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Piaggio Avanti

Old 8th Oct 2013, 06:07
  #61 (permalink)  
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Yep I learned something today, confirmation provided by westhawk that Teldorserious has not a clue. Good old Oz DNA, heh.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 17:48
  #62 (permalink)  

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I live about five miles due north of a very busy GA airport, just off the extended centerline of the main runway, 17-35. So I hear most aircraft that land. I can tell when it is a P180 when I hear one is landing, by hearing it and hearing it, and really hearing it as it passes overhead.

By using just my hearing, it sounds about twice as loud as a Kingair 200-350 and a lot nosier than a Turbo-Commander. Also, I have spent many a day in Aspen sitting around the airport waiting for passengers and have watched them takeoff in the summer time.

Damn it seems like they use a lot of runway both landing and taking off, a lot of runway.

westhawk, did you ever operate a P-180 out of ASE? I'm kind of curious on what kind of load and range you had in the summertime.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 20:24
  #63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by westhawk
It's unfortunate that misinformed individuals with few facts to back up their ill-conceived opinions feel the need to engage on this or any other site.
If it weren't for the misinformed, the internet would be pretty empty.
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Old 9th Oct 2013, 03:45
  #64 (permalink)  
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did you ever operate a P-180 out of ASE?
No con-pilot, I haven't. But like you, I've spent many an hour at ASE doing the same thing. The P180 does appear to climb at a pretty flat looking angle compared to most of the jets and turboprops I've watched take off there. But then I don't suppose we looked all that lively in the Westwind either! But I know our Lear 60 departures felt and looked good from the front seats! One 60 owner whose jet we managed used to request max effort climbs just because he liked it. Well, let's just say we were happy to accommodate his wishes...

You're missed
Thanks AZAV8R, I hope all is well.

If it weren't for the misinformed, the internet would be pretty empty.
Truer words never spoken!

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Old 10th Oct 2013, 16:04
  #65 (permalink)  

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But I know our Lear 60 departures felt and looked good from the front seats! One 60 owner whose jet we managed used to request max effort climbs just because he liked it. Well, let's just say we were happy to accommodate his wishes...
Some what the same here. Since the mid 70s I've operated Jet Commanders (don't ask, still have bad memories of that ), Westwind II (not all that bad), Sabre 40 (pretty good really), Sabre 65 (great in the winter), Falcon 50 & 50EX and the Falcon 900EX.

Only in the Falcons did I feel really comfortable. In the winter, early in the mornings on really cold and clear day, When the airport first opens, you can go non-stop from ASE to London in a Falcon 900EX. Winter or summer there is really no problems with the Falcons, even a straight 50.

My former boss loved the deck angle on the climb out of ASE in the Falcon 50 and the 900. So did I.
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Old 13th Oct 2013, 03:01
  #66 (permalink)  
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Teldorserious: "Only on PPRuNe do pilots think planes landing flight idle make more noise then full blast on departure."
Perhaps because it is based in (regulatory) fact, and not opinion?
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Old 13th Oct 2013, 07:13
  #67 (permalink)  
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on take off, engines are the noisiest, on landing configuration is.

This being said, this is the issue with the P180. Even with the AFM recommendation for "low noise", it does not meet local constraints.
And on top of it, this increases the landing distance so much that they do not meet public transport factorization.
Most of airports today are restricting night ops to Stage 3 minus 5...and even it does exist on props, there is a list of unfriendly aircrafts...

This is why stage 4 emerged, more stringent, yes, but showing only one number...less interpretation...
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 19:52
  #68 (permalink)  
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Notice another King Air door has fallen off in flight
The Avanti doesn't seem to have this problem
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 20:21
  #69 (permalink)  
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My old Commander 520 with the geared props and augmentor tubes was notoriously loud. Never set off the audio alarms at SMO, but I did at Long Beach, which has much higher tolerances. This is from an airport that regularly sees old noisy jets and military fighters. I have the letter to prove it. So these noise level measuring things are obviously not very reliable or consistent. Besides, the SMO banned list is it seems purely based on perception, not actual audio levels.

Last edited by AdamFrisch; 14th Oct 2013 at 20:21.
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Old 15th Oct 2013, 00:26
  #70 (permalink)  
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Adam: It seems apparent you really haven't given this matter the thought it deserves prior to posting.

If you don't want to believe the noise measuring equipment is consistent and based upon actual measured sound pressure levels, there's nothing anyone can tell you to change your mind. Live with your perceptions, facts be damned!

But for professional pilots who rely upon understanding how such systems work in order to fly without being in violation of local noise ordinances, that brand of ignorance simply won't cut it. Pilots who don't necessarily fly for a living can operate in a professional manner too, provided they trouble themselves to learn to do so. I know this to be true because I've given flight instruction to several such individuals. And some who couldn't be troubled as well, but not for very long. (Won't waste my efforts on the willfully ignorant for long)

BTW, LBG noise limits differ according to the time of day. Santa Monica's do not. SNA has rather stringent noise limits during night hours as well. Airliners can make it out of SNA and LBG during day and evening hours without busting the noise limits, but cannot during nighttime hours.

But just to steer this back to the thread subject...

People who want to buy a P180 should buy a P180! (pretty and fast)

People who want to buy a King Air should buy a King Air! (Solid short field performer and known quantity)

People who want to buy an airplane should do thorough research on performance capabilities, limitations and operational/maintenance requirements prior to selecting a particular type. This analysis should be tailored to the proposed mission requirements. If the potential buyer lacks the personal expertise to make a well informed choice on their own, then they should hire a well qualified and experienced disinterested third party to do an analysis and advise them. This investment of research work or money will often pay for itself many times over in saved expenses and buyers remorse down the road.

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Old 19th Jul 2015, 23:39
  #71 (permalink)  
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I've been a bit of a torch carrier for these just because they look so friggin cool and have such spectacular performance. Plus, I'm half Italian.. There's a lot of hearsay and misinformation out there about these. Everyone kept saying they break, they're unreliable, they can't be serviced, they're finicky Italian etc. So I thought I'd find out the truth and go directly to the source - an owner. Easier said than done, as it turned out. Not that many of them around owned by someone who actually flies it himself. The service centers were no use at all - none of them returned my emails when I asked if I could be put in contact with an operator. Either that's because they don't want the truth, or their clients didn't want to know, or they're just lazy.

Finally I got a hold of an owner in NorCal by sending a letter. He's a very successful Silicon Valley founder/owner of a giant computer business. We're talking biiig company here. I agreed to keep his real name out of it out of courtesy. Here are his answers to my questions:

How long have you owned the Piaggio?

Bought it new in Spring of 2007.

Does it meet book numbers?

Yes for speeds. I find it hard to meet runway length numbers. I use/prefer longer runways than minimum.

Is it a high or low workload single pilot airplane in your opinion?

Realizing I transitioned from a Cessna Stationair and a Bonanza, I think its moderate. I believe though in an emergency it's slightly more than a jet as we have props and power to manage, but its not a problem once you are familiar with the systems.

Was it a big step up from your previous plane?

Yes but I knew nothing about turboprops, pressurization, Collins avionics, high altitude flying, weather radar, etc.

How do you like flying it? How does it compare to other planes you've flown?

Love flying it. Its fun, fast, and “cool”. Two things make it different from other planes. First, when you fly into a cloud, the nose noticeably drops as the forward wing is small enough to be sensitive to the reduction in air molecules in the cloud. Second, when you go to land, you actually push forward on the yoke. The props, which become a barn door when power is removed, are actually behind the center of gravity. When their drag increases the nose pitches up. You need to “anti flare’ to keep the nose from going too high.

Anything else you'd care to add about the plane in general would be greatly appreciated.

When I got my plane new, I had lots of infant mortality/growing pains type issues. When I asked if this was normal or did I have a lemon, I was told for any other turboprop, yes I had a lemon. But the Piaggio has all the system sophistication of a mid-size biz jet and for that, no, the problems I was experiencing were in the range of normal. Everything settled out after about 6 months.

Has it been reliable? Good dispatch?

Yes by and large, after the early problems, the plane has been very reliable. Problems I have had have related to brakes, and door seals mainly. I have had 2 different flap motors go out too.

How have you found servicing the plane? Do you use a Piaggio service center or just a regular shop?

I have a mechanic assigned to my plane by the outfit that manages it, but most maintenance is done by a service center. I am in northern California and I use Mather Aviation in Sacramento.

How is the pricing on parts and service from Piaggio? Would you say it's more expensive than average, or about the same?

I have no real knowledge about other plane’s parts pricing but if I had to guess, yes things seem expensive. Also, its not such a high volume plane, that should also lend itself to price gouging by suppliers.

How are parts lead times and accessibility? Does it get shipped from Genoa, or is there stock in the US when something needs replacing?

I think most things come from the states. I don’t recall anything coming directly from Genoa.

What would you say your average annaul/phase/100hr inspection costs have been?

I still need to research this so I will send my other answers now and get back to you on this. I thought it would have been easier to extract from the reports I am given but, alas, its buried in the details.

Heard there's a 12 year overhaul on the landing gear that's expensive. Have you done this and would you be able to indicate the cost of doing it?

Mine is coming up. I have heard it will be very expensive though I have conveniently forgotten the range. Sorry.

Edit: This item is about $100K. The new Evo will have 15 year intervals, and the O/H will cost less as they're moving away from Dowty Rotol. It is expected that the new landing gear will be available as an STC for the older models for those that want to upgrade. This new landing gear will also be anti-skid capable. They could never make anti-skid work on the old gear.

Do you feel Piaggio USA supports the fleet well?

I have been happy. I know the Director of Customer Support personally as we went thru Flight Safety training together and he is a great guy that cares.

Are there any weaknesses in the design from a servicing or repair standpoint? Something that fails more often than not?

Brakes have been a problem though a new design is about to be released on the Avanti3 that I expect to be STC’d for the older fleet. Hoping to eventually get Anti-lock/Anti-Skid too!

Anything else you care to add to service/maintenance would again be greatly appreciated.

Other than I believe in not skimping on the maintenance, I still maintain my plane as if it was in charter, with all the inspections, and pre-flight checks by the mechanic.

Also, anything to do with Rockwell Collins is ridiculously expensive. I am expecting a mulit-hundred thousand dollar quote to get ADS-B in/out where I know for a few thousand dollars I’ll get it on some portable device like a Stratus.

So there you have it, warts and all. Hope this can shed some light on these spectacular airplanes. The gear overhaul at $100K seems like a big item, but you save that easily on fuel compared to a jet over the 12 years. Plus, most jets and TP's have gear overhaul times that are much shorter and cost beaucoup as well. The King Air has a 5 or 6 year gear than'll cost you $35K. The Avanti will burn 40-50% less than any jet, knot for knot. It will probably burn 20% less than any other PT6 turboprop knot for knot.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 12:09
  #72 (permalink)  
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Nice work.

However the gear overhaul is actually more in the range of 250,000EUR here in Europe.

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Old 20th Jul 2015, 15:17
  #73 (permalink)  
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Second that, interesting insight.

To hingey's point, C&DD put the gear O/H cost at $292k. Not sure whether the 6,000 cycle limit on the gear was also raised when the 10 yr TBO was improved to 12 yrs back in 2013.

FWIW, there was some good coverage of Piaggio's recent travails and future plans during this year's PAS:

Piaggio adjusts focus towards defense
Piaggio’s Logli charts course for turnaround
Piaggio looks to bounce back with Evo and Hammerhead

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Old 20th Jul 2015, 22:33
  #74 (permalink)  
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However the gear overhaul is actually more in the range of 250,000EUR here in Europe.
Yeah, that quote I had was from a pretty old article. I've heard the new Maghnani landing gear should be a lot cheaper to overhaul. Hopefully it can be installed via STC on the older models.

You don't want to have to do with anything from Dowty. They take you to the cleaners financially, whether it's gear systems or props.
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Old 23rd Oct 2016, 18:39
  #75 (permalink)  
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Location: newport beach, ca
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We just purchased a Piaggio Evo. Taking delivery shortly; I'm going to Flight Safety shortly and looking forward to it.

I understand that the 'bad noise' from the props has been addressed in the Evo with new, slower turning props. Time will tell, but I am hopeful. The gear has been changed, as others pointed out. The new gear includes anti skid, which is nice.

I've flown a lot of different airplanes, and I'm really looking forward to this one. 400 knots on 600 pp/h is impressive. Even if it turns out to be 700+, it's much better than our King Air 200 w/Blackhawk motors.

We'll see.....

Anyone been through Flight Safety Piaggio school?


M.D. Moore
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Old 24th Oct 2016, 02:03
  #76 (permalink)  
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Have you checked to insure that Flightsafety has a program for the Evo yet? It wasn't so long ago they didn't even have one, even though Piaggio was actively trying to sell the airplane with training included (even though Flightsafety didn't have a program together!)...a little birdie told me that Flightsafety didn't have the legal capability to do initial training for a period of time a while back. Not sure if it was staffing or what but it was confirmed. Make sure you're not buying an airplane that you can't insure. If Flightsafety can't help you Donald Sims is the expert and has been very helpful with any inquiries I have had in the past.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 20:08
  #77 (permalink)  
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I have it in writing from an operator I know, straight from the FAA, that the gear overhaul for part 91 on US register is not mandatory. This is a huge savings for part 91 operators of this aircraft:


I am going to assume they are operating Part 91. AS such they are only recommended to follow the manufacturer’s chapter 5 . This also matches the FAA legal interpretations. If it were in chapter 4 they might also be required to overhaul, but in this case they are not required, only recommended.

It would be different if they were air carrier , 135 or 121.

John Thomas

Aviation Safety Inspector/Airworthiness

Will Rogers FSDO, SW-15

Ph. 405-951-4220, Fax 405-951-4282
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 13:45
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: California
Posts: 279
I don't have an opinion one way or another about the Piaggio Avanti, I'm sure it's a fine plane. I'm one those guys who always looks up when hearing airplane noise. Yesterday, while in Pacific Grove, CA and about 3 miles from KMRY I heard a much louder than normal turboprop departing (high) overhead and before I glanced up knew what it was. Those who say the Piaggio is only louder during the approach are wrong. "Loudest" perhaps but still quite raucous during climb out.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 15:26
  #79 (permalink)  
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Any news on whatever happened to all of the ex-Avantair P-180's ?
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Old 8th Apr 2017, 16:56
  #80 (permalink)  
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A quick sample of 45 of Avantair's 56 P.180s shows that they have ended up at 32 different operators, including 19 LLCs. 38 of the aircraft remained in the USA, with one heading to Bulgaria and another to Italy. Five of the aircraft disappeared from the registry (possibly after being parted out).

Four of the aircraft ended up with SWAS.

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