I have been searching for planes the last month or two, and we have chosen our next aircraft. I have been looking at Commanders and Sierras, and this week we have decided on a Commander 112A.
Our good friends in the Beech Aero Club are going to be selling their Sierra and it was a high priority want for us since it was so well equipped and maintained. The only issue was the Commanders kept calling me back for another look. Mary and I really like the room and seat configuration. This might seem trivial to some but with our physical status it was important.
The difference is sitting up in an SUV like seat vs sitting with your legs more straight out in front of you like a sports car. Both planes are roomy, just a few inches difference in width. Both aircraft are Lycoming powered with the IO-360 and cruise speeds are pretty much the same. Both aircraft we were interested in have the new three blade prop and engine times are both low time and recent installs.
I should add that cost was also a factor. The original plan to look for a Commander 114 put plane prices above 100k. As much as I would have liked more speed and useful load it just wasn't worth that for our typical mission. Another important factor was not wanting to dip into investments or our savings, and worst case would be to finance a part of the cost. It came down to very good paint and interior (P&I) with low engine times and an excellent maintenance record. The Commander won out on cost, P&I, and seating configuration.
Mary and I are headed out to see the Commander 112A next week and maybe get a flight in, depending on weather. I hope to get some video and document the road trip.
We keep reminding ourselves, it's a process. One step at a time, hopefully in the forward direction, and we will achieve our goals.