Tips for the Piper Pacer

piper pacer on floats

Piper Pacer Tips

  • It has a short wing for its weight, don’t get slow
  • You need speed to climb, don’t leave ground effect too quickly
  • Flaps and water rudders can be difficult to reach, ensure you adjust your belts and seat accordingly before leaving the dock so you can reach everything you need
  • There is generally not a stall warning, if you get slow enough to get a buffet, you are WAY too slow
  • Above 40kts airspeed, going from 15 to 30 degrees of flap can help you quickly break the tension on the water and get airborne
  • Don’t expect the fuel tanks to drink fuel equally
  • At first, lead your turns with rudder and follow with aileron. In a perfect world, you use aileron and rudder together.  At first, using more rudder may help you have a better feel for the airplane.  It requires more rudder input than your average Piper Cherokee or Cessna 172.
  • These airplanes on floats typically have a glide ratio similar to that of a falling brick.  On engine out landings, ensure you lower the nose enough at altitude to carry energy down into the roundabout and flare.  Running out of energy with an engine failure 10′ above the water is very bad in any airplane.  It is easy to “run out of energy” in the short-winged pacers.