Recent question about buying a Piper Cherokee 140.
Basically the question is, Should I buy a Piper Cherokee 140 or a Cessna 172?
“I just finished reading your book “How to Buy a Single-Engine Airplane”. Man, it was great! I am a private pilot with 400+ hours in a Cessna 150. Five years ago, I sold it thinking that I would not fly enough to merit the expense. Ever since, I have been like a caged animal looking for a hole to escape into the wild blue yonder! With your beautiful little book, I found a hole in which to escape from my self-made prison and am now in a hunt for a Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee 140. I have $40K in a fruit jar to invest. Now for the BIG question, what can I expect in terms of hours on the plane, year (age), etc.? Please help me!”
Wow, thank you for the kind comments about the book! Glad you are excited about getting another aircraft. You can actually consider a number of nice aircraft for the $40,000 range. You won’t usually get new engines, new paint and a panel full of new flat panel displays, but you should be able to get a nice basic digital IFR, mid-time engine, good-looking aircraft.
It appears that you should be able to buy a Piper 140 for a little less than the Cessna 172. I think that is because it is really a 2+2 aircraft, even more than the Cessna 172. The original Piper 140 models came from the factory as two seat aircraft or two seats with a small jump seat in the baggage area. The PA28-140 does not have a baggage door to access the area from the outside or the baggage space behind the rear seat like the Cessna 172 does. Many people equate the Cherokee 140 to an enlarged Cessna 150 although I do not think that is really a fair comparison.
The Cherokee 140 can be a very economical traveling machine for two people with the ability to take a third (or possible a fourth if they are really small) for a ride. Check out the aviation classifieds (Trade a Plane etc.) and you will be surprised at what is available. Do not discount a high time airframe aircraft. Take into account its use, condition and maintenance.
I went shopping and found a number of 1960’s era PA28-140’s priced right around $40,000. A few were IFR equipped; most were 4,000 to 5,000 hour airframes and 1,200 to 1,500 hour engines. The Lycoming 0-320’s have a 2,000 TBO and the average person flies less than 50 hours year, which gives you eight to 10 years of use before you need an overhaul. The Cessna 172’s in that price range were 1956 to 1962 models. Most of the 1965 and newer Cessna 172 aircraft were over $40K. There is an occasional later year, high time, run out engine for less money. To find the later model Cessna (or Pipers for that matter) at the lower prices you have to monitor the ads and be ready to buy. Late model and low prices sell quickly.