Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Old Stalwart Gets New Attention


Piper’s Seneca at work and play


Lamar Parker, who owns the Cessna 414, used to own a Piper Aztec, so he's clearly onboard with the Piper Twin RAA. "I flew a Seneca early on when I was working on my twin-engine rating," he said. "The Seneca's a beautiful airplane."
It's an underappreciated airplane— beautiful to take a trip in," Jones said. "When you fly it for awhile you say, 'Man, I love this airplane!
Meanwhile, I was thinking of something Jones mused while we were cruising along at 8,000 feet, something that seemed just as relevant here on the ground as I thought about the jewel of an airplane that would fit perfectly in this setting.

"This is Seneca life," Jones had said. "It's not bad. Not bad at all."

An Ideal Residential Airpark Airplane

P&P is on a grand quest: to identify the ideal aircraft for the residential airpark lifestyle. Maybe that's not on a par with finding the meaning of life, but it's a holy grail for many a pilot nonetheless. Meanwhile, in the course of our research, it appears we've identified an ideal residential airpark: Big South Fork Airpark (www.bsfairpark.com), adjacent to the Big South Fork National Recreation Area in northeast Tennessee, which was hosting our mission to name the Best Residential Airpark Airplane (RAA). Our candidate aircraft ranged from an LSA (the Tecnam P2008) to a light twin (Piper Seneca V) and a single-engine turboprop (TBM 850 Elite). We put the aircraft through their paces flightseeing and commuting, and talked to the experts—BSFA property owners—on what to look for in an RAA.




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