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Piper Seneca or Meridian?

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Piper Seneca or Meridian?

Old 8th Jun 2015, 21:50
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For the take-off and initial climb I would place single piston, single turbine and light piston twin aircraft all in the same category, in that if an engine fails then if possible plan on landing back on to the runway if thats not an option plan on putting it in a field.

The piston twin only really benefits on safety from the single engine aircraft during the cruise were should an engine fail a controlled descent to a runway is 99% of time going to work where as the single engine aircraft be it piston or turbine 99% of the time is going to land of airport.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.
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Old 8th Jun 2015, 21:55
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>> a controlled descent to a runway is 99% of time going to work

Unless the pilot first loses control of the airplane, enters spins, etc. happens way too often in case of engine failures on twins such as Seneca, regardless of the phase of flight. Frankly I would never fly on a light twin if I knew a whole lot about the pilot and had confidence in his abilities.
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Old 8th Jun 2015, 22:12
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olasek
Unless the pilot first loses control of the airplane, enters spins, etc. happens way too often in case of engine failures on twins such as Seneca
I did say from the cruise, if a pilot cannot control a piston twin with an engine failure during the cruise then conduct a controlled descent without entering a spin and crashing then there is something seriously wrong with his/her basic flying skills and the training they were given.
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Old 8th Jun 2015, 22:19
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Regardless what the reason statistics don't bear your optimistic assessment of pilots skills flying Senecas. So yes, there is something seriously wrong and by the way insurances companies have known about it for a long time. There are numerous articles on the subject in aviation circles.
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Old 8th Jun 2015, 23:31
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Again its not a clear picture dumping all Senecas together. There was the 1,2,3,4 and 5 all very different animals.

Only when you get to the 5 are you looking at a different beast. One with turbocharged, intercooled waste gated engines which unlike the earlier models can produce unlimited maximum power.

I have over 2000 hours in the fives. In the cruise engine out they are a doddle and frankly if a pilot crashes he should not be flying twins.

in the climb out there is a danger zone but then a thinking pilot will close both and treat it like a single to an off airfield landing.

Once you are at say 500 feet why climb at blue line? The thinking pilot will think that the seneca five is a doddle in level flight and just go for level flight and a low level circuit!

But no they try to climb at blue line, get below with a bit of sink and then loose the plot

Single piston or turbine you are going down! day night, summer winter. over sea, fog banks, low cloud or whatever.

Remember this phrase " A twin gives you more options! with more options comes more choices. With more choices comes the option to make the wrong choice"

With a single your only option is to go down

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Old 9th Jun 2015, 15:39
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I haven't seen anyone ask, or say, what the typical mission will be? Long distances and high altitudes make pressurization a very useful feature. The Seneca will likely cost half or third as much to purchase, and fit in a smaller hangar. The cost to overhaul a PT6 would buy a complete Seneca III.

I've had two loss of power events, both in twins. Not a scratch on me or aircraft. But a twin is not for the "casual" pilot.
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Old 9th Jun 2015, 20:37
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>> But a twin is not for the "casual" pilot.

Fully agree. Being a casual pilot and in need of more than 4 seats and not quite ready for a turbine I would be looking at airplanes like Piper Cherokee 6, Cessna 210 or perhaps Piper Malibu/Mirage/Matrix. I would never be looking at Seneca. A strict choice between Seneca and Meridian is a weird one to begin with.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 00:19
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That's not weird for me! I mean... you agree with one single engine vs twin engine and you don't agree with a single turbine? How is that?
Meanwhile, the profile of the potential client is something like 20-25 flight hours per month with flights no more than 250nm one way. The routes are mostly over mountains with lowest IFR enroute level being FL110. Although I will feel comfortable flying at FL280 over those mountains in a Meridian Turboprop, cost wise it wouldn't be economical to fly a turboprop over such short distances vs a twin piston engine. So I think it would be a good idea a Seneca V equipped with oxygen system for this kind of operations. What do you think? Other suggestions?
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 00:37
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>> you agree with one single engine vs twin engine and you don't agree with a single turbine? How is that?

I think you missed the thrust of the previous post. The 'weird' factor was that the choice was made exclusively between those two very different aircraft whereas all the 'intermediate' choices were somehow dropped from consideration. Why other 'similar' aircraft, very capable for the typical mission you describe and much more affordable than Meridian were ruled out from the start also baffled me.

>> Other suggestions?

Must be a rhetorical question, you already dismissed everything else.
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Old 10th Jun 2015, 09:45
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it is important to work out a mission profile and fit the aircraft to that profile whether its multi engine or single.

Other than how far? payload, range come a whole load of other considerations.
When will the aircraft fly! Day? Night? Summer? Winter ? over long stretches of water? Inhospitable terrain?

Some of us have to fly and turning up at 0500 mid winter in pitch black and taking off into a 200 foot cloud base and pelting rain? It certainly wakes you up with a jolt especially with the destination being the same.
Would I want a single? No thanks.

With the Seneca Fives we despatched and arrived at destinations with a success rate of around 95%. Fog was the usual deal breaker very rarely reliability.

I have flown in the TBM 850 an impressive machine which UK to Nice was only maybe 10 minutes behind the Citation cruising at FL280 and a solid 320 KTS but I would still be more selective concerning weather regardless of statistics which can be engineered to prove a point.

You also have to look at the PAX perspective! How comfortable are they with one engine in the same way as how comfortable are they with one pilot?

You can claim statistically to your PAX incapacitation is rare but does that reassure them? In my experience the same goes with the twin versus single argument some companies being reluctant to send their employees off in a single.

For me the Seneca FIVE is a mini Kingair and a trusted servant which I have flown in every kind of weather imaginable but you need to look at the mission profile first and what the aircraft is supposed to do before making a decision
Apart from Piper and Barons and the Diesel Diamond Twin Star there are few twins which are current and you have to go back to the 80s for other choices.

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Old 10th Jun 2015, 12:50
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There is an operation ireland that uses a Seneca V all the time for trips to the uk and on those sort of journeys of 250nm it seems to be a good choice. Admittedly not very mountainous terrain but still has to deal with lots of wx. My friend used to operate a Meridien and when it came to selling it, he demoed it to two old ladies who had a pilot and a Seneca V. They preferred the Seneca...
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