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Author Topic: Anyone here still flying piston version?  (Read 1968 times)

Kzastrow1

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Anyone here still flying piston version?
« on: October 14, 2021, 01:18:31 pm »
All,

It seems that few on this board are still operating piston Commanders, at least based on the majority of posts but I thought Iíd ask anyway.   We just sold our beloved MU2 and are thinking about a 500B or Shrike.  Iím curious if anyone knows how many AC50 aircraft are still actively flying?  Also, whatís the prop situation?  Does one require overhaul based on calendar months and one not? 

Thanks,

Kirk

Bruce Byerly

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2021, 03:26:05 pm »
I own a Shrike.  I have no idea how many are flying but maybe Barry Collman would know.

The old square tip props are subject to 500 hour/5 year AD.  Itís about $48k last I checked to get rid of them.  Most should be gone by now but you really donít want them.

Kzastrow1

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2021, 05:50:46 pm »
Thanks Bruce.  I shouldíve asked, ďDoes anyone other than Bruce still fly a piston Commander who frequents this board?Ē   ;)

When I had my Cessna 303 the twin Cessna group had a pretty good handle on how many of the original 297 were still flying, many had gone overseas.  The MU2 was the same, they had a good handle on the active fleet count.  Iím just curious about the AC50, Iím guessing Central Airlines might know. 

Iím looking for a non turbo, no ice, air conditioned, steam gauge, updated paint/interior, light IFR 500B or Shrike if anyone has any leads. 

Kirk

schrambow

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 10:00:21 pm »
Kzastrow1,
We still fly a AC680FLP, IGSO-540's, its a fun aircraft to fly.  We just have an old garmin430 waas in it, so nothing real modern in it, but it is ADS-B and is a great backup for us.  Engines are fairly low time, we really should fly it more, as we probably only put on 15 to 20 hours a year on it i am guessing.

schrambow

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 10:03:39 pm »
here is a photo of it

Ray787

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2021, 09:16:31 am »
I LOVE my 500B. It's everything a pilot could ask for and more. Aspen 1000 pro, Garmin GTN750, GTN650, JPI 750 color engine monitor, Aircenters "Cool Air" A/C and with all the Shrike mods. The Spar 208A AD does not apply on the B model. It maybe be 60 years old but it looks and fly's like brand new. 

donv

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2021, 09:27:21 am »
I think there are quite a few 500 series Commanders still flying regularly. Where it gets difficult is with the big geared pistons-- the 680s and 560s. But the 500s seem to have a lot of life in them.

Kzastrow1

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2021, 08:17:26 pm »
I appreciate the info guys.  From what I understand, the 36 month wing spar AD applies to all of the Twin Commanders built starting in 1968, correct?  Has anyone had any success with the AMOC that extends it to 48 months?

« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 08:26:28 pm by Kzastrow1 »

appleseed

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2021, 10:44:17 pm »
I am flying a 500s. For 30 years I needed a plane and, though I always wanted a 500 the Beech and Cessna twin props were the most sensible options.

Now I donít need a plane anymore than anyone whoís ever had one ďneedsĒ one. With a little luck,I managed to get a big enough hangar, Bruce pointed me towards a plane that fit my wants/budget, and finally interest rates dropped to nearly nothing.

The plane fully meets my expectations. Most of all I love cruising along at 500-1000í checking out the landscape. Iím too much of a chicken to spend much time that low in a single. And, with all the other twins (excepting aerostar and aircam) the wing and engines block your view. The handling is superb, best of any plane Iíve flown. Truly a pleasure to guide through the air. It is a beautiful plane with superb engineering and build craftsmanship quality from the era when American engineering and manufacturing were second to none.

To be fair the maintenance during the first year has been more challenging than I expected. Most parts of the plane I find to be easier to access than a Baron or 310. The hydraulics though can be challenging to access and require a new set of tools and skills. The biggest challenge now and going forward is that planes in this class consume petroleum products on a scale commensurate with the era of American greatness and texas sweet crude at ten cents a barrel. It is only going to get more expensive and more frowned upon in the decades ahead.

Adam Frisch

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2021, 01:35:31 am »
It seems that fewer of the piston Commander owners and pilots migrated over to this forum from the old board, than turboprop owners. Not quite sure why, but perhaps they were more invested in the older board and didn't want to start all over. Plus, there was some excellent archived information over there. Also, a lot of these same owner/pilots and aircraft have gone by the wayside or retired since the original board was created, so there's that. I see a lot less 500B's at airports in general these days, used to be there was always at least one at pretty much at every airport.

Fact is, I don't see that many TP's either. Used to be a 690B across the hangar for me owned by Nick Martin, but haven't seen it in years. Maybe he sold it.
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

donv

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2021, 09:32:05 am »
It's funny, because there seem to be more Turbo Commanders coming to my area than there have been for many years. Richard at Aero Air was even commenting on this to me the other day.

Adam Frisch

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2021, 02:13:02 pm »
So, how many do we have flying 500-series Commanders on this board? Raise your hand!
Slumming it in the turboprop world - so you don't have to.

Ray787

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2021, 07:26:55 pm »
Hello there Adam,

I'm a Happy 500B guy. Where ever you go, someone usually walks up and says I love the the Commanders and wishes they had one.   

Badger

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2021, 03:04:05 pm »
I love my 500B.  I fly her as often as I can and love to talk about her whenever anyone asks (which is quite often!)

Ed
Ed

butchm

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Re: Anyone here still flying piston version?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2021, 11:06:48 am »
There are probably quite a few of us 500 guys lurking on this site.  I had a 680flp for couple years, too expensive to maintain for me.  Had a 500B for half dozen years.  Sold it to move to a Piper Jetprop, a fun experience.  Now back to the comfortable 500.  Gary Gadberry at Aircenter might know of a few for sale.  Good Luck.