Piper Dakota - 3 Important Reasons Why This Airplane Still Makes Sense
If you are looking to get an airplane that is a step up from the entry level models (172’s, Cherokee 140’s, exc) you are going to want to think about getting a Piper Dakota. They are a great airplane that can get you to where you want to go really fast!
For some reason a lot of pilots and people looking to buy airplanes don't pay much attention to the Dakota. It does not get a lot of "air time" and is sometime crowded out by the more popular airplanes in its class.
That is okay though - because if you are into the Dakota & like it, you could potentially get yourself a real gem of an aircraft that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.
3 Reasons Every Pilot Should Think About
Buying The Piper Dakota
Reason #1 - The Speed (Surprisingly - It's Pretty Good)
Lets be honest for a second. The bottom line is that the airplane goes fast! Sure you are not buying a jet, but if you are going to buy an airplane you are going to want to make sure it is one of the fastest models in the class that it is in.
The Dakota is going to cruise at about 143 knots & the 182 is going to cruise at about 145 knots. That is not a lot of difference, but it is significant when you add in the fact that the Dakota only has 5 more horsepower then the 182.
They are both designed different, fly different and obviously look different!
IMPORTANT - Now - the Cessna 182 is a great airplane & will give you a great flying experience! I've got nothing bad to say about it... But there are a lot of pilots who love low wing airplanes verses the high wing Cessna's. In most cases, they have totally different flight characteristics & will give you a different flying experience.
Now that we got that out of the way - make sure you have a look at the Dakota as it will likely go a bit faster. Not only that, 145 knots of true airspeed is pretty darn good for a 4 seater airplane that is not turbo charged.
You have to remember, this airplane does not have a lot of horsepower & that is a good thing in this case. It gets a pretty good cruise speed out of a somewhat economical engine. There's more then a few planes that have bigger engines and don't go much faster then the Dakota.
Reason #2 - It Has Good Range (Here's Why This Is So Important)
If you are looking at the base model 182 you will find that it is going to have a range of about 445 nautical miles, which is not bad! But you have to realize that the base Dakota can go about 650 nautical miles.
That is quite a difference in range when you are flying long distances. Not only that, you have to realize that if you are going on trips, you are going to save a lot of time and potentially money because if the fact you are not going to have descend, fill up, take of and climb back to altitude.
Those things are very time consuming and burn a lot of fuel! So make sure you realize that if you are looking for a good solid aircraft that is a step up from the base models, you are going to want to give the Dakota a serious look. Sure it is not going to go 1,000 + nautical miles, but it is a very well rounded airplane.
And that is very important. It good speed, power & range. Those are all very equal in this airplane in my opinion.
Reason #3 - The Price Is Surprisingly Good
The great thing about the Dakota is the fact that you can get one for a pretty good price. If you are patient and negotiate well, you could probably find a good one for around $80,000 USD. Now, that all depends on when your looking & what you expect.
SIDE NOTE: That said, they are a very competitively priced aircraft for the performance you are going to get from it. The most important thing you have to do is make sure you are patient and wait for the one that you want. It can take a bit of time, but it will be worth it if you wait.
The biggest mistake people make is they jump on buying a Dakota for the simple reason that they like the avionics or something. Don't get emotionally attached to the airplane that is for sale - get attached to a great deal! (-:
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