We have a charter at ten

Oh, the joy of working for small, and most of all, cheap operators. I don’t know how Julio does it, but I am sure some of you might have been in this situation before. I sure have. Something similar actually happened to me not too long ago where we grounded the aircraft we were supposed to take and then the replacement aircraft broke as well. And I am neither working for Hans nor a cheap operator at the moment. If you do this long enough, this might happen to you at some point. Technology fails every now and then, and sometimes even twice in a row…

This does bring up a point though we keep discussing more often lately. Stefan and I have been talking for a while now that the Roost-Air fleet is getting kinda old. While it makes for great stories, we keep talking about maybe upgrading their fleet. Of course, the iconic Cessna 172 will remain, but the thought of maybe replacing the Piper Aztec has occurred to us a couple of times now. I bet some of you younger readers have never even seen a Piper Aztec up close. They are just not around much anymore.
What are your thoughts on that? And what do you guys think we should replace it with?


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11 comments on “We have a charter at ten
  1. Helge says:

    Way more interesting than the actual type of new aircraft would be the story of how Hans managed to unearth the funds for it.

  2. FbS says:

    Hi. I manage an aeroclub (small flying school), and maybe the closest business to roost-air.

    Light planes, if you look at the 172, sold in 1956 for 8500$, which is less than 90000$ today with inflation taken in account, has nothing to do with the actual list price of the 172, now 400000$. Add 20% VAT in europe, and it’s half a million. Aviation is maybe the only industry that managed to slash it’s productivity by a factor of five in the last 50 years, thanks to the combined efforts of lawyers and FAA/EASA authorities requiring always more paperwork and audit and certification fees.

    What that means is that there is simply no business case for an aeroclub, or for roost-air, to buy a plane new, as the cost of the hour of flight will make you out of business. The only ones that can afford that are airlines, that have their planes flying 3000 hours / year, and that can recover for such an upfront expense.

    Basically, where a C172 hour is around 200€, a flight hour in a “new” C172 could not be sold at less than 300€, if the plane is aimed at flying a mere 200/300 hours / year. Not sure you will attract members with that. And don’t even mention the “new” planes, made of carbon fibers that are not repairable at reasonable costs whenever someone bugs it (and aeroclub members always do some damage on leading edges and tails when they move the planes in the hangars)

    So, in our case, as in roost-air, buying new is not an option. The C172 and the PA23 are here to stay. Since with adequate maintenance, even US DOD wil fly their B52s up to a century, I don’t see why we couldn’t do so with the 172s too.

    • Franck Mée says:

      It actually would make for a nice strip series: Hans wanting to buy a new aircraft because that Aztec engine keeps falling apart, proudly announcing a new aircraft to the team, a Tecnam P2006 or a Partenavia P68, seeing the price tag, looking for used cheap aircraft, going through the rabbit hole of always-older-always-cheaper and ending up buying a battered Travel Air or an early C310…

  3. Yawnitz says:

    So, an idea for replacing the Aztec, hey? How about something practical? (Practically impractical in every way.)

    I am nominating the venerable Beech 18. I’m sure Julio would have nothing but happy feelings about this!

  4. Keith says:

    Hans, could I interest you in a lightly used, well maintained Twin Bonanza B-50? Once owned by a little old lady who only averaged 10hours a weekend in it? It even has rich Corinthian leather seats.

  5. drasnor says:

    Around 15 years ago, I did my first familiarization flight in a Beechcraft King Air. They’re not exactly affordable but maybe Hans was able to find a sucker for the Aztec, took out a nicely predatory note from the bank to finance one, and got a sweetheart deal by not bringing Julio along to do the pre-sale inspection…

  6. ThisGuy says:

    I think the only sort of realistic modern replacement would be something like a DA62. Similar capacity, relatively low operating cost. But I don’t think RoostAir is the sort of outfit that could afford to purchase one (new or even “slightly” used).

    • Parou says:

      Was actually thinking of a well used DA42… complete with the usual FADEC issues to keep Julio entertained.

  7. Ryan Leeward says:

    I think they should get a tailwheel trainer, like a Cub or Champ. That would make for some good stories flying that I think.

  8. Karel A.J. ADAMS says:

    If Roost Air wants to replace the Aztec with something more modern, there are twins from Tecnam (P2006, Rotax powered) and Diamond (DAQ42, even with diesel power). But Roost Air was never at the edge of techonological progress, nor did they try or claim to.
    If something must change in their fleet, it would be the addition of an LSA, perhaps a Rans S6 or such. Lots of tinkering fun for Julio, plenty of opportunities for Chuck to violate airspace (at least in Europe, ultralights – as they are called here – are not allowed in controlled airspace, in certain countries), great economics for Hans.

  9. Duncan says:

    I see a joke about sally getting an Airbus and a Airvan mixed up!

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