Opinions of a mid 60's Piper Comanche 250?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by ActiveAir, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cowboy - yeehah!
    I thought I was the only one of this opinion. I lower my gear at the lowest safe speed possible to minimize wear on the moving parts. Usually 80MPH-ish.
     
  2. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cowboy - yeehah!
    Gotta disagree with the first part. I shopped the older of the two planes and found the Bo to be cheaper in almost every case. Also, let's not forget the famous Bonanza-waggle in turbulence. It's there, but it never bugs me a bit.
     
  3. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    ?????

    ********************************

    In any high performance airplane always configure with drag. Set a target power setting and let drag do the rest. Reduces a lot of throttle jockeying and makes a smoother approach.
     
  4. ActiveAir

    ActiveAir Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good info, thanks. I'm looking hard at both. What makes this Comanche attractive is that it maybe a partnership deal, which is half the cost. I like saving money. I could go it alone, if this deal doesn't pan out. Gotta see how well the other guy and I get along and how similar our ideas about flying are. He already takes exceptionally good care of the plane, so we're like minded on that value.

    As for his comment on throwing the gear down, it was more tongue-in-cheek as opposed to SOP.

    I may have to go see if I can go find a ride in a Bo. Already lining up some training in an Arrow for complex. One step at a time.

    One other thing, the Comanche isn't IFR cert. What implications will that have. I will be IR'd in the coming months, although other pilot isn't.
     
  5. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Extending flaps before gear is the ideal setup for a gear-up landing in the typical SEL retractable.

    My technique (though nothing in flying is immutable except basic physics) is: Slow down -- gear down -- flaps down -- confirm descent -- adjust FPM with power (typically 1" MAP + 100 FPM) , adjust airspeed with pitch
     
  6. John J

    John J Line Up and Wait

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    The Comanche is a great plane. I have flown all models from the 180 through the 400 (Wow) and I do respect them so. Not too long ago I went shopping and bought a nice Beech C-33 for it had the best balance of power to weight. The C-33 with the 470-n engine could beat the 250 and the 260 in both fuel use and speed. The Comanche 400 is a real dream to fly and fun. Nothing can beat it. The 260 C is a real nice plane and can go places. It is close to the BO in range and speed. The real sleeper is the 180 for it has the comfort and room and it does a real nice job of speed and economy.

    John J
     
  7. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Jay,

    No, I'd assume that if you put the gear down on an ILS at least you're thinking of landing..... However, I'd argue to stabilize the plane with power and pitch to get the desired speed, gear down at GS intercept and full flaps when the runway is made. I'm not a fan of approach flaps in anything much smaller than a turboprop or jet, but food for another discussion.
     
  8. stingray

    stingray Line Up and Wait

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    Just to put a wrinkle in things, look at the Bellanca Viking. It has the best price for speed you can buy. I have an older Bellanca 260 and it is plenty of plane speed wise. I only paid $35,000.00 for it. I fly it all over and do very little to it. I climb out at 2500 fpm. I run between 10 and 11 gph @ 7,000 to 9,000 ft. It would be hard to find a better IFR platform, this plane is steady as a rock in turb.

    Dan
     
  9. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Active,

    And the partnership, with a known partner and plane is worth a lot. Could be a really good, and inexpensive way to go. You could get the Bo later.....

    To equip the Comanche for IFR depends on what's in it, but shouldn't be hard. I did it with a TriPacer. You can do the basics, get one good nav com, a transponder with mode C, and get your 2 year checks..... The equipment will depend on your goals.... But it's a pretty good cross country plane and perhaps a GPS (IFR), autopilot and wx avoidance would make it sweet.
     
  10. ActiveAir

    ActiveAir Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I haven't looked much at them, but will. Thanks.


    Yep, to all the above. Original equip. on avionics, I believe. OP has a G296 he uses. I like the idea of auto-p and wx avoid. It's his baby, I don't want to walk in and overkill. Like you said, if I like the concept of this type of plane, I can pick up a Bo later, when this one runs it's course.
     
  11. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Active,

    You can get into this one, and excepting the autopilot (which is a big ticket item), get a 3 or 496 for your weather, fly it without an iFR GPS and still do a hell of a lot of good long range flying.
     
  12. ActiveAir

    ActiveAir Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks, again. I'll look into the 3 or 496's.
     
  13. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Huh? Don't they all squeal if you hang more than approach flaps with gear up? Some of the old Bo's (maybe other brands as well) have gear speeds that are higher than approach flap speed, so gear first is a logical sequence. Otherwise, as with the 210's and most others, you can get approach flaps at ~160, so it makes sense to lead with them.
     
  14. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We're getting OT here. I've heard this same disparity between big singles and medium twin and turboprop too. It's prolly common to use flaps first on the bigger equipment, but I can tell you from personal experience that flaps before gear sets you up for a belly skid. I've seen one land at homedrome with flaps down. Also, I once used flaps to come down while over an airport and thank goodness I started the landing checklist over, cause I was gonna miss it.

    Slow down by doing the best planning you can. If you get a clearance that's gonna be tight then 'unable'. Get the plane where you want it on speed and altitude. If you're flying an approach, on intercept, you can put the gear down, and that will often put you on a good descent path. Use flaps after gear on smaller singles or suffer the unintended consequences.
     
  15. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I think I disagree with you on that, but it depends on what you mean by "speed brake."

    My general philosophy is that we want a retract because retracts with the gear up go faster. So, if we want to go slower...

    In practice, for me, it means that I know that in the traffic pattern, gear down with X" MP and Y RPM will give me the desired normal pattern speed. So my (VFR) descent from enroute to the pattern is planned so that at pattern altitude, I level off at that MP/RPM combination and as the airplane slows, drop the gear to finish the configuration/speed job.

    I don't consider that as "speed brakes" but I am definitely using the gear to slow down, so others might.
     
  16. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can't get a Bonanza older than 1947, and Vfe / Vle is 100 MPH.

    Drop the gear at 90 MPH and you have all the drag you'll ever need.

    The Bonanza POH recommends extending the gear in severe turbulence.

    So the gear is for more than rolling around on the ground.
     
  17. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The question of whether to extend gear or flaps first is very type-specific. There are quite a few planes which allow the extension of the first increment of flaps well above max gear speed. There are others (mostly jets) that will fall out of the sky if you try to get down to gear speed without extending partial flaps/slats first. In many light planes, repeated extension of the gear at max gear extension speed will shorten the life of the landing gear components even if it doesn't exceed the book limitation.

    IOW, read the book, know your plane, and fly it the way that particular type was desgined to be flown -- there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in this area.
     
  18. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mark,

    I've got no problem with your technique, your intention is to land and you have to have some point at which you lower the gear.

    I could argue that you really don't need it as a "speed brake" to enter the pattern, as almost all GA planes can get the desired speed with pitch and power... clean, to enter the pattern at their desired speed.

    I like to think of the gear as a "go down" device, not a "slow down" device. And, as Doc says, ALWAYS before any flaps. If one does that, there's minimal power changes and minimal trim changes until adding flaps for the landing.

    Yes, we're getting off topic (but food for another thread).
     
  19. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ron,

    Very good point about not always putting the gear down at max gear speed. And, you're right about "type specific".

    However, there's really few planes that, with good technique, that can't get to gear speed (or lower), without flaps, and a lot of jets included, but a different animal.

    For us piston flyers, I strongly advocate against approach flaps (or any partial flaps) for SOP, with some rare exceptions. The goal being to develop good habits to prevent a gear up and that would include gear down first.
     
  20. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, that is in the POH, under "Emergency Procedures" tab. Actually for the A-H35 it is for "Emergency speed reduction". This is part of the fix for all the old Bo pilots building up too much speed in descent. So, it's not really recommended. If you lower it above Vle, there is an extensive inspection process to verify no damage. Not something I'm interested in going through.

    Like I said, if you can't go down by normal means, just say 'unable'.
     
  21. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Actually, I teach slowing up early (prior to IAF) and then gear down and approach flaps (order dependent on gear/flap limits -- the approach flaps limit is often well above the gear limit) for complex singles -- from the IAF on down. That makes the whole approach easier and reduces the number of configuration changes, as well as reducing the pitch moment change on application of landing flaps when you commit to land.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The way I was taught was slow down to approach speed and stabilize between IAF and FAF clean (or with approach flaps depending on type) and then at the FAF, drop the gear, for pretty much any plane it translated to a near perfect rate of descent with no change in power.
     
  23. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ditto for all retracts I have flown.
     
  24. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    But in the real world of slam-dunks, ya gotta do what ya gotta do...
     
  25. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sure -- but at some point you're gonna drop the gear. Better to do this at Vle, then add in flaps as required, mais non?
     
  26. jonfloto

    jonfloto Filing Flight Plan

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    I bought a 64 Comanche 250 and then took flying lessons. 20 hrs in a C172 and the rest in my Comanche. Landing isn't hard, 80 mph, pull the manifold and it lands easily. The gear is short so it takes some getting used to. No problem for Mooniacs.
    With 2 people and full fuel, you are at the front of the W&B envelope, leading to flat landing but no nosewheel landing, otherwise, high AOA is no problem. Out west, I routinely cruise at 14K+ so onboard O2 is a must. I've flown at 17.5 a couple of times and it easily handles that.
    I've never flown a Bonanza, but check with a mechanic familiar with both. Mine strongly recommended the Comanche as less expensive to maintain.
    I've put a lot of high value upgrades (Garmin 430, Century 2000 with GPS steering, electronic HSI, plus) and have an airplane that can go from western Nevada to Cape Cod or Marathon Fl in 15 hrs at 13.5 GPH. As it sits, I am still hundreds of thousands up on a new Cirrus allowing me to fly instead of making airplane payments.
    Whatever you do, get a good airplane to start with, be it Mooney, Bonanza, Comanche. You WILL be doing upgrades.
     
  27. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    The FBO I used to work for used them for Charter planes along with 182's, 206's and Cherokee 6's. The 250 Comanche's were their favorite. It was fast and efficient. The ones with the tip tanks gave 90 some gallons of gas and a gross weight increase and allowed them do most round trip flights without refueling, allowing them to fill it from gas from there own pump at wholesale cost.

    Brian
     
  28. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not to worry, OP decided they were junk and gave up on the idea of buying one.

     
  29. taters

    taters Pattern Altitude

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    +1 drag and trim.

    A common problem for people transitioning to HP airplanes is decent planning and execution which leads to being chronically high and fast .

    I cant tell you how many people I have flown with who start coming down 30 miles out (only by force on my part) only to wimp out on the decent rate and wind up high an too fast to put gear down. You want to be at or below Vle in level approach conditions. Find the power setting that will make this happen.

    Yes, you really do have to start coming down that far out , and no 500 FPM wont cut it, that is for Cessna 150's.

    Like the Comanches but love the Beech's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  30. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Nice first post- Jon, poat a bigger picture of your Comanche, from your teensy avatar pic, she looks sweet!

    Welcome to PoA!
     
  31. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    It helps if the pilot is aware of the distance that'll equate to a 3 degree glideslope. If they don't know that then they're going to struggle making any intelligent let-down decision at speeds faster then they're used to. 9,000 ft and 160 knots is going to require 30-ish miles and 800 fpm. The divide by 300 and multiply by five rules get you close enough.

    It amazes me sometimes watching a over-loaded pilot try to figure out what to do when they're too high and too fast. I have yet to fly an airplane that doesn't slow down in a hurry with the nose high and the power removed. The climbing to go down thing I guess is a little counter-intuitive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, that is for pax.

    I plan my descents to start far enough out that I can do it at 500fpm, or absolutely no more than 700fpm. Sure, MY ears can take a 2000fpm descent, but I like being nice to my pax, and until I'm flying 'em in pressurized comfort, I'm gonna stick to 500fpm.
     
  33. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    500 fpm will be an issue flying an ILS at anything over 100 knots :) Although your 700 fpm will buy you 140 knots.
     
  34. bigred177

    bigred177 Cleared for Takeoff

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    That was always my first choice. I have been yelled at by instructors before though for doing it. Seemed like the best option to me.
     
  35. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, I've never had to fly anything non-pressurized that had to go that fast on an ILS. ;)
     
  36. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    "...niner two romeo, traffic following you is a 737, keep your speed up to short final."

    "Wilco, niner two romeo"
     
  37. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    What didn't they like about it? A really fast "slow down" procedure is to pull the power and pull the nose up, then start adding opposite aileron and rudder to do a slip. You need to be careful about slamming in too much rudder at high airspeeds and you also need to be careful about getting too slow in a nose up slip, but it is effective. For a little "safety buffer" you can do the nose up slip in a bank which will make a spin much less likely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  38. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I fly an ILS at 120+ in most everything.
     
  39. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh, I do that by myself all the time - With the Drag-O-Matic 182, I can fly the ILS at 140 knots down to about 325 AGL before "putting on the brakes" - But that's still less than 750 fpm. If I had a pax, I'd probably just say "unable" and offer to let them vector me around and let the big bird land first - I don't need to get on the ground THAT bad.
     
  40. taters

    taters Pattern Altitude

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    IME pax dont notice the difference in 500fpm vs 7-800fpm. Im all about pax comfort, but once in a while there are times when you have to say "my apologies to your ears folks" and keep things moving for ATC. My standard profile is around 7-800 FPM as long as no one has a cold.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010