Need Help Landing a Piper Seneca!


Well-Known Member
Hi guys I started my multi-engine training and it is in a 1973 PA34-200 piper seneca, I am having difficulty landing it tho, i seem to flare to high, but its my first low wing airplane and also when i am in landing it's like im gunna go nose first with it resulting in too much loss of airspeed and roung landing. Can any of you help me with this who have flown the seneca or anything like it. thanks.
Hold in some power, and reduce it such that you're at idle just as the mains touch. The older Seneca's are way nose heavy, which might give someone the tendency to start flaring early in fear of touching down nosewheel-first. Maybe keep in a little extra nose up trim to help you out in the flare- just don't use too much, or you might have a hell of a time keeping the nose down on a go-around. Good luck, and you'll get it. Oh yeah, and let me conclude this by saying that I've only got like 1.5 hrs. in a Seneca II- so take my advice for whatever you think its worth.
Seneca's are really nose-heavy, especially in slow flight. My instructor flies a seneca II for his surveying job and says it is one of the hardest planes he has flown... and he's an ATP rated pilot... so you are in good company. I guess you just get used to it when you fly it enough, like everything else.
Yea I've got 3.2 hours in it now and about 8 landings, none have been anywhere near pretty! but the seneca is a weird system like the control column is so damn heavy compared to others like an aztec its so much lighter, i have to use craploads of trim and pull right back on the column with both hands!
I've never flown a Seneca, but I've flown an aircraft *somewhat* similar. The first few landings I did in a Piper Seminole were exactly how you explained yours. Flare too high, lose too much airspeed, and fun for the pax. What I learned to do was keep a little bit of power in during the flare (much like you would while doing a soft field landing), and also keep the nose pointed down at the runway until you almost think you're going to land on the nosewheel. If your airspeed is where it should be, you should be able to just lift the nose up just beyond level and hear the nice squeak of the mains. Hope this helps.
Hi, I posted pretty much the exact same topic a few weeks ago:

Since I posted that, I'm up to 16.3 hours dual logged in the seneca and have done about 23 landings in it. I'm also using a PA34-200 (although a 1972 model) and it took me about 10 landings before I could land it without any instructor input.

Now I can do respectable short field landings and almost consitently grease regular landings. It just takes practice to be honest. Like you, I had flown nothing but high wing cessna singles before I started flying the seneca on the first of this month.

Like I said, in the beginning, I was having a lot of trouble controlling the seneca on landings. To remedy this, on my 6th multi lesson, my CFI told me we were going to practice nothing but landings till I got them down cold. I did 6 landings total that day, and since then it's been like night and day. Single Engine Landings are no big deal either, once you get the multi-landings down.

To land the seneca from a traffic pattern I use full flaps (40 degrees) and maintain blue line (105 mph) until landing is assured (usually around 300 AGL or so on final). At this point, I will slow the airplane to 95 mph, or 90 mph for a short feld. Then, you just keep flying into the runway, nose down, and flare at the last possible second, right before you think you're about to plow the nose wheel into the pavement. Even then, don't "pitch up". Bring the nose up *JUST* enough so that the mains will touch first. You should not touch down much slower than your 95 mph approach speed. On instrument approaches I configure the airplane for landing before the final approach fix, holding 115 mph on the glideslope with flaps 25. I typically vacate blue line at 300 AGL on non-precision approachs and decision height (only if visual contact is made) on precision approaches.

If you try to flare the nose too high, you will float back up and plop back down. In addition, the wings will start to drop. This is why it's so important to fly the airplane onto the runway at close to the approach speed. Holding airspeed Into the ground is the main trick you have to master for good landings in the seneca. You don't want to hear the stall warning horn go off during the landing like you would in a cessna.....the seneca gets too unstable when you get that close to stall (wings will drop and you'll start see-sawing, especially if any crosswind at all exists). Trim can help......but I usually don't need any additional trim to slow from 105 (blue line) to 95. I don't like taking my right hand off the throttle and reaching down to turn the trim wheel at this critical stage of flight. You'll be pulling back on the yoke with a decent amount of pressure, but it's nothing that any adult shouldn't be able to handle.

Since you're in canada, your airspeed indicator is proabably in knots or kmh, so the speeds may not apply unless you do some conversions, but the basic technique should be the same.
Put about 75 pounds in the cargo area, and use 20 degrees of flaps.

In Alaska, we have to have a survival kit on board, and ours weighs 75 lbs. The 20 degrees helps eliminate the problem of running out of elevator travel.
hi there thanks a lot for the replies well today we were in the circuit and a lot better no greasers though, my problem is i guess from the statements is that my airspeed is coming way to far back, and our asi is in mph, also we do have a 50lb kitty litter thing in the baggage area, i hear before they useto have 100lbs but got rid of it, well im going to take ur advice and keep my speed up on landing and get back to you guys thanks.