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Thanks Mike for the article on the MU-2. From my basic research, the
inventory and misguided press on the MU-2 makes the plane an
attractive first plane.
For USD500k(or under!)...one can get a 300KTN plane with low
operating exp.! However, the the old adage, "If its to good to be
I like the fact that the FAA is mandating thorough training and
recurrent training.....in my mind this aircraft could be a diamond
in the rough.
Any thoughts, would be lovely!
-- Fred John, November 2, 2007
Mike (below): There have been quite a few MU-2 accidents with experienced pilots as well, including a recent one where the pilot was a well-regarded instructor in the airplane. I think someone figured out that the accident rate overall was 10X that of the King Air. I think turboprop that might be cheaper than a King Air and yet not ridiculously dangerous is the Twin Commander (I fly a friend's from time to time; landing at 110 knots is unnerving and I still haven't figured out how to taxi it, but he says that I'm less incompetent than the average Twin Commander beginner).
-- Philip Greenspun, November 30, 2007
Glad to help.
I'm not sure it is a low-operating-expense aircraft, although it depends what you're comparing it to (frightfully expensive compared to a 152, cheap compared to an A380). It probably is not one of the cheaper twin turboprops to operate (I'd guess that operating a couple of TPE-331s costs more than a couple of PT6s). Although Mitsubishi still supports the airplane, it's an out-of-production aircraft, and that always makes support more difficult.
The airplane got its bad reputation following accidents with inexperienced pilots. Price-conscious individuals and businesses (such as cargo firms) buy it because it is inexpensive and fast (the same aspects that appeal to you). The way that they got these characteristics is to make it a high-wing-loading aircraft, then lower its landing speed with a complex flap system. This means that when the "stuff" hits the fan (such as an engine failure), you must perform a series of steps "exactly right" or the aircraft will not fly. The engine-out procedures are more like a business jet than a piston multi or a King Air - very counterintuitive for a newbie multi pilot (I don't think you're supposed to bank into the failed engine, for example, but I could be wrong). So, these inexperienced pilots with insufficient training (and by inexperienced, I mean < 1500 hours and < 500 hours multi), who didn't have MU-2-specific training, didn't know how to respond to the problems that occurred, and it often resulted in a fatal accident.
Again, I haven't flown at this level, but from reading comments on some professional pilot boards, you want to have a couple thousand hours, including A LOT of time on multiengine aircraft, before you even want to think about flying this aircraft. Then, you should contact a reputable training organization for the MU-2. This one is spoken of well on some of the pro pilot forums:
If you're serious about buying this airplane, they can give you advice as to what kind of experience you'll need before you are capable of flying it. I notice that you just started flying, judging from some of your posts. My guess is that they'll suggest that you build a couple thousand hours, including a bunch of multi time, before your're ready, although YMMV.
I'm not part of the "MU-2 should be banned" crowd, but it seems that this is definitely NOT a beginners airplane, and that it requires the same kind of skillset one needs to fly a business jet like the Hawker 400 (also originally designed by Mitsubishi as the Diamondjet). There's a reason why it costs as much as a new piston single - like you said, "If it's too good to be true . . . "
-- Mike Zaharis, November 3, 2007
Thanks, Mike. I appreciate the link(s) and info. I think I am leaning toward the Cirrus. Philip has one and several people I know enjoy the place.
But I would really like a recommendation on a great high speed, long range aircraft for my myself. Any thoughts?
-- Fred John, November 7, 2007