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Piper Turbo Arrow III


I’m going to be flying a PA-28R-201T soon and I’m just looking for some pointers. I have around 50 hours on wobbly prop aircraft but no retractable or Turbo experience. My main concern when transitioning onto this new type is the turbo management. Could any give me some tips or pointers concerning the turbo?


Last Edited by Callum at 06 May 11:05
London Area

- The advice you will get when asking like this will be somewhat random
- You will not learn enough about turbocharging during checkout – so stay curious and find out more
- Do not underestimate the retractable thing – there is more to it than you think
- Watch the engine temperatures; be especially conservative if the Arrow does not have an engine analyzer
- Avoid harsh throttle movements even more
- Turbos are different. The one on Arrow III is rather crude, with a fixed wastegate
- Make sure you understand what that means, in theory and operationally
- Gentle and gradual engine warm-up and gradual cool-down is even more essential
- Be conservative about powersettings, especially at altitude. The POH is not accurate – it claims the same setting will give the same % power regardless of altitude. That is simply not true – the Mooney 231 with the same engine lists 3" manifold pressure difference to hold a specific % power at different altitudes.
- Probably in part due to some of the above: The engine is easily abused and statistically not among the most reliable. Stay alert for signs of trouble and avoid scenarios where a forced landing would be really bad.

EKRK, Denmark

Do not underestimate the retractable thing – there is more to it than you think

My feelings on this are quite the reverse (operating a NA Arrow). Before doing the retractable checkout I worried I might forget lowering the gear before landing. But in reality, at every approach I need to get rid of excess energy (speed or potential), at which point the gear comes to mind quite naturally.

LSZK, Switzerland

The TB20 technique is best illustrated this video.

The TB20 technique is best illustrated this video.

This technique works perfectly with a Piper Turbo Arrow III as well

Make a habit of reading the final checklist before every landing (and not some BRRRUUUMMMFT stuff where you never remember that one of the "U"s stands for “undercarriage”) and you will be fine.

[image fixed]

Last Edited by Peter at 06 May 13:26
Last Edited by what_next at 06 May 13:10
EDDS - Stuttgart

When first flying retractables I found that the tendency was to forget to raise the gear rather than lower it.
Usually spotted when first wondering why cruise speed was so low…

Egnm, United Kingdom

I confirm everything written by huv on the Turbo Arrow from my experience with the PA28RT-201T. I would also add that operations at 20.000 feet are a little different from sea level.

The turbo is crude and very easy to overboost especially during the takeoff run. It needs to be watched like milk on the stove. At the beginning of the takeoff run you need to set the power several inches below max MP. As the aircraft accelerates the MP will rise. The throttle is also very sensitive. Small movements of the throttle yield big changes in MP.

The engine is prone to cylinder cracking. Excessive turbine temperatures and lack of cooling before shutdown may eventually make the turbo fail. And when the turbo fails, the engine does not run well at all.

Read up on engine management for example on AvWeb. Understand the difference between EGT and TIT, their limitations, and the effect of high altitude operations on the engine temperatures. Read about shock cooling, or the myth of shock cooling, and choose sides :-)

I found slowing down the PA28RT-201T somewhat difficult and the letdown required some planning to avoid closing the throttle in order to get down.

Understand the a turbo does not give you any additional power except at high pressure altitude – you can maintain the same MP all the way up to service ceiling. You will therefore be able to maintain good climb rates all the way up to cruise altitude and and cruise at significantly higher true speeds than with a normally aspirated engine. That does not change the aerodynamic effect on propeller and wings, and your takeoff distance will remain longer the higher the density altitude of the departure airfield is because of the increasing difference between IAS and TAS with altitude.

And if you really want to take advantage of this turbo, get your EIR or IR ticket!

I hope you will enjoy that airplane as much as I did.


Great, some solid advice here. What would you say estimated conversion time would be? I have 350TT with 50H wobbly prop.

London Area

When I converted to ( an auto waste gate) turbo, I just did a couple of circuits.
Spent some time reading up on it beforehand though.

Egnm, United Kingdom

I think an instructor would be able to sign you off after anything from 2-3 hrs tops. I suppose a “wobbly prop” is a CS prop? Instruction will however only take you that far, so it is important that you keep educating yourself about all aspects of flying from any semi-reliable source you can get your hands on. I find AvWeb to be an invaluable source of information, especially Mike Bush’s articles, at least as a starting point.

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