10 thoughts on “PIPER PA-22 “TRI-PACER”

  1. My first airplane was a Piper Tripacer and I got my license in it. Since then I’ve owned two others. They were fun to fly airplanes and I liked the way they looked. Flew many trips in Montana on my first one including remote mountain strips in the Rockies. If the engine and fabric are good it would be a good plane to have. Why don’t you get one and get your license. Better to fly that sit around reading about them. A good maintained Tripacer will save you lots of money and make a good plane to fly.

  2. I have owned N5828D for just under a year now. She is a 1956 PA 22 150 and is a truly great airplane with plenty of personality.
    I have owned several aircraft and will keep her.
    She does everything with a sportyness and does them very well.

  3. I am a bit late here, but for what it’s worth I will throw in my 2 cents.
    I learned to fly in a Cessna 175 back in the 70’s. I worked at the airport and back then, rules were a little looser. Therefore I got the chance to fly several airplanes with little red tape. The Tri Pacer was a favorite. It was more responsive than the 175 and almost as fast. It climbed a bit slower but then we are talking 150 hp vs 175 hp. But for a 150 hp airplane, it performed better than most.
    When I decided to get back into flying after 30 years, I came within an inch of buying one. But, low and behold a 175 fell in my lap for a price I couldn’t pass up. I am happy with my 175. So last weekend a friend bought a Tri Pacer 160 with an upgraded exhaust. Not sure if its Powerflow or not. I flew it and I have to say that his configuration was a good one. It jumps into the air with full fuel and 500lbs load, turns on a dime and is 117 knots true airspeed at 6000′. I love the sink rate on landing and using power to control it. Makes for a more stable landing in crosswind. It was a very fun airplane to fly and better than what I remembered. I would not hesitate to buy one in the future as long as I had hangar space.

  4. I bought my 1960 PA-22 soon after I received my Pvt Certificate. I flew that little guy all over the southwest, including flights to Temple Bar AZ, where we kept a ski boat.
    It did, in fact, perform better than a Piper 180 or a Cessna 172 – Take off on a nickel and land on a dime. A great time and experience builder.
    I miss it …

  5. Yes! I started out in 1956 PA-22 and after five years in the “ugly duckling” moved on to GA-5 Traveler (150 HP) sexy metal airplane. I flew off of Forest Service airstrips in Oregon. I loved the Tri Pacer. It has real guts in the mountains. Fabric cover, 150 HP, with usually 2 people on board and a well controllable sink rate for spot landings, what a powerful performer.

    In contrast, the same powerplant in an all metal sleek low wing meant float with any extra airspeed on short final. That is not good in the mountains. Also, I felt density altitude much more in the heavier Grumman American 150 HP. I loved its look, but the Tri Pacer just can’t be beat for mountain work in a tri gear.

  6. I had a beautiful 58 160HP Tripacer with wheel Pants. Believe it or not I put on two aerobatic shows with it, at Northern Canadian locations I won’t disclose. It was great for Loops, Cuban Eights and Hammerheads. It was incredible for 80 deg bank steep turns. Used it in a Radio Communications Business and in those days landing on roads was very common. Sad to say it is at the bottom of a remote Lake after a winter crash landing in total whiteout, trying to find my way out of the mountains.

  7. Thanks for the article and comments. I’m thinking/planning on buying a Tri-Pacer and must learn from all. I previously owned a Cherokee 180 and I loved it for 14 years. If anyone has more stuff to relate, please do.

  8. @Tony Nieto, I am a retired USAF pilot with over 10,000 hours to include C-141, KC-135, T-33, C-7a and others. Learned to fly in a Colt in the 1960s and currently own a ’59 PA22-150. You can’t go wrong with a Tri Pacer. Take your time and find one that meets your desires in terms of total and engine times, avionics, overall condition, etc. In my estimation it is better and cheaper to spend a little more when buying than trying to bring a lower condition airplane up to your specs. Only drawback I can see is you must keep it hangared given it is a fabric covered airplane. In the southeast my hangar rent is $235/mo.

  9. Yea, I have sinned and wiped out a beautiful 1956 metalized tri pacer back in 1977. I didn’t know what I had at the time. I do have a excuse but wont use it. I later bought a Citabria GCBC that I recently sold as I have health problems and it was time. I haven’t flown all that many different airplanes but that Tri pacer would haul almost double what the Citabria will and faster with same O-320 Lyc. I am a big guy with a big wife. She couldn’t fly with me in the Citabria and gas is a nice thing to take along. I don’t know the specs of a lot of planes but from my limited knowledge, I don’t know of any other plane that can haul a load as heavy and fast as the old Tri pacer in its class. I had the only metal one I ever heard of and it looked as good as if it came out of the factory. Think I gave $5,000 for it back in 1977 and got my license in it.

  10. Does anybody know how many miles the 1957 Piper PA 22 tri-pacer would go before needing refueling I’m looking into buying a plane and was wondering which ones are good for mileage. Thank you

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