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  #1  
Old 11-13-2009, 06:19 PM
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Opinions on the piper malibu mirage

I'm not a pilot, but my boss owns one. I flew in it with him and while it seems nice (pressurized cabin, etc...), he's had several possible BAD technical problems. Blockage in a fuel injector, cracked oil return line. The former caused us two emergency landings on a business trip. Its a fairly new plane, '06 I think.

Are these known for reliability problems, or has he just had bad luck? I'm trying to gauge if I should refuse anymore rides in the thing and take commercial flights.

I do have to say that its awesome flying in a private plane vs. commercial. Show up, throw your stuff in the back and take off, like a car vs. a flying bus.

Pic from the trip, at 16k feet if I remember right?
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:05 PM
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They are very nice planes. I can look up any airworthiness directives if you like (shouldn't be too many since it is a new aircraft).

And yes, flying GA somewhere is THE way to go versus commercial any day of the week.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:25 AM
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Someone I was talking to said they were known for problems, but the guy hadn't flown in years and couldn't give any specifics other than 'engine problems'. Figured there would be some pilots here who might know better.

I tried looking up the ADs but the FAA site gives me a 404 error. You have access to another database?
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:59 PM
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concerning the problems with the engine,the the LBA("German FAA") published this document which shows that there are problems with Aircrafts which operate with the engine listed in the document.
But it`s from `02...so it might be useless...anyway..here it is :

http://www2.lba.de/dokumente/lta/2002/20020572.pdf

for additional info you might want to check out this :

http://mmopa.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=26&
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_slacker »
Someone I was talking to said they were known for problems, but the guy hadn't flown in years and couldn't give any specifics other than 'engine problems'. Figured there would be some pilots here who might know better.

I tried looking up the ADs but the FAA site gives me a 404 error. You have access to another database?
PM me the tail number. ADs will be serial number specific and I can get the ser. no. from the registry.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:49 PM
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PM sent.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:01 PM
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I've flown Malibu's for years.....

I know this thread is almost a year old, but an internet search found it, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I've got some 1500 hours in Malibu's and Malibu/Mirages. The early model, the Malibu, developed a history of engine problems. It was/is powered by a Continental 310 horsepower engine. In 1989, Piper changed to a 350 horsepower Lycoming. The Continental was intended to run "lean of peak". While there are arguments for "lean of peak" and "rich of peak", the common theory was that the "lean of peak" fuel settings caused the engines to run hotter than normal, thus causing many in flight engine failures and problems.

The other issue that hit the airframe was 7 in flight break ups in a matter of 6 or 7 months (if my memory is correct). The entire fleet was grounded, and slowly let back into the air with restrictions until a thorough investigation, and eventual recertification was completed. The common thread to the breakups was low pilot time. The Malibu and the Mirage (same airframe really, just a different engine), are designed to fly high, in what is really a nasty environment (at 25,000 feet, on a beautiful clear summer day, the outside air temperature will be below zero farenheit!). With turbine inlet temperatures of 1600 degree's, it's quite a difference!

Now, having said all that, I own a 1989 Mirage. I fly it everywhere, from my home here in Chicago to Florida, to Las Vegas, I've even flown it out to Oakland. I've experienced cracked oil rings, which have had me overhaul two of the six cylinders, but with proper maintenance, and running the engine cool (I keep the cylinder head temps below 400 degrees at all times), the engine is running smooth and should make it to at least 1000 hours since the last overhaul (I know, someone is going to say it should last to 2000, but in flying this type of plane for some 20 years, I've never seen one make it that far).

Of course, Lycomming is comming out with a new engine that will replace the one currently being bolted on. It is going to be all computer controlled from propeller pitch to fuel flow per cylinder. Now THAT will be nice!

Hope this helps!

Andy
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andypilot »
I know this thread is almost a year old, but an internet search found it, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I've got some 1500 hours in Malibu's and Malibu/Mirages. The early model, the Malibu, developed a history of engine problems. It was/is powered by a Continental 310 horsepower engine. In 1989, Piper changed to a 350 horsepower Lycoming. The Continental was intended to run "lean of peak". While there are arguments for "lean of peak" and "rich of peak", the common theory was that the "lean of peak" fuel settings caused the engines to run hotter than normal, thus causing many in flight engine failures and problems.

The other issue that hit the airframe was 7 in flight break ups in a matter of 6 or 7 months (if my memory is correct). The entire fleet was grounded, and slowly let back into the air with restrictions until a thorough investigation, and eventual recertification was completed. The common thread to the breakups was low pilot time. The Malibu and the Mirage (same airframe really, just a different engine), are designed to fly high, in what is really a nasty environment (at 25,000 feet, on a beautiful clear summer day, the outside air temperature will be below zero farenheit!). With turbine inlet temperatures of 1600 degree's, it's quite a difference!

Now, having said all that, I own a 1989 Mirage. I fly it everywhere, from my home here in Chicago to Florida, to Las Vegas, I've even flown it out to Oakland. I've experienced cracked oil rings, which have had me overhaul two of the six cylinders, but with proper maintenance, and running the engine cool (I keep the cylinder head temps below 400 degrees at all times), the engine is running smooth and should make it to at least 1000 hours since the last overhaul (I know, someone is going to say it should last to 2000, but in flying this type of plane for some 20 years, I've never seen one make it that far).

Of course, Lycomming is comming out with a new engine that will replace the one currently being bolted on. It is going to be all computer controlled from propeller pitch to fuel flow per cylinder. Now THAT will be nice!

Hope this helps!

Andy
CHT was kept under 400 by running rich of peak, opening cowl flaps (if they have them) or both ??
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:39 AM
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Didn't they go to a stronger wing spar in 1999?
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