T-tail Lance question

Hello everyone. I’m sure I’ve somehow missed the 100’s of threads pertaining to my question, but I’m going to ask it because I can’t seem to find much on it.

I recently sold a great Beechcraft Debonair that I owned for the last 12 years because my family is outgrowing it. I have become very interested in a Lance. I have read enough to talk myself out of a turbo model because of the maintenance & the fact that I really don’t need it flying around the South East. It seams there are more T-tail Lances available than straight tail models but I’m a little concerned with the fact that my home airport has a 2,700’ runway. I live in North Florida & it is fairly hot here 9 months of the year. Do I need to stay away from the T-tail or will it handle just fine? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance...Ashley

Comments

  • Hi Ashley,
    Having owned 8 Pipers including one T-tail Seminole, I wouldn't worry too much about about it. If the accelerate-stop distance in the POH fits at your home airport (2,700') then you're okay. Regarding the turbo: I'm a flat lander, too, as I live in Wisconsin. I would never own an airplane unless it had a turbo engine. Over 30 years of owning turbo Pipers, there really isn't any additional turbo expense. Also, do you like cruising at low altitudes in the summer when you can be in the cool, smooth, hi performance air available in the teens? I certainly don't. Nothing beats a turbo. Good luck!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thanks Scott, I didn't think the T-tail would be an issue, but I have heard some people complain about the added speed needed on takeoff and landing. On another note, I would certainly be interested in your opinion on Turbo engines - fuel burn and maintenance. I have read on several threads where people were complaining about excessive heat, hot cylinders, higher fuel burn, etc....
    Are these really non-issues? Most of my flying is within 200nm of my home airport, so I don't know if it would be worth climbing into the teens for such a short flight. It would certainly be easier to purchase a Turbo as there are more of them on the market than the normally aspirated models.

  • edited February 28

    Hi and thanks for writing. I've owned 4 aircraft with Continental TSIO-360's. Three Seneca's and my current plane, a Turbo Arrow 3. I've never blown a turbo or required anything but routine maintenance over 30 years of flying turbo's. They're 15 - 20 knots faster in the low teens, too. And the higher you fly, the faster you go. They burn a bit more fuel at low altitudes but in the low teens it's about the same because you're cruising faster. If you have a 20 kt headwind, the turbo will cruise at the same groundspeed as the non-turbo with no headwind. How do you beat that! Good luck.

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Thanks Scott. You make some very valid points. Maybe I shouldn’t write off a turbo too quickly.

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