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Want to purchase PA34-200 Seneca



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 4th 04, 05:01 PM
Grasshopper
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Default Want to purchase PA34-200 Seneca

Has anyone owned or flown a Seneca I or Seneca II? If so, please share
thoughts on the aircraft. I want to purchase an aircraft with optional 7th
passenger seating so I can take my whole family places.

--
____________________________
Ah, Young Grasshopper.
Sometimes it is eyes that blind a man.


  #2  
Old July 4th 04, 05:20 PM
Bill Zaleski
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If you fill 7 seats, you will have little fuel left. The Seneca V
that I fly is over gross with full fuel and 2ea. 240# crew.




On Sun, 04 Jul 2004 16:01:23 GMT, "Grasshopper"
wrote:

Has anyone owned or flown a Seneca I or Seneca II? If so, please share
thoughts on the aircraft. I want to purchase an aircraft with optional 7th
passenger seating so I can take my whole family places.


  #3  
Old July 4th 04, 05:36 PM
Grasshopper
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Bill Zaleski wrote:
If you fill 7 seats, you will have little fuel left. The Seneca V
that I fly is over gross with full fuel and 2ea. 240# crew.



Thanks for the response, Bill.

I have young kids, so I figure the total weight for us is about 1,000 lbs
(2 adults and 5 children). Or does having a Seneca I or Seneca II
configured for optional 7th seat force you to reconfigure with smaller
tanks? I saw that both the Seneca I and Seneca II have optional 122 gallon
capacity. Would having the 7 seat configuration make the optional long
range fuel no longer an option?

--
____________________________
Ah, Young Grasshopper.
Sometimes it is eyes that blind a man.


  #4  
Old July 4th 04, 06:35 PM
Bill Zaleski
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Just stay at gross with a reduced fuel loading.


On Sun, 04 Jul 2004 16:36:36 GMT, "Grasshopper"
wrote:

Bill Zaleski wrote:
If you fill 7 seats, you will have little fuel left. The Seneca V
that I fly is over gross with full fuel and 2ea. 240# crew.



Thanks for the response, Bill.

I have young kids, so I figure the total weight for us is about 1,000 lbs
(2 adults and 5 children). Or does having a Seneca I or Seneca II
configured for optional 7th seat force you to reconfigure with smaller
tanks? I saw that both the Seneca I and Seneca II have optional 122 gallon
capacity. Would having the 7 seat configuration make the optional long
range fuel no longer an option?


  #5  
Old July 5th 04, 02:16 AM
Craig
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"Grasshopper" wrote in message ...

I have young kids, so I figure the total weight for us is about 1,000 lbs
(2 adults and 5 children). Or does having a Seneca I or Seneca II
configured for optional 7th seat force you to reconfigure with smaller
tanks? I saw that both the Seneca I and Seneca II have optional 122 gallon
capacity. Would having the 7 seat configuration make the optional long
range fuel no longer an option?



You might want to expand what you are looking at to the Aero Commander
5/6 series. As an example. a 680 has a usefull load around 2600
pounds....7 seats and full fuel plus baggage. Sure, it's an older a/c,
but properly taken care of and handled (if you have a model with
geared engines) they will outlast you and your family.
Besides, if you ever hope to travel much distance without frequent
stops with the whole family, it would work out better in the long run.
Also, as the kids grow and the travel needs change (increasing the
required stuff to go anywhere) you won't be as worried as what can go
and what has to stay and how fine is the margin between fuel on board
and what we can load...

Craig C.
  #6  
Old July 5th 04, 02:29 AM
Grasshopper
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Craig wrote:
"Grasshopper" wrote in message
I have young kids, so I figure the total weight for us is about
1,000 lbs (2 adults and 5 children). Or does having a Seneca I or
Seneca II configured for optional 7th seat force you to reconfigure
with smaller tanks? I saw that both the Seneca I and Seneca II have
optional 122 gallon capacity. Would having the 7 seat configuration
make the optional long range fuel no longer an option?



You might want to expand what you are looking at to the Aero Commander
5/6 series. As an example. a 680 has a usefull load around 2600
pounds....7 seats and full fuel plus baggage. Sure, it's an older a/c,
but properly taken care of and handled (if you have a model with
geared engines) they will outlast you and your family.


I looked at the Aerostar, but the 500B twin commander from the mid 60's is
like $200K. I want to try and stay under $100K, which I can do with a
Seneca I or Seneca II. What are your thoughts in my purchase price
constraints?


--
____________________________
Ah, Young Grasshopper.
Sometimes it is eyes that blind a man.


  #7  
Old July 5th 04, 04:09 AM
Kyler Laird
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"Grasshopper" writes:

Has anyone owned or flown a Seneca I or Seneca II? If so, please share
thoughts on the aircraft. I want to purchase an aircraft with optional 7th
passenger seating so I can take my whole family places.


A 7th seet for a Seneca?! Wow, that's gotta be tight. The Seneca
always seemed cramped to me and I never flew with more than a
couple other people.

Incidentally, I recently received a postcard about an (ancient) STC
for a third seating position in the back of an Aztec. That also
seems like a tight squeeze, but for small children it might work.

--kyler
  #8  
Old July 5th 04, 08:47 AM
Craig
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"Grasshopper" wrote in message ...


I looked at the Aerostar, but the 500B twin commander from the mid 60's is
like $200K. I want to try and stay under $100K, which I can do with a
Seneca I or Seneca II. What are your thoughts in my purchase price
constraints?


The Aerostar is a whole 'nother ball of wax. What I know of them makes
them low in my book for a family machine.

I think that you are going to have to balance load vs space vs
distance you can fly vs upfront money. Right now, with just my wife
and I and our three year old, we end up with about 100 pounds of
stuff and baggage for a weekend trip. Right now we do all our
traveling via road as our Commander is out west just coming out of
long term storage.

One of our biggest criteria for selecting the AC, was that we did not
want to isolate the flight deck from the cabin area.....in other words
we wanted ready access to the back seats without having to climb over
seats. Also, we did not want to isolate someone in the back with a
seperate door to worry about....kids will get into stuff they
shouldn't....

Load capacity vs flight time was another item we looked at. I'm just
at 6' and 275#. Put me, the wife and the son in the airplane and a
little bit of day gear and we are pushing rapidly towards 700#. With
the AC, that leaves me about 1900# for whatever else we want to drag
along and fuel while we cruise at nearly 200kts. With your case, just
a rough estimate would put you at somewhere north of 600#, but
remember kids will gain weight rapidly as they grow. Depending on
their ages, you could be pushing towards 1000# of people within a
short time. With that in mind, how much room for fuel and baggage
does that leave you in the Seneca series?

One other thing is the AC is probably the biggest pussycat in the
world to fly on one engine. Lose an engine and it's a pretty ho-hum
thing...dial in a little trim, cage the bad one and plow on. No
critical engine, V speeds are reasonable and it won't work you to
death if you do lose one. Remember Bob Hoover flew a great show in an
AC for 20+ years and will attest to it's handling characteristics.

Cost shoudln't be that big of a thing. Consider what your expenses are
going to be if you do by the Seneca and end up outgrowing it within a
couple of years, vs spending a bit more upfront. Good AC's can be
found within your price range with a little paitents and putting the
word out with the right people.

BTW, I do know of a AC 680E that is coming out of a long term overhaul
that will be as good or better than it was new, and the owner's price
isn't way out of the figures you are looking at.

What ever aircraft you narrow your focus down to, be sure and lay out
a side by side comparison of all the specs. Take a realistic look at
the family now and what it will look like over the next 5 years. Do a
practice trip and see where you really come out on the scales and then
do a weight and balance for each of the aircraft. Do a flight plan far
enough to figure all the stops necessary for the average trip you will
be making. Then once you settle on paper what aircraft you want, find
some way to fly one and see how you like it.

An aside here....the Twin Commander type club is having their annual
meeting and conference in September in Kansas City . Bob Hoover is
supposed to be there as well as all the AC gurus. It might be worth
the trip if you are not in a hurry to make a decision on what to buy.

Craig C.

  #9  
Old July 5th 04, 06:45 PM
Grasshopper
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Default

Craig wrote:
One other thing is the AC is probably the biggest pussycat in the
world to fly on one engine. Lose an engine and it's a pretty ho-hum
thing...dial in a little trim, cage the bad one and plow on. No
critical engine, V speeds are reasonable and it won't work you to
death if you do lose one. Remember Bob Hoover flew a great show in an
AC for 20+ years and will attest to it's handling characteristics.


Craig - First off, thank you for the informative and AWESOME note back!
Actually, that is *exactly* why I am interested in twin engine. Safety
when I have my family with me. With regard to lbs. - I am about 6'6"
and 270, wife is about 175, and the kids range from age 10 to 16 so I
figure I should count on 150 for each kid even though they are not there
yet. Add in 400 lbs of luggage and I get a total of 1,595.


Cost shoudln't be that big of a thing. Consider what your expenses are
going to be if you do by the Seneca and end up outgrowing it within a
couple of years, vs spending a bit more upfront. Good AC's can be
found within your price range with a little paitents and putting the
word out with the right people.


I am a complete neophyte. I fly every week for work, and do so on Delta
exclusively. My enjoyment of flying each week is what motivates me to get
my own. I have found a local flight school, and my wife is also going to
take the classes. I used to be an aircraft and avionics tech in the ANG,
and I have flown an F4E flight simulator a few times. I enjoyed it each
time. I am stuck on the price though - I am selling my extra car, and
will use that money to get financing for a plane. Since my car payment was
$845, I figure $800 times 10 year financing should allow me to buy about an
$70K to $90K plane. Give or take.


BTW, I do know of a AC 680E that is coming out of a long term overhaul
that will be as good or better than it was new, and the owner's price
isn't way out of the figures you are looking at.


Can you help me with links to where planes are offered on the internet so I
can get familiar with the cost of some of these aircraft? I have found the
following so far:
www.aviatorsale.com
www.globalair.com/classifieds
www.aso.com
www.globalplanesearch.com
www.controller.com


What ever aircraft you narrow your focus down to, be sure and lay out
a side by side comparison of all the specs. Take a realistic look at
the family now and what it will look like over the next 5 years. Do a
practice trip and see where you really come out on the scales and then
do a weight and balance for each of the aircraft. Do a flight plan far
enough to figure all the stops necessary for the average trip you will
be making. Then once you settle on paper what aircraft you want, find
some way to fly one and see how you like it.


Having never flown a Seneca, Aero Twin Commander, or any other aircraft;
and I going to be able to compare them, or am I just going to be
overwhelmed by how much fun they all are? With regard to distance, I am
close to Atlanta, and feel I would like to be able to go about 700 NM.
This gets me to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, and up the coast to
Nova Scotia (with 1 stop). It also gets me all over USA on about 2 or 3
stops.

An aside here....the Twin Commander type club is having their annual
meeting and conference in September in Kansas City . Bob Hoover is
supposed to be there as well as all the AC gurus. It might be worth
the trip if you are not in a hurry to make a decision on what to buy.


I can fly there via Delta if you think that is worth the trip. What do I
do once I get to KC?

--
____________________________
Ah, Young Grasshopper.
Sometimes it is eyes that blind a man.


  #10  
Old July 6th 04, 02:28 AM
Craig
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Grasshopper" wrote in message ...
Craig - First off, thank you for the informative and AWESOME note back!
Actually, that is *exactly* why I am interested in twin engine. Safety
when I have my family with me. With regard to lbs. - I am about 6'6"
and 270, wife is about 175, and the kids range from age 10 to 16 so I
figure I should count on 150 for each kid even though they are not there
yet. Add in 400 lbs of luggage and I get a total of 1,595.


I think that at this point you can pretty much rule out the Seneca
series of aircraft. Usefull on the 1's and 2's is about 1400 pounds,
including fuel.



I am a complete neophyte. I fly every week for work, and do so on Delta
exclusively. My enjoyment of flying each week is what motivates me to get
my own. I have found a local flight school, and my wife is also going to
take the classes. I used to be an aircraft and avionics tech in the ANG,
and I have flown an F4E flight simulator a few times. I enjoyed it each
time. I am stuck on the price though - I am selling my extra car, and
will use that money to get financing for a plane. Since my car payment was
$845, I figure $800 times 10 year financing should allow me to buy about an
$70K to $90K plane. Give or take.


Having to stay within that $ figure limits you pretty much. Some of
the Commanders can be had in that range, but will probably have older
avionics and will be needing paint and/or interiors fairly soon. One
other possibility, if you don't mind your operating fuel costs to be a
bit higher, would be to look at a Beech 18/C-45 series aircraft. The
fuel burn will be about double that of a Seneca, but you will get a
usefull load in excess of 2000#s for sure.



Can you help me with links to where planes are offered on the internet so I
can get familiar with the cost of some of these aircraft? I have found the
following so far:
www.aviatorsale.com
www.globalair.com/classifieds
www.aso.com
www.globalplanesearch.com
www.controller.com


Get yourself the cheap subscription to Trade-a-Plane and hit their
website very often and browse the ads


Having never flown a Seneca, Aero Twin Commander, or any other aircraft;
and I going to be able to compare them, or am I just going to be
overwhelmed by how much fun they all are? With regard to distance, I am
close to Atlanta, and feel I would like to be able to go about 700 NM.
This gets me to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, and up the coast to
Nova Scotia (with 1 stop). It also gets me all over USA on about 2 or 3
stops.

First hurdle is just to get your ticket and make sure that it is
something that you really want to do. Also, it give you time to set
aside bucks and get your financial house in order to take on the new
expenses.




I can fly there via Delta if you think that is worth the trip. What do I
do once I get to KC?


Pop over to www.aerocommander.com and see about getting a registration
form from the club. It will also have a schedule of events. Even if
you don't get the chance to come over, visit with the member of the
type club of whatever aircraft you end up selecting. It will give tons
of insight and help you to skip over mistakes that could be costly or
fatal.

BTW, The Piper Aztek is probably too small also, but if you have any
questions about it, Kyler is the resident expert.

Craig C.

 




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