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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Parker

Meet Our Piper Aztec

After you have completed your Commercial Pilot checkride, you can move on to an even more powerful aircraft in your Multi-engine add-on training. We use a PA 23-250T, also known as the Piper Aztec, to do the Multi-engine flight training. With the Aztec we keep many of the upgrades we got in the Lance, such as retractable landing gear, more seats, and variable pitch props, and we add another engine, more leg room, and more power!

The Aztec is a versatile airplane that has been used for everything from training to various military applications across the world. Ours is a six-seat, all-metal, dual engine, fixed-wing aircraft, with low-mounted wings and retractable tricycle landing gear. There is a single door for entry on the right side, which is entered by stepping up onto the wing just like our Cherokees. Unlike the Cherokees there is more baggage space with a compartment in the rear, and an additional one in the nose!

The PA-23 was the first twin engine aircraft Piper manufactured, and they inherited the original design (then called Apache, and later named Aztec by Piper) from a company they purchased. From the time Piper got the design for this twin aircraft, it went through a few design changes, some of them fairly drastic, before they settled in 1959 on the design we have now as the Aztec. Ours is from this later generation in 1971 after they had sorted out the design issues they didn't like from the older generations. The Aztec also uses a pair of control yokes rather than sticks, together with rudder pedals for steering, flaps which can extend for maneuvers and landing into 3 places or angles from 10° up to 40°, dash-mounted control knobs for the throttles, mixtures, and propellor angles, and a ceiling mounted crank for stabilator trim. These things make the Aztec a great multi-engine trainer aircraft comparable to the Cessna 310, or a Beechcraft Baron in ease of use and handling.

Our Aztec utilizes the traditional 'Six-Pack' configuration of instruments, dual 2-way radios, a radio managing panel, and Garmin G530 GPS to make communication and navigation simpler. We have a Lynx L3 9000 transponder installed, as well as a Garmin SL30 Com 2 radio. The Aztec is equipped for IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) as well, making it perfect for flight training activities needed to pass a Multi-engine checkride. Like our other aircraft, she has her own personality and nickname: "Blue". We have also gotten her an official call-sign: Red Rock 46, rather than using the standard tail number on radio calls.

Overall, the Piper Aztec makes a fantastic Multi-engine trainer, and we have worked hard to make flying ours the best and most worthwhile experience you can have! We are looking forward to sharing this love of flying with you!

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