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USA seller’s market: are we reaching Peak Cherokee

1.5 times the cost of a similar single maybe, but not as much as 2 times IMHO. Most of the extra costs of the ones I have owned involved the factors you would expect.
You have 2 engines and 2 props to maintain so every visiy does of course need 2x the consumables, oil, oil filters, plugs etc.
The 2nd extra expense was the Janitrol heater.
In my case it developed a fault twice in 6 years of ownership of the PA44 and once on the Seneca in five years. Total cost both aircraft for all Janitrol faults was around €1600.
I can only think that ease of access to the engines, actually brought the man hours down slightly on a per engine basis.
The cost of fuel, became a notable factor as fuel prices rose although averaging 72litres per hour for the PA44 and 80l/ph for the Seneca I notice that the larger engine singles are not far off the same figures.
I dabbled with an Aztec for a while. I loved it’s carrying capacity but at an average of 100 l/mph plus Eurocontrol charges, I couldn’t justify it alone.
The Aztec maintenance costs would have been a little more than those of the Seneca but that was really due to the engine and prop reserve funds .
This was before one could run these on condition.
Good versions of all the above can be had for a lot less than than the single variants and therefore there is a subsequent discount on hull insurance.
Twins are an acquired taste. You either love them or you find all sorts of ways to declare how unsafe they are, how currency is ultra important, how you will kill yourself if an engine fails or how the second engine will take you to the scene of the accident etc etc.
Most of it is absolute nonsense.
But you would need an MEP rating and difference training for each type of twin you fly.
IMO it’s best to get instruction with somebody who really understands and enjoys flying twins, not someone who is just filling in the hours until s/he can get hired by an airline.
Each difference thingy (is it a rating? I’ve lost track does to flying one type of twin over the last few years) only lasts for 2 years if you do not use it. (IMO stupid regulations for the sake of it).
You need to revalidate your MEP rating every year with an examiner.
If you have an SEIR it is reasonably simple to upgrade to the MEIR of you already hold the MEP.
The annual MEP revalidation also counts as the control flight with instructor for your SEP revalidation every 2 years.

Just my 2 cents


The basic issue with twins, today and for many years, is that in Europe they tend to be run into the ground (maintained badly) “because they have a spare engine”.

The most “forum famous” Aztec owner reported £20k/year maint costs, which would be at least 75% unscheduled maint. Other comments re maintenance choices were most illuminating too but I don’t have the time to search his ~100k posts around the internet (to make sure they are in the public domain verbatim) so won’t post them

Accordingly, twins are often worth just the value left in the two engines. The DA42 has changed this landscape, however, but you won’t pick one up for peanuts.

There is extra maintenance on a traditional twin, and not just the obvious, but stuff like control cable runs are much longer, the heater tends to be the notorious Janitrol, etc. We have many previous threads; do a search on “piston twins” etc.

And any plane which is “mechanically worn out” will need airframe parts replaced, and that is by far the most expensive part of all. I have always looked after my TB20, zero defect policy, zero deferred defects, and the result is that it costs me peanuts to run it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I was writing from my own personal experience and was comparing a like for like type of scenario/ aircraft ie bought similar age in same condition, same equipment etc.
I didn’t mention the DA42 because it is unlikely you could get one in good working order for under €100,000 which is more than the OP wishes to pay.
I also didn’t mention the Twinco because prices on these are beginning to match the singles.
I could have included the Piper Apache at one end of the market which can still be had, in good condition, for very little money but I could not find a price for the single version of similar age.
I would have included the Beech Baron which, in my working days I flew in (not piloting) from Buenos Aires to various short grass strips (if you could call them that) at the foot of the Andes.
Super machines but although I have flown them I have never owned one to make running cost comparisons with say the Bonanza.
The same goes for the C310.
I 100% agree with you that if you keep on top of the maintenance and you put some aside for engine and prop reserve you shouldn’t get any big surprises, unless the regulations change.


To sum it all up,

  • either you will spend $$$ and be fine afterwards,
  • or you spend less at the beginning and then pay $$ every year, and will experience tech issues (trips cancelled, failures away from home etc…).

gallois wrote:

Most of it is absolute nonsense.

Most of my time is on MEPs, this is patently wrong as it is statistical fact that a four by four SEP has around a 25% fatality rate in an accident, while an MEP has around 80%.

Your 172/DA40/PA28 is around 5 to 10 times safer per 100,000 hours.

Fortunately in GA training you fly the MEP on your way to multi turbine.

Oxford (EGTK)

Isn’t that partly reporting bias i.e.

  • most twin engine failures in cruise are not reported
  • most piston twin activity is in the US where engine rebuilds are done “in the field” and data is not fed back to the engine mfg (whereas Diamond probably do find out about every engine issue)
  • pilot currency in Europe is not exactly great, and from what I see looking at the old twins I see, it is much less great on those, and currency is really important on MEPs

Things are stacked against the twin in Europe. The EASA reval regs don’t help, land values are high so you get screwed on hangarage (twins are big in floor space), you get shafted on landing fees, maintenance companies “love twins” etc etc.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

No both statistics are fair. Recall engine failure in an SEP is a small proportion of accidents. Some MEP accidents are during training which can cause a bias, as most of the training involves asymmetric power.

The fact that the PC12 ate the King Air’s lunch (90 and 200/250) is in part due to the superior safety record.

Oxford (EGTK)

Snoopy wrote:

Or this

What could be wrong with this?
OK, old airframe. Probably typical Mooney issues. Avionics to be upgraded, and IFR certification is missing (upgradeable?). 2000 hours total – not much for that age, either it is not true or average 35 hours a year flown might be an issue, too.
Airframe corrosion?
It is very much out of the market range with 44k.

LHFM, LHTL, Hungary

@RobertL18C there are lies damn lies and statistics. The day statistics on accident rates tell the full story I shall be very surprised. But you are of course entitled to your opinion and I will stick to mine.
The OP didn’t start this interesting discussion for a debate on whether twins or singles are safest.


@gallois I prefer a scientific approach to risk management rather than some romantic opinion

The Twinkie was the poster child for the carnage associated with Vmc demo accidents so the POH is somewhat dramatic, but otherwise crystalline

Last Edited by RobertL18C at 26 Aug 12:48
Oxford (EGTK)
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