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C185 VS Helio

Started by C185D, August 29, 2018, 12:32:53 PM

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I just recently sold my 185 and have been considering a Helio.  I’m an IA but I’ve never worked on Helios nor flown one.  How does the MX cost and requirements compare to the 185?  I’m located in Alaska and there are several Helios up for sale, where are some of the problem areas to look at on a prebuy?  Is the spar AD a big job to inspect?

Kevin Dunn

Fly one before you buy one. They are different than a C185. If you are serious about it, get some dual. There are several guys from AK that are on this site that might be able to help you out with at least a ride. Before you fly it solo, please get some dual. Too many guys have ground looped on the way home after the purchase.


Doug Schrage

If you can wait a few weeks, I'd be happy to take you for a demo ride. My engine is currently being overhauled, so it will probably be a month before we could go. I'm in Fairbanks. I don't have any 185 time, but I have a few hundred hours in a 170. I really, really love flying the Helio. I have close to 1500 hours in Helios. Nothing like it. Well maybe a Wilga.

The expensive items that you wouldn't be familiar with are the reduction gear, landing gear legs, and like you said, the carry-through spar. Like I said my engine (& reduction gear) are being overhauled now, estimated $42K - this includes me having to buy a new crankshaft for $8K. Landing gear can be repaired (they are heat-treated), and go for around $8K to $10K. I advise you to have the landing gear x-rayed during pre-purchase inspection. There are a couple of methods of AD compliance for the spar, depending on when it was done. It can be x-rayed in place as far as I know. Some of the mechanics on this site can correct me or elaborate on this.

Happy to answer and specific questions you have about owning and operating. I'm not an A&P.