Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche


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Anyone fly this type of aircraft? What should I expect when comparing it to a Seminole? Any hazards?



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I fly one two or three times a week right now. It's a great airplane, but hard to grease on consistently. Great fuel economy (160kts at 8gph per side) and roomy inside. It likes to lift off below VMC if you have the trim in the neutral or higher postion. Leave the trim slight nose down and this will not be a problem. Very good on one engine compared to other light twins.



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I did all my ME training in one. Pretty safe little airplane as long as you're not dumb in it (could be said about any aircraft.) Like Citiationkid said, likes to lift off before Vmc, so I would always keep in ground effect until blue line then climb. Since it does have strange tendences near the ground, landings are a little hard, but enough under the belt and feels like second nature. I wouldn't say its a roomy airplane, but it does okay for average sized adults. Has a strange gear system and if the gear is "pumped" down, then a mechanic need to put it back up, not cheap but cheaper than belly landing it.


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Great airplane! I have about 110 hours in one and they're a blast to fly. Landings are definitely stiffer than in a Seminole, but with smaller engines it still cruises faster than a Seminole and is more fuel efficient. If I had to choose between the trainers, I'd choose a PA-30 over a Seminole all of the time!


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Pretty much what everyone else said already, but I will add the "twinkie dance". My instructor always referred to the take off roll in the twin Comanche as the "twinkie dance". I don't know how else to explain it other than to just hop in and you will feel it when you start down the runway. And yeah the airplane wanting to fly before VMC always had me feeling nervous. And like Citationkid said, we would just trim down some and I would hold the control in forcing the airplane to stay on the ground until it finally just wouldn't stay on the ground any longer.
The twin comanche i flew would sort of just hop off the ground, and you would be below VMC for about 1 second and it quickly would accelerate above, and i would sort of keep it in ground effect at that point. Once above red i would then climb, and it flew great! Another thing about the comanche i was flying, was it had this type of wing that produced more lift, so that didn't help with the whole getting airborne before VMC :banghead:

And like everyone else said, it makes you earn the good landings. It always seemed stiff on the landings. I eventually got better and better with it, but compared to other multi's i've flown (seminole, 310) you could always land those much smoother. Have fun in the good ole' twinkie though!<O:p</O:p


been around forever
Anyone fly this type of aircraft? What should I expect when comparing it to a Seminole? Any hazards?

Fantastic airplane to train in! Fun to fly! Easy to do single engine work. I did my CMEL with 3 aboard and the single engine approaches where a piece of cake!
I love landing the twinkie! To me she land just like a mooney! I actually like to hold a little power almost to touch down. Its hard to keep the nose gear from dropping. as soon as the mains are down lift is gone and the nose drops!

The only real problem would be a real engine loss on takeoff. climbing out one one would not be fun! No worse then losing an engine in a single:D
expect to have fun!:nana2:


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Did my Multi in one. Loved it. Couldn't tell you much about it because it was more than 10 years ago. From what I remember it was a pretty honest airplane. I like the older piper twins. Seminoles and Senicas are garbage compared to Twin Comanches, Aztecs, & Navajos IMO.


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Pretty much what everyone else said already, but I will add the "twinkie dance".
The Twinkie Dance...we never referred to it as that...I just always asked..."damn, it's impossible to keep this thing in a straight line without your feet going back and forth between the pedals"...

So sensitive because that nose wheel is so small!


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Absolutely love them (I own one ;) ). Really fun, responsive airplane. Not bad on one engine, and very economical in cruise. Bit difficult to land, and non counter-rotating (which I think is good in a trainer as nothing you'll fly outside of GA has CR props- King Air, 1900, Dash, SAAB, etc).


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I did my CMEL and MEI in the Twinkie, even some time in Patrick's plane (his is sweet by the way). Now I instruct in the Seminole.

If you have all Seminole time, the Twinkie is going to be a bit of a chore at first.

The main difference is the critical engine. The Twinkie actually requires a good deal of rudder when single engine critical. The 'Nole single engine is almost effortless in comparision IMO.

As mentioned before, the Twinkie is a challenge to land well and consistently. I greased every landing during my CMEL, but for some reason it was hit or miss during MEI training. It really does land like a Mooney; Sitting low to the ground, it is VERY sensitive in ground effect and can easily balloon or wheelbarrow on with just a little too much elevator either way.

Finally, Vmc exists a ways above the stall speeds in the PA-30, where it is in between them in the PA-44. This means you will often get to experience Vmc rather than recovering at a horn.

I have enjoyed flying both aircraft. The 'Nole is a great first multi trainer, but it was very easy for me to fly after doing all my primary work in the Twinkie.