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STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'New Member' in the forum. 7 hours 57 minutes ago

Seems like a good move.
The PA 38 Tomahawk is a light (1680 MTOW) two place powered by a sturdy and practically indestructible Lycoming 4 cylinder O-235. TBO is 2400 hours.
According to Vref, a well-known pricing reference, the average PA 38 flies 151 hours a year from the date of manufacture.
That means an average 1978 Tomahawk has over 6000 airframe hours by now.
Vref says average retail--mid time engine and average avionics--is selling from $24K for a 1978 one and $28K for a 1982 one.
Looking at some of the online sales sites, there's rarely a PA 38 listed that falls into that window.
Things that increase the value and modern avionics, ADS-B Out equipment, no major damage history, and a low time engine that was rebuilt by Lycoming or a reputable rebuilder.
A lot of airplane prices are going up but Vref doesn't reflect that for the PA 38.
I urge you to spend some time looking over the Piper Flyer website; there you'll find many articles with good advice on buying an airplane, obtaining valuable records from the FAA and getting a good pre purchase inspection.
A piece of advice; unless a good friend has one that you know is in good shape, be patient. The right one will show up.
Good luck,


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'Gyro Pressure' in the forum. 8 hours 20 minutes ago

Hi Stephanie;
The "pressure" is actually the vacuum in the plumbing hoses, vacuum regulator, artificial horizon instrument and the direction gyro instrument.
In the past the turn and bank instrument was also driven by the vacuum system but those have been replaced by electrically driven T & B or turn coordinator instruments.
The first thing I would do is replace the central vacuum filter. Somethings they look clean but aren't. This can cause a restriction to the free flow of air into the system.
Do you know how long the vacuum pump has been installed in your airplane?
Do you know if you have a wet vacuum pump? or a dry vacuum pump?
I'm going to guess your pump is a dry pump.
The failure mode of a dry pump is immediate; so many pilots that fly instruments change their vacuum pumps every 500 hours as a hedge against a sudden pump failure.
Some shops have a portable vacuum system test kit. If a local shop does, it can test for leakage in the system that would give you a low reading.
Some vacuum pumps have a "vane wear" port which permits shops to accurately determine how worn the vanes in the pump are; if they're worn below a certain level, the pump should be changed.
I have heard of shops that adjust the vacuum relief valve to "bring up" the vacuum gauge reading, which should be between 4.8 and 5.2 inHg. This, in my opinion is counter productive; it's putting a bandaid on the problem.
Change the central vacuum filter (type "vacuum filter" into the search window on www.aircraftspruce.com for an idea of what I'm referring to) and let me know if that makes a difference.


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic '77 Piper Archer: rivet size for particular parts' in the forum. 8 hours 39 minutes ago

I might not give you a correct answer without knowing more about what you're doing.
Generally, though most rivets used on Piper aircraft are designated MS20470-x-x for a universal head rivet or MS20426-x-x for a countersunk rivet.
These rivets have a small dimple in the head of the rivet.
Some vendors use AN 470 and AN 426.
The first number in the dash series is the diameter of the rivet in 32s of an inch. The second number in the dash series is the length in 16s of an inch.
A MS20470-4-8 would be a universal head rivet with a shank that is 1/8 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch long.
Please describe your needs so I can better help and explain the system.



STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'Air conditioning recharge?' in the forum. 8 hours 49 minutes ago

Hi Jeremiah;
Good question
I suggest you look at the following YouTube video:
It does a very good job of explaining the ins and outs of properly servicing an air conditioning system.
The service manual also explains the different types of compressors and how to service the oil level.
Some small airplane shops are competent to service A/C systems and have the correct tools.
A proper servicing will evacuate the system, leak check the system, service the oil level in the compressor, and after all that charge the system with correct amount of the correct refrigerant.
Where are you located? I might be able to help you find a competent shop.



STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'New Member, New Pilot, New Owner PA 32' in the forum. 9 hours 7 minutes ago

Hi Jeremiah;
Good for you.
I don't know if your planning to fly to AirVenture (also know far and wide as Oshkosh) this year but there is a group called Cherokees to Oshkosh that has a few slots open for this year's group fly in.
That would be an excellent chance to meet other Piper airplane owners.
While your Saratoga is technically a PA 32 and not a PA 28, I'm sure you would be welcomed.
See the announcement in another post here in the forum.
And if you haven't been to OSHKOSH and you're really turned on by airplanes, you will want to go. You can camp by your airplane; it's super well organized and shouldn't be missed.
The Piper Flyer also holds a little two day get together at Waupaca on the Saturday and Sunday before the Monday start of Oshkosh.
Many members take advantage of a really good deal when they stay at Waupaca; reasonable motel rooms and a daily bus ride back and forth to the airshow every day.
To learn more click on the "Register for Gathering at Waupaca" at the top of the opening page of the PF website.

I do my best to answer tech questions so when one comes up, post it on the forum and I'll dive in.



MITCHELL KAHN created a new topic ' A few spots just opened up for CtO' in the forum. yesterday

I thought I was done posting on this subject, we had a full group, but it turns out that life has given a handful of pilots surprises, and they had to make the gut-wrenching choice between flying the Cherokees to Oshkosh Mass Arrival and keeping their employers and/or family members happy. Clearly, they did not have their priorities in place (or they wanted to stay married and gainfully employed). We had this happen with one person a few years ago. She dropped out at the last minute because her employer wanted her to go to Europe for six months. I guess it’s all about values. ;-)
As a result of these poor folks having been put in difficult positions, we had a half dozen slots open up to be part of the sixty PA28s and PA32s (and a PA24) flying the Mass Arrival in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Piper Cherokee (one year late).
Participation has a few simple requirements:
• You like to have fun
• You fly one of the Piper Cherokee variants
• You like to have fun
• You want to have a great camping spot and an opportunity to socialize at OSH with others who have a plane like yours
• You like to have fun
• You will have to attend at least one of the Cherokees to Oshkosh mini-clinics (of which there are two left)
• You like to have fun (notice a theme here)
A number of years ago, one of our participants said “Flying is fun, but flying together is more fun.” This can be your introduction to formation flying, whether as a bucket list item or an entré to more precision flying. The one thing it will do, is make you a better stick and rudder pilot.
There is no more fun and fulfilling way to attend EAA Airventure than with a “type” mass arrival group. The Cherokees, like the Cessna, Mooneys, Bonanzas, Cirrus, RVs and several other groups, enjoy a wonderful time together. We have become a family, one who welcomes new members.
The clinics are free, but participation in at least one clinic is required to fly the mass arrival.
Just two of the ten clinics remain, including the “last chance clinic” on July 21 at KCWA near Wausau, WI. We are also taking a few Grummans as we assist them in building their own type group.
The other clinic is the weekend of June 25-27 at KGDW, Gladwin, MI. We are already expecting pilots from 13 states, ranging from Texas to Minnesota, East to Pennsylvania, and back South to Maryland. Some of these pilots have already attended one or more clinics this year, but can’t resist the fun.
Cherokees to Oshkosh is about one thing: getting dozens of Piper Cherokee owners and their passengers safely into Oshkosh together, to enjoy EAA’s Airventure, the world’s biggest airshow. Since our start in 2010, the majority of our pilots and their families have returned with us numerous times even though many at first planned for a one-time “bucket list” experience. Their continued involvement is driven by the deep friendships which have developed through the adventure of flying safely with a large group of pilots who have a shared love for our airplanes.
Please note Cherokees to Oshkosh doesn’t just throw you up in the air by yourself. The well refined training process eases you into formation flying, first with an observation flight and subsequently with an experienced formation safety pilot in your right seat. The Mini-Clinics start at home with Cherokees to Oshkosh online videos, and then at the clinic with a ground school. You will know what to expect before you start your engine. All flights are briefed, so all pilots are on the same page for the flight, and flights are debriefed so that pilots all continue to learn from their collective experience. Cherokees to Oshkosh is NOT a formation performance team. Unlike the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the US Navy Blue Angels, who fly 18” wing tip to canopy, our participants fly 35 feet to 50 feet apart or more (where YOU are comfortable). As our Director of Flight Operations, Dr. Ed LeBlanc says “We’re not putting on an airshow – we’re flying to one.”
Cherokees to Oshkosh is more than flying together. It’s camping together and socializing with some really great people. Cherokees to Oshkosh erects a hospitality tent adjacent to our campsite in the North 40 at Oshkosh. Most participants begin and end each day at the tent, where they swap stories, and share the “don’t miss, and don’t bother” exhibit booths at Airventure. At the end of every day there are plenty of people with whom you can share lies about flying.
Join us, you will love it.
You can find details on the Cherokees to Oshkosh Mass Arrival, and registration, at Cherokees2Osh.com.


JEREMIAH ZACH created a new topic ' New Member, New Pilot, New Owner PA 32' in the forum. yesterday

Hello Everyone,
My name is Jeremiah and I am having fun learning the "benefits" of owning my very own Saratoga! I would love to connect with any other owners and really just love all things flying.


JEREMIAH ZACH created a new topic ' Air conditioning recharge?' in the forum. yesterday

My Saratogas a/c has not been getting cold. It seems to need a recharge or something. I am new to the saratoga and have not needed a/c until now. I am having trouble finding any info online about how to service it or anything really. Is it something I need to take to a shop? Any advice would be appreciated. Thankss


BRYAN RUSSELL created a new topic ' 77 Piper Archer: rivet size for particular parts' in the forum. yesterday

Where does one find the specifications for what rivets to use on a particular part? I have looked at the parts and maintenance manual and see a list in the appendix for various rivets, but not associated with a particular part such as a wing skin, which I can visually observed are retained by both above surface and flush rivets, but which ones?


Daniel Narzinski created a new topic ' New Member' in the forum. 2 days ago

Dan Narzinski checking in as a new member. Sold my Bonanza last year and now looking for a Tomahawk to simply fly for fun in my retirement years. I have recently found about a dozen Tomahawks advertised for sale ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. I would like to hear what some of you think a Tomahawk equipped with "average" everything would sell for.


Stefanie Curland created a new topic ' Gyro Pressure' in the forum. 2 days ago

If Gyro Pressure is low, how do you determine whether it’s an indication problem or a vacuum pump problem?


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic '74' Aztec, where the SHUNTS ?' in the forum. 4 days ago

Hi John;
I do not know from personal experience. Most commonly, the reason for the shunt is to keep the large wires out of the cockpit, so they are usually pretty near the generator/alternators. Try to follow the large wires from the generator/alternator at the engine.
According to the drawing you referenced, there's a mount for the shunts. I would look on the forward side or aft side of the firewall to start.


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'IO-540 fouled plugs' in the forum. 4 days ago

Hi Al,
Very good.
Glad it's working again.



Stefanie Curland created a new topic ' Certification for Garmin 500 in Seneca II' in the forum. 5 days ago

We contacted Garmin to find out how long it would be before we could get a Garmin GFC 500 Autopilot installed in our Seneca. They said it depends on demand and how many potential customers request it. To that end we have submitted the form in the first link below to encourage Garmin to do the certification work enabling it’s use in the Seneca. If other Seneca owners do the same, it will hopefully speed the process along.
Here is a link for those interested in getting it in the PA-34:


Al Lipper replied to the topic 'IO-540 fouled plugs' in the forum. 5 days ago

Hi Steve,
Thanks for all your help. I think you're right about replacing the high resistance plugs. We've gone ahead and actually replaced all 3 lower plugs with fine wire plugs. It seems to be running fine now.
We'll see how it does after a few flights. Hopefully the problem will be resolved.

Thank you so much for your guidance here. It has been super helpful.

Al Lipper


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic '74' Aztec replacement O2 tank ??' in the forum. 5 days ago

Excellent, thanks for letting me know.
Kudos to AirOx


John Brown created a new topic ' 74' Aztec, where the SHUNTS ?' in the forum. 5 days ago

Hi,, I have a 74 Turbo E model Aztec and I'm trying to find the original factory shunts.
From what I can tell in the drawings (Parts Manual) Card 2G16, Figure 38C-57, Part number 23844-00, it is located someplace close to were the wing joins the fuselage. For the life of me I can't find it via any of the access plates, etc.
I need to replace this with the shunt that came from JPI.....
I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction so I can finish the JPI install.

Thank you


John Brown replied to the topic '74' Aztec replacement O2 tank ??' in the forum. 5 days ago

Thank you.

The folks over at AEROX got me squared away and did an overhaul on the regulator that I had.

They had some of the large tanks and provided a nice discount because the stock was a bit dusty.


STEVE ELLS replied to the topic 'Seneca II Brake System' in the forum. 1 week ago

That's fantastic!
Thanks for sharing this.


Eric Parks replied to the topic 'Flying an Apache' in the forum. 1 week ago

The Apache hadn't been washed since we got it as we had so much work to do it wasn't worth it. However, since it was initially in a "shade hangar" the first few months it had more than it's fair share of dust and bird droppings besides the greasy handprints. And of course bug guts all over the leading edges!

I pulled the plane out of our hangar and used my golf cart tug to take it around to the "wash rack" by the larger hangars. Previous owner had obviously done a nice job of waxing it as the bug guts came off very easity (compared to my expectation). It still took a couple hours to wash, rinse and wipe it down. Suddenly a smaller plane makes more sense! :P

The underneath of the engines and behind the exhaust really needed attention but the plane looked great when I was done. Waxing will be another day!