Piper Navajo

Unlike most of the other planes on this list, the Piper Navajo is a machine I've actually had a fair amount of contact with. My friend and flying buddy Steve owns Piper Navajo N111EF, and we recently spent the month of June, 2001 touring the Caribbean in it. What a great plane! See also my article on how it was to fly through considerable weather on a trip from Northern California to Seattle.

The Navajo is personal travelling machine. Short of a turboprop, it is the closest thing to an airliner private pilots are likely to encounter. It has a cabin that seats 6, with room for 2 more up front to work the controls. It is capable of lifting an ungodly amount of material into the air and then flying circa 175 knots for longer than most bladders are capable of holding out. Trouble is, charter outfits know this, so a great many of the fleet were co-opted into these roles resulting in some very high-time Nava-Joe's out there. A really nice Navajo is worth perhaps $400K, and they come down from there. Quite a bargain, all things considered. It's a pity Piper isn't making these glorious beasts any more. Really, the only thing missing here is pressurization and turbine power. There were some pressurized Navajo's built, and the Piper Cheyenne family are basically turboprop/pressurized Navajos.

N111EF in Puerta Vallarta one fine morning...

The Navajo can operate from very short fields, such as this little strip on Ambergris Caye in Belize...

It's amazing just how much gear you can pack into one of these planes. Wing and nose lockers are full too!

Panel is very sophisticated, stopping just short of being an EFIS. Current owners have added a Sandel HSI and Garmin GNS-430 GPS. Plane already had Stormscope and Color weather radar.

 
All material 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.