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Topic-iconHi from New Zealand, PA-31

  • John Southworth
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3 months 5 days ago #1868

Hi my name is John. Just brought a PA-31 sight unseen. Will be interesting. It hasn't been flying for 6 years as the owner company went bust 2 years ago and they couldn't afford the engine rebuilds and were operating other a/c. Serial number is 31-437. What is strange is the NZ CAA rego says it has TIO540A2C engines but the auction said it was a 1969 model which doesn;t tally. Also it has winglet vortex generators, GNS530, weather radar, Morrow Apollo. This will be a project I suppose. Engines are at 1800, Airframe at around 7000. Interested if anyone can give any guidance or thoughts.

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3 months 5 days ago #1869

Welcome John to planet Navajo,
I purchased a 1972 pa-31-310 2 years and 10 months ago, and may get it flying next week. I started out enthusiastic with little knowledge about what I wanted and ended up educated, tired and broke but with an awesome flying machine. My ideas for what needed to be done, or what I wanted changed frequently and thinking ahead didn't always work. It all depends on what you want to do with your plane, pleasure, business, functional, or perfect. It is also important to know if you have any tendency for obsessive compulsive disorder. If you do, you must have a large bank account. Talk to others that own PA-31s see what they have done.
Refurbishing a Navajo is not cheap. Ask Mike Jones, he will do it for you. $895,000 (from his website)
www.mikejonesaircraft.com/lk-considering.htm
Engines for example...$108,000 new (each)
www.airpowerinc.com/productcart/pc/tleng...catid=33&prodid=9564
Interior refurbish can be minimalist or full on all new. $10,000 to $100,000
Avionics? scrap everything including all wiring, circuit breakers and switches, or selective replacement. $0 to $350,000
Don't forget, everything in original rubber needs replacing, many O-rings in functioning equipment components really are on the verge of failure.
There are also quite a few AD's for this plane.
Overall, the navajo is an awesome aircraft. I am glad my project is coming to an end, I am ready to go flying in my awesome plane.
It still is brown though, as the piggy bank needs some time to recover.

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  • John Southworth
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3 months 5 days ago #1870

Thanks Marc - aware of the points you raised. The plan is to do an assessment on it. If the engines are unable to operate on condition then probably it will get parted out. With regards the engines did you put in new ones? Why not rebuild or overhaul? In reality this a/c if it flies again will never do more than 3600 to 4000 hrs for the rest of its life so why bother with new? I must admit I like the winglets this one has. I will try to post an image

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3 months 4 days ago #1871
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3 months 4 days ago #1872

For sure winglets are very cool.
Mike Jones wont put them on my plane because I have vortex generators from BLR on the plane. Both winglet and vortex STCs dont state compatibility so he will only put on a straight wing.
My engines were overhauled with 500 hrs when I purchased, so I havent had to do anything with them. Airframe time is 2500 hrs, unusual for the PA-31 series. I was just referring to the possible costs for repowering. Hope you enjoy your new plane, great choice.

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