Texas Top Aviation at the AOPA Fly-In


Where were you on April 26th?

AOPA Fly In LogoTexas Top Aviation was at the AOPA Regional Fly-In at the San Marcos Regional Airport (KHYI).  If you weren’t there, you certainly missed out spending time with 2,500 other airplane and flying enthusiasts!

The day began somewhat gloomy and windy with the threat of rain.  Organizers feared that weather would keep a lot of people from coming.  Boy, were they wrong!

There were many classic airplanes, many modern and pretty nicely equipped airplanes, and everything in between.  There were aviation celebrities, Rod Machado and the Kings of King Schools fame, to name a few.  Not to mention the fabulous BBQ!

N132BBTexas Top Aviation had several drawings for free training and 3 lucky winners.  We also had a Lancair Super ES for sale, N132BB (which made the San Marcos Record newspaper!). It definitely stood out with it’s unique paint job.  The flames on the tail drew many oohs and aahs.

Departing the San Marcos Airport after the fly in was like battling traffic in Austin at rush hour (though, Austin doesn’t have any air traffic controllers).  The San Marcos controllers probably hadn’t seen that much traffic since the airport was an Army Air Base back during WWII.  It was quite a sight to see all the exhibitor’s airplanes lined up ready to head skyward.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by the Texas Top Aviation booth!  It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future!

Texas Top Aviation

Hank Gibson and Russell Moore of Texas Top Aviation


Beechcraft Bonanza Ownership


If you walk up to any Beechcraft Bonanza sitting on the ramp at an airport and ask the owner, “How do you like your Bonanza?” be prepared to stand there and listen for 15-20 minutes while he brags about his airplane.

V35 Bonanza

The thing about Beechcraft Bonanza owners is that they are almost a part of a cult. They will tell you up and down why the Bonanza is the best airplane out there. They’ll tell you why all the others don’t even come close. They’ll tell you about the payload, the six seats, the variety of configurations you can select from, the ability to land pretty much anywhere. By the time you walk away, you will probably be convinced to buy one yourself.

Bonanza’s are great airplanes. For those of you new to the single engine piston market, a good comparison for a Beechcraft Bonanza would be a Suburban. Not the flashiest ride out there, but extremely capable, comfortable, and family conscious. If you’re hauling a load, you’ll take a Bonanza over a Cirrus or Mooney any day. Have six people? No problem!

One of the best things about a Beechcraft Bonanza is the variety of designs. Four seats, six seats, long range tanks, tip tanks, turbo charged, normally aspirated, steam gauge, G1000, Aspen or G500 retrofitted, dual yoke, single yoke, leather, cloth, and a variety of different colors out there on the market make finding a Bonanza that fits your need pretty easy.

When it comes to picking out an airplane, the first question is always the mission. If you’re thinking about a Beechcraft Bonanza, you’ve already determined you need something with a good useful load. Do you need four seats or six? Depends on how often you’ll be carrying someone or how new of an airplane you want. Older Bonanzas have four seats, but a lot have had significant updating. Newer A36 and B36 Bonanzas have six seats, but are going to cost you more.

Beech Bonanza

Do you need a turbo charged Bonanza? If you’re in a high elevation area or expect to visit the mountains a lot, then absolutely. If you want a better cruise speed and don’t mind a little less useful load, then go for it. If you’re more concerned about being able to load it up and you aren’t going to cross the Rockies often, then normally aspirated is what you want. You’re probably looking at about 160-170 KTAS with the normally aspirated whereas you get between 180-190 KTAS at altitude with the turbo.

Do you need tip tanks? Tip tanks have two advantages. One is the most obvious: you get to carry more fuel, therefore you get to go farther without having to stop (or when you stop for the bathroom, you don’t have to fill up with gas). The other advantage is you get a bump up in useful load. I talked to a Beechcraft Bonanza owner a few weeks ago who had tip tanks on his. He told me max gross on his Bonanza was 3,800 pounds and was eligible for an upgrade of up to 4,000 pounds and all it took was paper work for the STC. That’s quite a bit of load!

G36 Bonanza

Are Bonanzas hard to fly? When moving up from a typical 172 or Cherokee that most people learn to fly in, it does take some adjustment. But, with good Bonanza training from a qualified Bonanza training instructor, then the transition is no problem. There are tons of resources out there to aid all future and present Bonanza owners in their foray into the Bonanza nation. With the American Bonanza Society and Bonanza Pilot Training, there is no lack of training, thoughts and opinions.

In need of an airplane that can pretty much do whatever you need? Then a Bonanza may be right for you.


Making An Aircraft Purchase


You have finally decided it’s time to make an aircraft purchase.  You’ve got your private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

You’ve been flying for 3 years, mainly renting the Piper Arrow at the local flight school.  You’ve had some frustrations at times with scheduling, since the Arrow is also used for training at the flight school.  The airplane isn’t very well taken care of, is kind of old, and breaks a lot.

After several weekends of trying to book the airplane to take a weekend trip to the family cabin, your frustration finally boils over.  It’s time to make an aircraft purchase.

Time for Trade-A-Plane?

Here’s a better question:  Have you bought an airplane before?  Do you know the process?  Do you know what to look for in maintenance records?  Do you know what ADs are required?  Is the airplane priced higher than it’s valued?


Overwhelmed yet?  Texas Top Aviation is here to help in your Aircraft Purchase.  Visit our Aircraft Purchase Consultation page for more information.  Ready to buy?  Contact Texas Top Aviation today!