Piper Dakota

3 Replies

Piper Dakota

Posted by David Smail on Apr 2, 2018 10:49 am

I'm interested in possibly buying a 1979 Dakota. I would be interested in hearing from curent or former Dakota owners concerning the following:
​1.Typical fuel burn at cruise settings of 75% and 65% power settings
2. Average cruise speeds for the above
3. Can the Lycoming 540 be leaned easily to get a lower fuel burn? I have heard that this model can't be leaned as well as the big Continental engines.
​4. What do you typically see as an average cost for an annual? [ I know there are a lot of variables as I have owned other planes in the past ]
​5. Any particular items or AD's to look out for on the Dakota or on the pre-purchase?
​6. Any thoughts on typical market price ranges? [ again I'm aware of all the variables ]
Thanks for your help, Dave Smail
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Re: Piper Dakota

Posted by Ronald Levy on Apr 2, 2018 12:35 pm

David Smail:
I'm interested in possibly buying a 1979 Dakota. I would be interested in hearing from curent or former Dakota owners concerning the following:

​I've never owned one, but I have trained a few people for the instrument rating in them.

​1.Typical fuel burn at cruise settings of 75% and 65% power settings

​About 12-14 gph when properly leaned.

2. Average cruise speeds for the above

​About 135-140 KTAS.

3. Can the Lycoming 540 be leaned easily to get a lower fuel burn? I have heard that this model can't be leaned as well as the big Continental engines.

​Absolutely.  With good injector tuning, lean-of-peak operation is possible.

 

​4. What do you typically see as an average cost for an annual? [ I know there are a lot of variables as I have owned other planes in the past ]
​5. Any particular items or AD's to look out for on the Dakota or on the pre-purchase?
​6. Any thoughts on typical market price ranges? [ again I'm aware of all the variables ]

​For those, you'd have to ask someone who owned one, and that's not me.

Re: Piper Dakota

Posted by David Stow on Apr 9, 2018 8:23 am

Ron,

 I can't answer the question with regards to a Dakota. But I do own a 69 Cherokee 235 which I bought about 10 years ago now. I absolutely love the plane and it came very very well-equipped. I usually run somewhere around 75% and burn about 13 gallons an hour.   The plane Climbs and takes off very well. Depending on the number of passengers I can very easily climb at 750 to 1000 ft. perm.   The 540 engine performs very well and is everything that anybody says. I have no trouble leaning the engine.  As I said the plane is very well-equipped and I do have a fuel flow. As for maintenance I do find my plane likes to run with about 9 gallons of oil and more than that just spells out on the belly.   My annuals run me about $1200-$1500. I have upgraded my plane with copper wires which really improves the start of the plane. Other than that the only AD I believe was needing to check all of the pulley assembly's in  in piper Cherokee's several years ago. Hope this is helpful and good luck fly safe! 

Dave Stow

Re: Piper Dakota

Posted by Chris Malone on Apr 9, 2018 9:11 am

I've been flying a '79 Dakota (PA28-236) for some 10 years now. I agree with the other commenters here. Fuel burn 12-14 gal/hr based on altitude and power setting. The O-540 is carburated so I don't try to operate lean of peak. Annual cost has been as low as $1K or as high as $7K. It all depends on the age and condition of the individual aircraft and powerplant. Cruise 135-140K. I typically file at 135K. '79 Dakota's will range from $75-100K depending on condition, engine/prop hours and equipment. While it's not a speedster, this bird has been a reliable, affordable load carrier. Of course, there's the C-182 if you prefer high wings. Oil capacity is 12 qt. but I also find filling higher than 9-10 quarts gets blown out.