Piper Twin Comanche has very simple engines which sip fuel which results
in lower fuel consumption, and lower maintenance costs. It results in
very economical operation compared to any other twin engine airplane
available including other twin engine aircraft from Piper such as the
Seminole and Seneca. Economical however does not mean slow as the PA-30
easily does 160kts, burning 7.5gph per side.
to purchasing this plane I made the decision not to go with a turbo
model. My reasons for doing so were that I had no plans on doing very
high altitude flying, I didn't need the extra cost from the additional
ADs and maintenance items that come with having turbochargers, and the
engines' "time before overhaul" (TBO) is reduced from 2000
hours to 1800 hours. Another reason I avoided PA-30T's is because there
is really no way to know whether the engines have been "over-boosted"
by someone forgetting to close to turbos during descent. This can shorten
the life of the engines significantly. In the end, the significantly
higher operating costs led to my decision to not buy a turbocharged
of the most reputable engine overhaulers in the world is Teledyne Mattituck.
All overhauls are not identical and if you take an A&P/IA with you
to inspect PA-30's like I did, you'll see how different overhauls can
be. Mattituck was described as having, "earned it almost fanatic
loyalty and return business" in an article by Aviation Consumer
magazine on engine overhauls. That should sum it up.
thing that should be noted is that just because an engine is low time,
or zero time, it doesn't mean that it is worth anything. During my inspections
of PA-30s, I regularly found engines with zero time, or very little
time, that had almost never been flown since overhaul. Even now I find
planes listed along side mine that have very low time engines, but the
unfortunate part is that many have not been flown in a very long time,
and so the overhaul is basically useless. The engine has probably not
been properly broken in, and will lead to a serious catastrophe down
the line. Airplanes (and engines) like to flown, and those that aren't,
go bad. Engines that aren't flown regularly will not make it to TBO
according to many A&Ps I've spoken to.
COMPRESSIONS AT LAST ANNUAL (JUNE 2006)
RIGHT ENGINE: 1. 78/80 2. 78/80 3. 75/80 4. 78/80
LEFT ENGINE: 1. 78/80 2. 78/80 3. 78/80 4. 75/80