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Hello everyone, I have recently joined and just wanted to say hi, I currently have a piper Archer but I think I’m going to sell and get a Light Sport plane as my needs have changed, I really like the Piper Sport and think this vintage aircraft would fit my budget. I have spent many hours over the last two days reading this Forum to try to become familiar with this aircraft and it has led me to believe that with the non support of the factory, parts issues, bankruptcy and the moving of the Sebastian operation out west as much as I like the plane this maybe a bad choice, I have also owned Mooney’s so bankruptcy isn’t a deal breaker but the lack of a sustainable parts supply concerns me. I am not in any way bashing the brand I just am hoping someone could convince me I am all wrong. Does the new operation support these aircraft?. All your comments and help are wanted as I really like the aircraft just can’t afford to make a bad move.

Thanks, Stan

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Hi Stan and welcome. The PiperSport and SportCruiser (it's the exact same plane only badged differently) are wonderful planes to own and fly. My recommendation is to convert the plane you purchase to E-LSA right from the start. It'll save you many headaches in the long run. Support is basically non existent from the factory. Not that you really need it anyway. All manuals and documents can be found on their website. When Cruiser Aircraft was here in Florida they did a pretty good job getting parts but it took time if they didn't stock it. "Slow boat to China" mean anything? :D They have moved parts to Utah and the only knowledge I have of their operation is from those who I have talked with that have tried to order parts. It was slow going during the transition but I hear they are doing a little better know. You may want to call them and talk with the parts department and see if they are running at 100% now. 

This is the second bankruptcy now for CZAW/CSA/CA and since they are a foreign company who really knows how stable the foundation is. New sales have been very, very slow since about 2016. The used market is doing pretty good as the planes are popular. I love mine.

It's a solid plane, very fun to own and fly and I don't even think twice about the factory or parts. The worst case scenario is you'll need a NLG one day :o, hopefully not. All the consumables are easy to source as none of them come from CSA. Brakes, tires, tubes, engine parts and engine consumables are very easy to source. As for the Rotax 912, parts and service are a short flight away in Sebring at Lockwood. Never a worry.

Leaving your Archer and stepping into a SportCruiser will be night and day. They will probably fly similar but the SportCruiser will be like flying a sportscar compared to a jalopy. Not sure how fast an Archer is but you can expect 110-120 knots from the SportCruiser sipping 5 gallons and hour. The avionics, well I don't need to go there. :P Have you ever flown behind the legacy Dynon glass? Still great avionics. 

Have you flown a SportCruiser yet? Where are you in "Central Florida"? If you ever make it to the greater Tampa area there are several of them in the area and we are all members of the forum. I'm sure a demo flight from any of us will be a non issue. We even have a CFI on here.

If you ever find yourself over in the greater Tampa area let me know. 

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Hi Shawn, I’m based at FD04 (Leeward Air Ranch) we have a 6000+ turf runway, I have a brother in Bradenton, not really that far, I have been trying to get up close with one but with all this COVID stuff it hasn’t need easy. I always liked the Piper Sport and remember it at the Sport Aviation show in Sebring which seems like not that long ago. I have seen one listed a couple weeks ago up in Charleston,seems like a nice plane, not sure if it has already been converted to ELSA yet, as far as I can tell has original nosewheel assy. (Welded once)and from a previous listing has some firewall “ beef up kit” I don’t know what that is and something about checking some rivets on a brace, again I’m not familiar with the correct terms an “Sportcruiser language “ , it has a GDL 39 and a GDL 88, I think that is for ADSB. I’m not worried about canopy struts and the like and would prefer to be able to do my own maintenance , I have read about converting and it sounds like a chore. It is nice to talk to someone like yourself to try and get some real life facts. If you want to do a short cross country to Leeward let me know, I’ll buy lunch!!.

Thanks, 

Stan

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17 hours ago, Stansuski said:

Hi Shawn, I’m based at FD04 (Leeward Air Ranch) we have a 6000+ turf runway, I have a brother in Bradenton, not really that far, I have been trying to get up close with one but with all this COVID stuff it hasn’t need easy. I always liked the Piper Sport and remember it at the Sport Aviation show in Sebring which seems like not that long ago. I have seen one listed a couple weeks ago up in Charleston,seems like a nice plane, not sure if it has already been converted to ELSA yet, as far as I can tell has original nosewheel assy. (Welded once)and from a previous listing has some firewall “ beef up kit” I don’t know what that is and something about checking some rivets on a brace, again I’m not familiar with the correct terms an “Sportcruiser language “ , it has a GDL 39 and a GDL 88, I think that is for ADSB. I’m not worried about canopy struts and the like and would prefer to be able to do my own maintenance , I have read about converting and it sounds like a chore. It is nice to talk to someone like yourself to try and get some real life facts. If you want to do a short cross country to Leeward let me know, I’ll buy lunch!!.

Thanks, 

Stan

Hi Stan, I've been to your airport a few times and know a few residents there. Great grass stip, one of the nicest around. There was a SportCruiser based there, maybe she sold it. I'll reach out to her.

I know the PiperSport you are looking at. I just went over it with another possible buyer. It has A LOT of hours on it so price in a new or overhauled engine in 3-5 years (depending on how much you fly). The plane is still an S-LSA and the ADS-B out is not legal as there was no LOA issued for it. It was installed by a local avionics shop who didn't know any better. Not a big deal but just know it's not legal. Converting to E-LSA is a piece of cake and I have 2 DAR's here in Florida to help you with it. Not to worry. The firewall reinforcement kit is good to have and if you are going to operate it mostly at Leeward then a stronger NLG might be a worthy investment.

This covid stuff is a pain and I would love to fly in one day to meet up and show you my plane and go for a flight.

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Shawn,there are 2 Sportcrusiers here, one Pipersport and 1 Sportcruiser,but Corona has kept those closed up, I did wonder about the ADSB installation as I didn’t think it was approved for it, I would definitely go ELSA, I thought that one had the firewall stiffener and nose wheel update,did you fly up to see it , it looks good in pictures. I’m not sure about the price.

Stan

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19 minutes ago, Stansuski said:

Shawn,there are 2 Sportcrusiers here, one Pipersport and 1 Sportcruiser,but Corona has kept those closed up, I did wonder about the ADSB installation as I didn’t think it was approved for it, I would definitely go ELSA, I thought that one had the firewall stiffener and nose wheel update,did you fly up to see it , it looks good in pictures. I’m not sure about the price.

Stan

I know Connie had a legacy SportCruiser and then traded that in a few years ago for a newer one. I can't remember what year she has now but it's newer. I don't know the other person with the PiperSport. 

Yup, the GDL-88 ADS-B out could easily be removed, leaving the wiring and then you could convert to E-LSA and then just plug it back in. Not a big deal. I've only seen pics of the plane and have a copy of the log books for review. As for the price, I would offer less than they are asking given the hours on the plane.

Both DAR's I know are in the Central Florida area so that'll make the conversion very easy.  

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Yes, Connie has the newer Sporcruiser, it is a 2016 and the Pipersport is owned by a woman I have never met, are there any Sportcruiser A&P’s nearby ,not sure about spending that kind of money without some kind of inspection by someone really up on these, although I am becoming more knowledgeable by the hour, I would want it checked out if I became ready to do something.

Stan

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9 hours ago, mikeomaha said:

stan, that would be time and money very wisely spent. shawn has helped me out in the past with my sport cruiser and you can trust anything he says with his knowledge and experience. glad you found this website and welcome aboard

Thanks for the kind words Mike, just trying to pay it forward where I can. With SNF back on let me know if you decide to come down again for the show.

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glad to help out everyone on the forum shawn. i am sure you will provide invaluable advice to stan. this forum is great help for people who lack local access for assistance with sport cruiser operation. dont know if i will travel much this year by airline but if i do go to snf will let you know  six weeks in  advance. got my 5 year rubber due this year and a change in fbo at my airport in june. airport authority wants a new maintenance hanger paid by the fbo and will do only a 20 yr contract and want to increase revenue and not be reliant on city property taxes. as a result, i expect big increases in shop rates and hanger rents. i pay 95 an hr now. charles city iowa airport is home to the company i bought my plane from in 2011 and has a DAR to do the experimental change for me for 720 dollars. rotax certified mechanics on staff too for my annual and 5 yr rubber. i can e mail them for a bid and go from there maybe get a bargain to get annual, 5 yr rubber and experimental change done at same time... with higher rates to be charged at council bluffs, may be smart thing to do.  find out what my plane would be worth  if i sold it .  they want a 30 per cent commision for selling and would handle transaction and insurance and hanger during sale period. about another 60  minutes from my house roundtrip, of highway driving in harlan iowa airport i could get a hanger for 55 a month versus 155 i pay now. it would be a 2 hr roundtrip by car from my house versus the 1 hr roundtrip i do now at council bluffs but be all highway. it would be paradise to fly there as there is very little traffic 15/33 long wide concrete runway with a  2000 turf 5/23 and no worry about over heating before takeoff. time is no problem since i am retired and dont work so am really thinking about it. annual is due in sept so got lots of time. june is change in fbo. thanks for all the help you do on the forum shawn. am sure yr busy with other things too. been retired over 9 years now and am forgetting how busy people are who work for a living...lol

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On 1/25/2021 at 4:13 PM, Stansuski said:

Hi Shawn, I’m based at FD04 (Leeward Air Ranch) we have a 6000+ turf runway

You'll have to tell me more about how much you like Leeward Air Ranch, Stan!  Some beautiful homes there and I am starting to think about places for me to go for my retirement in about 10-13 years.  (I have to put my 14 year old son through college first...ouch.)

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be helpful for other forum members to know about airpark living in unites states and details. rtk, teach yr 14 yr old how to throw a football, bounce a basketball or throw a baseball and get a college scholarship. military service is another way to get a free education with food and housing and medical care too. 

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