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19 Jun 2021, 14:47 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 14:33 
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Username Protected wrote:
It is kind of nice to have a plane that just works.

Yes, I know the feeling.

It doesn't take a new airplane to get that, nor does a new airplane assure that, either.

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 14:35 
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Location: New Braunfels, TX
Aircraft: Conquest
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I own and fly a 36 year-old turboprop. Yes, it is extremely rewarding when everything works. I feel like I'm getting such a deal because my acquisition cost is low, operating expenses are equally low and performance is at or near current-day airplanes. However, when things break it is extremely frustrating.

Here are a couple of examples:

Built in the pre-digital age, the airplane is chock-full of electrical relays. If you can imagine an Excel spreadsheet with lots of "AT-IF" statements, that is the way these relays work. The trouble is, they seem to have a lifespan of about 35 years. So at the age of my airplane, it's like death by a thousand cuts. When they work, they work well, but trouble-shooting a system can be very challenging. A quick example within an example: My electric heater works fine on the ground, but at altitude in a cold-soaked airplane, one of the relays is not making. Which one? I don't know because I can't do any trouble-shooting on the ground. So now I know, if I'm flying to an altitude where the temperature is below -20, I turn on the electric heat early so the relay stays warm.

Another example are all those tiny white electrical wires that run throughout the airframe and autopilot system. Those things are getting old and brittle. You never know when you're one "bend" away from breaking that wire.

Finally...the autopilot itself. I have the SPZ500 unit in my Conquest. It was a great autopilot in 1985 and in 2021 it's still a great autopilot...when it works. The trouble is, it never fully breaks all the way. It dies a long slow death called an "Intermittent Electrical Fault" that can kill you with labor hours diagnosing a problem.

In summary, yes, an older turboprop can be an exceptional value. It can also be very frustrating.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:00 
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Aircraft: MU-2B-26, C560V
Username Protected wrote:
Is it not reasonable to assume that the older an airframe the more likely it is to have failures?

Probably the most failure prone hour for an airplane is the first one. Any weakness in the new parts is discovered then, so called infant mortality.

Airplane parts are generally not used until they fail, they are used until they fail inspection. They are used for the majority of the time in the low failure rate regime, before wear out occurs.

My 46 year old MU2 goes in for inspection and has a squawk list that's rarely more than one page, of mostly minor things (bulb out for example).

My last inspection, a year ago, was 100 hour, 200 hour, 1800 hour, 1 year, 2 year items, included transponder/altimeter certification, and was $9800 for all labor and parts.

Take an M600 to a Piper factory service center and see if you can get an equivalent level of inspection and all squawks fixed for that price.

Older doesn't mean necessarily more expensive to maintain.

Newer often means less choice in where to get it maintained, and often more intensive inspections and requirements.

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:09 
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Joined: 06/09/09
Posts: 4243
Post Likes: +2851
Aircraft: C182P, Merlin IIIC
Username Protected wrote:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I own and fly a 36 year-old turboprop. Yes, it is extremely rewarding when everything works. I feel like I'm getting such a deal because my acquisition cost is low, operating expenses are equally low and performance is at or near current-day airplanes. However, when things break it is extremely frustrating.

Here are a couple of examples:

Built in the pre-digital age, the airplane is chock-full of electrical relays. If you can imagine an Excel spreadsheet with lots of "AT-IF" statements, that is the way these relays work. The trouble is, they seem to have a lifespan of about 35 years. So at the age of my airplane, it's like death by a thousand cuts. When they work, they work well, but trouble-shooting a system can be very challenging. A quick example within an example: My electric heater works fine on the ground, but at altitude in a cold-soaked airplane, one of the relays is not making. Which one? I don't know because I can't do any trouble-shooting on the ground. So now I know, if I'm flying to an altitude where the temperature is below -20, I turn on the electric heat early so the relay stays warm.

Another example are all those tiny white electrical wires that run throughout the airframe and autopilot system. Those things are getting old and brittle. You never know when you're one "bend" away from breaking that wire.

Finally...the autopilot itself. I have the SPZ500 unit in my Conquest. It was a great autopilot in 1985 and in 2021 it's still a great autopilot...when it works. The trouble is, it never fully breaks all the way. It dies a long slow death called an "Intermittent Electrical Fault" that can kill you with labor hours diagnosing a problem.

In summary, yes, an older turboprop can be an exceptional value. It can also be very frustrating.


I have the SPZ500 AFCS in the IIIC Merlin and it has been flawless. That’s the experience I hear from most pilots who fly behind that system.


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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:25 
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Location: Houston, TX
Aircraft: KA A/B90
Good arguments on both sides of this one. But to be able to make the choice you need to be able to afford to buy a new airplane. I’m not in that boat, so the “choice” makes itself.

But I’m generally pretty happy. We are installing a better radar and that has been a real challenge from the perspective of knowing our own wiring and finding the install manuals. But hey, at least we can do it. Brand new airplanes can be hamstrung by their avionics. But the level of integration is awfully nice.

Probably the best of both worlds would be a G1000Nxi upgradable airplane, like a B200

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:36 
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Aircraft: Piper M600
The newer stuffis just simpler. Fewer knobs, buttons, more automation. Not to mention the M600 will right itself if you accidentally or unintentionally lose control. Will engage The auto pilot automatically in the aircraft if you try to fly it into the ground, or flip it on its back. If you Become unresponsive at altitude, it will descend to breathable air, then on the later versions if you still don’t respond, it’ll land at the nearest suitable airport and let ATC know where it’s going, and where to send help. Bend over pick something up off the floor and yank the yoke in IMC, like a trusty flight instructor in the right seat it will gently nudge back against you, and if you fail to correct your wayward inputs, it will even take over the controls, Let you know it is doing so, until you have a chance to get your bearings and resume being responsible for the safety of the aircraft. There has never been a fatal accident in a GX000 Piper turbine aircraft. I am sure there will be one someday, but these planes are getting increasingly hard to kill. Doesn’t obviate the pilot from being the best pilot they can be, but when you have one of those bad days there’s a lot of technology backing you up. The list of stuff that just improve safety is long. Synthetic vision, TCAS, TAWS, automatic back up pressurization if you intentionally or unintentionally defeat the system, Multiple layers of CAS messages, Clear voice announcements that come through the headset instead of a host of buzzes and beeps. Smart technology, like the aircraft knowing from the TAWS system where you are and not relying on flaps and power settings to know if your gear should be down. Warning you if you get the plane below icing speed or in icing misconfiguration, Not being configured for takeoff, it tells you. Get too slow, it will drop the nose for you even before you get to stall, many things that add to day-to-day safety. It is the whole package.

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Chuck Ivester
Piper M600
Ogden UT


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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:44 
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Username Protected wrote:

Airplane parts are generally not used until they fail, they are used until they fail inspection. They are used for the majority of the time in the low failure rate regime, before wear out occurs.


Mike, as someone who's long-term contemplating the acquisition of an older airplane, I hope you're right. But it's the things which escape inspection that worry me.

Consider the Citation 501 that lost pressurization and nearly crashed:

https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 20160523-0

Significantly the NTSB noted that "Contributing to the accident was the separation of the air conditioning system's primary pressurization duct and the subsequent failure of the aft pressure bulkhead check valve flapper due to progressive weakening from age." [Emphasis added].

How many other items like that miss inspection?

Even though it's a concern, it probably won't stop me from buying an old aircraft. Usually when I buy anything, it's the last stop before the junk yard.

Other people, like my brother, want the newest, latest and greatest. If he gets his ticket he'll likely be in line for a new Cirrus G6 or even a Vision Jet. And that's ok, because without people who want to buy new stuff...who would buy the new planes coming off the assembly lines? Yeah, I know, leasing companies...

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:51 
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Company: Ciholas, Inc
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Aircraft: MU-2B-26, C560V
Username Protected wrote:
The newer stuffis just simpler. Fewer knobs, buttons, more automation.

More automation is more complexity, more things to fail, and more procedures in the manual for the pilot to know when the automation fails.

Those automated things also come with costs to maintain.

Older aircraft are easier to upgrade because they are less integrated. Modern aircraft are like computers, they don't age well and need software updates.

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 15:55 
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I'm thinking of moving up to a turboprop within the next couple of years. The two planes I'm considering are a used M600 or a Piper Cheyenne II. There is of course about a $1M difference in price but the planes capabilities are similar in many respects. Same airspeed, similar size cabin etc. Pros for the M600 is a much newer plane (40 years) so likely much less maintenance for end of life items, single engine uses half the fuel and half the cost of engine overhaul and maintenance, latest avionics and most likely newer interior and paint. Advantages to the Cheyenne are a significant difference in useful load (1500lbs with full fuel - so you can fill all the seats and still have 300lbs of luggage), a potty for long trips and a much lower price.

While the annual costs are more with the Cheyenne I can't seem to find any real numbers. Assuming about 130 hrs/yr what would be the costs between the two and what other pros/cons am I overlooking.


If you are looking at SETPs, you’d be remiss not to look at the TBM700C2. Great performer. Less than the m600, does more.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 16:04 
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Aircraft: MU-2B-26, C560V
Username Protected wrote:
Mike, as someone who's long-term contemplating the acquisition of an older airplane, I hope you're right. But it's the things which escape inspection that worry me.

Consider the Citation 501 that lost pressurization and nearly crashed:

https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 20160523-0

Significantly the NTSB noted that "Contributing to the accident was the separation of the air conditioning system's primary pressurization duct and the subsequent failure of the aft pressure bulkhead check valve flapper due to progressive weakening from age." [Emphasis added].

How many other items like that miss inspection?

Can happen to new airplanes.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... responsive

TBM 900, less than 6 months old, depressurization accident.

It is possible to trade examples all day long.

AOPA studied this and compiled data that said older aircraft are not, in fact, at greater risk of mechanical failure.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... on-problem

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 16:05 
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Location: KTKV KBKV
Aircraft: MU2
Username Protected wrote:

Airplane parts are generally not used until they fail, they are used until they fail inspection. They are used for the majority of the time in the low failure rate regime, before wear out occurs.


Mike, as someone who's long-term contemplating the acquisition of an older airplane, I hope you're right. But it's the things which escape inspection that worry me.

Consider the Citation 501 that lost pressurization and nearly crashed:

https://aviation-safety.net/database/re ... 20160523-0

Significantly the NTSB noted that "Contributing to the accident was the separation of the air conditioning system's primary pressurization duct and the subsequent failure of the aft pressure bulkhead check valve flapper due to progressive weakening from age." [Emphasis added].

How many other items like that miss inspection?

Even though it's a concern, it probably won't stop me from buying an old aircraft. Usually when I buy anything, it's the last stop before the junk yard.

Other people, like my brother, want the newest, latest and greatest. If he gets his ticket he'll likely be in line for a new Cirrus G6 or even a Vision Jet. And that's ok, because without people who want to buy new stuff...who would buy the new planes coming off the assembly lines? Yeah, I know, leasing companies...


The loss of pressurization, while not ideal, would’ve been a non event if the pilot had been following the regs and wearing his O2 mask while above FL350.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to use supplemental oxygen as required during high-altitude flight, which resulted in his loss of consciousness following a loss of cabin pressurization.

I had a rapid depressurization climbing through FL390 in a brand new CE550 many moons ago. 2 pilot crew with quick donning masks. Non event.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 16:16 
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Username Protected wrote:

The loss of pressurization, while not ideal, would’ve been a non event if the pilot had been following the regs and wearing his O2 mask while above FL350.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to use supplemental oxygen as required during high-altitude flight, which resulted in his loss of consciousness following a loss of cabin pressurization.

I had a rapid depressurization climbing through FL390 in a brand new CE550 many moons ago. 2 pilot crew with quick donning masks. Non event.


True, there were a lot of holes in the Swiss cheese here, but I still would like to know why that part wasn't caught in an inspection. Was it not required to be inspected? Why not? If it was required to be inspected and passed inspection, maybe the inspection procedures need to be reviewed.

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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 16:46 
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Location: Ogden UT
Aircraft: Piper M600
Age is certainly not a major player in the overall safety of aircraft, but it is a player. I think it’s naïve to downplay it too much though. Also lack of data does not mean there is not a difference. The fleet and hours of true technologically advanced aircraft, not the AOPA or FAA definition which was horribly irrelevant to todays aircraft, is increasingly Becoming a larger percentage of fleet hours. These aircraft are conspicuously absent from the fatal accident reports. The TBM900 fatal accident was an interesting one, but so unnecessary. If you have an environmental/pressurization issue, put on the mask then troubleshoot. That one was sad.

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Chuck Ivester
Piper M600
Ogden UT


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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 17:23 
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Username Protected wrote:

If you are looking at SETPs, you’d be remiss not to look at the TBM700C2. Great performer. Less than the m600, does more.



Also much less prone to have the wings ripped off in case of inadvertent CB penetration.


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 Post subject: Re: Piper Cheyenne II vs M600
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2021, 17:36 
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Username Protected wrote:
Can happen to new airplanes.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... responsive

TBM 900, less than 6 months old, depressurization accident.

It is possible to trade examples all day long.

AOPA studied this and compiled data that said older aircraft are not, in fact, at greater risk of mechanical failure.

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... on-problem

Mike C.


Pilot failed to follow EP. sorry, that’s on him.

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"Find worthy causes in your life."


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