Piper Mojave

gflyer

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I run a Part 91 flight department and we are considering the purchase of a Piper Mojave or Chieftain. Any info about these would be great. I am mostly concerned about MX issues and costs. I have done a search on here about both, but nothing was found about the Mojave. Thanks for the help.
 

flyinlow67

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We run a Chieftian. Good bird, but a handfull on one engine. I don't know anything personally about the Mojave, but I have heard they are a maintenance hog.
 

Piper877

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I can speak for the Chieftain. Although I haven't flown one almost every air taxi service out here in Hawaii uses them in their operation. That seems to tell me that they're pretty reliable and cost effective. Most of these operators are unscheduled on-demand operators with not a whole lot of revenue and still make a profit. Seems like an excellent aircraft.
 

OzBushWhacker

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Engineers also love pipers for their simplicity to work on. i.e the cowls on the Pa-31 take a few mins per engine to take off, compared to many more minutes for a baron. It all adds up in the end.
 

Dave Benjamin

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If I was operating a PA-31 I'd see if Ameriflight would be willing to share some of their secrets. Since you're a Pt 91 operator and not competing against AMF perhaps they'd share some info on operating techniques and MX.

From a piloting standpoint you have to do a good job of thinking ahead and planning your descents. At AMF I think the drill was an initial power reduction of 2" followed by 2" decreases every 2 minutes. Bottom line is start reducing power early if you know ATC will be looking for a steep descent. You also want to reduce RPM once you get below about 24".

I really enjoyed flying the PA-31 although I'm happy to be out of the 135 environment. If AMF isn't willing to share info I'd hit up one of their pilots for a copy of the PA-31 training manual. That contains all the operating practices that you need to maximize engine life.
 

logjammer

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I flew a mojave for about 1000 hours 135. Unless you really need the pressurization, stay away from it. It may be an OK personal airplane for light schedules and wealthy owner pilots, but it's not made for a hard sched with multiple pilots.

Finacky engines, A/C, and pressurization will take years off of your life, as will the single engine performance. Remember, they were built in 1984, and 84 only for a reason. Pratt and Whitney went on strike, and Beech bought all the Garretts for the King Air line. Piper took it's 54 Cheyenne I fuselages and stuck those TSIO 540 S1AD (If I remember that right, it's been years) at 350 horse. The Cheyenne I has 500 a side and performance is still an issue.

If you don't need the altitude and all the speed, get the chieftain. If you feel you need a Mojave, get a Cheyenne I.

Good luck with your decision.
 

flyinlow67

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We use a 2" reduction every 2 min starting 20 miles out.
The fuel burn is pretty high in the Chieftian as well. Your looking at about 40 gallons per hour total. Most PA-31 pilots I have talked to get about this same amount as well.
 

gflyer

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Thanks for the replies so far. We are also looking at the Cessna 414's with the RAM VII conversions. If you guys were to chose between the 414, Chieftain, or Mojave which would it be and why??


Thanks again
 

414Flyer

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If you are considering a Mojave, you might as well look at Cheyennes, since it is the same airframe but with PT-6, and its an engine you will find it much easier for support and parts than the one on the Mojave, and will need less maintanance.
 

onthebeach

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There are lots better choices.

If you absolutely must have a piston airplane, you should look into a Colemill Panther conversion. Just call Colemill (I don't work for them) and they'll send you an impressive and comprehensive video presentation that will convince you it's the way to go, although more costly than buying a stock PA-31 off the market. However, if you do go off the market/stock you will either fly around a dog with some issues you don't even want to deal with, or spend on maintenance in the first year what you would have spent on the Panther anyway. Trust me on this.

However, you really should do a job on your principal and try to convince him/her/them to bite the bullet and buy a King Air 90. At least 60-90 knots more than the piston PA-31 line and pressurization, plus simplicity and reliability, and great resale value...plus a very comfortable cabin. There's a reason the King Air line has been in production since 1964 and is the only business turboprop still on the market (and I don't work for Beech/Raytheon either).

If purchase price is the controlling issue with your principal, see if you can steer him/her/them into a Caravan, or better, a PC-12. Single engine IS a safety issue, however intelligent operating procedures, chiefly some wiggle room on weather minimums and opting for the less congested departure/destination airfields, will go a long way to ameliorating this concern.

If you do go with a turbine aircraft, do your department a favor and stay away from Cheyennes.

Best of luck and feel free to PM me with further questions.

--best, beach.
 
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