Used Aircraft Guide

January 2010 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: Piper Seminole

This light-light twin is nothing if not a survivor. Itís neither fast nor a great load hauler, but it remains a mainstay as a cheap-to-operate multi-engine trainer.

Of all the changes general aviation has gone through in the past 20 years, the piston twin arguably has borne the brunt. Fuel prices, plus improved engine and systems reliability, have made piston twins less desirable than in their heyday of the 1960s and 70s. And for the same money as a new piston twin, pilots these days often can find a used single or twin turboprop with plenty of time left on its engines. Operating expenses are higher, but so are performance, reliability and comfort. But the piston twin does live on, at least at Piper and Hawker Beechcraft. The latter still offers the six-seat Model 58 Baron while Piper will be happy to sell you a roughly comparable Seneca V. Cessna, despite once selling a wide range of piston twins, left that market long ago and shows no signs of returning. Meanwhile, other piston twins are available new from Tecnam, Diamond and Vulcanair, to name three. But, if youíre looking for a smaller, simpler twin, Piper also still makes the Seminole, sort of a double-breasted Arrow IV.

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