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29 Nov 2021, 07:39 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 22:31 
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
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..



Pretty impressive performance. What other light twin can do these #s. I have owned a number of Geronimo Apaches. I have had two with Rayjay Turbos. The second had the the wastegate control set up the opposite as the first. Prior to take off I pulled the vernier controls all of the way out thinking I was setting them to full open like the one I previously owned but I closed them. It broke ground before the throttles hit the stops. I was climbing like crazy for a couple of seconds before I realized what I did. I wonder how much horsepower it made at 40”.

I picked up a basket case Geronimo a couple of years ago and had the cabin door pop open in flight. That is a serious problem in an Apache. I took off after a long wait in front of multiple airliners lined up on final. I didn’t want to make a scene by declaring an emergency and have them all going around. I figured I would just deal with it and fly it to another airport twenty miles away. Big mistake! The handle is so far forward that you don’t have enough leverage to pull it in without breaking it off. The whole aircraft shakes, shudders and oil cans and I was waiting for parts to start falling off. I tried yawing both ways, slowing down, speeding up-nothing helps. There is no elevator trim tab-only a spring that has little effect at full up and the door open. The slower you fly the more the door pulls out and the harder it gyrates. I had cramps by the time I got it on the ground. I have had doors pop open on Aztecs and it is a non event in comparison. Just approach high, chop to idle and pull the door in for the flare. If you don’t the rt stabilator gets blanked out and they land hard on the Rt side sometimes putting the Rt main through the wing.

I just bought another full Geronimo and I am fitting the secondary door slide latch from an F Aztec to it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 23:07 
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Joined: 07/02/08
Posts: 2051
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Company: HPA
Location: Twin Cities, MN (KANE)
Aircraft: BE58, C182
I did my MEI in a 180 hp Geronimo. I could not believe how easy the 2,000-foot strip with obstacles was in that airplane. I enjoyed every minute of flying it.

This was from the same photo shoot as my avatar.

Attachment:
P1012698.jpg


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_________________
Jack Shelton
1964 C-182G PPONK
1973 BE-58


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 23:10 
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Joined: 03/01/17
Posts: 563
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Location: CA
Aircraft: V35, C150
Perfect thread to ask a question I’ve wondered about Aztecs.

How are they for multi-training? I know of one local school that used to use them.

My guess is that it would be the twin engine version of choosing the 182 over the 172: a good, but not ideal, trainer (heavier, higher fuel burn) but the trade off is that it’s a better family wagon once you have the license.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2020, 23:26 
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Joined: 01/19/16
Posts: 1903
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
Username Protected wrote:
Perfect thread to ask a question I’ve wondered about Aztecs.

How are they for multi-training? I know of one local school that used to use them.

My guess is that it would be the twin engine version of choosing the 182 over the 172: a good, but not ideal, trainer (heavier, higher fuel burn) but the trade off is that it’s a better family wagon once you have the license.


They are great for multi training. I consider it an airborne Chevy Suburban. There is no aircraft that I feel safer in. Maybe not as attractive as a baron and does not have quite the Beech control harmony but a very capable and comfortable aircraft.

Pros
-almost no corrosion issues
-no parts gotchas such as flight controls
-super forgiving fat wing flight characteristics
-excellent range with respectable cruise
-excellent weight hauling capability
-very strong landing gear
-roomy cabin with large for and aft baggage
-reliable 2000 hr. TBO straight valve Lycomings
-Bendix fuel injection (carburetors on pre 63 models) w/back up pumps running on takeoff
-excellent short/rough field performance
-very easy to work on.

Cons
-cowlings without my design mod suck to remove and install.
-a little difficult to access third row seat (I typically operated with a cooler in place of one of the middle seats.)
-prone to water in fuel without Eagle Fuel Cell drains.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 00:01 
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Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 152
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Location: KCRQ Carlsbad, KTOA Torrance
Aircraft: Baron E-55, Stearman
My friend and I flew a Piper Geronimo from Monterey CA. To Hilo Hawaii on Friday October 13th 1978. 16.9 hours of blissful boredom other than one engine miss in a rainstorm.. Ded reckoned the entire trip, no loran, gps or hf. No autopilot, no wing leveler. I hand flew 15 of the hours, my friend managed the fuel since it was his design and in retrospect totally sucked.

Picked up the Maui ADF signal early on and it stayed steady the entire trip, a good bounce day! I was glad to see the signal but did not trust it until later in the flight when the relative bearing agreed with our proposed track with wind correction. However, I was very happy to get the ITO VOR about 75 miles out.

We saw zero ships enroute for those who think it is full of ships...nada, nothing but black. We talked with two airliners to relay our position, United and Air New Zealand. The Air New Zealand crew put the flight attendants (all female then) on frequency for some flirtatious banter about meeting us at a HNL bar, too bad we were still 8 hours out of Hawaii and the wrong island. The Air New Zealand captain wanted to know what the hell we were doing in the middle of the Pacific in a Piper.

We had to wait 5 hours for a clearance at Monterey and that delayed our departure until afternoon and arrived in Hilo at 2 or 3 am. While taxiing out for takeoff a black cat walked across the taxiway...hmmm..Friday the 13th, black cat, glorified Apache for 2200 miles over water, what could possibly go wrong. Nothing luckily to a couple of 20 something idiots who rigged a fuel transfer system themselves. Stewart Warner comes to mind along with other totally stupid tricks.

My friend and I had many crazy aviation adventures together in Hawaii, Alaska and the mainland. I tempered my risk taking and he did not and was killed in a A-36 crash in Australia. Great guy but always on the edge till the end, still miss him. This thread brought back this trip clearly.

That’s one Apache story and as much stupidity as I’m willing to admit to in a public forum. I guess over 40 years passing satisfies statute of limitations.
Richard


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 00:09 
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Joined: 02/10/12
Posts: 393
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Location: kccr
Aircraft: C23
We just rebuilt a Aztec F Turbo From the ground up, for a Aerial survey company that is buying up every good copy they can find. No expense spared.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 01:17 
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Posts: 1903
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
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


Here is a funny Aztec story relating to that trim handle that I previously posted in a different thread:


The night before, myself-with two helpers, planned for a real early departure from Nassau to retrieve a Navajo I purchased that had been sitting at Great Exzuma for many years. I was trying to get them to bed. I felt it safe to turn in because I knew Tommy didn’t have any money. I had to pay his light bill and give Tina a hundred bucks so he could come.

I checked on them at about 2 AM and they were in the hotel bar completely crocked. Hollywood, who had been with me for years absolutely could not drink. Apparently Tommy had had a bar tab added into the room rate when I let him register us to get his “discount”.

In the past whenever Hollywood drank that much bad things happened like broken sliding doors and such. The whole 2 hours Tommy and I took to get him down he wouldn’t stop muttering about wanting to learn to fly to please his father......for 2 hours! He kept repeating himself saying “...and I want Tommy to teach me because he is the best!!!

Laying in bed that morning I hatched a plan for revenge. I got them up about 2 hours after they went to sleep and brought them to the airport to depart for the roughly 1 hour flight. Hollywood started to pile in the back of the Aztec and Tommy was waiting for me to get in the left seat.

I said “Oh nooooo-don’t you remember Tommy is going to teach you to fly today”.

While I was doing the preflight and was inspecting the stabilator trim rod I said “Holy crap Tommy, did you see this! This tail is ready to break”. There was nothing wrong but I was setting up for the kill. Tommy barely acknowledged me as of course they were both severely hung over. He knew if it was serious I would never get in it much less in the back seat.

After we took off and got to a safe altitude Tommy relinquished the controls to Hollywood. Hollywood had flown all over with me but aside from holding it level for me a couple minutes at a time he had not flow.

It was very hazy with no horizon at 8500’. Tommy was not an instrument pilot and kept looking straight down at the surf to make sure the greasy side was still down. That is when the fun started.

I had unzipped the headliner in the back to gain access to the overhead stabilator trim actuator cable. I started reaching back to trim it up a full turn on the crank every time Tommy would look down. After a little while I would reverse the process to trim nose down. Hollywood was pouring sweat and finally told Tommy “you fly-I can’t “.

I repeated the process to Tommy but he kept retrimming it. First he noticed the crank in a different position and went back and forth starring at it then to checking for the ocean below us. Finally he noticed the crank in motion. He turned around and told me “it moved!”.

I told him that there is no way it could turn on its own since it is a jack screw and I did not have electric trim. I then told him that the tail would have to be breaking off for that to move. He did not have an argument for that and seemed to decide that maybe he just imagine it moving. While he was staring at it I was laughing so hard that I had to hide my face in a book! I took the picture posted below of him trying to catch it moving. I told him that I was watching it and I never saw it move. Meanwhile I continued to move it precisely one revolution every chance I had. He continued to sweat and fight the airplane. Hopefully thinking to himself that I am not going to get that drunk before an early flight again.

When we had the runway in sight and had slowed to gear/flap speed I reached through the headliner way back on the cable and zinged it nose up as far as I could. It took both hands for Tommy to hold it while he watched the crank spinning. He screamed “I’M NOT EFFING AROUND-WERE GOING IN”

When he glanced back at me he noticed that I was laughing uncontrollably. It wasn’t until then that he noticed the unzipped headliner. He said something to the effect of “ You son of a bitch!”. After we landed he held his hand up to show me that it was shaking uncontrollably and said “You got me”.

Photo taken that day:


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 09:22 
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Joined: 11/06/14
Posts: 180
Post Likes: +69
Aircraft: 737
Username Protected wrote:
Perfect thread to ask a question I’ve wondered about Aztecs.

How are they for multi-training? I know of one local school that used to use them.

My guess is that it would be the twin engine version of choosing the 182 over the 172: a good, but not ideal, trainer (heavier, higher fuel burn) but the trade off is that it’s a better family wagon once you have the license.


They are great for multi training. I consider it an airborne Chevy Suburban. There is no aircraft that I feel safer in. Maybe not as attractive as a baron and does not have quite the Beech control harmony but a very capable and comfortable aircraft.

Pros
-almost no corrosion issues
-no parts gotchas such as flight controls
-super forgiving fat wing flight characteristics
-excellent range with respectable cruise
-excellent weight hauling capability
-very strong landing gear
-roomy cabin with large for and aft baggage
-reliable 2000 hr. TBO straight valve Lycomings
-Bendix fuel injection (carburetors on pre 63 models) w/back up pumps running on takeoff
-excellent short/rough field performance
-very easy to work on.

Cons
-cowlings without my design mod suck to remove and install.
-a little difficult to access third row seat (I typically operated with a cooler in place of one of the middle seats.)
-prone to water in fuel without Eagle Fuel Cell drains.


Tell us more about this cowling mod! STC, field approval or don’t ask don’t tell.

Ben

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 10:44 
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Joined: 01/19/16
Posts: 1903
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Location: 13FA Earle Airpark FL/0A7 Hville NC
Aircraft: E33/152A/OV10/23-180
Cowl mod

The mod has two parts. The first is to cut the bottom cowlings forward of the cowl flaps and installing an internal doubler with camlok receptacles. This allows the bottom cowl to be removed without disconnecting the cowl flaps, removing the nacelle fairings, removing the #6 screws from inside the wheel wells and fighting with the overlapping channels at the firewalls. I initially fabricated and installed this mod on my Aztec. Dave Gronfors has since come up with his own similar version and has obtained an STC for it and sells it in kit form. Check out Aztecnomad.com.

The second part is to replace the nose bowls with my new design carbon fiber ones. These are made with slightly larger inlets and are split horizontally instead of vertically. The piano hinge is eliminated and the nose bowls are permanently attached to the top and bottom cowls. They are stronger, lighter, more heat resistant and provide more clearance to the exhaust crossover pipe.

I did a one time field approval on mine but have sold a few sets to people that install them with Dave’s kit utilizing the owner produced parts provision of the regs for the nose bowls. The owner participates by fitting and installing the fasteners in the nose bowls.

There are some pics of them installed in this link to an old ad for my “Ultimate Aztec “G”

https://motoplaneparts.com/piper/


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Last edited on 16 Nov 2020, 12:20, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 11:35 
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Company: Mountain Airframe LLC
Location: Mena, Arkansas
That's an awesome mod. Never heard of it before. I'll bet exhaust systems get inspected more often with these cowling mods installed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 11:46 
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Joined: 12/29/12
Posts: 614
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Love the Aztec. Not the prettiest, not the fastest, not the most economical to operate. All other aspects are super positive. THe middle seat is the most comfortable in the house. Ample room. Nice cargo room front and back, although they are limited to a 100 lbs. Very stable in flight.

Diamondaire has plenty stc´s including a nice cowl for the Aztec. Don´t know if they ever materialized since the website is the same as many years ago.

Weird areas in the Aztec is the single hydraulic pump on one engine. If that engine quits, you have to lower the gear by hand or use the bottle. Also, the exhaust has been known for causing some issues. It must be checked regurarly.

Rgs,
patrick.


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 12:10 
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Joined: 08/14/13
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Aircraft: C90B Nxi
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.


The Da-42 has the best trim I've used, I was able to use my forearm to adjust it without removing my hands from throttles, such a fine flying airplane

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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 17:37 
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Joined: 12/16/09
Posts: 285
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Location: Snohomish, WA
Aircraft: PA-27T
Great thread i've waited for a long time!

I love my turbo F. Bought in '08 and have gone through it extensively. Its currently having a GTN750 installed and Flight Director to the Aspen.

Every time i think about moving into something I just cant find a better 'package' for my missions primarily in the hard/icy IMC northwest.

Norman, I have always wanted to talk with you about your Aztec 'G' model...its something very special.

Anytime anyone wants to talk Aztecs, hit me up!

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 17:40 
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Location: Snohomish, WA
Aircraft: PA-27T
Couple more pics...


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 Post subject: Re: The Piper Aztec/Apache thread
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2020, 18:37 
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Joined: 07/16/17
Posts: 669
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Location: KYIP Willow Run (Detroit MI)
Aircraft: B58/7AC/C140
Username Protected wrote:
Perfect thread to ask a question I’ve wondered about Aztecs.

How are they for multi-training? I know of one local school that used to use them.

My guess is that it would be the twin engine version of choosing the 182 over the 172: a good, but not ideal, trainer (heavier, higher fuel burn) but the trade off is that it’s a better family wagon once you have the license.



I did my multi and MEI in an Aztec F.

I thought it was a great trainer, very docile and forgiving. The flight school I went to is still using the same plane, plus another Aztec, 25+ years later. (Hard to believe it’s been that long.)


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