Turbine

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Twin turboprop for the masses

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Given that it's been decades since we did a pilot report on the Piper Cheyenne, you might be surprised to learn that I am such a fan of the model, especially the II XL. From a value standpoint, it's hard to beat a Cheyenne - fast, comfortable, and capable.

Jet or turboprop?

Article | Nov 01, 2011

Entry-level jets were so tempting to Jeffrey Brausch, a member of the Air Safety Institute Board of Visitors, that he looked at nearly every offering on the market. When decision time came in 1999, the model he wanted most was the one he already owned, a pristine 1981 Piper Cheyenne II XL.

Consolidation of knowledge

Article | Nov 01, 2011

There are a number of witty phrases used among pilots to refer to the often-intense nature of turbine aircraft training courses. "Drinking from a fire hose" is particularly descriptive, as anyone who's ever taken an accelerated type-rating course can attest. Earning a type rating is no small achievement for any pilot, from the airline veteran whose certificate is bulging with multiple type ratings to the newest light-jet pilot earning his or her first. The amount of information is often overwhelming; the pace at which it is presented can be enough to quickly drown one's self-confidence.

200 feet, lights in sight

Article | Nov 01, 2011

"Approach lights in sight, continue" is a callout heard during every two-pilot jet simulator session, yet generally unfamiliar to pilots transitioning from piston aircraft. Why? The reliability and capability of jet aircraft are so great that they are often flown into weather conditions a pilot wouldn't take a piston aircraft. Very low visibility conditions are one such example.

Powering into the future

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Relative to older style engines, modern turbofan engines sound almost too good to be true: Higher and faster on less fuel, lower emissions, and less noise, lower weight, and longer TBO. In this case, the old adage about too good to be true doesn’t hold up.

Flying the Jumbo, Jumbo

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Illustrations by John Sauer When I was a young commercial pilot, I wanted to fly jets. Didn’t we all? A jet pilot’s life would be so easy; just flip a few switches, wait for the engines to roar to life, and take the runway.

The NeXT Beechjet

Article | Oct 01, 2011

Photograph Courtesy Nextant Photography by Mike Fizer It’s no secret that there are plenty of good used jets on the market today. Some are just plain excellent values for the owner-pilot, but others are particularly well-suited for remanufacturing and remarketing as rejuvenated airplanes.

Swapping avgas for Jet-A

Article | Sep 01, 2011

Strapping a fire-breathing turboprop engine on your average piston single confirms that one man’s toy is another man’s tool. To some, such a swap seems like a questionable use of resources.

(Not) straight-in

Article | Sep 01, 2011

By the time they fly their first jet, most pilots are accomplished at instrument flying. They certainly understand the difference, for example, between a straight-in and circling approach.