Used Aircraft Guide


Piper PA-38 Tomahawk

A lot roomier than the 150/152, the Tomahawk has the makings of a good trainer...but be certain to check its AD compliance carefully.


The Tomahawk, one of the last all-new designs introduced by Piper before the great general aviation slump of the 1980s, was supposed to be the ultimate primary trainer. It was billed as a design that answered the wishes of flight instructors and students everywhere.

It certainly had a few things going for it. Definitely sportier-looking than its main competition, the Cessna 152, the Tomahawk offered a reliable engine, good visibility, a hefty 30-gallon fuel capacity and well thought out systems. But it was hit with a series of troubles early on; these, of course, were rectified through ADs and service bulletins, but before the PA-38ís reputation could be restored production...

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