Piper Seminole Goes G1000

** Courtesy of Jim Barrett Photography**

The twin-engine Seminole is the latest of Piper’s offerings to receive type certificate approval from the FAA for the integrated Garmin G1000 avionics system. G1000-equipped Seminoles are expected to start rolling out of the Vero Beach, Florida, factory next month, and Piper will have one on display at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, set for July 29 through August 4.

The Seminole’s G1000 system comes with Garmin’s latest software, which includes new capabilities such as user-defined holds and a vertical profile view. While the G1000 has become known for good reliability, Seminole pilots will have a very capable backup system with Aspen Avionics’ EFD1000 located left of the G1000 PFD, which is included as standard equipment.

Introduced in the late 1970s, the Seminole is primarily used in the multi-engine flight training market. Powered by two 180 hp Lycoming engines and priced at $663,500, the twin is a less powerful, less expensive alternative to the Piper Seneca.

The only airplane left in Piper’s stables that has not been upgraded with the G1000 system is the retractable single-engine Piper Arrow, which is equipped with Garmin’s G500 system. Piper is not planning on upgrading the Arrow anytime soon, which is not surprising considering the company delivered fewer than two Arrows per year, on average, during the past five years, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s shipment data.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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