To those with Seneca Experience


New Member
My mother and I will be going to Vermont this summer in a Seneca, with my CFI instructing me. This, indeed, will be a multi lesson for me and will be logged as such (and I'm paying). Most likely, the trip will be in a Seneca III.

In any event, I'd like to make the most of this trip. Although I don't yet have the PPL (almost there!), I do have some time in twins, but very limited actual flying experience. My CFI said he'll let me handle a lot of the flying, except T/O and landings. He knows the Seneca quite well, but I'd just like any insider advice you might have gained from your intimate knowledge of the bird.

Any sweet spots for power/RPM settings? Is there are good time to start cruise climb? At 2,000' AGL? Anything else?
Just bring the power back very slowly (is it 2-3 inches at a time??) or you will shock cool the engines and crack the cylinders! THAT COST A LOT OF CHING CHANG!
See if your CFI will let you take off. I think it's easier to take off in a twin because you have more power and the props on a Seneca are counter rotating so there is no need for right rudder to overcome the turning tendencies.
Your mother asked you to do this?

I don't mean to be a downer but in the future you may want to be be careful posting things like that in a public forum! Sounds awfully close to an illegal 135 operation to me. In this case it would probably be more of a problem for your CFI since he's going to be PIC but a problem none the less.

I post this reply as a word of warning only - I had a friend that almost got in trouble from the FSDO over a situation extremley similar to this.

Just edit and add the words..."my mother would like to share the costs of renting a Seneca and going to Vt."
Yeah. Your CFI would almost have to have you along so it could be counted as an "instructional flight" instead of illegal 135 ops like Jason said.
I found the seneca to be suprisingly heavy in slow flight... maybe i just need to work out.
If your instructor is an MEI, I would suggest making it a lesson. (Basically an intro to flying twins.) I have around 80 hours in PA34's and they are a good plane to start your twin training in. If it was my student I would allow him to do assisted take offs and landings and talk him through all the phases of the flight. Just like you would in the first multi lesson. It would be a more effective use of time and $$.

With two pilots in front, Seneca's are a little on the nose heavy side on landing. (Unless there is some weight in the back. Since your mother is coming along that should help.) I will say that Senecas have a roll rate somewhere akin with a beached whale. So don't expect it to handle like a 152. Still fun to fly though. Have a good time.
Thanks for the posts, guys. This will be an instructional flight, for sure. That was always the plan. I am logging the time, and, we'll continue to use the same bird to finish the multi instruction.