Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hangar Search

I looked at a hangar today at KOAK for the Baron.  My old CFI from when I got my commercial out of California Airways gave me the reference... seems like a warm lead is the only way to get a hangar around here.  It is a nice sized T-Hangar at the end of the row on the runway side, which is cool because it means I could pull out a chair and watch runway 27/9 traffic.  There is plenty of space inside for other storage, and the price is pretty reasonable at $375 /mo on a month to month lease.  That's about as cheap as it gets for the Bay Area, and KOAK is class C and reasonably central for me from where I live in Berkeley.  I measured the width and door to door it is a bit more than 41 ft wide.  The B55 is 37 ft 10 inches, so it's pretty tight in width, leaving only about a foot and a half on either side.  If I ever wanted to add the winglet mod I'd probably be out of width.  There is also a bigger T-Hangar available a few rows down for $450, which is big enough to fit the plane and a car or two inside.  Hmmm... not that I need to store a car though...

The hangars at OAK are a ground lease from the port of Oakland and there are no power hookups as far as I know.  I'd have to buy a generator if I need power for any reason, such as maintenance or maybe to operate a small beer fridge :)  If I want to be based at KOAK, this is probably my deal though.  One disadvantage of being based at KOAK is going to be car traffic getting there on the 880 freeway, which can be brutal sometimes.  Also TSA security at Charlie airports is brute force these days. I would have to take a two day TSA class just to get a gate pass.

One alternative is KCCR, which is a great airport and I'm already on a 100 person waiting list for a $350/mo box hangar, which are bigger than the one I just looked into at OAK.  I could also tie the plane down for $60 /mo at KCCR for a standard row spot, or $90 /mo for a taxi-thru spot.  Obviously that saves some dough but I lose the space to store stuff and the plane sits in the sun and rain.  Weather is mild here and there are a lot of planes tied down that look nice, but still my preference is to hangar it if possible. 

Another alternative is San Rafael, which is $495 / mo but has power and even though it's over a toll bridge it's actually about the same distance, and could even be faster depending on traffic.  Problems with San Rafael are no instrument approach and shorter runway, which may affect my insurance.  Kicker is that my business partner and one of my best friends actually owns the airport... well his family does.  Still, it's actually run/managed by a sub-company and so far no "discount" has been forthcoming.  

This KOAK T is not going to be available for a few weeks yet, there was still a nice Citabria inside when I looked at it.   That's perfect though since I still don't have the darned plane.  I'm leaning towards going for it...

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