Piper Announces Pilot 100 Series Training Aircraft

The Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i promise an affordable trainer for flight schools

Piper training aircraft
The Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i training aircraft come with the Garmin G3X Touch and, for the 100i, the GFC500 autopilot.Courtesy Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft believes its new Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i trainers will deliver desperately needed solutions to a flight-training industry struggling to meet the demands of the worldwide pilot shortage. Announced at April's Sun 'n Fun show in Lakeland, Florida, the Piper Pilot 100 will be delivered with a Garmin G3X Touch Certified avionics system in a standard two-pilot configuration. The ready-for-instrument-flight Pilot 100i also includes a Garmin G3X Touch package and a GFC500 autopilot.

Piper CEO Simon Caldecott said the company’s newest aircraft were identified after extensive research and the rapid expansion of trainer sales, as well as from increased demand for aircraft at a price point that could support the growing demand for professionally trained pilots. Based on the PA-28 type certificate, the Pilot 100 retails for $259,000 and the 100i for $285,000.

Since 2014, sales of the single-engine Piper Archer have grown more than 93 percent—by 50 percent alone in 2018.

Piper broke with tradition on these aircraft by choosing a newly designed 180 hp Continental Prime IO-370-D3A powerplant that eliminates hot starting problems. The Continental engine will give the trainers a 128-knot cruise speed and a range of 522 nm with a 45-minute reserve.

Inside the cockpit, the Garmin cockpit includes a single 10.6-inch PFD with Connext technology, configurable as an MFD with moving map, including terrain, obstacle and traffic alerts, georeferenced Flite Charts or Jeppesen Chartview charts and Garmin SafeTaxi. A third observation seat including GMA 245R remote audio panel with Bluetooth is optional.

The Piper Pilot 100 will be touring flight schools this summer as the company finalizes the aircraft’s design. Both aircraft will be available in limited quantities beginning next year.