1979 Piper Dakota Turbo
I am looking into buying the above refrenced Turbo Dakota. I was wanting feed back on the pros and cons from all that are familiar with it.
I started my training for private back in September of 2001. I purchased a 74 cesna 172 in October. My father started his training in December of 2001. I recieved my ppl in febuary and now have 85 hours. My father should recieve his ppl at the end of April.
We love the c-172, but when me, my wife, dad, and mom all want to go somewhere we have to dump fuel. So, the main problems I have with the c-172 is that its usefull load does not meet my requirements, amd the cruise speed is a little slow.
Thanks for any input.
Also, I have read that there were overheating problems with this model. I have been looking around to see if an AD took care of this, but I can not find that info either.
In general, the Piper Dakota is a wonderful airplane - probably one of the best that Piper ever made. However, the Turbo Dakota is a little different story, but not necessarily bad. (I should qualify this by saying I have never flown the T-Dakota, but I know a little bit about them).
I have a Turbo Arrow which has the same engine as the Turbo Dakota. Unlike the standard Dakota with its 235hp, the Turbo Dakota has a 200hp TSIO-360 which is prone to the overheating problems you mentioned. When climbing you have to be careful to keep your cylinder head temperatures down by climbing a little faster and by having a light hand on the mixture control. You might want to read the comments in this forum comparing the Tubro Arrow and the 172RG for more information.
On paper the Turbo Dakota sounds great, but if you don't need the high altitude capabilities, you might want to look at the standard Dakota which is no slouch.
One final comment... The standard Dakota is a high performance airplane (requiring an endorsement), where the Turbo Dakota is not. That might make a difference to an insurance company due to your low time. You should check into it before you leap.
[This message has been edited by SeaAir (edited 04-01-2002).]
This may be a dead forum, but I thought I should add my thoughts. I have owned both a regular Dakota and currently own a Turbo Dakota, both are 79 models.
The regular Dakota was extremely easy to fly. The Turbo Dakota requires a bit more finesse. We fly into Buena Vista, Colorado on a regular basis. The regular Dakota was a great airplane, but was rather lethargic during the Summer in Colorado. The Turbo Dakota has great performance at higher altitudes. However, you must watch your leaning techniques. I just set the engine to the recommended fuel flows and that seems to work great. I believe that cruise is 75% power at 11.8 gallons per hour. That usually gives us approximately 135 knot cruise. If we go higher, the speed picks up.
During the Summer, we could not take off at gross weight during the heat of the day in Colorado - safely. With the Turbo Dakota we can take off and enjoy the air conditioning - after takeoff of course.
Both are great airplanes. The Turbo does great in the mountains. If you do not fly into the mountains, I would just have the non-turbo model. Much cheaper to operate. Both airplanes have extremely reliable.