Twin for charter?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by gibbons, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    My business partner and I are considering putting a piston twin on the local FBO's 135. They have suggested either a BE58 Baron or a Navajo. The 58 I know about, but I don't know much about a Navajo.

    Can someone give me the thumbnail on the models (Chieftan vs Navajo) and where the concerns are? The FBO likes the big Piper because of the room for pax. We might consider a King Air 90 or equiv. if we can get another partner involved. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Chip
     
  2. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    Chip,

    The Navajo is the shorter PA31 and the Chieftan is the longer PA31 version of the aircraft. In either model the seats come out easily for switching from passenger to cargo operations.

    Interior configurations are all over the board...for example some Chieftans have nice wood dividers betweent the cockpit and the passenger are and are even equiped with No Smoking, Fasten Seat Belt lights. Except in high density seating configuration you will typically find a club seating arrangement with a fold out table on at least one side of the cabin.

    The early Navajo's don't have counter rotating props and from what I've heard can be a bear with One Enginge Inoperative (OEI).

    Power comes from two big expensive turbo charged Lycomings (TIO540s). 300HP in the early Navajos, 310 later, then 325 with the model that moved to counter rotating props. The Chieftans all come with 350 HP.

    A Part 135 operator I'm familiar with operated a Chieftan for many years and I always thought it was a wonderful plane. Of course, I wasn't paying any of the bills. (I got to ride right seat often as the PIC was single pilot part 135 qualified). For planning purposes they used 180 kts cruise speed. IIRC this particular Chieftan did have a potty but not all do.

    For cargo operations the crew door that opens right next to the pilot seat is real nice to have. It lets you load up the cabin completely and provides for quick egress if required. Aircraft with the crew door are easy to identify by the wing walk on the wing running next to the cabin. There is a real trick to making sure the three part cabin door is closed and I remember being at least one FAA incident report where the copilot fell out of the cabin door while trying to reclose in flight (he was luckily able to hang on 'till the PIC landed, the PIC did not know the copilot was hanging on for dear life).

    In the market place there appears to be a wide range of prices. Obviously there will be a reason for the differences in price.

    Note that what ever aircraft you but the pilots flying that aircraft will have to go through initial and periodic Part 135 check rides. They will also probably want a bit of training time prior to the check ride. This will involve engine out practice. I would consider going with the same aircraft as is already on the charter certificate and stipulate that the training take place in someone elses aricraft.

    Len
     
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  3. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Chip, if you can find a straight PA-31-300 get it. It's a nonturbo'd 1968 model, few were made. They run forever. TBO is 2000 hrs, MTOW is 6200, EW is supposed to be 3684 (yeah, right).

    Most of the PA31s are -310. Turbos were improved on B-C models (1971, 1975). TBO went from 1500 to 18000 hours. This model spawned a number of repetitive ADs- 98-8-25 replace lower spar splice, 98-9-10 Inspect elev. bungee spring, 97-7-3 Repet. Insp. Nose wheel assy, 06.21.3 Repet insp. Aileron hinge bracket, 96-12-12 Inspect bulkhad, 96-10-3 Rept. insp. spar, ribs, flap track. How do I know this? I was a partner in one for one disasterous year.

    Then there's the 31-350, the Chieftain with a two foot fuselage stretch. TBO went from 1200 hrs to 1600 in 1979 but THEY HARDLY EVER MAKE IT. The P-Nav and the Mohave....RUN!

    the C/R ~1975 was counterrotating and was the last of the short fuselage Navajos. They go for more. I don't think they fly on one, heavy, any better.
    I would only do this if there is NO alternative. There may not be, with the Cessna 400 series wing AD coming, and the Bo/Baron Spar situation as it is.....
     
  4. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    Bruce,

    Not too encouraging but sort of what I expected.

    I'm really leaning toward taking a third partner on this deal and going with a KA 90 or KA 200. The problem with that is that my partner and I can't fly it - at least for a long time - and we would like to put something on 135 that we can fly for ourselves part 91.

    I'm shy of the Cessna 300/400 series because of the spar, but the 414 is really a good fit otherwise. The Baron isn't really roomy enough to be a good choice for what this operator has in the pipeline. We tried to talk him into a turbine single (TBM 700) but no go from the primary customer - must be a twin.

    One of the guys on the field is going to be selling his Renaissance Commander soon, but it's loud and not very roomy either.

    Whatever it is need to have the big twin feel for the pax but can't break the bank to get into or run.

    Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Chip
     
  5. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    Chip,

    Kmart King Air aka Cheyenne II.

    RE Being Able to Fly it Part 91...don't take this as gospel but IIRC under Part 135 (135.245) you could act as SIC with Commercial MEL and MEL Instrument. You could then log time on the Part 135 rides to gain the experience required by insurance for solo Part 91 operations.

    Has Marty M jumped here yet?

    Len
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2005
  6. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    LOL. Never heard "Kmart King Air" before. Actually there was a Cheyenne II on the ramp yesterday and I discussed it with the FBO. I've never even been inside one but I understand they're darn fast. Good suggestion. Thanks.

    Chip
     
  7. Len Lanetti

    Len Lanetti Cleared for Takeoff

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    Chip,

    I edited that post to include what I think are the SIC requirements under Part 135...where possibly it is an avenue for getting insurance required time in type for Part 91 ops.

    Len