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 Post subject: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 12:39 
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
Post pics, stories, parts wanted, tech issues/tips and legends attributed to one of the toughest most capable light twins ever built here.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 13:16 
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent, UK
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One of the first planes I flew. Privett had a dozen of them in South Africa. Today, not my first choice for flying the kids from Peoria to Orlando but got taking a load of boxes out of a semi improved strip they were great.

First place I’d look at a prospective purchase is the side tubing after removing the interior panels. The windows leak and the steel tubing rusts out. A lot pa23’s are already totaled and the owner just doesn’t know yet.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 13:28 
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Company: Mountain Airframe LLC
Location: Mena, Arkansas
I haven't worked on many Aztec series in my life, but when I think of what a Piper should be, this is it along with the Comanche and Twinkie. I would like to work on more, but they get major damage they are a total loss more often than not. They are a great value, possibly best bang for the buck to utilize for their purpose.

Thanks, Norm. I'm looking forward to reading the replies.

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 13:45 
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Joined: 10/30/15
Posts: 226
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Location: LFBR
Aircraft: 73 Turbo Aztec
My first plane, N34KK. Got it at ~200TT with ppl/ifr and did my commercial/multi in it (with a last minute hiccup: we couldn't find a DPE and I ended up taking the test on the DA42..), then it spent a lot of time & $$ with DiamondAire in Montana (very knowledgable, I stayed 9 weeks with them wrenching on the plane), then I flew it over to France where it has been pretty dependable so far.

We use it for family trips, some adventures (we took it to Africa) and to set up beehives on airfields. With a friend we even flew 300,000 bees (30 colonies) from Slovenia to France last May (11.5hrs round trip). It smelt good in the plane, it felt like we were in a hive.

Lots of parts and support available (thanks Norman for the crazy quick turnaround on that gear bushing a few months ago).

I don't think that I could operate that plane without the little group of friends / A&Ps / IA that I met over the years (some of them are on this board: many thanks to them if they read this post!). Even though nothing major happened since it went through the hands of DiamondAire (short of a destroyed rudder on the ground, which is a story in itself), there is always some little tinkering to do. And the cowlings are a pain to remove/install. And the ECi cylinders have a time-before-throwing-them-out of 1000 hours.

We got caught by a planespotter last year:

http://youtu.be/J7iz6kCbLMo


I've limited experience with airplanes but so far it's been a great ride and a great way to start my journey into aviation. Or so I hope :-)


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 15:16 
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Joined: 08/14/13
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I did NOT enjoy having elevator trim as a hand crank over your head, that was my least desirable aspect of flying an Aztec


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 15:28 
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Username Protected wrote:
I did NOT enjoy having elevator trim as a hand crank over your head, that was my least desirable aspect of flying an Aztec

It's an acquired taste, common to many Pipers.
I'm not too crazy about the hidden, hard to access trim wheel of the 33, 35, 36, 55, 58 family, so I guess we're even :peace:

George

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 15:37 
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Joined: 11/20/16
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Location: Austin, TX area
Aircraft: F33A Bonanza
If most weren't so old and decrepit nowadays, a Geronimo would be such a good airplane. I got to fly to Seguin twice to pick up aircraft after some work. Lots of folks wanted the wing, tail and nose mods without the engines though. If Seguin did the full conversion, it was almost like a new aircraft, they took them apart to the bones. So easy to fly. Just lots of levers and switches.

Was it Sarasota Avionics that had the demo Aztec with a new King panel at SnF a few years ago? Middle seats were removed making the cabin look like a limo. My Dad even asked if it were for sale.

Ceiling trim became no big deal to me, I did my Com/Inst in a Comanche.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 15:48 
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Username Protected wrote:
If most weren't so old and decrepit nowadays, a Geronimo would be such a good airplane. .

A few years back, I did my multi training in a Geronimo conversion of an Apache. Not a bad set up...really..

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“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life....play and work every day.” – Robert Fulghum


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 16:34 
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent, UK
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Username Protected wrote:
I did NOT enjoy having elevator trim as a hand crank over your head, that was my least desirable aspect of flying an Aztec

The ceiling crank quickly becomes natural. The only thing better are the later cherokee trim wheel in between the front seats where you can just rest your right hand on it. Either position is better than the bonanza setup IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 16:58 
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Username Protected wrote:
I did NOT enjoy having elevator trim as a hand crank over your head, that was my least desirable aspect of flying an Aztec

The ceiling crank quickly becomes natural. The only thing better are the later cherokee trim wheel in between the front seats where you can just rest your right hand on it. Either position is better than the bonanza setup IMO.

Yes it does! Brain and muscle memory!

This is why I can't transition to a zero turn mower. I'll keep plugging along with the low tech units.
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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 17:11 
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Company: retired corporate mostly
Location: Chico,California KCIC/CL56
Aircraft: 1956 Champion 7EC
Quote:
First place I’d look at a prospective purchase is the side tubing after removing the interior panels. The windows leak and the steel tubing rusts out. A lot pa23’s are already totaled and the owner just doesn’t know yet.

I flew an F model to a pre buy, waited around and watched... I was amazed at how thoroughly soaked the insulation was on the side walls. I had been flying this airplane and had not noticed any odd mildew smell. I wonder how many pounds of water were there.

I took my ATP ride in a C model, and thought it was lighter on the controls than the Turbo E I had flown before. More like the Apache that came before it.

Flew 2 different Geronimos for a mapping company... Really nice to hand fly accurately.

Funny side note, they had one Geronimo painted, and liked it so much they had the other painted. They asked that it be painted exactly like the first.... and it was... right down to the N number! :bat:

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Jeff

soloed in a land of Superhomers/ Cessna 150, retired with Proline 21/ CJ4.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 18:30 
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I'll just say it.......fat girls need lovin' too :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 20:05 
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
Username Protected wrote:
One of the first planes I flew. Privett had a dozen of them in South Africa. Today, not my first choice for flying the kids from Peoria to Orlando but got taking a load of boxes out of a semi improved strip they were great.

First place I’d look at a prospective purchase is the side tubing after removing the interior panels. The windows leak and the steel tubing rusts out. A lot pa23’s are already totaled and the owner just doesn’t know yet.



The original PA23 design was purchased from Stinson. It had a fabric covered tubular fuselage. Piper redesigned it with a monocoque fuselage but retained much of the tubular structure. That is what makes them so tough and crashworthy.

It is common to find the tubing rusted underneath the emergency exit window on the 64 C models and up. I doubt that it has ever caused a failure of any kind but the area that rusts the most is under the floor that is not normally or easily removed during inspection.

I once had a customer from England contact me that wanted to buy a complete frame assembly. I did all I could to talk him out of it because there is no way to replace the frame that goes from the nose gear to the rear seat back without removing the wings, entire instrument panel, entire wiring harness, drilling apart the entire bottom of the fuselage, removing the engine control cables, flight control cables and most of the complicated hydraulic system. I told him that it was one of the dumbest things that I had heard and he could probably buy the nicest flying Aztec on the market for less than the cost of doing that. I tried to talk him into cutting out the affected area and splicing in new tubing. He would have no part of that and insisted on buying a complete frame from one in my field full of Aztecs and paid me half up front. He also insisted that I had it stripped, X-rayed and primed. The third one we pulled passed muster and got tagged by the NDT company.

When I called the company to tell them that it was crated and ready to ship the newly hired DOM advised me that my contact had been fired for completely ruining one of the nicest Aztecs ever by completely spreading it out over the hangar floor. He even had the nerve to request a refund for the 1/2 up front. I was hoping to break even with the final payment. I told him I would waive the final payment if he wanted to come get it. It sat outside for about ten years and until it finally rusted away.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 20:27 
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Joined: 02/10/12
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Username Protected wrote:
The only thing better are the later cherokee trim wheel in between the front seats where you can just rest your right hand on it.

That's great if you're solo or the right seater is a spouse/SO or a skinny dude.

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 21:26 
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Username Protected wrote:
One of the first planes I flew. Privett had a dozen of them in South Africa. Today, not my first choice for flying the kids from Peoria to Orlando but got taking a load of boxes out of a semi improved strip they were great.

First place I’d look at a prospective purchase is the side tubing after removing the interior panels. The windows leak and the steel tubing rusts out. A lot pa23’s are already totaled and the owner just doesn’t know yet.


Piper published the dimensions of all the steel tubes used in the cockpit structure. Rust in those lower tubes is not a reason to junk the plane, if you find the A&P who still knows how to weld. It's tedious, but not difficult.

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