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310R's in the Bush

Old 13th Jul 2005, 22:26
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310R's in the Bush

Hi..i operate a part-135 operation here in the Philippines. Currently with a 206 and an Aztec "C"..( 2 tried and tested, supremely reliable, short-field load haulers)..I'm now in a position to purchase another Twin, and seriously looking at a 310R. The specs (speed) and the range look good, not to mention the Elle McPherson sexiness! Barons wouldn't work here cause 3 of my competitors' Barons nose collapsed one time or the other, and it easily "cubes out".

Any feedback out there if 310R's work as nice as the Aztec on rough 2500-foot strips with 650kg of cargo on board? Most specially interested in the integrity and reliability of the Landing gears.

My pilots Mike "attorney batalyoney" ,Felix "the Cat", and Lawlaw "catfish" await your reply!
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Old 13th Jul 2005, 23:43
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If you want rugged..go for the you already know from the when needed are pretty available..its an 8 seater (navajo) with heaps of excess capacity..and 175 worse than 310..probably reasonably priced..and with a set of vortex generators, gets off an 800m grass strip with the right technique

..and both aircraft have equally ridiculous fuel systems
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Old 13th Jul 2005, 23:58
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forget both the 310 and the chieftain, go for the AEROCOMMANDER.

165TAS, more cubic than a PA31, 40lt per hour less fuel burn. Built like a sherman tank, and fantastic STOL.
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Old 14th Jul 2005, 09:49
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I'd be very surprised if a 310 is more capable on and off a rugged strip than a Baron. I flew one of very few 310s that were in PNG many MANY years ago and was never very impressed with them. By way of contrast, there were LOTS of Barons in the country at the time. They were regularly going in and out of strips that would've killed the 310 - and probably everyone else on board.
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Old 14th Jul 2005, 09:58
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I'm with Oz. The 310 bad a bad record in PNG. The C/D/E55 Barons were far more rugged and reliable.
Woomera is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2005, 13:01
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Piper is terrible in the heat. The 310R are excellent and reliable. Go one better and get a C404 TITAN!
xer is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2005, 13:38
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The 310 is not really practical for the operations you described. In addition they are known to crackup inside the gear well when heavily loaded and experiencing side loading on the undercarriage.
I agree with Chief Wiggum, try the Aerocommander or the Islander
Induced Turbulence is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2005, 14:44
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Dont think a a 310 or a Baron will carry 650Kg, though I dont know the rules in the phillipines but if they want you to stick to the POH I think you will be out of luck!

The PA31 will, as for short field performance though I'd have to say its crap in the tropics. Haven't flown the aerocommader but would say it would be definitely worth a look as from what I know it can match the PA31 and prob have better field performance.

Good Luck.

forgot to mention that if a lighter weight is acceptable more like 450kg then 310 is ok on rough airstrips, but would be no different to a baron. 310's(unless a gear mod has been done) can be prone to a main gear collapse though.
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Old 15th Jul 2005, 08:53
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can be prone to a main gear collapse though
I saw that happen to a 404 a few years ago. The aircraft had made a normal landing and was taxying slowly as it started turning left off the runway onto the taxyway to the apron. That's when the left main gear leg collapsed...
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Old 15th Jul 2005, 09:45
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Have to agree with Chief Wiggum.

The Aerocommander 500s Shrike is just the thing you need!

Basic weight 2102kg (4635lb), Max TO 3060kg (6750lb).

Heaps of space, very stable, very very strong, great to fly, fantastic stol ability (used widely in the Torres Straits with 450 metre strips and in night freight throughout Australia for all-round reliability and payload capability).

Only thing a bit tricky is learning how to taxi and steer it on the ground.

turbinejunkie is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2005, 21:55
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Ok've just derailed what was to be the first Cessna 310R in the Philippines !

I'd just probably get another Aztec "C". The last W&B of mine showed an empty weight of 3010 lbs, so at 5200 lbs MTOW, gives 2190 lbs of useful load. Enough for 650kgs cargo and 2.5 hours of fuel at 160 knots TAS. Not too far from a Shrike.

Lusted for a Navajo but my mechanic hates turbo's also useful load is about the same..404 Titan has great useful load but too expensive..also those geared engines are scary (abandoned twin bo's and queenairs scattered on almost all the strips we go to).

With the money i save for not buying a 310R, will probably just put a gns 430 on the aztec a new Impreza WRX for me!

Thanks for the Info guys, will buy you a cold one when you're in the area! chief pilot Felix "the Cat" is wringing my neck and convincing me to get the shrike instead..he keeps saying the name " Bob Hoover ", and making acrobatic gestures with his hands, i shouldn\'t have showed him this thread.

Will be going to the Subaru dealer now before these guys stage a Strike! hehehe
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Old 16th Jul 2005, 00:21
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I owned/operated several 310Rs a couple of years ago - the advice you've been given is good. The rough strips would mean , at the least, lots of reshim work at each inspection - and don't forget the issue of prop clearance - we had some bad nicks from the unsealed strips.
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Old 16th Jul 2005, 01:32
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Take your turbo charged aircraft to Mani Cortez at Olympic Aviation - he loves Queenairs!!!

From my observation of Phils aviation I'm surprised you only get 650 kg into an Aztec. I would have thought it would be good for a ton at least!

If you bought a 310 it would not be the first in the Phils. There used to be an old straight tail 310 near the Soriano hangar some years ago.

(As an afterthought, there was also a Cessna 195 and a Beech A90 - first edition, no reverse thrust - in the same area.)

Last edited by Torres; 16th Jul 2005 at 02:31.
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Old 16th Jul 2005, 01:55
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From my observation of Phils aviation I'm surprised you only get 650 kg into an Aztec. I would have thought it would be good for a ton at least!
Thats if they removed all the Jeepney decor Torres.
Old 16th Jul 2005, 03:07
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Don Quixote Impersonator
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OzExpat,Woomera & Torres and the rest with the greatest respect your observations about the ruggedness or not of the C310 are total horsefeathers.

Insofar as any sort of performance against the Baron, it is at least as good and better in some respects.
The Baron is built better than the (insert aircraft type here) is total crap.

C404 "can be prone to main gear collapse" don't think so if you understand the design and how it works, it's simple and very rugged.
Any gear will collapse if it gets broken or is not serviced properly.

Which aircraft manufacturer is still the largest manufacturer next to Boeing and which aircraft manufacturer is still using the same 1940's technology.

One of these days I'll get around to telling you about the legendary Finus Wandell and why Barons are overepresented in the Australian market, by world standards.

Find it hard to disagree with chief wiggum re the AC but I'm not sure now tolerant all those bungees and hydraulic accumulators to age, distance from service and parts and the climate. It's a great aircrfaft as an aircraft but couldn't make it in the charter market here or most anywhere on an economic basis, mostly maintenance.

jonjie be very careful and do your own research as ALL of these types are about to become functionally and financially obsolete in the very very near future due to the CPCP programme and manufacturers SID requirements. The hangars of the world are becoming full of these types with Chief Engineers trying to explain to disgruntled owners that the fix will cost more than it's worth without any relief in sight. Spend hundreds of thousands on maintenance on keeping them going or invest it in an assett that will still be worth something at the end.

Any aircraft that are NOT supported by a manufacturer who is still in business as the original OEM are even more at risk. The owner or the whoever now owns the comany will have to contstruct their own programme. Esspensivo.

Piper which is on it's third resurrection at last count don't have the interest or economic motivation to look after Aztecs in this regard, less so Commander.

Sorry but I'd save your money on the WRX, and go find a modern aircraft, put Felix on prozac for the moment and ride it out whilst your competitors go broke trying to keep their old junkers going. Then it's all yours.

Tell Felix to go buy his own AC., you are in the business of making money.
gaunty is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2005, 10:49
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thanks for making us part of your decision making process.

I have had far more experience in C310R than I have had Baron than I have had Aerocommander Shrike. But I wish it was in the reverse order.

If you're talking a great workhorse with plenty of appeal for the punters, IMHO stick with the Shrike. Just take another look at that picture I posted earlier and tell yourself this is not a magnificent aeroplane!

Aside from the replaceable bungee cords on the gear, the gear is rock solid, as is the airframe. Yes, it is a hydraulic aircraft but it doesn't let go in a hurry. A durable aircraft much like your Aztec (which incidentally while not a luxury machine, is a good economic choice). I suggest you try having a chat with the guys at GAM in Essendon Airport (Australia's largest AC operator), Hinterland Aviation in Cairns or Tasair (who also have PA31) in Hobart.

In so far as Barons go, probably the best bet is the E55. Goes like a bloody cut cat, carries the load your after (contrast that with a B58 which really is a pax machine only). Economics would have to be good in terms of kg/lt/gnm (or whichever way that formula is expressed!). It will still carry the 5 pax comfortably but STOL is not its best point given the little wheels and slippery shape.

The 310R has a nice wide cockpit, making it comfortable for punters and can take a reasonable freight load. Undercarriage seemed to take everything I dished out to it. Has very stiff legs and it is a fluke when you make a smooth landing. Big wheels help stopping quickly and they are used in STOL versions up in the Torres Straits (Skytrans).

In so far as cabin class aircraft go, a Cessna 402C IMHO craps on a PA31 whatever. Again, like the Titan and 310R it has a nice roomy cabin and is perfect for punters and freight. There was a drama with the spars having two lifes (or some such) in OZ but with a certain mod or service, the aircraft keeps on going.

As for STOL, well you can get vortex generators for them and they are simpler to operate than the PA31 and I would think last longer with a lower boost level. They have been operated successfully in PNG too.

These are all pilot perspectives. Perhaps the same question posted on an engineering section of PPRuNe may get another response.


turbinejunkie is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2005, 11:41
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I wondered how long it'd be before I got a bite from gaunty! However, I have to agree with TJ about the 402C!
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Old 16th Jul 2005, 16:12
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Oh, ok.

The 310R has a nice wide cockpit, making it comfortable for punters and can take a reasonable freight load. Undercarriage seemed to take everything I dished out to it. Has very stiff legs and it is a fluke when you make a smooth landing.
Phew! So it's not only my inability to land the thing then.

Can't seem to pull off those landings in a 310 where the wheels are rolling on the runway, but the wings are still producing enough lift to support the weight, and it settles smoothly as speed dinimishes...don't know why, but at least I know I'm not alone.

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Old 17th Jul 2005, 14:50
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Thanks for the great inputs guys! was talking yesterday with Mr Ryan of Ryan Aircraft Sales in Archerfield, he's got an Aztec C with mid-time engines for Aus$115 g's, the average prices i got on 310R's in Aviation Trader is in the 200's. I reckon Shrikes will cost probably in the middle of the two. Doing the math, i'd need at least another year or two to get my investment back on the R instead of the Aztec..not to mention the tons of experience my maintenance guys have on them.

I've also thought of selling my 206 to add to my funds and get a more modern plane as Torres said..but just can't think of anything short of an old MU-2 or Kingair 90. A competitor of mine bought a 402-B and promptly crashed it on it's first revenue flight (didn't get airborne on a 2000 foot strip in a 35 degree cels day and no wind). Islanders are expensive, and too slooow for the daily 280nm trip (one-way) my aztec flies to.

Torres, the old 310 here is the short-body B-model. Hasn't flown in 10 years, and had gear problems from what i last heard. Wil say hello to Manny Cortez for you. Yes he loves Queen-air but as of today, only ONE is left flyable in the whole Philippines!

Looking forward to ferry that Aztec from Brisbane..will keep you guys posted..
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Old 17th Jul 2005, 15:17
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Smooth landings aren't all that hard just need an understanding of what's happening.

My 2 cents worth.

The Cessna twins have a zero or even slight negative angle of attack when standing on their legs and very efficient wings.

Thus when taking off unless you actually rotate the aircraft you will generally drive off the end before it flies off on it's own.
Thats why it is a good idea to leave it in that mode until you ARE ready to rotate, as due to the lack of lift until you put on angle of attack and therefore associated drag it accelerates faster and according to the book.

Likewise on landing, (mostly too fast) if you unload the wing prematurely by lowering the nose to get it on to the runway it will quit and dump you.

Angle of attack is the answer, you control that.

My observations are that most pilots leave the rotation too late beyond the book speed in the assumption that extra speed is their friend in the event of an engine failure. Fly the aircraft off rotate on the numbers and hold blue line to 400 ft.

And land too fast beyond the book speed after a landing is assured and wonder why they get dumped.

Get the book out, have a look, calculate the speeds, fly it by the numbers and how the book recommends and it will be kind to you. Roll on landings are then a cinch.

You're the boss of as long as you do it the way the aircrafts' most happy.

BTW I've got some spare periscopes and free chiropractic vouchers left over from the Barons I've flown if anyone is interested.
gaunty is offline  

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