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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Parker

Meet Our Piper Malibu

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Although we don't generally use it for flight training, our PA 46-310P, more commonly known as a Piper Malibu, is our nicest and most updated aircraft. Though she is not usually used for flight instruction, the Malibu is the jewel of the Red Rock fleet.

The Malibu is a six-seat (one pilot and 5 passengers), single engine, near-luxury aircraft with an impressive range and fuel efficiency. She is an all-metal, single engine, fixed-wing aircraft, with low-mounted wings and retractable tricycle landing gear. There is a single door for entry on the left side behind the wings, that opens with half the door hinging upwards, and the other half hinging down to form the steps up into the plane.

The first PA-46 was put into production in 1983. Built to compete with the newCessna Centurion and Mooney M22, the Malibu also came equipped for cabin pressurization for higher altitude flying. Piper created several models from 1983-present, with the newer models testing alternate power sources like electric, and hydraulic-powered.

Our Malibu is from 1986 before they started to put the more powerful engines and upgrades in this particular Piper. Ours however has had multiple upgrades including going from the Continental TSIO 520 engine up to the 550, giving you more power and range. Also improved were the propeller and prop hub from a 2 bladed system to a 4 bladed one, and deicing boots on the leading edges of the wings, propellor blades, and Vertical/Horizontal Stabilizers!

It's upgraded Garmin Avionics, Weather Radar System, and other perks make this Malibu shine brighter than others from that first generation! Like the rest of our fleet the controls on the Malibu are the standard control yoke and rudder pedals for steering, flaps which can extend for maneuvers and landing into 3 places or angles from 10° up to 36°, dash-mounted control knobs for the throttle, mixture, and propellor angle, and the wheels for elevator and rudder trim.

Our Malibu utilizes the traditional 'Six-Pack' configuration of instruments, with some upgrades. Dual 2-way radios, radio managing panel, Weather Radar, and a Garmin G530 GPS to make communication and navigation simpler. We have autopilot installed, as well as a Garmin transponder, and the Malibu is equipped for IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) as well as being pressurized so it can make all kinds of trips in all kinds of weather! We have also gotten her an official call-sign: Red Rock 1, rather than using the standard tail number on radio calls.

Overall, the Piper Malibu is a fantastic high performance and complex aircraft, and we love being able to fly, and attend events all over the country in this plane! We look forward to sharing this love of flying and aviation in general with you!

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