Turbo Commander 1000??

BuckMurdock1

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Just wanted input from anyone who has flown this type. ..Or even turbo commanders in general. Any pros & cons would be appreciated. I can read all the tech stuff myself-- but I highly value the opinions of other pilots who actually operate them. (just considering eventually starting a 135 op.. someday-- when I have a few $$mil to lose.. haha).
 

jergar999

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I flew a 690B for a few years. Compared to the Kingairs (C90 and A100) I fly full time it was a great performer. Climb it up and we consistently got 265-270 knots on just over 500lbs/hour. The Brasilia style yoke and the cockpit took some getting used to, but of all the aircraft I have flown the Commander is still my favorite. I never saw a maintenance bill but it seemed like they were more expensive than King Airs. I recall ADs for the wing spars and a weight in the tail, I'm sure there are more but I can't recall. The one I flew (under Part 91) did 150 hour inspections instead of a standard annual. Flaps and gear are hydraulic, there's a high pressure nitrogen bottle that blows the gear down in the event of hydraulic failure. I've never seen a Commander with a bottle that doesn't leak and need to be serviced fairly regularly. That's about all I can remember except that if you've never flown one you're going to love the ground steering.
 

pilotyip

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TC experince

I have over 1000 hrs in the 690's. I liked flying it; it was more of a pilot’s airplane than the KA-200 I also flew. The fixed shaft engines are noisy, but have nice no-lag power response. Ours had the props Q-tipped that made it quieter. Used noise canx headsets. The cabin is small compared to the KA, which paxs don't like. There was always something that needed fixing, but rarely was it something that grounded the airplane, i.e. gens would not parallel, prop sync inop, etc. I think the ops cost of our 690 was well below the cost of the KA-200. I do not know much about the TC-1000, except it was bigger TC-690, with bigger engines, and flew a lot faster.
 
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avbug

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The commander has a dirt simple fuel system...one big tank. No issues with crossfeed or fuel mismanagement...everything is interconnected, it all comes from one source, and one may consider all interconnected fuel tanks as one (all 22 of them).

The airplane is a single pilot design which doesn't require a type rating (AC690, for example), yet is every bit as complex and detailed as aircraft which do require a type rating. One should seek adequate training on type, rather than picking up the book and teaching one's self.

From a maintenance perspective, there are certain "gotcha's" that are repeatable (keep cropping up) and can potentially create problems, such as the pneumatic plenum in back, and getting to some of these poorly designed and poorly placed items can be a bear.

As light twins go, it's a rocketship.

It's got specifics that you need to know that can hurt you: the typical identify, verify, feather routine will burn you in an engine out if you try retarding the power levers to "verify." (you'll get a big drag increase).

You may find the ground handling takes a little getting used-to. It's common to see new commander pilots making very jerky side-to side motions with frequent application of brake as they try to figure out the foot pedal steering. It works a little different than most other aircraft, with brake pedal steering proportioning valves.

It's a fun airplane, flies nicely if it's maintained properly. Maintenance isn't cheap. Or shouldn't be.
 

Tgaug6300

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Have about 1600hrs in that series and I agree with the others, it truely is one of the best airplanes I have ever flown. The 1000 is nice because it is a wet wing (where as the 690 series had individual fuel bladders, so the airplane took FOREVER to refuel). Also, the 1000 will not require the wing spar inspections. The 1000 also has a drop down cabin so it have a little more room than the 690s, also a private potty area. Plus the 1000 was certified up to FL310.
The 1000 also has the TPE331-10 engines (many 690s have been changed over from the -5 to the -10). So we filed for 290kts, but we routinely saw 297+. Outstanding airplane! Great short field, great single engine ops, great handling, sips the fuel. Sometimes I really miss that bird.
 

Say Again Over

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My company was looking for a second aircraft many years ago, I think it was 1982 when I got to demo a couple aircraft, Conquest 1, or Corsair, and the 840 Commander, the Commander has to be one of the finest aircraft I remember flying, what a rocket.
 

BuckMurdock1

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Thanks so much for the great responses folks!! Sounds like a very fun plane to fly. Of course Mx is always a HUGE cost center..sounds like the T-Commanders are definitely no exception. I definitely like the 1000's fuel system vs. that of the 690s as you describe (and faster fueling thereof). I have heard of that wing spar AD and like that the 1000 seems to be exempt. The creature comfort improvements of the 1000 (ie- larger cabin, private lav) are also a big plus. One question-- are most 1000s < 12,500 GTOW? As in, no type rating req.?
 

Tgaug6300

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No Type required. FlightSafety is in Houston. We had ours maintained at the Servicenter at KPWA. Great folks, who really know the airplane (heck, it was built there!).
 

jergar999

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Eagle Creek in Indianapolis (KEYE) seems to be the big service center for them now.
 

fisherpilot

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I flew a 690D (900) for about a year. It had the meggitt magic avionics suite and had the -10's. It was amazing!!!! We could consistently true out around 300 kts. Still, to this day I don't think I have flown an aircraft that has as much power as it had for the size of the aircraft. The only problem we had was that it was hard to find parts and MX was expensive. I loved the Garrett's.... The plane would do anything you wanted.
 

Tristar

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Eagle Creek in Indianapolis (KEYE) seems to be the big service center for them now.
Not recommended based on multiple experiences of a good friend who flew a 690 for several years. They actually ended up flying theirs from Indiana to Oklahoma for service to avoid doing business with Eagle Creek Aviation.
 

fisherpilot

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we had ours serviced at KPWA. The lead mechanic at the time, don't know if he is still there, was working on them when they were being built. The 900 we flew is basically a 1000 model with -5's. Ours had the -10's made it pretty much a 1000. As far as the steering goes, you will hate it at first and then will grow to love it. One word of advice......get rid of the main gear doors
 

Tgaug6300

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we had ours serviced at KPWA. The lead mechanic at the time, don't know if he is still there, was working on them when they were being built. The 900 we flew is basically a 1000 model with -5's. Ours had the -10's made it pretty much a 1000. As far as the steering goes, you will hate it at first and then will grow to love it. One word of advice......get rid of the main gear doors
His name is Carl Toey. He retired about two years ago. Great guy, Nobody knows those plane better than him. A true Commander Jedi Warrior.
 

SIG600

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The thing is a rocket powered truck. It's fast, and if you can close the doors it'll fly. I loved the thing. Someone mentioned the ground steering... that's a no sh!tter!!!
 
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