Used Aircraft Guide

July 2002 Issue

Piper Tomahawk

Cheap to buy and fun to fly, say PA-38 owners. But the model has a checkered accident record.

[IMGCAP(1)] Just as in the car industry, if the notion of “sure-thing” profit exists in the world of general aviation, it’s in high-dollar airframes, not entry level two-place designs. That’s one reason why new trainer production came to a standstill during the 1980s and 1990s and why the volume in this market continues to be low.

But it wasn’t always that way. In the heyday of GA, every major manufacturer—even the staid and upper crust Beechcraft—had a trainer. Some money could be made, of course, but a driving market force was the perception that entry level pilots developed brand loyalty and would step up from a basic trainer, to a retrac to a twin, all from the same manufacturer.

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