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Hey Phil,
Always appreciate your perspective. I've been flying a Cessna 400 the last 2 years. Love
the plane. It has 970lbs useful with the Air C and thermawing so for 2 people its very
comforatable . BUT ! In hourly terms my main mission aspiration is Toronto-Calgary to
see the grandkids. I don't have to get there quickly but it would be very nice to get there
comfortably in 1 day in a comfortable ride for the wife who doesnt like bumps. Been
thinking of 1/4 of a Meridian which is kind of the budget level. Any thoughts?
Best, Tim Gleeson

-- Tim Gleeson, September 6, 2015


A high quality Canadian turboprop spinning in front will add a lot of comfort and assurance to this mission! A friend bought a Meridian in 2009 for about $600,000 I think. He loves it. The only thing that I would say is don't shy away from one with obsolete avionics, assuming the price is right. A turboprop doesn't spend much time in the clouds. Plenty of Pilatus PC-12s have flown 10,000+ hours on neo-steam gauges (the Honeywell EFIS system). So, for example, an Avidyne-equipped Meridian or even a Meggitt, will be a huge step-up in practical utility compared to any piston-powered airplane.

Given the length of your typical trip, the hourly running cost of something like an Embraer Phenom 100 might not be that different, by the way, given the high cost of overhauling a PT6 engine and the fact that the Phenom 100 is so much faster against a headwind. So don't rule out VLJs in the long run.

-- Philip Greenspun, October 11, 2015