Little Red is a 180HP 1978 Cessna 172N. She climbs quick, looks sharp, has the best all-glass cockpit you’ve ever seen in a 172, and is a joy to fly!
Photo by Sean Patrick (from LWM Pilots Facebook group)
Membership is $381/mo. There’s no initiation fee, and you can cancel anytime.
The flying cost is $122.50 per wet tach-hour.
Compared to a rented 180HP Cessna 172, this is 43% cheaper at full cruise and 77% cheaper while taxiing.
On paper, financial break-even comes at about five hours per month, or lower if you go on multiday trips. In practice, there’s no comparison, because you can’t find a 172 for rent that’s anywhere near this nice.
Additional Financial Benefits
As a group of shared operators, we have super favorable terms compared to FBOs and most flying clubs:
- No cash buy-in or security deposit.
- No monthly hour requirements.
- No per-reserved-day minimums when you go on trips. Pay only for the hours you actually fly.
- No rental insurance needed (you are a named pilot on our policy, and our insurer does not subrogate against named pilots).
- Fuel ups while traveling are reimbursed at full cost even if it’s more than our home rate.
- No pre-payments required. You can pay via Venmo after each flight.
- No liability for unforeseen maintenance.
- Hangared year round.
- Canvas covers are provided so you can tie down on the cheap at your destination.
- Tanis engine heater makes for easy winter starting, and you can turn it on by text message instead of making an extra trip to the airport.
- A portable engine heater is also available to take with you, if you need to warm the engine without an outlet.
- We’re capped at five members, to maximize availability.
- Scheduling is easy – just send a Google Calendar invite.
- We use a full service FBO for local fuel-ups, so all you have to do to top off is send a text message or make a phone call.
- 1978 172N with Avcon 180HP conversion. Climbs like a bat out of hell!
- Sharp red paint.
- Good interior. Plastic shows its age, but the seats and fabric are in great shape.
- All-glass, fully redundant, IFR certified glass cockpit
- Dynon 10” Pilot PFD, 7” Pilot MFD, 3.8” Pilot backup EFIS
- Dynon 10” Copilot PFD
- Dynon ADS-B in/out weather and traffic
- Dynon engine and fuel monitor
- Dynon autopilot
- Avidyne IFD-540 GPS
- LED landing, taxi, anti-collision, beacon, tail, and position lights
- 406 MHz ELT
- Ground power system, so you can learn the avionics inside and out without paying for flight time.
Using the Engine Heater
We have an engine heater for reliable starting in winter weather. The plug receptacle is next to the oil dipstick, and it can be turned on by phone call or text message. Ask me for the phone number.
Please be sure to use the heater in cold weather – it saves a lot of engine wear compared to a cold start.
When the outside air temperature is under 50 degrees F, please turn the engine heater on 6-18 hours before you fly. If you’re flying in the morning, just turn it on before you go to bed.
To turn on the heater, text it “12”. You will receive a response indicating its status. In bad weather/cell reception, it can take up to an hour to receive a response. Once the heater turns on, it will remain on for 18 hours and then turn off. This way if you cancel your flight, you don’t have to remember to text the heater again to turn it off, and nobody risks turning off somebody else’s timer by accident.
When you get to the plane, turn the heater off by pressing the red button on the switchbox, then unplug the heater.
Safety, safety, safety.
We are a low-key, easygoing, and flexible group. The only area where we are rigid is safety. Please speak up if you notice anything or make any mistake that could cause a safety issue. We’re not ones to get mad about such things. We’re all human, and that’s why we have insurance.
Pilots are liable for and agree to pay for any damage they cause that is not covered by our insurance. Normal wear and tear is excluded, as it is priced into our operating costs.
If there’s less than 30g when you put the plane back in the hangar, please call in a fuel-up. We’re on account with Eagle East Aviation, so you can just call them at 978-683-3314 or UNICOM 122.85 and tell them you’d like N934GR filled to tabs. If the attendant isn’t familiar with the plane, just mention we are on the north ramp and they have an access code.
If you need to get fuel at another airport, text a photo of your receipt for immediate reimbursement.
We use a Google calendar to manage all airplane booking. To book a flight, create a calendar event and add “N934GR” as a guest to it. The calendar will automatically accept it if there is no conflict with prior bookings. This acceptance is your booking confirmation.
You can click on the N934GR calendar to see when it’s booked vs available.
Please err toward overestimating how long you will have the plane so that nobody is stuck waiting.
All payments are made via Venmo.
On the last day of the month, you will receive a request for the monthly fixed operating costs for the following month.
Immediately after your flight, please submit a flight log. The form will tell you the operating cost of the flight. Please send that amount via Venmo, with a reference to the date of the flight.
Multiday trips are fine, just be respectful of your fellow pilots. Please use the canvas covers if tying down outside for extended periods.