Piston Pressurized Singles


I will probably be purchasing an aircraft in the coming year and am considering the possibility of perhaps a Cessna P210 or comparable other make ($150k ballpark) . I must confess that I don’t know ANYTHING about pressurization systems in light aircraft. :blush:

What should I know about the costs of maintenance and operation of pressurized singles to make an informed and intelligent purchase decision? What else should I know this category of aircraft?


Experiences I have had with 210s are that they are noisy, very noisy. Just not a big fan. Let’s see, Mooneys, Malibus, and Bonanzas with decent times on them are all possibly out of the area of price you are trying to stay in (now that I have typed that, why didn’t I just say budget?).



Why do you want a pressurized single?

Mooney only produced one pressurized aircraft, the M22 Mustang. There were not many built (19 registered with FAA) and although it’s kind of a unique aircraft, probably not something I would buy.

I’ve never heard of a pressurized Bonanza. There was a Pressurized Baron but they are not very common, representing less than 10% of all Barons.

P210 is the most common and you can get them in your price range (including anx head sets). I don’t think the pressurization system is extremely complicated or costly to maintain. However, it is one more thing to go wrong and thus cost money on an aircraft that is at least 25 years old.


Wazzu asks a very important question, why pressurization.

Pressurization can greatly add to costs of maintenance, as well as necessary training. Add to that the amount of power it takes to make pressure is fairly tough on a piston single (meaning more maintenance on the engine as well).

If you have a good reason, then the P210 and Malibu are your likely choices. If you buy a low end one, you will likely lose more in maintenance than you save in capital. Buy a solid one, even if you have to borrow the difference.

I am not especially knowledgeable on pressurization, but I believe that the Cessna twins are the best. The P210 has a rep for maintenance. As do Malibu’s. Not a big deal until I hear you say your price limit. Then, I have to wonder if this is a bad idea for you.


I’m considering a single over a twin simply for overall cost reduction. Other possible factors for consideration are the number of seats and payload, speed, passenger comfort (thought pressurized cabin would also mean quieter), safety (fewer airplanes at higher altitudes and gives more options when inadvertently flying into icing conditions).

I’m guessing that oxygen must be flowing in the cabin when pressurized. If so, how much is used between say four people in an hour and how much does that amount to costwise?


I think you might be confusing Pressurized with Turbocharged. Turbocharged aircraft give you most the features you describe with the benefit of not requiring oxygen since it pumps the cabin with air. Generally Pressurized singles are also turbos that use bleed air to add pressure to the cabin. With a pressurized plane, there is no cost for oxygen, but generally a high maintenance cost due to shorter overhaul cycles.


Pressurized aircraft use oxygen only for back up. You can breath because the aircraft adds pressure to the cabin to decrease the effective altitude.

Is this your first plane? Are you going to be the pilot?

Insurance companies smartly require a lot of experience before allowing owners to insure pressurized aircraft. There are lots more things that can go wrong, and at the higher altitude, they become drastic much more quickly.

If you want to be where there is less traffic, and have more cabin comfort, just get a nice single with built in oxygen. There is less traffic between 12,000 and 18,000 than anywhere else, and your passengers don’t have to use the oxygen if they don’t want to. Most people are fine at 16,000 feet and below with an occasional puff of oxygen to clear the head (passengers of course, pilots should consider using ox even lower than required). Get them an ox conserving mask that they can wear or hold up as desired.

I will start another thread that you might be interested in.