Navy Pilot Owned: 1965 Cessna 150F

This 1965 Cessna 150F belonged to the seller’s grandfather, who apparently owned several planes that he flew following a career as a Navy and commercial airline pilot. Like any guy who loved transportation and the freedom it enabled, he owned several planes that have all since been sold. This Cessna is listed here on eBay with no reserve, and is being sold without log books.

The plane has been parked since 2008, when the seller’s grandfather became physically unable to fly. The 150 was one of the most widely produced Cessna models, and it seems to me you can’t visit a small, regional airport without finding a few of these parked in storage areas at the ends of runways. They accommodate just two passengers and feature tricycle-style landing gear.

The “F” designation was simply a way to label where this year’s model fell in the succession of the 150 family. The 150F introduced flaps that could be electrically actuated and a larger baggage compartment. Just over 3,000 “F” models were made, and this one appears to have been kept in excellent condition, despite the prolonged storage in a hangar in Kentucky since ’08.

Total hours are noted as being 1,756. The seller claims his grandfather flew regularly and kept all of his aircraft in excellent condition. The appearance of the cockpit and the body both seem to support that claim, but true aviation experts will be better able to sort out a fair price for this plane considering no logbooks are present. Which model Cessna would you want to fly?


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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Interesting, BF listing a plane which has been sitting in a hangar, instead of a car, like the recently featured Cadillac.

    I love the concept of having a plane to fly. But the budget isn’t there. From what I do know, however, the FAA is keen on seeing that whatever aircraft are flying around the country are safe to operate in skies over us all. So I wonder what it would take to bring this one into compliance?

    Like any internal combustion powered vehicle, the fuel system might be a source of problems. Cleaning out the wing tanks could be expensive. Certainly it would be important to redo the entire fuel system. Even av-gas must turn to varnish after more than a decade. Something which mystifies me: Why no log books? Those usually stay with a plane, and the seller’s grandfather must have been a “by the book” kind of guy.

    Like 11
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We have featured many planes over the years. Heck, we’ve had a few trains and even a space shuttle!

      Like 14
    • kiteflier

      When I was a kid the old man took me to an airshow in the 1960s and we got to take a ride in one of these. It was fantastic and when we landed the old man said, “I’ll buy it for $5000 and you can learn to fly so you can take me places”. He signed the papers and I went to sleep that night dreaming of being a regular “Sky King”. All was good until he sobered up the next morning..

      Like 12
    • William

      A typical annual maintenance review would cost about $2500. On this plane, sitting for so many years, it would probably reach into the $8000 range. What really hurts the value of this plane is the missing log books. That will hurt the value going forward to future owners.

      Like 7
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I learned to fly primarily in a Cessna 172 (and later was partners in one) but I learned STALLS & SPINS in a 150. They were like driving a 36 hp VW compared to a 172. I remember the one I flew had a ‘Cruise Prop’ and took forever to get up to the proper altitude. But boy, could it spin! And everyone is right, you don’t feel like you’re spinning; the ground is spinning.

    This looks like a nice airplane but bear in mind that it hasn’t been certified for 11 years, and is about to roll over to 12. Everything is going to hit you at once. And if the logbooks aren’t up to date, you’re in for an engine/prop major for sure, which could happen anyway. Radio/Navcom equipment will also need to be checked out and certified. I might add that it was the radio equipment that soured me on owning my own plane; I couldn’t afford it on a mechanic’s wages.

    Considering what you can buy a certified, flying model for, the price on this one is going to need to reflect what you’ll need to do to get this up in the sky again. Just remember, if this quits on you, you cannot simply coast to the side of the road and walk for help…

    Like 19
  3. Ken Nelson

    What jumped out at me was the statement of no logbooks. That means a new set has to be built from its day of birth and every AD and modification has to be verified or complied with. This chore can greatly cost more than the value of the plane.

    Like 9
    • fcs

      Missing log books are indeed bad and will affect the value.

      However, I don’t think it is as bad as most pilots make it out to be. It doesn’t take someone with an A&P/IA to do the research. Anybody can do the leg work and have an A&P/IA sign off on it. Costs? Whatever your time is worth plus $1000 if you have a really expensive A&P/IA.

      I own and fly a ’49 Bonanza that has no logs from the ’70s. Certainly affects the value, but then again I’m never selling it.

      Like 5
  4. DanaPointJohn

    In 1976, I learned to fly in a Cessna 172. About a year later was certified in a Cessna 210. Then babies came along and guess what, no more time or money to keep up my hours. The 172 is a fine airplane, but this one will need a complete going through to make it air worthy. As noted earlier, when the engine shuts off there is no coasting to the side of the road.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I had it figured out that it cost a minimum of $100 every time the wheels left the ground. If I would’ve kept the airplane I would’ve had to give up EVERY other thing I loved to do…

      Like 7
      • Howard A. Member

        If you have a problem with the high cost of classic cars, like me, one surely has no business in the aviation industry. It’s always been a rich persons hobby. It’s the one thing I regret the most in my life, was not learning to fly. Had maybe half a dozen rides in small planes, but enjoyed every one. I did find, the bottom wing restricts your downward vision, which cut the fun tremendously. I mean, you can’t really see over the dash, and sky is sky. Is there any advantage to a bottom wing, as opposed to this, because these top wings seem much better. Not on a truckers salary either. The cookie just didn’t crumble that way.

        Like 5
  5. Mike

    Took a “learn to fly” starter flight for $175 just to see what it was all about since our house is kinda sorta in the flight path of a tiny local airport. It seemed that the basics are easy to learn (turning, throttle control, ascend and descend), but there’s a lot to learn with communication, procedures and landing. The introductory flight was only 1/2 hour in the air, but I tacked on an extra hour for sightseeing. It was going really well until the instructor dipped the plane up and down and then my stomach suddenly wanted to purge its contents. Managed to hold it down and we landed. It was an interesting experience that people should go out and try at least once. It seems owning a plane is a very expensive hobby.

    Like 9
  6. Pookie Jamie

    Being a light sport pilot, I’m going to see if this can classify as a LSA…. I learned in a light sport cessna 162….the motto I go by is…. a mile of road can only take you a mile. A mile of runway can take you anywhere…. this plane is an awesome find, but without log books it’s not worth much. It’s going to need things to make it legal…… IMO..

    Like 7
    • James Schwartz

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think the C-150 qualifies as a LSA.

      Like 2
  7. Jay E.

    No Logbooks?? Yipes!!! Like Jamie says, possible LSA, but other than that this is a tough sell. No engine logbooks either? It is a very attractive airplane, I would spend a lot of time chasing down prior owners, hopefully they have receipts or copies to reconstruct the times. Or like Ken says, this is going to terribly affect the value. The cost of buying this is definitely going to be the cheapest part, but at 15k already it is starting to hit the value of some with logbooks. Perhaps there is more to this. The logbooks are SOMEWHERE!!! Looks like the airworthiness certificate is next to the front door.
    For around 2K you can get a pretty good idea whether flying is for you. Either it is or it isn’t. Possibly even solo. Then the world of Ultralights and LSA will open up and the cost of flying is less than owning a fishing boat.
    I got bit at 14 and 50 years later I’m still hooked. Have made a living flying anything with wings, Love Ultralights now.

    Like 7
  8. Mark Epperson Member

    This won’t be a tough sell. These 150’s are becoming rare and from the condition it won’t take a second mortgage to get it in good shape. Perfect project for an A and P.

    Like 4
  9. Clipper

    I do not believe this can be classified LSA — largely due to its weight. While the FAA has stated it is considering increasing the LSA weight limit, that’s probably 2-3 years out if it even happens.

    There is also a rule preventing, for example, an STC from dropping the gross weight of certified aircraft in order to achieve LSA status.

    Most new pilots prefer certified aircraft — even older ones like this 150 — over LSAs. But, there are some really nice LSAs too. Vans RV12 for example.

    I would also agree with some comments above. Decent Cessna 150s go for around $25-30k. This one could easily need enough work bringing it back to flight status to get underwater fast. Or it could be a good deal for someone who does their due-dilligence. It certainly looks like it has been well-kept. Not having logbooks, while undesirable, isn’t the end of the world for a low-dollar (relatively speaking of course) aircraft such as this.

    Like 3
    • Steve P

      You are correct

  10. Jack Quantrill

    Fly away from this one! No logbooks is the kiss of death for this 150.

    Like 1
  11. Mark Epperson Member

    I disagree. As one who has refurbished older airplanes, log books really don’t mean much. Especially simple airplanes like the 150. If it had logbooks, I wold be more interested in the last 10 years,not the previous ones. The FAA has records that you can order and depending on how much info the owner has sent it. As a former Naval Aviator and Airline Pilot I would imagine this gentleman took very good care of the aircraft. Still, it is a crapshoot in some degree and this is a perfect airplane for a IA, A&P or some mechanically inclined.

    Like 4
    • Steve P

      I agree Mark, a 150 isn’t going to take a value hit like a bonanza or other high performance aircraft that didn’t have logs. Could easily find out who was doing his annuals over the years to get some history. As you said, last 10 yrs of storage is the key. The little continental engines are easy to tear down and inspect, prop is fixed pitch so a good visual on that. Rest of the plane, just open her up for inspection of cables, look for corrosion or old damage repairs, etc.

      Like 4
  12. John

    If they tracked down who did the aircraft maintenance for the owner, that’s where you’ll probably find the logbooks. Most aircraft engineering companies hold these for the owners, as they are the ones required to update the records. Shame this one isn’t an ‘Aerobat’, as they are the ones rated for most aerobatic manoeuvres.

    Like 5
    • Steve P

      Having run a maintenance shop for years, we never kept customer logs except while performing maintenance, didn’t want the liability. Most owners like to keep their logs close to home. Also, the owner/operator is required by the FAA to make sure that the aircraft is airworthy and logs are up to date, not the maintainer. Maintainer just records the work that was asked to be done by the owner.

      Like 4
  13. BravoCharleyWindsor

    The deceased owner was also an A&P and AI so he may have made most of the aircraft’s logbook entries himself. I doubt the log books are truly gone. The heirs simply don’t know where the no doubt meticulous owner set them for safe keeping. But that is no help to a prospective buyer.
    The engine probably has a 2,000 hour time before overhaul requirement. So in all likelihood the engine will need to be considered for overhaul in slightly less than 250 hour of flight time. That can be expensive!
    For this plane the renewed annual inspection necessary to be deemed airworthy again will be more thorough (and thus more expensive) than typical, as others have stated.
    It will need a new transponder compliant to FAA ADSB Out requirements to fly in controlled airspace in the very near future. Again expensive, although some lower cost alternatives and promotions exist. It also may not be an IFR certified 150. More $$ to bring it to that level of capability! Interestingly, I see an older GPS unit to the left side of the control panel.
    Beyond those initial expenses in general a 150 is one of the most economical certified planes one can own, insure, and fly. They are not very fast so they are generally not ideal for cross country trips. They are considered to be good planes to affordably build time in for those looking to train and gain time towards higher certifications. But any lack of IFR equipment would limit this 150’s utility in the advanced training and cross country flier roles.

    Still, I wouldn’t mind having this hangered at the local strip for calm sunny day local sight seeing flights, $100 hamburger flights, and Sunday morning breakfast fly ins! What fun!

    Like 7
    • Steve P


      Like 4
    • Steve P

      Not the ideal aircraft for IFR. If it were mine, I would not spend the money for IFR capability. In a 150, you don’t want to even accidentally get into imc

  14. Pete

    Yeah I think they need to look in the Squids map case bet the log books are right there. :-) I dunno about civilian fixed wings if they have the same system for recording parts like the military. TSO, TSN etc and all that recorded on 2404’s that could be back checked by S/N and P/N.

    Like 1
    • BravoCharleyWindsor

      While not as diligent as military, FAA is no slouch when it comes to airworthiness of certified aircraft, components, and maintenance.

      My money is on the log books being in one of the cardboard boxes at the rear of the hangar?

      Nice David Clark headsets and push to talk switches too! Good bonus there! I hope the tires only need air and not replacement?!

      Would like to know why plane is chocked up on cinder blocks though (I thought that only happened to immobile cars around rural mobile homes!!) and see some pictures inside the cowl?!

      Like 2
  15. pat gill

    The 2000 hour TBO does not apply in the UK if you run it on a private use C of A, you just need to get the engine checked every 100 hours from memory, mainly a cylinder leakage check and oil pressure, I ran my C172M with a Lycoming 0320E2D up to 3000 hours before I sold it, still running and climbing well, the new owner fitted a very expensive zero timed engine and hardly flies it !!!!!!!

    Like 1
    • BravoCharleyWindsor

      Even in the US I think an engine can be flown past the TBO? I think I recall reading an article in either AOPA Pilot or EAA Sport Aviation about doing such safely and legally?

      Like 1
  16. Art

    I wonder how the owner knows the hours without logs

    Like 1
    • bravocharleywindsor

      Hobbs meter (hour meter) built right into the control panel.

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I thought about the Hobbs meter myself, but then, I remembered on my own 172 that the meter had been replaced. It was noted in the logbook.

        Like 1
      • Steve P

        Actual airframe, engine, prop, and accessory times are recorded on the tachometer, not the Hobbs. Hobbs are used to record the time that goes in your flight logbook, or in the case of a flight school, billable time.

  17. Steve P

    TBO,s are recommended by the manufacturer, not mandated by the FAA. Not even required as a part 135 operator unless your ops specs state so. I am currently working part time in retirement for a flight school where the 2200 recommended tbo lycomings push 4000 hrs before being replaced with new. Of course cylinders have been replaced multiple times “ on condition”

    Like 1
    • pat gill

      camshaft and lifter wear usually gets them in the end, regular oil changes help a lot, I used to change mine at I think 50 hours instead of waiting until 100,

      I would have thought the hours would be posted to the FAA / CAA at annual and 3 yearly checks, past hours don’t matter much if you are running for private use and on condition,

      • Steve P

        FAA does not have a database for aircraft hours, nor is the owner required to give it to them.

  18. H5mind

    I started taking flight lessons when I was 17, paying with my income at McDonald’s(!). My goal was to enter the Air Force Academy after graduation but eyeglasses put at end to that dream. I enjoyed the 172’s and many years later saw they still had the same plane I flew at our local airport.

    Like 2
  19. Steve P

    I started flying in 1973 taking lessons in a 1967 150. In the’80’s while my son was still in junior high and high school I would rent a 152 or 172 at the marathon airport in the Florida Keys and take my son for scenic rides. He got his pilots license in June of ’92, joined the Navy and became an F18 Super Hornet pilot and squadron commander. Very proud of that towhead kid!

    Like 8
  20. Steve P

    Don’t see rear view mirrors in planes any more

    Like 1
  21. Clipper

    Cessna 150 sold for $14,501. That’s seems fair for both buyer and seller. There’s a little headroom there to inspect and work out some (non-major!) issues. I’ll bet the logbooks turn up too. Parked since 2008…key variables are engine hours/TBO, and whether it and the fuel system was properly pickled for storage (as others have opined). Nice thing is it will fly again!

    Like 2
  22. Steve P


    • Mark Epperson Member

      Good deal for both.

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