What to buy, a Cessna 150 or 172?
Interesting question I was asked. Should I buy a Cessna 150 or 172? A four place aircraft would be nice, but what about the extra cost? Is it worth it? And the question isn’t just about Cessna aircraft. It can also be about the Piper Tomahawk (or even the Cherokee 140) and the Cherokee 180 and a number of other aircraft. Actually, it can be about any number of aircraft. Do you want a two seat or a four seat.
Both aircraft are very similar when it comes to maintenance costs and fixed costs. Just because the 150 are smaller aircraft doesn’t mean they are substantially cheaper to own. If you think about the difference between these two aircraft…there aren’t many, except for size. The four place aircraft will have a bigger airframe and engine. But the basic components (and construction) are about the same. The same is true with the maintenance.
The initial purchase price can be lower for a 150, but many of the older 172’s are in the same price range. When you buy lower priced four-place aircraft, you are buying an older age, which could increase the maintenance costs.
The biggest difference will probably be in the fuel burn and the insurance cost. The fuel burn is about double in a four-place compared to a two-place aircraft. The insurance premium increases because of the extra liability with the two additional seats and the increase in hull value.
But really, do you really need the extra room and higher useful load? Don’t get your wants and needs confused. A Cessna 150 will do almost every thing a Cessna 172 will, but on less fuel and at a slower speed. I flew a Cessna 152 from Iowa to New Orleans. It was along trip, fun and kind of cramped, but it still did the job. I also know a couple that took their Cessna 150 and flew from Iowa to Mexico. They toured the country of Mexico for a couple of weeks. Never had any problems getting in or out of airports or worried about the fuel they could obtain.
And think about how many people fly with you on a regular basis. If its just you and your dog, the 150 will be all you need.
The final decision will depend on you personal situation, but don’t give up on a good two seat aircraft if that’s all you need.