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Piper Malibu choice Continental or Lycoming?

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Piper Malibu choice Continental or Lycoming?

Old 2nd Oct 2020, 17:49
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Piper Malibu choice Continental or Lycoming?

Hi everyone, I'm interested in a Piper Malibu piston series, not very used to GA anymore, neither friends with it. (30+ on the airlines) Regarding reliability and then, fuel economy, maintenance costs, which one to buy?
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Old 3rd Oct 2020, 17:38
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Engine make matters much less than general condition. An airplane that has been let go can easily take 100K to make it safe, not including major work like engine prop overhaul.

The lycoming ones are newer and so have some improvements that are not in the early ones. The sweet spot I am told are the earlier ones which have been upgraded to the Continental TSIO 550 with a scimitar prop. The later airframes got heavy so they have low useful loads. In any case proper training by somebody who knows the type is essential.

Personally my desire to fly one of these is zero. Running pressurization, deice, air con, and a big alternator to drive all the avionics is asking a lot of one piston engine. The P210 and Malibu are the only SEP airframes where engine failure is the leading cause of fatal accidents.

I would suggest you look at a Cessna 340. Yes 2 engines to feed and maintain, but the rest of the maintenance will be similar and you get a bigger cabin, faster cruise at real world power settings and options when a prime mover quits.....
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Old 3rd Oct 2020, 20:30
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Dear BPF, thanks for your eye-opening advice. When I left GA, I heard that big singles were safer than the same size twins during flight school years. Undoubtedly, Piper Malibus and Cessna Centurions are the sexiest GA aircraft ever made. Installing many pulleys and pumps are not the healthiest idea from a single source, agreed! How about Piper Saratoga? It seems roomy and with good performance as well?
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Old 4th Oct 2020, 09:12
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Pratt and Whitney Canada .....
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Old 4th Oct 2020, 12:33
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Hi edsbar! I wish I could afford PT6!!!

Not wealthy enough!
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Old 4th Oct 2020, 14:58
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Personally I think the best bang for the buck in SEP airplanes are late model non turbocharged Cessna 210’s. They carry lots, have a very comfortable cabin for 4 and can go to 6 for short trips, very pleasant instrument platforms and have a reasonable speed. By the N model Cessna had sorted the gear and the one I used to fly was very reliable.

My favourite story in this airplane was a hurry up approach. The terminal controller completely screwed the vectors to the ILS and then said “I need you to go really fast or I will have to take you off the approach”. In the N model you can go to redline airspeed with the gear down, so I left high cruise power on flying down the glide slope. I then get a frantic call from ATC telling me to slow down because I am catching up to the 737 ahead
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Old 4th Oct 2020, 16:52
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I know little about Piper Malibu's, so can't offer much on that topic. The big Continentals and Lycomings are pretty well equal to each other, other than to say that I am aware recently Continental has been consolidating the maintenance instructions for some elements of the engines, which could have the effect that overhaul shops can only replace whole, rather than repair some sub assemblies (stater adapters, for example). That will not reduce the cost to own and maintain.

While I respect BPF's comments about what to fly, I suggest before buying a 210, or Cessna twin, you familiarize yourself with recent Cessna service instructions and AD's. There are some pretty burdensome maintenance requirements, and although the C 210 N and P210 are not yet included, they could be captured in the future. At least be aware!

Last edited by Pilot DAR; 5th Oct 2020 at 11:46. Reason: typo
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Old 5th Oct 2020, 00:33
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Dear DAR, your advice is a real pilot's advice, fly ahead of the plane. In other words, "approach for a Go Around, the landing is a bonus!". Maybe I should swap my aiming about my target. Maybe the Piper Saratoga is a reasonable choice, less investment, and more or less, the same annual cost.
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Old 5th Oct 2020, 11:58
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less investment, and more or less, the same annual cost.
To the many people who have asked my opinion about buying and operating a plane, my advice has always been: "How much money can you afford? Buy a plane which costs no more than half of that, and save the rest to operate it.". I have done okay in life owning modest airplanes, which I can use weekly/daily, without worrying about the cost, and for the odd time I need something bigger or faster, I can rent it. I have known a few pilots who were "plane poor", they owned the expensive plane, and did not have enough money to operate it worry free ('cause I rented a few of them!). Added to that these days is a greater focus on aging aircraft concerns. Sure, buy a fairly new plane, and those concerns are greatly reduced, but then you're paying a much higher cost for the newer plane.

There are "sweet spots" for airplane ownership, but it really requires doing your homework to get there. Sometimes the information seems counter intuitive. When I see a Cessna 340 for sale for less than a well equipped Cessna 206, I know something requires more research with the 340! There'll be a bigger cost in the background, which is not so much in the background of the 206. That said, I am aware at present that nearly all Cessna twins have some expensive inspections required (which may be worth it if it's an otherwise good plane). And some Cessna 210's, 206's, 205's, 182's and 172's also have comparatively expensive inspections and some service kit installations required. Sorry, I'm just not up on comparative Piper "issues", other than I have been aware of some difficulty buying certain repair parts.

This is when it's worth paying for the maintainer of your choice to help you with research before you select a type, and again, with the specific plane you're considering buying....
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Old 5th Oct 2020, 17:06
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I'm just not up on comparative Piper "issues"
The PA28 / PA32 wing spar failure is one area of possible concern:

https://www.piperflyer.org/maintenan...ould-know.html



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Old 6th Oct 2020, 10:26
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Most people with a bit of cash seem to be going for Cirrus aircraft these days, would be interesting to see how a Cirrus compares to a Pa 46 for performance and cabin space.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 22:22
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Up to this point the discussion has centred on the merits and demerits of some aircraft. The contributions are excellent but (beyond reliability and maintenance) the reason for buying an aircraft is rarely about the aircraft itself. The choice is much more about what you want from the aeroplane and how you intend to use it. Whenever I am asked for my advice on buying an aeroplane my first question is always: "how do you intend to use it?".

The Piper Malibu may well be your choice if your flying will be high, a long range is needed in great comfort and between well equipped and serviced aerodromes. The Cessna 210 is a brute and can also take you high whilst being well loaded with people or freight. Its talent is to take you off relatively short earth strips and above the mountains and then put you down safely amongst them with its truly short field performance. The Saratoga is a tough low altitude work horse and is useful to carry the family in okay club seating comfort when needed but also some freight or bulky work equipment with its wide rear cabin doors (fixed gear for rough earth strips). It will get you there at circa 150 kts. with a very good range but it is without anti-icing. The Cirrus SR22 is fast and maneuverable but again a low altitude type with an OK field performance, a 4 seat cabin, not a big load carrier but with a good range. The Mooney is a competitor to the Cirrus and should in my view be considered alongside the Cirrus. Known as the Porsche of the sky, owners very rarely part with them. The last two provide a sporty handling feel if that is important. So, these are all very different but each has a unique role.

The aircraft market is small and so factories look very carefully to identify a particular place in the market and sell into it. They don't look to compete with similar types with a similar operational performance because there's not the room. So what's your choice? There will be one that's right for you but depending very much on the role it will play.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 6th Oct 2020 at 22:56.
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Old 6th Oct 2020, 22:43
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Outstanding post. Very elucidating and adding the previous posts, I'm thrilled with everyone's contribution to my thread.
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