underpowered as HXT?
Now if this scheduling dilemma is truly the catalyst behind this discussion — I know it sounds too bazaar to be true — but having been around for 31+ years nothing really surprises me — allow me to offer some
If there is/was a questionable element in the booking/reservation process, a reasonable method to try and resolve it might be to get the two parties together and:
1) Flip a coin
2) Draw straws or a card
3) Play Rock, Scissors, Paper
4) Mud wrestle behind the club
5) Dueling pistols at 20 yards
No matter how hard you try, a Cessna 172 will never be an “interesting 2-seater”. The club voted to keep another 4-seat C172 in the fleet when we voted to keep HXT, acknowledging its limitations in excitement potential along the way.
So, what kind of engine do we want in HXT to serve us for the next 30 years? Do we want HXT to be as capable as ZHQ and have two “heavy haulers” in the fleet capable of carrying 4 people and their bags on a trip using its 1048lbs of useful load?
By the way, if anyone thinks the Archer is a “heavy hauler” because it has a 180hp engine, think again… It gained almost 50lbs when we added all the paint, leather and new avionics. Its useful load is now 934lbs, making it a 3-seater in reality. Further, HXT’s current useful load is only 832lbs which isn’t much. If later we end up restoring HXT it like IUK, its useful load will be even lower. Carrying the extra load from the 180hp conversion will help mitigate that loss.
Given the mission of the flying club and our desire to promote flyouts, it seems prudent to provide aircraft that carry as many people as practical without going overboard. People are bigger these days for many reasons such as better nutrition and diet, poor eating habits, etc. I can’t count how many teenagers I see over 6 feet tall these days. Looking forward 30 years, the club needs a fleet that will carry those people and serve us well in all roles chosen for it. The extra 30hp and useful load makes sense for the long term. It makes the Cessna 172 a true “jack of all trades”.
Regarding costs, aside from the initial upgrade price, operating costs are marginally more to operate a 180hp C172 as we’ve already seen with ZHQ and HXT in the past. So, keeping an underpowered 150hp engine in it won’t cut the rental rate down enough anywhere close to being “cheap”.
In the end, we can save up enough money to upgrade HXT properly to allow it to realise its true potential of being a reasonably-priced workhorse for the club, just like ZHQ.
We need to think long-term on this issue with regards to what is best for the club and not get caught up in short-sighted thinking.
Thanks again for all of the thoughts expressed so far. Please keep them coming.
Being proactive rather than reactive allows the club the opportunity to respond quickly, as soon as the situation arises when HXT needs immediate attention.
We have the chance to make a decision without being under a time pressure to do so. It also allows us the opportunity to pick a time most convenient to the membership as to when the work gets done.
If we had to go into these discussions with HXT offline, it could be months rather than weeks before it was up and running again.
As we have recently seen with ZHQ, you never know when its time is up.
Other than pure speculation, and knowing what’s out there for the future, why is this an item for discussion. Unless the engine in GHXT is actually toast, why are we contemplating spending cash the Club is short of at the moment. Sure it’s nice to know which way the membership wants to go when we get to the bridge. Why not cross it when we get to it! Lycoming O-320 engines have a habit of lasting way past the manufacurers TBO. If treated properly with frequent oil changes. I have seen these engines last well past 3,000 hours. As a new member to the Club, and not a renter of these aeroplanes. I have no idea as to how many hours they have accured. I do know that if GHXT is flown 100 hours a year, and could be made to last another
5 years. It would give the Club time to build financial reserves to comfortably replace with whatever engine is required. It should be well noted that TBO is just the manufacturers point in space, not a finite time that the engine will blow apart. Don’t fix what don’t need fixin’.
As it stands, it was decided by the aircraft replacement committee (not the refurbishment committee), to keep HXT without specifying it as a 2 or 4 seater. Those involved in this decision were many who attended the earlier vote and it was a committee open to all to attend (the highest attendance being 19 I believe).
This decision was made. The purpose of this discussion is the 180 or 150 engine only, pros and cons.
As with any capital expense, this is not a decision to be based purely on how much money is spent. We have to have the money available to spend at the point that the work is undertaken, we will.
Secondly we have to decide what is going to make the aircraft the most functional for the needs of the club members who fly the aircraft. This is, as I see it partly based on current useage and some guesswork as to future use, an unknown.
We have 2 180hp aircraft, their useage would give an indication as to how far a 180hp is taken by the members. This information should help in making the decision.
Equally bad as wasting $21000 on a 180hp engine that we end up not utilizing is wasting $31000 on a 150hp engine that gets underutilized because we made a decision solely on how much we wanted to spend and not what was the best choice.
It is not at all about the cost, not about saving the money for the sake of saving the money or spending it for the sake of spending it. It is about value, how can we get the best value for the club for every dollar spent.
Emotion has no place in such a decision, we should weigh up the facts, speculate as to the future, make a best judgement and proceed with that. We will only find out if it was right when it is completed.
A quote from a post by S Head (see above) “The only decision to be made is whether we spend an extra $21000 on the 180hp upgrade or stay with the 150hp and spend the $21000 elsewhere.” Really? I have to ask, how about a decision to SAVE that $21,000, instead of spending it? I also think that the whole “two-seater” option is once again fairly open for discussion, seeing as the committee is thinking of upgrading our current ‘two-seater’ to a full fledged four seater. When thinking about which choice to make, play a game of Make Belief, and pretend it is your airplane and your money. If you are honest, I will bet you might think about it differently. (as a past A/C owner, I know how the math works – or does not work) This is hard earned AFC money, that we should not even be thinking about spending for a flight to YCW.
PS – the fact that our membership is ever increasing (by weight, not by numbers) should perhaps encourage us all to eat a bit smarter and go for a walk, rather than use that as an excuse to spend money on a more weight capable a/c. Take this discussion too far, and we might end up with a pair of C-182s and a Cherokee 6 in the hangar.
One Opinion: Back when our lovely 4 place aircraft were purchased our predecessor pilots were considerably lighter than many of us are today, including me. For a 4 place A/C it makes sense to upgrade from the 150 HP to the 180 HP. Improved performance: i.e. off the runway sooner, increased climb, increased speed.
My feelings are and please correct me if I am wrong, that we fly HXT in it’s current configuration more that we fly the other 2 club aircraft. HXT is an older, high airframe time bird and it is my opinion that we would never realize the value of the upgrade to a 180 HP engine either in flight hours or hull value. I think the prudent course of action would be to replace the current engine with a 160 HP (no STC needed) allowing us to keep our flight/hr costs down. This way we can all enjoy the benefits and have some money in the bank in case of emergencies. Regards, Glenn.
First let me say thanks to all who comment. The input of all of our members is immensely important to me.
Let’s be clear the decision has already been made by our membership to keep HXT as our third aircraft. In fact HXT was maintained in the fleet as an “interesting two seat” aircraft. It’s important that we focus on the question at hand.
The following is the text of an email I provided to the group looking at the engine replacement:
“I would ask that the committee recall and carefully consider that the membership voted to maintain HXT as an interesting two seat aircraft. For me, that notion spoke to idea that our members desire an economical aircraft within the fleet. A move to another 180hp machine will increase operating costs, perhaps only marginally, but an increase none the less. Further, the cost of the STC is not insignificant, and given that cost I’d like to consider the use of that cash outlay elsewhere. It seems to me that if we take a more fiscally conservative approach we should be able to more easily meet the desire of our membership to access affordable flying.”
There is only one discussion, the 150hp option or 180hp option for HXT. The two seater options was set aside when the decision was made to keep HXT. At present HXT is a low powered 4 seater.
The only decision to be made is whether we spend an extra $21000 on the 180hp upgrade or stay with the 150hp and spend the $21000 elsewhere.
Whether it is right or wrong it some views, the decision to retain HXT has already been taken by the board, as recommended by the committee. Is this something we really want to be revisiting? It would only serve to delay the process already started.
We appear to have two separate proposals on the table that are evolving back into the same “Two Seater in the Club” argument. The Citabria proposal actually has us becoming a four plane club when not too long ago the idea of cutting back to a two plane club was being considered.
Could the fleet renewal committee simplify things by possibly keeping only one major proposal on the table at a time with new consideration of the suggested solutions that have come up in this forum?
I spent some time yesterday going through the logbook for HXT. Quite interesting reading. Here are some numbers, for flights from Jan 1/12 to present. These numbers have not been audited, but are accurate enough for this discussion. During this time period, HXT made about 265 flights, landing at about 20 different location. The flights and destinations break down as follows.
113 local flights
70 flights to YCW (12 for Air Cadet Fam Flights)
7 flights to Rowena’s
21 flights to YPK (12 for Air Cadet Fam Flights)
10 flights to ZBB
13 flights to YYJ
5 flights to YNJ
The remaining flights went to places like Alert Bay (with stops at various intermediate airports), Hope, Merritt, and several airports on the Island.
The log book does not show the number of people on board, but I know that the majority of these flights were made with 3 or less people. And this was more often by choice, not because of gross weight considerations. So the suggestion that the AFC spend an additional $20,000, just so a few additional flights per year can be made with a full complement of passengers is perhaps something to be questioned.
My first choice regarding this engine question is to sell HXT at best price and buy a beat-up C-150. Self-insure the hull, park it outside on the grass, and rent it out at $100. Even with the slower speed, on a flight to YCW you will be on downwind while those who flew in with ZHQ and IUK are reserving your seats in the restaurant.
Simple flying, at a more affordable price. Maybe this is what we should be looking for.
Thanks for listening
I believe that all pilots will gain more experience from taking off and landing more often and still have 3 people on board so I don’t see why we have to spend all that $ for a 180 hp, is it really worth it ? Just to back track for a bit , not too long ago we were debating to get a true two seater and make flying more affordable for everyone therefore I think we are heading in the wrong direction where now all the decisions are based on individual needs and not on what the survey showed.Yes , we decided to keep HXT but we didn’t know that wi’ll spend all that $ on IUK and ZHQ …let’s be serious, for the amount of $ we will spend on 180 hp engine , we can get a C- 150…maybe we should consider trading HXT…further on I think there should be more options than just the TWO listed above !
We’ve already decided to keep HXT as our “exciting two place aircraft”, (not sure where Marty was when the Club decided that?). So let’s keep it that way. Replace the engine with the 150 HP and avoid the extra costs associated. As Wayne has said, we have two other 180’s to choose from if needed.
We have two 180 HP aircraft already. An extra 20,000 will still leave us with a 40 year old plane subject to all the other maintenance issues of an aging aircraft. Might be better to minimize our cost as best we can.
Even though I only weigh 170, my kids are 4 and 6 ( and my wife would kill me if I published her weight but suffice it to say it is less than me) – making the 150 option adequate – I believe the 180 option is preferable.
I already like HXT but the 180HP option means more gear, more power in critical situations, engine reliability (roller-tappets), more confidence in the plane – all benefits!
I am happy to pay a little extra for gas and for the engine if it means that more of our membership can enjoy flying.
Trade HXT in as-is where-is for a Pipistrel Virus SW.
Pay balance via 48 monthly payments of $2,500 or 60 monthly payments of $2,000.
The rental income from this aircraft will make the payments more or less.
The club likely puts out zero cash.
Club members have a brand new airplane to fly that is: cool, efficient, fast, safe, low maintenance, glass panel, autopilot, easy to learn, and most of all fun!
The earth is a greener place with the club’s reduced cabon footprint.
Bakerview Aviation is a factory approved service centre for Pipistrel.
The Virus is in stock and we can begin flying it immediately 🙂
Personally I like to do the longer trips that normally incorporate the mountains. It is nice to have the extra 30 HP through the down-drafts and have the extra gross weight. The cost is the concern and I guess it depends on what type of flying the majority of the Club Members are doing. If we were to go with the 150 HP for HXT, could we come up with a system that would make this work? For example; if I have three big guys to take on a trip to Kelowna and ZHQ is already booked for two people to fly to Chilliwack, I could not do this trip in a 172 at the Club. If that person would be kind enough to switch aircraft with me, the problem would be resolved. If not, I would not be able to do the trip and the club loses the revenue. I have been asked to switch planes in a similar circumstance and am happy to do so.