Beechcraft C24 Sierra - This Retractable 4 Seater Might Be Right For You
When it comes to finding a good Beechcraft that is reasonably priced, your going to want to make sure you have a look at the Sierra. It is the in-between airplane that will bridge you to the Bonanza which is quite a bit more expensive then the Sierra.
IMPORTANT: One of the reasons that pilots like the Sierra is because of the fact that it has retractable gear. You have to realize that if you want some extra speed, this is a great feature to have! Not only that, it is really the best "classic" high performer before you step up into the Bonanza series of airplanes.
That is great because once you step up into a Bonanza, your likely going to have to spend more money on getting the airplane. So if you still like the "Beechcraft" brand but don't quite feel your ready to fly a Bonanza, then the Sierra is a great airplane to start out with.
Surprising Reason #1 - There's Some GREAT Deals Out There (Here's What I Mean)
As nice as the 33 Bonanza's are - they are not cheap! You have to realize that the 33 Bonanza is a 4 seater version of the legendary 36 Bonanza. The great thing about the Sierra is that you can still get one for around $50,000 USD. (Depending on when you are looking!)
But that is a lot cheaper then the 33 Bonanza which could cost you well over $100,000 if you want a well equipped one. So you have to realize that the Sierra is a great great option if you don't want to step up into a six figure airplane at this time.
If you get a good deal on one, you can always fly it until you are ready for something bigger and faster. At that point, you should be able to sell it and quite easily move up into the next level Beechcraft of your choice.
Think Seriously About This
And make sure you really think about that option. A lot of pilots are "all or nothing" in terms of the aircraft that they buy. They think that if they can't afford their dream airplane, then they are not going to get anything until they can afford the real one they want.
That is not smart because in the meantime while your saving up for your dream airplane, you'll likely be flying a rental that is a "junker" and won't really be enjoying yourself. So, if you can't afford your dream airplane (yet) - that is okay, as you can start out with something a bit smaller and cheaper.
Just make sure you buy something with the mindset that you are going to resell it down the road. That way, your going to make a better choice of an airplane that you can resell. Meaning - your going to want to be looking for something that you know you can get rid of in a few years quite easily.
Surprising Reason #2 - Checkout These Performance Specs (Pretty Darn Good For The Age)
The great thing about the Sierra is that it goes quite fast and has really good performance numbers for an airplane with 200 horsepower. Here are some performance estimates for the C-24r that you are going to want to have a look at:
It has 200 horsepower and will cruise at around 135 knots as well as has a range of over 600 nm.That is not bad for an airplane of that era with only 200 horsepower. You have to realize that if you are looking for something that simply goes really, really fast - your going to want to look at a Mooney or an airplane similar to that.
Be Careful Which Lens You Look At This Airplane Through
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to look at the Sierra through the wrong lens when you are looking at the performance specs. It does very well for an airplane it's age and has some good numbers. However, it that is all dependent on what you are comparing it to.
So you have to make sure that when your buying an older airplane like the Sierra, you make sure to compare it to other aircraft that are similar. That way you can determine if this is the right airplane for you or not.
Don't compare it to some speedster that is 15 years newer and has more bells and whistles. If you do that, your always going to find something better & find something wrong with the "classic" your looking at buying.
But if you want a great "classic" well rounded 4 seater with retractile gear, you are going to want to give the Sierra a second look as it might just be the right airplane for your situation.
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