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Cessna P210, what is there to know about it?

Hello all,

I have been asked about this airplane but don’t know too much about it. Has anyone got owner or pilot experience with it?

For me, it looks like the lowest cost entry into the pressurized world, but I suppose it will come at a price.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

For me, it looks like the lowest cost entry into the pressurized world, but I suppose it will come at a price.

I guess so… The problem with the “lowest cost” is that the bargain P210s on the market are fairly old airframes. Old and pressurised do not go too well together, unless the maintenance has been done in an impeccable way. Otherwise that pressurisation system will result in quite a few diversions, downtime and hefty bills. Of course, if one was able to find a low-hour airframe, always hangared and flown by a good pilot there is a chance for a real bargain…

Concerns apart, the P210 is the most wonderful single I have ever flown. Smooth, fast(ish) and quiet. So quiet that one can fly without headsets and talk to passengers sitting in the back row. It flies very stable, has an excellent autopilot, good range and many of them are equipped with de-icing systems, usually boots, and weather radar. But it is not a plane for a low-hour PPL. It requires quite some (hard) runway and must be landed precisely on speed, otherwise the unforgiving landing gear will have some surprises for you. There have been plenty of landing accidents in 210s and I personally knew two pilots (father and son) who died in their third attempt to land their 210. As an instructor, I would refuse to do differences training toward a 210 with any pilot who has not 300 hours minimum and ideally a CPL or HPA endorsment.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Note that P210N and the later P210R are quite different: engine, intercooler, tailplane, primary control system and cruise performance are among the differences. The R model is generally considered a much better, but somewhat heavier, machine.

I agree with what_next says about pilot qualifications. Although immensely comfortable, the P210 is a high workload machine. The safety record is not very good; but most accidents seem to relate to pilots not taking the aircraft seriously.

Aviation writer Richard Collins of Flying fame owned and flew a P210 for many years, and has written much informative stuff about operating it. I would recommend reading some of his books and articles.

huv
EKRK, Denmark

Thank you. That is part of the information I am looking for. The difference between the N and R are noted.

I understood that the 210 in general had some problems with the landing gear, particularly the doors, which have resulted in quite some gear up landings and write offs. Any comments there?

Pressurisation system: How is it working? Manual? Automatic? I see that the max altitude is FL200.

what_next wrote:

As an instructor, I would refuse to do differences training toward a 210 with any pilot who has not 300 hours minimum and ideally a CPL or HPA endorsment.

Well, nobody who does not take any plane serious deserves to fly it, hours non-withstanding. There is a well known case of a guy who turned up in Pilot und Flugzeug years ago and was doing his PPL and wanted to buy a plane once he finishes it. He did buy a C210 (non pressurized) and has been flying happily ever since as it was a good choice for him. He also appears to be a pilot who has the right attitude. I think that is more important than the minimum hours or whether he has a CPL or HPA. A new PPL who will take time and effort and not shy away from a good transition will not profit from flying Cessna 150’ties for 300 hours before he goes to a 210 if the attitude is not there, but he can be taught to safely fly a 210 if he has the right attitude and a probably lenghty and thourough instruction.

Actually, I almost bought an even “cheaper” pressurized single, a M22 Mustang. But I am glad I did not, finding parts is almost impossible. Yet there are still some flying in Switzerland.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

There is a well known case …

When I don’t know a pilot/student before, all I can look at is his flying experience. There may be the odd exception of a very talented and/or technically knowledgeable person who can master something like a P210 right after gaining his PPL. But in my experience, the majority requires some more experience beforehand. Transitioning from a Pa28 to the Pa44 (Seminole) as most integrated students have to do early in their training is a much smaller challenge than going from C152/172 to P210.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Pressurisation system: How is it working? Manual? Automatic?

Mainly automatic. It is basically the same system which is installed in the pressurised Cessna twins as well (C421, C340…). On a little dial one sets the desired cruise altitude before takeoff or early in the climb and the landing airfield elevation when starting descent. The mechanic/pneumatic controller will then adjust the differential pressure so that the smoothest possible change in cabin pressure will result. Forgetting to set the values on the dial can result in rapid/unpleasant changes is cabin altitude but poses no risk to the airframe.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I looked at a P210 a few years ago. I bought the Cessna 210 Buyer’s Guide which has a lot of information.

In the end I bought my Bonanza back!

Spending too long online
EGTF Fairoaks, EGLL Heathrow, United Kingdom

chrisparker wrote:

I looked at a P210 a few years ago.

So did I 15 years ago, did a P210 course in the States and like Chris I bought an A36 Bonanza which is an altogether better aircraft.

They say that a P210 is a maintenance nightmare, CHT & TIT’s are a nightmare and need very careful management by an experienced pilot, on this particular day we reached FL235 and then had to put the gear down to decend so that CHT remained in the green, flying the aircraft well is very much ‘high work load’ and could be very expensive if the engine is not managed correctly, there is a lot of very hot air going into that engine and the higher you go the hotter it gets.

The Silver Eagle turbine conversion is a whole different ballgame, Cessna should have done that modification in the first place.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I see that the max altitude is FL200

Just for the record: Max operating altitude is FL230, but it takes ages to get there…

what_next wrote:

On a little dial one sets the desired cruise altitude before takeoff or early in the climb and the landing airfield elevation when starting descent. The mechanic/pneumatic controller will then adjust the differential pressure so that the smoothest possible change in cabin pressure will result.

What you actually set on the P210 (don’t know about the twins) is not cruise altitude, but rather cabin altitude. In the climb, the cabin rate is equal to the airplane ROC until reaching the selected value. From then, the pressurization system maintains this altitude or max differential pressure if you fly too high for the selected altitude to be within the 3,35 psi limit. There is no cabin rate control in the P210.

The POH says you should set cabin altitiude at least 1000 ft above destination elevation to make sure the cabin is unpressurized for landing.

Tobias

Friedrichshafen EDNY

tschnell wrote:

The POH says you should set cabin altitiude at least 1000 ft above destination elevation to make sure the cabin is unpressurized for landing.

That’s the same for the Cessna twins (and even the Citations which have a digital version of the same basic controller).

EDDS - Stuttgart

quatrelle wrote:

did a P210 course in the States and like Chris I bought an A36 Bonanza which is an altogether better aircraft.

I don’t think you can compare a pressurized aircraft to an unpressurized and conclude that the unpressurized is the better aircraft. The P210 is the absolute entry level to pressurization. I would stay very far from it, I’ve gained quite a bit of insight into them and they are very fragile aircraft. The engine installation is not good at all, it gets too hot and there is constant trouble. In average, cylinders last 600-800h. Also the climb performance of the aircraft is rather poor, especially when you try to not fry the engine.

A Silver Eagle costs you at least $400k. I personally would not accept a constant jet fuel stink in the cabin and freezing temperatures inside at altitude after having paid $400k…

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