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Buying a Gazelle


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Could I have your thoughts on whether a Gazelle is still considered to be a reasonable aircraft to buy . I learnt to fly in a short fuse Jabiru which is quick and forgiving and know little about the Gazelle other than the concerns regarding airframe etc. Am I likely to get stuck with something un-saleable in afew years time . What would be the top price for one in "excellent condition"



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Guest Stkin0

My advice:


1. Ask people who own them how much they could sell it for today


2. Check the hours on the aircraft -it could be a waste of money buying something that is gonna need alot of money on it.


NOTE: aircraft are very expensive to maintain (maintenance) so unlessyou are going to rent it to a charter/training school that gets a lot of business it wouldn't be worth it........but dont take my word as a final answer..ask around, go to your local aero clubs, talk to pilots that own them, talk to maintenance people and ask them if it is worth it


Hope this helps



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Hi Biggles,


Before I start, a wise CFI once told me...


"Buying an aircraft is like a Bacon and Egg sandwich. The chook's involved, but the pig's committed"


- Remember this... you are the pig!


There's no doubt the Gazelle is a good aircraft to buy and fly, however you really need to take a close look at what you'll be doing with it and how much you'll be using it.


Many Gazelle's out there are now getting a little long in the tooth, so to speak. This would mainly be because of their age and the fact that many of them if not the majority were or have been used in RAA and GA flying schools for training purposes and as such a lot of hours have gone on them in a short space of time.


They are definitely an exceptionally easy aircraft to learn to fly in and a great private aircraft, however there are a few issues worth considering. There is a 4,000 wing life. It's not a throw-away limit as such, but one that requires considerable expense to rebuild / recondition. The aileron hangars have long been a problem if the aircraft is not looked after or is not kept nicely tucked away and from moisture. These timber hangars can rot away and break off, which has previously caused a fataility in QLD. Enignes are an issue too; not necessarily because of a large number of hours, but because of age, corrosion and condition.


Prices range from $25,000 to around $45,000 for a good one, but prices in the 50's for an excellent one are not uncommon.


Cheapest I've seen was 2 months ago a GA model with all the gear was up for sale with only 500 hours total time on the clock. It sold for $25k inc GST! however it needed a lot of work. Even though it had been GA maintainted, it was in very, very, very poor condition. After 2 months of work including repainting and new plastics and an engine rebuilt at a cost of around $5k it's probably now worth up to and around $50k.


Something important to consider is that for a GA Gazelle to remain in the charter category it much have an engine that is less than 10 years old (or rebuilt within 10 years); therefore considering Gazelle's were mostly manufactured in 1995-96, there will be quite a few out there on the GA register that the owners will need to move, quickly!


If you are maintaining it yourself it will be very affordable to operate. A Gazelle is not a complicated aircraft to own. You can't maintain it yourself if it's to be used in a flying school. Contrary to what Steven says I don't believe for a minute that aircraft are very expensive to maintain when privately owned.


Putting your aircraft into a flying school is definitely a catch-22 situation. On one hand it earns you money, but on the other it will cost you dearly in insurance, maintenance (LAME or Level 2) and general replacement items, prop damage / chips, brakes, wear and tear, overhaul time, etc, etc, etc, interest if you borrowed the money, etc, etc. Rotax 912's have a TBO (overthaul time) of 1,500 hours.


If you were to buy a Gazelle outright, keep it for a while, use it privately for say up to 200 hours a year and look after it, carefully maintain it and you'll be on a good thing. Same goes with a Jabiru. Privately owned and operated is a great way to fly cheaply. An oil and filter change at 25 hours and you're back in the air. 1,000 hours for a top-end overhaul and 1,500 for a bottom end.


Remember what the wise CFI once told me...


My money would be best spent on a fibreglass or carbon aircraft with reasonable speed. Whether you realise it or not, most people want speed and if you don't want it now, you'll want it later. Many people start with a slower aircraft and then upgrade to a faster one. My advice is that if you can afford to "bypass" the first step and get yourself into the faster aircraft first; go ahead and do it. You'll save youself a lot of hassle later.



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  • 9 months later...
Guest Crash Lander

Re: the 4000hr wing life. The gazelle I'm trainin in has just had it's wings compltely re-skinned and painted. Sems the UV coating wasn't applied the last time it was done, and they needed to be done now.


My instructor told me that the wings are now considered 0 hours and when I asked her how much it cost, she said it was around $5000.


Re: the $5000 engine rebuild. I just last year spent more than that replacing the engine in my Mitsubishi Pajero! seems it would be cheaper for me to fly to work! :-)


Just realised this is a very old post. Sorry to be bumping up old posts guys!



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Hi Biggles


I have owned a Gazelle for four years now and do most of the maintiance myself with help from qualified people when needed. My Gazelle was a school aircraft but was always hangered and well maintained. She has 1700 hrs on the airframe and 1000hrs on the motor. I fly about 100 hrs a year so at that rate I have about 23 years before I have to worry about the 4000 hr limit on some componets. If you use the Gazelle for private use then the cost of maintance is not high at all, composing of a 100 hrly once a year which normally costs me around $200 plus my own time. I have the Gazelle insured for ground cover only and costs $800 a year.


The 912 is a very reliable motor and if not used on line can be run on condition which means that is all the vital signs are ok then the TBO of 1200 or 1500 hrs does not count. I spoke to the people at Bert Flood just last week about this and was told that there are 912's with 6000hrs flying that have not been pulled down.


So if you are looking for a easy aircraft to fly and maintain and don't mind 75 knt cruise they are a great little aircraft.


Are they getting long in the tooth? Well most are under 12 years of age and if you look at the average age of the cessna 150's etc flying around 30 years they have plenty of service left yet. Not everyone can afford a $120-$140 plastic fantasic so its horses for courses I think.


Hope this helps





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