Best Plane for Family Cross Country Trips?

My dream is to work as flying doctor with a missions organization such as MAF.

Right now I’m taking a few years off before I go into medical school… I want to travel around the world with my mom and younger sister (12 years old). I’ve been thinking of purchasing (or building) a plane but this would be my first plane and I’m looking for recommendations.

For our first year we will be traveling around the United States to places such as Niagra Falls, Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, etc.

All we need is something to get all three of us (and some luggage, maybe a tent) from point A to point B. Our home is in northern Illinois so an airplane that could get us from Illinois to the East Coast non-stop would be great (a range of about 550-600 miles).

Year two would involve flying internationally and if anyone could provide tips on doing that, I would sure appreciate it. Insurance tips would be great too.

Our combined weight would be around 400lbs excluding luggage. We’re all under 6′ tall. Price is a consideration, and we’ll probably end up buying a used plane. Thanks!

Comments

  1. T.J. says:

    I just have a few ideas for some aircraft you could take a look at to fill your need. Piper Arrow, Dakota, or anything larger; Cessna 177, 182, 206, or 210; or Beechcraft Bonanza. Most of those aircraft should get you pretty close to the East coast non-stop from Chicago, it might be cutting it pretty close on fuel, though. I would personally suggest a turbo pressurized Cessna 210. It’ll be able to get you to the east coast and be able to handle the high altitudes out west. You’ll need to have a high performance/complex to fly it and instrument rating to take full advantage of it though. Enjoy your travels!

  2. Rick says:

    Cessna 182. It’s a proven workhorse, been around for decades, has at least a 600-650nm range, is easy to work on and parts are plentiful. Click on the link below for more choices.

  3. Jerad G says:

    A bushwacker

  4. The Mad Fisherman says:

    Hi!

    I am very into airplanes and I know a lot about them! The best airplane would be something along the lines of a twin engine turbo-prop. The King Air B200 is probably the best choice. It can reach high altitudes, has a cruise speed of about 230 knots, and it can fly over 1,500NM. It also has the takeoff capability of runways less than 5000 feet and 2500 for landing! Plus, the max weight is 12,000lbs.
    If you wanted to move into the jet category, then the Cessna Citation would be your best choice!
    I hope this helped and hope for blue skies and long contrails!

  5. James V says:

    I’ve read a few of the answers received already, and I will add my two cents. “Price is a consideration”, speaks volumes as does “going into medical school”. Those two statements tell us that you don’t want to spend a lot on useless instruments and useful load….and….I might be speaking out of turn, but you aren’t making big bucks…yet.

    With this in mind, I agree fully with the answer Cessna 182. During this financial crunch that is still up to debate whether we will get out of or not, the C-182 prices have now been in the range of what I would call normal. That is, you can get a mid to late 80′s 182 with a fresh annual and low hour engine for the low to mid 100′s. This will get you a plane that can haul three adults with all the luggage you can fit into the other open seat and luggage area or four adults with nominal luggage each. All of this with full tanks and the range your looking for.

    I hope this helps.

    p.s. no knock on the King Air comment, but can I move into your world?? A King Air costs anywhere from 750K to well over a million dollars. If this cost is in line with “price is a consideration”, I’m up for adoption my new friend! :)

  6. amaan says:

    Family of three and four seat light aircraft
    History

    Development from the basic AB-95 (which first flew in 1959) has spawned one of the largest families of GA types yet developed in South America.

    Versions of the AB-95 include the AB-95 Standard, the AB-95 De Lujo with a 75kW (100hp) Continental O-200A engine, the AB-95A Fumigador ag aircraft with the O-200A engine and fitted for crop dusting or spraying, the AB-115BS air ambulance fitted with a stretcher, the more powerful AB-95B, and the AB-95-115 with a more streamlined engine cowling housing a 85kW (115hp) O-235 engine, and main wheel fairings.

    From the AB-95-115 Aero Boero developed the AB-115BS with increased wing span, greater fin sweepback and longer range, and the AB-115 Trainer. Brazil ordered 450 Trainers in the late 1980s for its aero clubs.

    The AB-180 first flew in the late 1960s and was offered in three and four seat versions with differing wingspans and a more powerful powerplant than those featured on the earlier AB-95 and AB-115. Developments included the AB-180RV with greater range, reprofiled fuselage and sweptback fin; the glider tug AB-180RVR; the high altitude AB-180 Condor with optional engine turbocharger; AB-180AG agricultural aircraft and the two seat AB-180PSA preselection aircraft for student pilot flight grading. An experimental biplane AB-180SP was also developed.

  7. cherokeeflyer says:

    Piper Cherokee Six
    Cessna 210

  8. ARMAN ALI says:

    Family of three and four seat light aircraft
    History

    Development from the basic AB-95 (which first flew in 1959) has spawned one of the largest families of GA types yet developed in South America.

    Versions of the AB-95 include the AB-95 Standard, the AB-95 De Lujo with a 75kW (100hp) Continental O-200A engine, the AB-95A Fumigador ag aircraft with the O-200A engine and fitted for crop dusting or spraying, the AB-115BS air ambulance fitted with a stretcher, the more powerful AB-95B, and the AB-95-115 with a more streamlined engine cowling housing a 85kW (115hp) O-235 engine, and main wheel fairings.

    From the AB-95-115 Aero Boero developed the AB-115BS with increased wing span, greater fin sweepback and longer range, and the AB-115 Trainer. Brazil ordered 450 Trainers in the late 1980s for its aero clubs.

    The AB-180 first flew in the late 1960s and was offered in three and four seat versions with differing wingspans and a more powerful powerplant than those featured on the earlier AB-95 and AB-115. Developments included the AB-180RV with greater range, reprofiled fuselage and sweptback fin; the glider tug AB-180RVR; the high altitude AB-180 Condor with optional engine turbocharger; AB-180AG agricultural aircraft and the two seat AB-180PSA preselection aircraft for student pilot flight grading. An experimental biplane AB-180SP was also developed.

  9. Murtaza says:

    From the AB-95-115 Aero Boero developed the AB-115BS with increased wing span, greater fin sweepback and longer range, and the AB-115 Trainer. Brazil ordered 450 Trainers in the late 1980s for its aero clubs

  10. Lucas says:

    Piper PA-6 Sky Sedan
    Can be piloted by 1 with a capacity of 4 powered by a one Franklin, 140 hp (100 kW) with a maximum speed of 140 mph (230 km/h)

    Piper Cherokee Six
    Piloted by one (capacity of five or six) with a gross weight of 3400 Ib. A maximum speed of 174 mph (280 km/h) though cruise speed is 168 mph. The range is 840 miles. It is a single engine plane.

    Piper PA-28 Cherokee
    Capacity of three passengers with a NACA 652-415 Airfoil and a take-off maximum weight of 2150 Ibs. Cruise speed is 108 knots (124 mph, 201 km/h), stall speed is 47 knots. Range is 465 nautical miles (867 km) – single engine.

    Cessna 172
    Single engine, four seat aircraft with a max take off weight of 2,450 Ib. Maximum speed of 123 knots, cruise speed at 122 knots (140 mph, 226 km/h), range of 610 nautical miles (790 miles or 1272 km) at 55% power at 12000 feet.

    Beechcraft Musketeer
    Four seat aircraft, 2400 Ib takeoff weight, 650 mile range, cruise speed of 146 mph (235 km/h)