Flying the Aztec...

mocaman

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2002
Posts
130
Total Time
1200
I will be doing my multi in a pa23 250 E model. Does anyone have some good tips or advice for flying this plane? I just ordered a POH so I can learn the systems and speeds. Thanks guys.
 

Tarzan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Posts
2,073
Total Time
.
I teach in them. They are rather easy airplanes to fly. Just a few more things to deal with though than you had in a single. It blows you away the first few times you fly one since your not accustom to doing as much. But the airplane is very stable and easy to fly. Two finger flying is fairly easy also unless your going to horse one.

One tip though, for landing, trim the nose a bit high you so you have to maintain a little foward pressure on the yoke. It makes the flair easier. I tell all my students to do it. Many folks three point them the first few times they fly and the additional trim helps alleiviate that.

Great airplanes though. Piper builds a great airplane. Haven't flown yet that I didn't think flew well.

Some of the questions asked about the systems are about the Janitrol heater and the fuel system because there is a cross feed.

Have fun with it!
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Posts
2,066
Total Time
> enuf
The Aztec is a great plane. I did my multi in one. You're doing the right thing by going through the manual and learning the systems and speeds. Also, spend some time learning the limitations.

Here's a bit of advice, make sure your instructor isn't one of those guys who likes to pull the mixture or cut fuel right down low. My examiner was one of those guys who shut off the fuel. When the time came to fail an engine he distracted me and reached down to the fuel levers between the seats. Thinking that he had his hand on the LH lever, he shut off the fuel to the RH engine. Moments later, when the RH engine quit, I correctly went through the entire engine failure drill - including feathering the RH propellor. A few moments after the RH engine quit windmilling I witnessed, for the first time, a person (my examiner) having a heart attack - in his mind, he had shut off the fuel to the left engine and I had just shutdown and feathered the right engine. - not a good position to be in at pattern altitude. You've never seen a guy start to sweat so profusely. Once he realized what he had done he settled back down and the rest of the checkride was pretty mellow.

'Sled
 

Wang Chung

Everybody have fun tonite
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Posts
239
Total Time
4200
A great honest twin. The sytems are pretty simple, just study up. Two thing off the top of my head:

#1: The overhead pitch trim crank will drive you nuts. You'll crank it the wrong way at first every time.

#2: The fuel system requires some actual fuel management (tank switching, timing, tracking of what tanks are being used, etc), something you might not be used to if you're coming out of light singles. It may not be much of a factor if you just fly the plane a few hours to get your multi, but if you do any actual trips in the plane then you need to come up with a strategy for managing your fuel.
 

CDVdriver

gearhead.....
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Posts
150
Total Time
>5000
Great airplane, I teach in one.
Previously flown the Cougar, Seneca I and Seminole for my ME.
Marginal perf. on all of them.
Aztec just rocks, we fly a 1966 C (new engines) and today we outclimbed a Pa28 on one engine.
Ours will climb on on engine to about 8000' or so with 500fpm, obviously at light weights but still.
Lots of 135's still fly with them so valuable time.
Systems compare better to larger airplanes with the hydraulic flaps.
Those will drive you crazy also, it takes some finess to get them down in stages instead of all in one.
Flap, trim. flap trim, flap,trim.
Landings are pretty easy, you can kiss them on with pwr idle and roll out with the nosewheel in the air.
Initially fly in the practice area with very moderate pwr settings, like 18"MP and 2300 rpm, that will give appr. 150 mph which is plenty fast if you come from light singles.
Have fun, fly safe, if your MEI cuts at low alt. sock him one in the yaw and switch.
 
T

Traumahawk

Surprised anyone hasn't mentioned the stock configuration of the systems on the left engine, which make it even more "critical" hehe.

The flaps and gear are hydrolic, and the hyd pump, unless two are installed, is on the left engine. If that quits, you're gonna be real busy trying to clean it up.

I've heard to pull the pump lever out before t/o....that way if u lose one, you don't have to fumble for the pump, you can just reach down and get started.

Have fun int he Truck!

T-Hawk
 

TurboS7

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,261
Total Time
19,210
I used to own three of them. N5490K a C model, N333FS a D model and N14203 a E model. All had radar and all were fully deiced. Before I would sign guys off for a 135 checkride I used to make them do a go around under the hood from 100 feet with the left engine a sim feather. They had to pump, and pump, and crank, good bird it will do it. It can carry one heck of a load and get in and out of short strips no problem at all. Slow it down to 80 knots or so before letting the wheels touch or you will 3 point it. It is a hard airplane to fly onto the runway. Have fun.
 

SigAV8R

gigidee gigidee gigidee
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Posts
229
Total Time
28 yrs
Lead Sled said:
The Aztec is a great plane. I did my multi in one. You're doing the right thing by going through the manual and learning the systems and speeds. Also, spend some time learning the limitations.

Here's a bit of advice, make sure your instructor isn't one of those guys who likes to pull the mixture or cut fuel right down low. My examiner was one of those guys who shut off the fuel. When the time came to fail an engine he distracted me and reached down to the fuel levers between the seats. Thinking that he had his hand on the LH lever, he shut off the fuel to the RH engine. Moments later, when the RH engine quit, I correctly went through the entire engine failure drill - including feathering the RH propellor. A few moments after the RH engine quit windmilling I witnessed, for the first time, a person (my examiner) having a heart attack - in his mind, he had shut off the fuel to the left engine and I had just shutdown and feathered the right engine. - not a good position to be in at pattern altitude. You've never seen a guy start to sweat so profusely. Once he realized what he had done he settled back down and the rest of the checkride was pretty mellow.

'Sled
The rest of that checkride better have been the easiest darn ride ever if he did that to you. If anything, you better have received a sympathy pass on future rides. I flew a Turbo C model with the STOL kit. "truck" is an adequte description to how my particular bird flew.

Regarding the trim for landing, mine had elec. trim so I just used thumb trim near the flare to get the nose up. Very similar to landing heavier airplanes (leaning on that trim switch). Just a thought. Aside from that, no other biggies I can remember.
 

TurboS7

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,261
Total Time
19,210
One more tidbit, if the cabin door flies open it blankets the stabilizer and it goes into a 60 degree dive toward mother earth. I almost put a nice hole in the ground 5 miles south of Midway one night when I opened the door to haul a seat belt in- a NO, NO in that airplane.
 

-9Capt

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,046
Total Time
48.3yr
I used to fly them for a 135 operator. Not the best looking airplane or the fastest, but does everything at the C+ level. It'll carry a load of ice.
 

aeronautic1

Virgil_Tracy
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Posts
716
Total Time
3500
A-Truck

Just sit back and listen to your instructor and you will enjoy your Aztec experience. Until you start flying jets, you will not find a finer aeroplane than the Astec.

I too did my multi/comm in the truck. I have flown C-F models and the onnly two incidents that I have had is a jug on one engine coming off of the block (right after a 100 hour) and a split flap (because an AD hadn't been performed). The BIG ASS stabilator will make handling a dream.

I only wish they put two doors on this aeroplane. Good luck.
 

FN FAL

Freight Dawgs Rule
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
8,573
Total Time
7,000+
I was always fond of the Aztec...not pretty, but it loads well and with the extended tanks, flies far.

I think back when they designed the Aztec, most people who flew them, probably wore flannel shirts. Also, be careful around the point where the seat back hinges to the seat. Over time, the little sheet metal guard wears open into a surface that is great for snagging only your newest pair of dockers...
 
Last edited:

charlesmelot

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
Posts
15
Total Time
9900
The pitchup on deployment of flaps can be eliminated completely by learing to "dance" with the airplane using the trim. At 125 IAS go to full flaps all at once. It takes a bit less than 3 1/2 turns of the trim crank down (counterclockwise) applied at just the right speed. The nose does not pitch up and you don't have to hold down stabilator to compensate. I've seen a lot of pilots bleed in flaps a bit at a time so they can hold pitch while they trim. This is a PITA and also a distraction you don't need. Charlie Melot Zephyr Aircraft Engines and once upon a time 135 Aztruck driver
 

TurboS7

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,261
Total Time
19,210
I always had electric trim on my Aztec's nice option. In a normally aspirated Aztec in ice you are better to stay low and plow threw it. If you try to climb you get tend to get icing on the bottom of the wing, the airplane will run out of airspeed and start to decend due to having too much weight from icing. If you stay in the ice and let the deice do the trick and power through it it does well. The only thing you have to worry about are the air inlets getting clogged up from the ice, you just have to use your alternate air.
 
Top