Bargain Buys on AircraftForSale: 1976 Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah | Aviation

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Today’s Top Pick is a sought-after four-place machine with great handling, outstanding visibility, and a price that’s substantially lower than normal.

Pilots interested in an economical, fun-to-fly four-place aircraft should consider this 1976 Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah, which is available for $60,000 on AircraftForSale.

The Cheetah is the mid-range model among Grumman’s four-place offerings. Equipped with a 150-horsepower Lycoming O-320, the AA-5A Cheetah was essentially a modified version of the original AA-5 Traveler, adding important upgrades such as a larger horizontal stabilizer that results in a wider center of gravity range and 15 additional gallons of fuel capacity.

With over 3,000 examples built between 1971 and 2006, the AA-5 family of aircraft is common enough that parts are plentiful and easily sourced. Additionally, the vibrant Grumman Owners and Pilots Association enthusiastically supports new Grumman owners with knowledge, expertise, and regular events. And as we discovered in last summer’s comparison between the AA-5 and the Mooney M-20 series, the Grumman’s fixed landing gear results in insurance premiums that are thousands of dollars less per year than retractable gear alternatives.

Most important, however, is the flying experience. Rather than traditional cables, torque tubes and push/pull rods are used to actuate the ailerons, resulting in quick, precise, fingertip handling. The unique Grumman canopy offers a panoramic view and slides back on rails to provide cabin access from both sides. On warm days, it can be left partially open in flight, and it can be slid fully aft after landing to dump hot cabin air.

This particular example has just over 3,000 hours on the airframe and 1,847 hours on the engine since major overhaul. While this is coming up on the 2,000-hour TBO, prospective buyers should note that the $60,000 asking price is substantially less than the $79,000 average price for the Cheetahs we surveyed last…

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