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Piper Archer III

March 5, 2010

A few pictures taken at 11,000 feet, I was flying the airplane down to an avionics shop for a few upgrades. On takeoff in DLZ (Delaware, Ohio) I flew through an overcast layer between 3,000 and 4,000 feet but it was “severe clear” on top.

Cruise performance in the Piper Archer at 11,000 feet and 2500RPM was 119 kts TAS. With a little help from the tailwind the Garmins were showing a groundspeed averaging 130 kts. I covered 431 nm in 3.5 hours with a fuel burn of 31 gallons total. For comparison, the same trip would be about a 12 hour drive or about 5 hours if traveling on the airlines (CMH to RDU with 1 stop in BWI).

Piper Archer III panel with Garmins and S-tec autopilot

Piper Archer III panel with Garmins and S-tec autopilot

Sun beginning to set over the overcast

Sun beginning to set over the overcast

Flying single-engine, single-pilot, IFR at night is a subject of some debate, but this airplane has a very nice IFR avionics panel and an S-tec autopilot, so the workload was low.

On top of the overcast at night

On top of the overcast at night

There was a discrepancy of nearly 100′ between the mode-S / autopilot altitude and the indicated altitude on the panel, but I drained the static lines the next morning and the systems seemed to align after that.

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