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Piper Seneca as a primary trainer?

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Ale User
Jan 22, 2002
Hi All!

I'm about to put together a partnership in a twin for flight training and personal transportation. I think a Seneca would be a good fit but I have reservations about running a turbo engine in a training environment with all the engine out work. Is this a valid thought or misplaced concern?

The TSIO-360's are not good in a training environment. You'll end up spending a lot of money on engine maintenance. If you want to use the PA-34-200T as a trainer, you may not get the engine life that is desired. If you're hell bent on a Seneca, get a straight PA-34 with the Lycomings.
we use beech duchess aircraft. you might want to look into them. pretty similar to seminoles
The Seneca II's and after make horrible trainers. The Ray-Jay turbochargers have no wastegate. All it takes is one full throttle takeoff and you just bought $5000 worth of turbochargers. Not to mention the problem of rapid temperature changes on those weak Continental cylinders when you are shutting down engines.

Typical choices for multi trainers are the Piper Seminole, Beechcraft Duchess, Beechcraft Baron 55 or the normally aspirated Piper Aztecs. The Lycoming equipped Senecas were not bad, but the nose gear has always been the weakpoint on the Seneca. Expect to have a nose gear problem at some point in time.

I would be tremendously surprised if you could even come close to making money by renting a twin for flight instruction these days. It is very diificult to compete with training companies like ATP. Insurance and fuel costs make it almost impossible.
too bad not enough people operate on principle. doing most/all your training in a sim. what a crock.
Great multi trainer

AZTEC. Economical, rugged, forgiving plus you can really haul the mail when not instructing. Still one of the best piston twins around. Plus, cranking the overhead trim is cool!!

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