September 13, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
The Piper Meridian, until now limited to operating from paved runways, has FAA approval to operate from unpaved runways, including grass and dirt runways. The new privilege also is granted to owners of older Meridians. The $2 million Meridian is a single-engine turboprop with six seats.
Piper officials said the aircraft will require a ground roll of 1,980 feet to take off from dry grass (compared to 1,650 feet on a paved runway), or 2,926 feet (compared to 2,438 feet) to take off from dry grass and clear a 50-foot obstacle. The Meridian will require a ground roll of 1,224 feet to land on dry grass (compared to 1,020 feet on a paved runway) for landing, or 2,532 feet (compared to 2,110 feet) to land over a 50-foot obstacle.
The feature has often been requested by owners.
“The ability to land and depart from unpaved runways adds increased operating flexibility to an already outstanding aircraft through a change to the POH and without requiring any kind of airframe modifications,” said Piper Executive Vice President Randy Groom.
The approval required extensive operational flight testing by Piper engineers and will be reflected in supplements to the Meridian pilot’s operating handbook.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Bombardier has launched the 12-passenger Challenger 650 with an order from launch customer NetJets.
Sabreliner isn't just for Sabreliners anymore. New owners and management have recast it as a jet refurbishment and parts center.
Nextant, rebuilder of the Beechcraft Hawker 400 and King Air 90, has named Piedmont Aircraft as the eastern dealer for the Nextant 400XTi and the G90XT.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>