New Piper Dakota Owner

Hey everyone! I am new to the forums. My name is Jeff, and in late August, I purchased a 1979 Piper Dakota. I started flying in October of last year, but my medical certificate was delayed by about 8 months, so I only got my PPL on August 4th of this year.

A couple of weeks later I had purchased the Dakota and it is turning out to be the perfect plane for my family (me, my wife, and our 8 and 9-year-olds). The plane was an incredible buy as it came with the Aspen 2500 Pro Max system with all the bells and whistles, Avidyne IFD440, fully coupled Stec 55x auto-pilot, new transponder, new 2nd comm, and new audio panel. The entire panel itself was new and expertly machined and installed.

With a low-time engine and immaculate records, it seems to be the perfect first airplane for our family. The market is tough out there for buyers...I watched as several Dakotas were scooped up the same day that they were listed on Trade-A-Plane. When this one came up at a reasonable price, I called at 8:00am the next morning and offered full asking price to ensure I could secure it. The broker told me after the sale that he had gotten multiple offers at above asking price, but wanted to honor our sale, and I believe him.

I had my mechanic replace the alternator and put in new brake lines and a new battery. I upgraded the backup batteries in the Aspens to the brand new versions that came out a couple of months ago. Now I have a clean, reliable aircraft for my family. Thanks go out to my wife for enthusiastically agreeing to let me spend our savings on it!

I'm looking forward to learning a lot and helping others here as I gain more knowledge. I've already gotten help with a couple of things here, so I really appreciate this group of owners!



  • Welcome aboard Jeff and congrats on the Dakota. If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know.

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

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Welcome Jeff!
    Your airplane sounds like the kind of plane we all dream of finding.

    Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • Welcome Jeff. Dakota's are great planes.


  • Welcome Jeff! When you are ready for your instrument rating you already have the perfect plane for it. Thanks for sharing your story too.

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

  • Congrats, amazing show us the panel...

  • Thanks for the great welcome everyone!

    Empannin, I am hoping to finish up my Instrument rating in January. My instructor fits me in when he has to cancel private students due to weather, so most of my training has been in actual IMC, which has been great.

    I'm looking forward to gaining enough expertise to be able to help others on these forums. I've already been on the receiving end of much help myself. Thanks everyone!


  • Jeff, that is fantastic - no better instruction environment than actual. There are too many visual cues even with a good hood

    Eric Panning
    1981 Seneca III
    Hillsboro, OR (KHIO)

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